ELKTON — Though the September heat felt more like summer, Elkton’s Fall Festival on Saturday brought hundreds of locals onto the town’s North and Main Streets to enjoy music, shops, food and drinks.
Organized by Elkton Alliance and Elkton Arts & Entertainment, brought the community together for an end of summer, beginning of fall celebration.
Saturday morning opened with a number of events, including the Cub Scouts’ Cecil 500 Push Cart Derby. Participants raced up and down North Street, pushing small carts and their drivers over the finish line.
Later, performers from Bobbie Anne’s Dance Studio dazzled the North Street crowd with their highstepping routines.
During the afternoon, local bands competed for a $500 grand prize in the Battle of the Bands contest. Held on a stage set up on North Street, the event was sponsored by the Cecil College Performing Arts.
The festival saw a wide range of vendors set up stalls up and down Main Street. From informational stalls featuring the Boy Scouts of America, ACME and Voices of Hope to craft shops from local businesses like Berke’s Peanut Butter and The Palette & the Page, there was a huge variety of options for patrons of the event.
The vendors, too, seemed to be having a good time.
“I’m really enjoying it,” said Rosella Waters, owner of Elkton’s Ella Roses Boutique. “People have been very receptive and really seem to enjoy my products.”
The event also drew several aspiring politicians who wanted to engage with the Cecil County community and enjoy the festival’s atmosphere.
Mike Rosenbaum, a Baltimore businessman who is running for Maryland Governor next year, said he wanted to let Cecil County know that it would not be an afterthought if he wins the governorship.
“Historically, elected officials haven’t thought of the state as a whole,” said Rosenbaum, who spoke about wanting to build pathways to higher income jobs that are available to everyone. "Cecil County specifically, the largest employers are institutions GORE and health care providers. So health care jobs, manufacturing jobs, those jobs exist elsewhere in the state as well. But we need to lean in on the anchors we have and grow them."
David Harden, a ninth generation Eastern Shore resident, is running against Andy Harris to represent Maryland’s 1st District in Congress, which includes Cecil County.
“The people here have been left behind,” said Harden. “They’ve been disrespected and talked down to. I’m going to fight for democracy and fight to build the next generation.”
Harden also noted that the festival felt like coming home.
“I love it,” he said. “This is what I grew up on.”
While children were able to play in the moon bounce and obstacle course, or do sand art and participate in other activities, their parents were free to enjoy the food and beverages available along the street. Elk River Brewing Company and C3ntral Tavern, as well as other vendors, offered to-go beer in cups that could be purchased by anyone over 21.