Carroll Street Creative District Hosts Halloween Block Party, Its First Official Event After August Launch Party

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November 1 – The sweet sound of acoustic guitar music hovered over the intersection of East All Saints and East streets on Sunday afternoon as trick-or-treaters streaked through what is usually an empty parking lot behind the Frederick Visitor Center.

After celebrating its launch in August and taking part in the “In The Streets” festival in September, the budding creative district of Carroll Street hosted its first official Halloween event – a block party with stalls run by local artists. and business owners, live music and even a dog costume contest.

Ask anyone involved in the design of the Creative District, and they’ll tell you at length about what they dream it will someday mean for the city’s artisans, entrepreneurs, performers, and artists. They plan to become an organization where community members passionate about the arts can connect and collaborate with each other. They also hope it will help develop the area surrounding Carroll Street to provide an affordable space where local creatives can open pop-up shops or practice their craft.

In the near future, however, organizers involved in the group plan to host markets similar to the one they set up on Sunday to help vendors gain visibility in the community and network with each other. others.

Redundancy – this is the secret to building momentum for projects, said Alan Feinberg, licensed architect, town planner and planner who is heavily involved in the development of the Carroll Street Creative District. Hosting public events like the Halloween block party will help introduce Frederick to the new initiative and understand why it is so important for a community to support their artists, Feinberg said.

“The best way to do anything is throw a party,” he said with a smile. He was sitting in a folding chair at the corner of a white tent that housed a tarot card reader, squeezing the fabric so it wouldn’t fly off. “Meetings are boring.”

It seemed like everyone else walking through the makeshift Sunday market knew Feinberg. He greeted everyone as if they were his old friend, even those who had just moved to the Frederick area. A couple passing through the parking lot described him as a “community weaver”.

Laura Sherwood is a relatively new Frederick transplant, but she is already a strong advocate for the city’s need for a creative neighborhood. Ultimately, she hopes that the neighborhood will be able to set up a space where artists can meet, collaborate and host pop-up shops at a reasonable price.

“By coming together, artists have this ability to build community, to heal, to create, to express,” said Sherwood, founder of the Transformative Arts Project, a nonprofit that uses art to empower communities. marginalized. “There is so much that can happen.”

Sherwood is the one who originated the idea of ​​having a Halloween block party in Feinberg. Although she had hoped to set up a photo booth for visitors, the strong afternoon winds made it difficult – her backdrop kept slipping out of its frame. Instead, she walked around the parking lot, camera in tow, taking pictures of participating families and vendors.

Longtime Frederick resident and community advocate Tarolyn Thrasher also came out to support the Creative Quarter on Sunday – and she did so in style, cradling leopard-print cat ears and a bow tie, her face covered in precious stones.

She described the block party as a great opportunity for local entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses to the community. She also stressed the importance of making Frederick an affordable place for creatives to both live and work.

“That’s why I got involved,” she said. “Because I believe these small businesses make our city special.”

Sunday was also a monumental day for the Piza family, if for a different reason than the Carroll Street Creative District – it marked the very first Halloween of 7-year-old Angelica and 5-year-old Alejandra. Before the family moved from Argentina to Frederick last month, the girls had never seen the vacation depicted in movies and TV shows. Attending the Creative District block party was their first trick-or-treat.

Their parents, Ruben and Natalia Piza, worry about how the little girls will adjust to life in an unfamiliar community. Pretty much everything is different here, from the weather (Maryland is much rainier than Argentina, Ruben said) to the language (Alejandra and Angelica are still learning English). On their first day at Tuscarora Elementary School three weeks ago, they cried.

But Ruben smiled as he watched his daughters bounce in the parking lot on Sunday afternoon. They seemed to be doing well, he said. The night before, he and his wife had bought them their first Halloween costumes in Party City. There were slim choices, but they had managed to find a pirate outfit for Angelica and a My Little Pony costume for Alejandra. Natalia played with the blue fairy wings on her daughter’s back.

“Say ‘Happy Halloween!'” Natalia told him.

“Happy Halloween!” said Alejandra obediently, smiling shyly.

Follow Angela Roberts on Twitter: @ 24_angier


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