Arts & Culture

Hey, Hon!

We asked some past winners of Baltimore’s Best Hon for their expert tips.

It may seem easy to don a feather boa and recite phrases like “downy ocean” in Bawlmerese, but the annual Baltimore’s Best Hon contest proves that there’s more to being a true-blue Hon than meets the eye. Ahead of this year’s Baltimore Honfest on June 8-9, we consulted past contestants Bonnie Hockstein, Megan Brockway, and Amber Nelson for tips on what it takes to become “the sequins in Charm City’s crown.”

—Illustration by Danielle Dernoga


Hons speak Bawlmerese, so it’s all about those Os ya nao. By the way, ya don’t hafta be from Baltimore, but ya better not be from Pittsburgh, hon.


Hons were working-class women from the 1940-60s who were sources of old-fashioned common sense in a complicated world. Hons held down a job, cleaned, and always looked gorgeous doin’ it. Don’t let their kindness be mistaken for weakness.


Accessories are important—they’re a Hon’s best shot at get- ting noticed when they go out after workin’ hard all week. Hons know that true beauty is on the inside and the outside is just makeup, jewelry, animal prints, lotsa color, and spandex.


Hons believe that God gave all
of us a special talent, and it’s our job to figure out what it is and use it to make the world a better place.

Past talents from finalists include scrub- bing a fake set of marble steps while reciting Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” blowing the biggest bubble gum bub- ble, and playing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on a xylophone made out of Natty Boh bottles.


The higher the hair, the closer to heaven. And we’re serious, hon.

Psst: The judges give extra points for a “wash and set” hairdo because it’s full of hope and hairspray.