Arts & Culture

It’s Back! Hampdenfest 2014 Gets a New Date

Organizers say event will go off Sept. 20. Toilet races remain in doubt.

Hampdenfest 2014, initially scheduled for Sept.13, appeared dead in the water after being canceled because of a conflict with the city’s Sailabration/Star Spangled Banner Anniversary over the same weekend. Baltimore officials had said they’d were unable to provide the necessary resources to assist Hampdenfest organizers.

The good news is organizers now say the event will go off Sept. 20 and a press release will be put out Wednesday afternoon with the official announcement. The bad news? The event’s famous toilet races remain in doubt.

Benn Ray, president of the Hampden Village Merchants Association and one of the festival’s organizers, hosted a public meeting last week at his store, Atomic Books, along with City Council members Nick Mosby and Mary Pat Clarke, and said the new date was worked out with officials from the city and mayor’s office. Ray said that with the new date, scheduling conflicts have arisen with some vendors and bands, but organizers are optimistic about filling the available slots.

“We’re confident we’re going to get quality performers to step in; we wouldn’t be doing it otherwise,” Ray said. “I actually think we are going to be able to pull off some surprises, too.”

The organizer of Hampdenfest’s legendary toilet races, Steve Baker, owner of the WhollyTerra art studio, has a scheduling conflict and won’t be able run that event on this year, but there remains a chance the races may still go off, according to Ray.

“There’s a possibility someone else may be able to organize it,” Ray said.

We can only hope.