Festivals, Fairs, and Fun!

Look for our tent!

Look for our tent!

The snow is finally a memory and the trees are beginning to green.  Winter has finally given way to spring. It’s also now fair and festival season around Baltimore County.

Better Baltimore County will be bringing our work of promoting and connecting the good work of civic leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators first to the Towsontown Spring Festival. Celebrating its 49th anniversary, this festival will be held on April 30th and May 1st.  It has blossomed over time into one of the largest outdoor festival in Maryland and on the east coast. For more information on the event and for a more complete description of all the vendors that will be in attendance, you can check out the Towsontown Festival website.  If you’d like to join us at this festival, you can join up to volunteer by visiting this link on the BBC website.

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The Towson Townfest is an impressive gathering, drawing nearly 250,000 visitors annually.  However, it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all that our county has to offer.  There are town fairs and festivals in just about every one of our great communities.  These include but are most certainly not limited to Catonsville (Arts and Craft Festival), Parkville (Town Fair), Dundalk (Heritage Fair), Randallstown (Liberty Live!), Arbutus (Arts Festival), Reisterstown (Festival) Hunt Valley (Spring Festival) and Essex (Essex Day).  There is no shortage of 4th of July and other parades around our great county, as well. Many communities also host Farmer’s Markets, National Night Out activities and various concert and programming activities.

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These fairs, festivals and other events are built on the strength of community leadership.  They are examples of what is possible when neighbors come together and proves that a spirit of volunteerism remains strong in our jurisdiction.  These events also provide enriching opportunities for community residents as well as visitors from all over region.  Finally, the events represent a well-deserved spotlighting of the great things happening in our communities across Baltimore County. Each event contributes to a better Baltimore County.

Do you have an especially fond memory of a fair, festival, parade or other community activity in Baltimore County?  Are there particular fairs, festivals, parades or other events that you are especially excited to attend this year?  We welcome you to comment below or email us at betterbaltimorecounty@gmail.com to share your experiences and thoughts, and we look forward to connecting with you during this year’s festival season in Baltimore County!

Look for our tent!

Look for our tent!

Quality Transportation in Baltimore County

Bus

A quality transportation system is an important cornerstone to any vibrant city and region.

Examples of transportation systems that work well can be seen around us.  Perhaps one of the most popular transportation networks recently created in the Baltimore region is the Charm City Circulator.  The Charm City Circulator consists of 30 free shuttle buses that traverse four routes across Baltimore City, with buses arriving every 10 – 15 minutes at designated stops along each route.  The program started in 2010 and ridership has grown consistently over the years, boasting ridership numbers of several hundred thousand every month.

The Charm City Circulator has proven to be fairly successful, connecting riders to other bus routes, trains and commuter lots, in addition to proving to be a useful connection to parts of Baltimore all its own.  The network includes a phone application that provides mobile alerts and utilizes hybrid electric buses so that this transportation option is more environmentally-friendly than previous bus options.

In Baltimore County, some communities have begun to take note of the Circulator’s success.  Several Towson leaders, for example, have begun to push for a Towson Circulator pilot. As Towson-area Delegate Steve Laffery shares, “Transit’s got to be part of our future.”

This is true in Towson and beyond, so a Towson Circulator should just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to conversations about improving transportation options for Baltimore County residents.  For starters, we should not only be considering ways in which Towson residents and visitors can have access to all the county seat offers, but also be contemplating similar within-neighborhood transportation connections.  There are some ripe opportunities to support our main streets and distinct neighborhoods throughout the County.

Perhaps even more importantly, there needs to be a serious conversation about the ways in which Baltimore County can better connect the many vibrant communities across our jurisdiction – and how we can thoughtfully create access to the greater Baltimore region with a more robust transportation network.  Considering how many employment opportunities are within the county and the many cultural, historic, and entertainment options around us (see one of our prior blogs on this), it makes sense that we create a plan to do more for Baltimore County residents on the transportation front.

A thoughtful transportation approach in Baltimore County can do more to create jobs, revitalize communities and connect residents to great opportunities – and each other.