Photos courtesy of Raymond Almsteadt and Amanda Schappell 

Yesterday marked the official summer solstice, and mother nature is not holding back in letting us know that summer is here! Last Saturday, the Baltimore Art & Music Project (Baltimore AMP) hosted their Summer Solstice Festival in Dundalk, where hundreds gathered to celebrate the end of spring, and welcome the season of fun!

Several months ago, we ran a story on a strange gathering called My Big Fat Bawlmer Wedding, thrown by as a yearly fundraiser for Baltimore AMP. At the Summer Solstice Festival, we got to experience how some of the funds raised were used, bringing art, music, performance and more to Baltimore County.

As we have previously reported, Baltimore AMP is a Non-Profit Arts Organization mostly serving the Dundalk Community. Its founder and Executive Director, Carla Crisp, started the organization over 15 years ago with the mission to “Provide opportunities for the community – and for young people in particular – to experience, participate in and create music and the arts as a way to strengthen, uplift and renew the spirit and well-being of the individual and the community.”

Dundalk is located just outside the Southeast corner of Baltimore City. The Festival was held in the spacious Chesterwood Park, overlooking Lych Cove, feeding into the Chesapeake Bay. The park provided the perfect setting for the festival, where it felt like you were far away from the city– a perfect way to spend an afternoon!

The five hour event featured numerous bands, including Strum The Fox, Bristols, Dirty Secret, Clockbreaker, as well as Talk of Spring, all the way from Louisville, Kentucky.

As the music played on and people danced, vendors sold their wares, and good times were had by all.

As a special treat, the festival found itself in the flight path of the Blue Angels, who flew by overhead on their way to air show as part of the All-Star Sailabration festivities.

What Weekly regular Paco Fish engaged the crowd from 10 feet up, while Jennifer Stephens dazzled young and old with her fantastic bubbles. Patricia Tamariz painted faces, and Cirque Oya hooped the day away. Charm City Movement Arts, featured in this weeks story about Nik Wallenda, offered many the chance to walk a tight rope. These performers added just the right touch of Circus to the festive occasion.

In Baltimore County, where the opportunities to experience art, music, and performance pale in comparison to that which is available in the city, Baltimore Art & Music Project’s Summer Solstice Festival was a chance to celebrate those things which keep up happy, alive, and full of magic!

The organization hosts regular events in the county throughout the year, often targeting their programming to the most underserved populations. For more information on Baltimore Art & Music Project, and other events such as these, please visit www.BaltimoreAMP.com