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Residents support 2nd annual North Beach event


Staff writer

It was a crowded Bay Avenue on Saturday as people gathered for the second annual North Beach Bay Harvestfest.

“There was a little bit of rain, but that didn’t deter anyone from hanging out,” said Stacy Wilkerson, North Beach town clerk, who was in charge of the event, during a brief interview Monday morning.

This year, about 42 vendors lined Bay Avenue selling food and drinks, crafts, jewelry, clothes, art and local produce, while a few others were campaigning for Chesapeake Beach Town Council and Calvert County Board of Education and handing out informational fliers and brochures about North Beach, Chesapeake Beach, the Chesapeake Railway Museum and the environment.

While guests wandered and shopped, the Uncle Jack Band added some live music to the mix with funk and disco renditions.

Gail Govoni of North Beach said she and her daughter, Lisa, were at the Harvestfest “just to come out and support North Beach on a great day like this.”

They said they also were using the opportunity to socialize their 1-year-old dog, Brie.

“She’s being very good,” Gail said, as Lisa pointed out that Brie hadn’t been barking at passing dogs.

This was the second Harvestfest for the Govonis, who said there weren’t as many vendors as the previous year.

Wilkerson explained Saturday that the Harvestfest was competing with the 35th annual Patuxent River Appreciation Days at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons and the 10th annual Riverside Winefest at Sotterly Plantations in Hollywood, Md.

“So, we don’t have a lot of vendors, but we have good quality vendors,” she said.

Dan and Angela Travers and their 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Sophia, were heading to the boardwalk from their home in Chesapeake Beach, Dan Travers said, when they discovered the fest was happening.

Dan said that although they haven’t been to the Harvestfest before, he did remember attending the Bayfest many years ago.

About four years ago, North Beach held its last Bayfest in August because it was “just too hot,” Wilkerson said. North Beach then took a year off and brought back the Harvestfest in October for the cooler weather.

The North Beach Senior Center’s Senior Council used the Harvestfest as a way to generate some money for buying “extra special things,” said Ricca Baker, program specialist at the senior center. Last year, she explained, it raised $2,000 to help buy the “special things the county might not fund.”

Treva Etchison, the president of the senior council, said this year the council was just trying to raise as much money as it could.

The Twin Beach Players Youth Group also utilized the opportunity for fundraising. They were collecting $5 for parking at various locations to be shared among the organization’s theatre productions, said Sid Curl, president of the Twin Beach Players.

Betty Vaughn of North Beach and Susie Sanders of Drum Point were at the Harvestfest “just looking,” explained Vaughn.

“She wanted to look at some of the art and stuff, so we’re just making a day of it,” Vaughn said.