Hagerstown Taste of the Arts is a feast for the senses
Sarah Johnson and Bianca Flokstra enjoy eating gumbo from Gumbo-Elois Caterers in front of The Maryland Theatre on Thursday during the Taste of the Arts event in Hagerstown's Arts and Entertainment district. (By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer / May 16, 2013)
Taste of the Arts, the third event of its kind in Hagerstown’s Arts and Entertainment District, offered a dozen locations, with restaurants, caterers and organizations each presenting eats as well as entertainment, including the instrumental and vocal stylings of Barbara Ingram School for the Arts students.
At Bulls and Bears, crab pretzels were up for grabs.
“There seems like there’s actually quite a few people who haven’t been downtown yet or at least our establishment,” said Michael Barry, general manager. “It’s important to bring people downtown to show them what we have to offer.”
Meanwhile, Barbara Ingram junior Alexandra Hemphill, 16, serenaded the restaurant with a rendition of “Good Morning Baltimore” from the musical “Hairspray.”
“Everybody should be able to get to share their talent, no matter what it is,” Hemphill said after her performance, which was followed by an eruption of applause.
Anchored outside of The Maryland Theatre was Gumbo Elois Catering, which served gumbo and rice, cornbread and vegetarian sautéed cabbage.
“I’m glad I came hungry,” Mayor David S. Gysberts said as his cabbage was dished out.
“I think it’s wonderful, we got good weather — the smells, the sounds, the sights, everything is just as pleasant as can be,” Gysberts said.
Additionally on display was art at Just Lookin’ Gallery and Contemporary School for the Arts & Gallery,
At the Washington County Arts Council, Rob Hovermale, the supervisor of fine arts for Washington County Public Schools who was recently named the next principal for the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, and Evan Price played “Take the ‘A’ Train” by Duke Ellington, while desserts from the Gourmet Goat and The Plum were ripe for the picking.
Sponsored by the Downtown Alliance and the City of Hagerstown, the event benefited The Maryland Theatre, Washington County Arts Council and Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation.
Cost for the event was $20.
About 100 tickets had been sold by 5:30 on Thursday, both before and during the event, said the Maryland Theatre’s Operations Manager Jessica Green.
“It’s just so great to see all of these people walking around downtown Hagerstown,” said Downtown Manager Andrew Sargent, who had first stopped with his family for popcorn in Public Square, courtesy of Otterbein United Methodist Church.
“I think an event like this really show’s the potential for downtown Hagerstown, it shows that when the community gets together and rallies around some kind of an event, that people do come out and ... take advantage of the facilities, the restaurants and everything else,” he said.
Sargent’s 9-year-old son George agreed.
“I think it’s very pretty and there’s a lot of good accomplishments that we’ve made,” George said, noting he was looking forward to sampling the gumbo.