Mark your calendars for Saturday June 23, for Shepherdstown’s wildly popular annual Street Fest—one of the region’s finest festivals, highlighting local artisans, musicians, and activities to a crowd of all ages.
Brought to the public by a core group of dedicated volunteers working year-round to seamlessly produce this unforgettable event, Street Fest gathers approximately 8,000 supporters for one day, free of charge, rain or shine.
Comprising all of Main (German) Street as well as King Street, Street Fest offers over 70 local artisans showcasing their work, a food court, a beer and wine garden, kid’s camp, and live music on two stages—which begins at noon and runs until 8:30pm. This year, the Fest welcomes the Christian Lopez Band as the Main Stage headliner.
“With the exception of a couple dormant years, the festival has been running since about 2004,” confirmed Bob Keel, festival president. “The current incarnation took over in 2010, and we keep it going because the town deserves to be known for what it does best: giving love and a helping hand back to the community, all while having a good time.”
Every year, Street Fest relies heavily on the support of sponsors for marketing and funding purposes, and volunteers are vital the day of to give a helping hand. Street Fest offers a competitive sponsorship package for local businesses looking to promote themselves and be a part of the community. Additionally, volunteers can sign up for as little as two hours, and are provided a free t-shirt and beer ticket that can be enjoyed after services are complete.
Proceeds from the festival ultimately make their way to two non-profit charities, selected by the festival board each year—one regional and one local. This year’s recipients are The Shepherdstown Public Library and Potomac Valley Audubon Society.
Over the years, Street Fest has come to mean a lot of things to the many thousands of people that make their way to German Street, but as Keel pointed out, the original mission/vision/values remains the same.
“My predecessors (previous leadership), the current board, and I feel that Shepherdstown is a hot-bed of creativity and a beacon of beauty for the surrounding area,” he stressed. “We try to nurture creativity and showcase unique folks and ideas. By extension, we’re just trying to magnify the ideals for which Shepherdstown is known.”
He added, “The music and food/beer garden is just one part of the whole; with the aid of solid vendors, good food and drinks, and fun music, the festival has kind of taken off on its own. People come to have a safe, good time, and the word just travels.”
Ultimately, Keel feels that as long as the festival, and the team behind it, is representing the town as authentically as possible, Street Fest will always be a success. “As different board and team members come and go, the organization will change and evolve just as the town does,” he noted. “Luckily, and I credit Lori Robertson and Chris Stroech (my predecessors), this iteration of the organization has a great business model that allows the festival to continue to evolve while mostly staying fiscally sustainable.”
For more information, including an interactive map, click here.By Jillian Williams