Baltimore Tradition: Baltimore’s HonFest
HonFest 2010 set for June 11-13
June 11-13, 2010, are the dates set for Baltimore’s HonFest. While it started out as a one-day event, it has evolved into so much more. As for the 2010 Baltimore HonFest, you’ll find lots of cold beer, or as legendary Baltimore sportscaster Chuck Thompson would have said: “Ain’t the beer cold”. Sales from food will be used to raise money for the Hamden Rec. Center.
While the beehive is the centerpiece of HonFest, this year’s mascot will be the pink flamingo. It speaks to a fight the festival’s founder Denise Whiting, owner of Café Hon, went through last year in regard to trying to keep her trademark pink flamingo attached to her eatery in Hamden. Café Hon is profiled at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5475536/baltimore_traditions_cafe_hon_food.html?cat=3.
While HonFest started out as a one-day even, it has evolved into one that has brought in visitors from 39 different states. Last year, HonFest brought in 60,000 visitors.
Denise Whiting created the HonFest in 1994. It started out as a local beauty pageant in Whiting’s backyard, almost a spoof, to find the woman who epitomized the Baltimore Hon, but now it’s a recognized nationally and covers four city blocks on Hampden’s 36th Street. The press has ranged from The New York Times and CNN to Rachel Ray. (For more information on the definition of a Baltimore Hon, see the Associated Content article: Baltimore Hons: It’s All About Making a Statement and the Attitude, (Hon).
The current line-up events are:
Friday, June 11
HonFest kicks off with a free concert in Roosevelt Park 6-10 p.m
Saturday, June 12
11 a.m.— Official opening, introductions and comments
11:30 a.m.— Little Miss Hon contest (Ah, they start so young.)
12:30-1:30 p.m.—- Miss Honettes contest
2 p.m.—Star Spangled Banner
2:05-3:30 p.m.—Round one of Baltimore’s Best Hon
As for the music for Saturday, here’s the line up:
11 a.m.—Billy Woodward and the Senders
1 p.m.—Karyn Oliver
2 p.m.—ellen cherry
3 p.m.—Midway Fair
4 p.m.—Begger’s Ride
7 p.m.—Marc Evans
9 p.m.—DJ N’Dinga Gaba
Sunday, June 13
Look for the next rounds of the Miss Hon pageant, with the final crowing of our 2010 Miss Hon.
As for the music for Sunday, here’s the line up:
1 p.m.—Woody Lissaur
2 p.m.—Red Sammy
3 p.m.—Georgie Jessup
Do you have what it takes to be Miss Hon? Fill out the application on Saturday at 10 a.m. next to the Main Stage, and see if your peers agree. Talent is not a requirement. It’s all about attitude, style and kitsch.
If you make it into the top ten contestants, you must return on Sunday.
Here are a few of the musts listed in the applications:
–No cigarettes, no booze, no foul language, no exceptions.
–Must have a unique HON style, command of our beloved language “Bawlmerese” and a great personality.
–Must be available three or four times a year to dress up and must ride in the Mayor’s Christmas Parade on December 7th.
In answer to the question, “Is the hon a dying breed?,” Denise Whiting, creator of HonFest, exclaimed, “No! Absolutely not. Hon will live on forever in our hearts, and HonFest gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate and embrace their heritage.”
The locals have taken the national news coverage as an almost amusing phenomenon. As far as they’re concerned The Baltimore Hon is an everyday phenomenon that has always been around, out loud and proud. It’s all about celebrating the hard-working women of Baltimore. That others are just discovering it is quite the oddity to Baltimoreans.