Teachers plan to revive Coastal family festival

The first annual Lord Baltimore Fun Festival is set to kick off May 19, with hopes to mimic the excitement and exhilaration that the old Coastal Music & Arts Festival had brought to the area years ago.

With vendors, arts and crafts, games, food booths, music, pony rides, a moon bounce and train ride, the Fun Festival is a promising event for children and families.

While strongly supported by the Lord Baltimore Parent-Teacher Organization, it is the school’s Spirit Committee who is really set on the revival. Lord Baltimore teachers Tammy Stong and Sherri Hudson are heading the Fun Festival planning committee, which started work this past fall.

Although they had never organized the festival in past years, they attended the former festival and wanted to bring back the joy that they had shared with their children.

“We’re both moms and we have children here,” said Hudson. “We saw how much fun our children had and wanted to do the same for kids now.”

The organizers said they anticipate quite a crowd in May.

“We’re expecting it to be huge,” said Stong. “The Coastal Music & Arts Festival brought in so many people. It’s hard to guess how big this is going to be.”

Lord Baltimore Elementary had hosted a talent show that brought in roughly 1,000 people, a tremendous turnout for the school. “That didn’t even include other members of the community, the way this does,” noted Stong.

The committee members said they recognize that they have some big shoes to fill. “We’re trying to downsize it a little,” Stong added. “It had stopped, and the funds were gone. It’s difficult to keep something like this small.”

Volunteers, numbering more than 60 and made up mostly of parents, have already signed up to donate their time and service in support of this year’s festival. “People have offered to help run the arts and crafts and the games and collect tickets,” said Hudson, though they are looking for all the help they can get.

The two are hoping to get the community actively involved this year with donations from family, friends and local businesses.

“We’ve gone out in the community to hand-deliver the forms,” said Hudson, “but we just don’t have the time to do that.” Monetary donations are urged, as well as other contributions, such as water bottles or plastic bags for the kids, bearing a company’s name or logo. “Everything helps,” said Stong. “The more we have, the bigger we can get.”

One of the main differences between this year’s event and the Coastal Music & Arts Festival, which went dormant four years ago, is the time of year it’s being held. The previous event was a fall festival, while this one rounds out the school year. Another difference is the absence of a silent auction.

“That’s one thing that a lot of the adults were asking about,” said Stong. “We’re trying really hard not to have the auction because it’s another area that needs to have volunteers. We really need more manpower for that. That’s more for the adults, and we want to put the focus on the kids this year.” The silent auction is quite possibly something to look forward in next year’s event, she added.

Also different from the previous festival, there will be no admission charged this year, but rather individual charges for crafts, games and food.

The event will be held at Lord Baltimore Elementary on May 19, both behind the school and in the gymnasium, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Members of the community are being urged to come out and support the PTO and Spirit Committee.

Checks to support the event can be made payable to LB Spirit Committee and sent to: Sherri Hudson, Lord Baltimore Elementary School, 120 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean View, DE 19970. For more information about the Fun Festival or other donations call Sherri Hudson or Tammy Stong at (302) 537-2700.