Downtown Live draws wide range of music lovers

October 21, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - Diversity seemed to be the theme of Saturday's Downtown Live in Hagerstown.

Thousands of people, ranging from dreadlock-wearing hippies to preppies donning polo shirts, lined the first block of South Potomac Street to soak up the music of several live bands, including Clutch and reggae legends The Wailers.

Event organizer Mike Deming said workers started setting up for the event Saturday just after midnight and didn't finish until about 7 a.m.

While the crowd was low-key earlier in the day, Sgt. Frederick Wolford of the Hagerstown Police Department said that seven arrests had been made as of Saturday at 10:30 p.m.


Most of the proceeds from the $35 cover charge will be used to help the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts and the Washington County Historical Society, Deming said. Organizers tried to make Downtown Live as family-friendly as possible by setting up stations that last year's inaugural event didn't offer, such as a pumpkin-painting booth.

"I think it's pretty cool," said Phillip Smithhisler, 9, who sported a mohawk as he painted blue eyes on a pumpkin. "I came mostly to hear the music. I'm a Clutch fan."

Phillip said he was there with his neighbors, Madison Wilhide, 10, Hannah Rookstool, 9, and their parents.

Todd Wilhide, Madison's father, said Downtown Live provided a great opportunity to enjoy a wide range of music genres.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to see The Wailers," he said.

William Crain, owner of the Courtyard Cafe on West Washington Street, said his business was doing pretty well thanks to the crowd that Downtown Live drew to the neighborhood.

"I think it's awesome for the community," he said. "It brings a lot of people downtown. We need a lot more stuff like this."

Justin Kalk, Steve Britton and Lincoln Nesto of The Blue Sky Traffic, a three-piece band from Hagerstown, took the stage Saturday afternoon.

"I thought it was awesome," Kalk said. "There's really a diverse crowd out there. It's really good for Hagerstown."

Kalk said The Blue Sky Traffic has been together for about three years since it formed in Boston and relocated to Washington County, where he and Britton were raised.

The band just released a CD, "A Beautiful Girl," and plans to move to Nashville, Tenn., next year, Kalk said.

The Herald-Mail Articles