More than 50,000 people are expected to pack into downtown Frederick for the 30th annual In The Street celebration on Saturday.
The event features games, music and food — all in Frederick’s streets.
Jennifer Martin, marketing coordinator for Celebrate Frederick, which organizes the event, said between 50,000 and 60,000 people will attend the event. It will take place this year between 8:45 a.m. and 5 p.m. along Market Street and the Carroll Creek Linear Park, and continues from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Carroll Creek Linear Park ampitheater with a final concert.
The kickoff event is the Market Street Mile, a race along the length of Market Street, which begins at 8:45 a.m., with the rest of the events beginning at 11 a.m.
Martin said about 300 organizations and businesses will participate, with many setting up a booth to share information.
“When I see how many people come down — it really is a very community-focused event,” Martin said. “The hundreds and hundreds of groups that come out, they spend their time and their budget coming up with activities for the community.”
The event started in 1983, as a way to celebrate the renovations made to reopen Market Street and other areas of downtown Frederick.
There are 10 sections at the festival, with themes such as going green, health and fitness, and history. New this year is the Rock Block, between 6th and 7th streets, which will feature live music from the Let There Be Rock School.
“Nearly everyone participating is offering some kind of free thing — a game, an activity,” Martin said. “There’s something to do at every booth. It’s a great family event, particularly if you have younger children.”
Also new this year is a mobile VIP club, where people can text “Celebrate” to 87365 for mobile offers that will be sent during the day, Martin said. Some potential offers include money off the cover price at the beer gardens, and discounts or specials at restaurants and shops.
There will also be three beer gardens, which will feature local beers and wines, Martin said. The gardens will be placed along Carroll Creek Linear Park in the 300 block of North Market Street near Olde Towne Tavern and in the 700 block of North Market Street. While the event used to feature drinking in any area, Martin said the gardens have been in place for several years. Wristbands for the garden are $5.
Frederick Police Chief Kim Dine said attendance for last year’s event was one of the highest he’s seen in the 10 years he’s been with the department, but said it always packs in people.
“It’s a great event for the city of Frederick, a historic event, and our folks do put in a significant amount of time planning for it,” he said. “ ... Over the years, in my experiences, it’s been very successful. It brings in lots of people.”
Dine said the department, which will have extra officers available, has created plans to help manage the large crowds that will pack Frederick’s streets, just like with the G8 Summit held in Thurmont in May, which brought hundreds of protesters into Frederick County.
“Our officers have prepared,” he said. “We’re looking for a good day. Hopefully, folks are looking to have a good time and be sensible. ... These large events, what you do is appropriately prepare for them just like we did for the G-8. You have to have a good plan and good preparation, and you try to manage the event.”