Festival planned for Brandywine
May 27, 2004
Scott M. Lowe Jr.
Staff Writer

A group of dedicated South County residents are hoping to start what could be an annual summer tradition that makes Brandywine a cultural hub.

The Greater Baden-Aquasco Citizens Association (GBACA) will host its first annual The Brandywine Multicultural Music and Arts Festival on June 26 at Wilmer's Park. Park owner Leslie Parks said she got the idea from her time living in Martha's Vineyard, Mass. During the six years she lived there, Parks started a summer festival called "In the Spirit." The cultural arts festival bloomed from a one-day event in 1990 to a three-day event by 1995.

"I told GBACA about the arts festival in Massachusetts, and when they asked me to do it here as a fundraising event, I said, 'Sure. That's what I love to do,'" Parks said.

Parks said she saw a need for the Martha's Vineyard event because of a lack of artistically enriching family-oriented events, and sees a similar need for coordinating such an event in Brandywine. She said she hopes to grow the first multicultural festival into something much bigger.

Parks has secured vendors of different ethnic foods, including Greek, German and Cajun. Performing bands will offer a range of musical entertainment, from funk to folk to a mariachi band. There will also be visual performers and activities for children.

GBACA members are currently volunteering spare time each weekend to get the park ready by clearing space and painting. Race Dowling, a GBACA board member, is handling expenditures for the event. The Brandywine resident feels the event could be a prelude to the major renovations of the park planned to begin next year.

"Ms. Parks has graciously allowed us to use the park free of charge," he said. "We are providing the volunteers to make this happen, and we're very excited about it. Everyone wants to see the park revitalized."

More information about the event can be found online at www.pgcares.org/multifest.

E-mail Scott M. Lowe Jr. at slowe@gazette.net.