|Arts & Crafts Festival
Now in its 40th year, the Catonsville Arts and Crafts Festival runs along both sides of Frederick Road between the Ingleside-Bloomsbury corner and Melvin Avenue and attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. The event was started in 1969 by members of the Catonsville Forward Plan. This group was formed by The Woman’s Club of Catonsville, the Rolling Hills Woman’s Club and the Catonsville Business Association with a goal of attracting visitors to the Catonsville Village business district. In that first year 52 artists, weavers, ceramists and wood carvers arranged stands near the sidewalks of Frederick Road’s 700 block.
By 1973 the Catonsville Jaycees took an interest, and their wives formed a group, later known as the Jaycettes who continued to expand the festivities for six more years. For the following four years no one took the responsibility for organizing the festival, but in 1983 the Jaycees resumed the sponsorship. That arrangement flourished until the Catonsville Jaycees disbanded in 1997. The following year a group of experienced community volunteers formed the Catonsville Festival Committee. This alliance was successful for two years. In 1999 the leadership of the festival was turned over to the Director of the Catonsville Chamber of Commerce. Since 2000, the festival is sponsored and operated by the Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce along with many volunteers from the community who bring new an innovative ideas for improving the festival each year.
Today hundreds of artists and crafters, who now receive judges’ awards, line Frederick Road from the 700 block through the 900 block. In addition to vendors, each year there are exhibits with information offered by local businesses, schools, churches, and civic groups. The local restaurants provide delicious food to try and savor making the Catonsville Festival a true celebration of what makes the town of Catonsville THE PLACE to live, work, shop and play.