Hey, hon, today's your day

June 12, 1999|By Melody Holmes | Melody Holmes,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Come down and join the festivities, hon. Probably Baltimore's most unusual celebration, the HonFest, is today in Hampden.

"Big hair, bowling shirts, Lycra and leopard prints are always encouraged," says Denise Whiting, owner of Cafe Hon restaurant and an organizer of the sixth-annual tribute to hair spray-toting, frosted blue eye shadow-wearing divas who have mastered that unmistakable Baltimorean (or Bawlmerean) style, right down to the accent.

The HonFest -- sponsored by Cafe Hon, Hometown Girl and Oh, Said Rose -- will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will feature a workshop on big hair, book signings by local authors such as Bert Smith ("Down the Ocean: Postcards From Maryland and Delaware Beaches"), a showcase by screen painter Jenny Campbell, a Beach Blanket Bingo Fashion Show, music from the local band Crabcake and plenty of food. Most events will take place in a tent behind Cafe Hon, 1002 W. 36th St.

The HonFest is also world -- well, maybe just Baltimore -- renowned for its contests. A favorite of Whiting's is the Bawlmerese Contest, taking place at noon. The contestant with the best Baltimore accent receives a "Bawlmer" gift basket, compliments of Hometown Girl. Whiting says that the accents and stories from contestants are "better than any comedy club routine you could ever come across. It's just good, clean fun."

Among the most popular events is the Baltimore's Best Hon contest. At 2 p.m., the woman with the best big hair, Lycra stretch pants and duckpin bowling gear will be chosen by the applause of an admiring audience. The winning Hon will be given flowers and a $500 Hampden shopping spree as well as the honor of riding in the mayor's Christmas parade.

Last year's Hon, Patti Gill, said her reign allowed her to be "admired by throngs of people." Gill, a legal secretary, adds, "I've made the world a more beautiful place."

Gill and other Baltimorean icons are featured in Carolyn Males' "Wish You Were Here: A Guide to Baltimore City for Natives and Newcomers." Males will sign copies of her book, which has a picture of the 1997 Hon, Pamela Foresman, on the spine.

Call (410) 243-1230, hon.

Pub Date: 6/12/99

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