This year's Riverfest comes with an auto show

Laurel Board of Trade's annual outdoor festival highlights Riverfront Park

  • Riverfest is held in Riverfront Park, which runs along the Patuxen River, one block north of Main Street.
Riverfest is held in Riverfront Park, which runs along the Patuxen… (2011 file photo )
September 24, 2014|By Naomi Eide

The Laurel Board of Trade's annual Riverfest, a scenic kickoff to fall featuring Laurel's Riverfront Park, will include an auto show for the first time.

The Board of Trade added the Cruising at Riverfest auto show "to do something different that would attract people to Riverfest," said Maureen Rogers, the Laurel Board of Trade's administrative coordinator.

Riverfest was created to highlight Riverfront Park, the winding park and paved walkway along the Patuxent River. Located just off Main and Avondale streets, Riverfront Park is "one of Laurel's best kept secrets," said Sean LeVere, co-chairman of Riverfest.

LeVere, along with his Riverfest co-chairman Frank Anastasio, worked closely with Rogers to create an event tailored to the park. A car enthusiast himself, LeVere said he always envisioned an auto show at Riverfront Park, a picturesque backdrop for the stock and modified custom street rod classes.

"Adults love cars and kids love cars," LeVere said.

Awards will be presented for the Best in Show and other prizes, and the first 50 participants will receive goodie bags and dash plaques.

In an effort to expand the event, Rogers said Riverfest will feature "three times as many vendors as we've had before."

The family-friendly event will have a moon bounce, caricature drawings, face painting, games, and arts and crafts. There will also be performances from participants in this year's Laurel Youth Music Showcase, including the 2014 winner, Bria Petway; and demonstrations by costumed performers from Medieval Times.

Food vendors will offer a wide variety of fare, including soft ice cream, funnel cakes, crab cakes, fried fish and pit beef.

Visitors can also explore the 30-acre park, where they can find everything from historic damn ruins to wetland areas; open play areas, a tot lot and pavilions accessible daily until dusk; and 1.5 miles of paved trails along the Patuxent River.

Riverfest is noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, in Riverfront Park, accessible from Avondale Street, off Main Street. Auto show awards will be presented at 4 p.m. Parking is available on Main Street, where parking restrictions are lifted on Sundays.

Naomi Eide is a graduate student at the University of Maryland.

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