The Reisterstown Festival began in 1985 and moved from its’ original Franklin Middle School (FMS) location down Main Street to its present Hannah More Park location (just north of Franklin High School). The FMS location was appealing and popular to many for it’s Historic District location, but the festival was getting too big to handle the parking and crowds, so in order to maintain its most popular features activities and allow for future growth, the Festival Committee decided to move the two day event to Hannah More Park approx 20 years ago.
The move was triggered at the time by then-new Baltimore County Public School (BCPS) policies that would have prohibited continuing our fireworks show or our beer garden traditions- two of the most popular permanent features of our Festival – to this day. It’s not unusual for thousands of people to gather in and around Hannah More Park to see the fireworks show- many of them in a very busy Beer Garden.
Did you know?: The Festival Fireworks Show is not just a fireworks show- it’s schedule to coincide with the Festival’s headliner band performing on the Main Stage near the Beer Garden (one of the best spots to see the fireworks!). Every year, we present some of the most talented, popular, and acclaimed bands anywhere whether from right here in Reisterstown… to Baltimore, Annapolis, DC or beyond, and they provide the “soundtrack” to the fireworks. They love it and we do our best to make every year’s Saturday Night Fireworks Concert an event you’ll remember for years to come! Don’t miss it!
Tip: Arrive early to ensure you get onsite parking if you want to park as close as possible to all the action (donation requested for onsite parking – parking is often filled by dusk depending on weather.)
Since these popular attractions (fireworks & beer garden) had taken place on BCPS school property in the past (on the grounds of FMS) and were deemed critical parts of the Festival’s identity, the Festival Committee it was not a viable option to keep the Festival at FMS.
The current Hannah More Park location solved all those issues, and is very convenient to get to – along Reisterstown Road- 1 mile east of I-795 exit 7 (Franklin Blvd) and 1 mile south of the Historic District, and it has plentiful onsite parking areas (parking donation requested). In addition, several thousand residents live near the site and can walk to the festival at this location It’s also served by MTA bus.
“At the end of the day”, we are very fortunate the Festival Committee was able to negotiate this move to Hannah More Park 20 some years ago because no other suitable or preferable sites were ever found (then or since) that met all the Committee’s crucial site requirements or that has exceeded Hannah More Park’s benefits and features.