Musicians Take Center Stage in Del Ray

Musicians Take Center Stage in Del Ray

The Third Annual Del Ray Music Festival brought live music and fun to Commonwealth Avenue on Saturday. The festival, which lasted from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., featured a variety of local musicians performing everything from swing to Celtic Caribbean rock.

There were two separate stages, one main stage and a 15-minute stage on which solo musicians played. In all, there were 22 performances in more than 10 different genres of music.

There were also several local restaurants stationed at the event, including Buzz Bakery, Evening Star Caf, Del Merei Grille, Lets Meat on the Avenue, Pizzaiolo and Taqueria Poblano.

While the older crowd enjoyed tasting the cuisine and watching the stage, kids stayed busy with carnival games. The moon bounce was the most popular attraction, drawing children of all ages.

We initially came for the music, but it was such a treat to see all the games for kids — and for free, said Brenda Dunlap-Elkins, a resident of Del Ray.

There were more than 15 sponsors who made the event possible, including Guitars Not Guns (GnG), a local grassroots organization dedicated to helping children. Formed in 2000, GnG uses the power of music to inspire at-risk and underprivileged youth to succeed by providing them music education and mentoring opportunities. The afterschool club also partners with other local organizations, including Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, county or church afterschool programs and government foster care agencies.

Paul Caffrey, a festival volunteer and owner of Del Ray Chiropractic and Massage, applauded the sponsors for their continued support within the community.

Its just neat that people wanted to sponsor heretheyre all about Del Ray, he said.
The festival was co-founded by Steve Attix, owner of the Del Ray School of Music, and Kate Moran, who performed with her band at the event. It began two years ago and was originally held at the Masonic temple. In 2008, it moved to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center Fields in order to be closer to the community.

As more of the community becomes involved, the festival continues to grow and Moran soon hopes to make the event about a cause.