Despite rain showers, approximately 50,000 art-lovers turned out for the 21st annual Art on the Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria on Saturday, Oct. 1.
"I was most impressed with the crowd, obviously fiercely loyal to not only come out on a grey day but to spend money," said artist Susannah Raine. "I can tell what a tight knit community Del Ray is based on the support we got. The people really love the show and want to support the artists."
In addition to showcasing the work of over 300 artists from across the region, the festival featured an art show judged by festival participants. The Alexandria Sheriff's Department's inmate art show drew 1,635 votes, with Sergio Carrillo Murillo taking top prize for his Donald Duck-inspired work. Art on the Avenue organizer Pat Miller announced the prizes and encouraged all the inmate-artists to continue their creative work.
An Art on the Avenue tradition, members of the Del Ray Business Association joined City leaders to host a neighborhood-wide ribbon cutting to welcome new businesses that have joined the Avenue in 2016. The new businesses – Four Directions Wellness, Alexandria Children's Dentistry, La Brocante, Live Oak, Junction Bakery & Bistro, and Madison Day School – reflect the diversity of the Del Ray business community, with includes many top restaurants, retailers, and health and wellness practices and studios.
While local non-profits hosted free children's activities and crafts, bakers from across Alexandria competed in the festival's pie-baking contest – an event that raised over $1,000 for Together We Bake, an empowerment-based program that provides comprehensive workforce training and personal development to help women in need of a second chance. The pie-baking contest winners follow.
1st: Randee Hilton, three-time first place amateur winner – Peaches & Cream Pie
2nd: Ashley Ott of Junction Bakery & Bistro – Apple Pie
3rd: Lexi Works of Sugar Shack Donuts Alexandria – Lemon Meringue Pie
1st: Leah Davidson – Don't Cry Apple Pie
2nd: Marty Hopkin – Chocolate Pecan-mmm!
3rd: Bob Gniewkowski – Bacon Apple Pie with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
1st: Genevieve Watkins, 9 years old – North Star Apple Pie
2nd: Sarah Schweers, 12 years old – Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
3rd: Annie Tucker, 12 years old – Cranberry Lime Lane
Art on the Avenue, which takes place the first Saturday of October, is sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association.