Hampton’s bustle at the bay

By Kendall Alexander

Masses of people came out over the Sept. 9-11 weekend to enjoy the 29th annual Bay Days festival in Hampton. Just over the bridge from Hampton University, the annual celebration was going on in full swing, attracting hordes of fun-loving festival goers.

An estimated 200,000 people came out to celebrate the Chesapeake Bay, according to baydays.com. Bay Days is a three-day free event that occurred from Friday to Sunday. There was plenty of entertainment for everyone from the first-ever mouth-watering and finger-licking BBQ Challenge, a Teen Zone section and Bay Education and Children’s area.

And for music lovers, national recording Marshall Tucker Band and the Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards performed on the City Hall stage.

Don Butcher of the Bay Days Inc. Entertainment Department said, “We’re very excited for [Bay Days] this year. We’re always looking to improve our program, and there’s much more for everyone who participates. I’m looking forward to the crowds coming out to see what’s new.”

Soulful sounds from the Temptations Review featuring Edwards were crowd pleasers. Their bright multicolored suits lit up the muggy Virginia night, accompanied by funky svelte voices of the group. There wasn’t a behind in a chair during the set because everyone stood up and was singing along with the classics.

With mastered choreography and a live band, the Temptations Review was in every way reminiscent of the original group that stayed on record players all across the country.

Baydays.com reported that with over 30 food and 75 merchandise and craft vendors, the festival brings in $5 million to the local economy with 60 percent of the take coming from outside the region over a three-day period.

Sandwiched into the festival was the much anticipated pyrotechnics display taking place on Saturday night.

Preshia Washington, a Hampton University sophomore psychology major from California said, “The fireworks are always the best part. It’s the longest fireworks show I’ve ever seen; there were big, loud and my view from the bridge was perfect. They really were the best ones I’ve seen in my whole life.”

The writer is a sophomore at Hampton University.