Overpass on Route 1 to become public-art canvas

by Marcel Warfield

Photo courtesy Rebecca Bennett.

On July 26, less than a month before the bicentennial of the Battle of Bladensburg, the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (CDC) will put its own spin on the milestone with Bursting In Air, an outdoor festival combining public art, local food and beer, and live performances, including 1814! The War of 1812 Rock Opera.

Starting at 3 p.m., community members and visitors will witness a live transformation of the Route 1 overpass and parking lot near Franklins Restaurant, Brewery and General Store.

“As one of the newest members of the City of Hyattsville, I am continually amazed at the creative and transformational programs and events that bring music, history, culture and the arts together,” said Hyattsville City Administrator Tracey Nicholson.

Bursting in Air will combine all four.

Local artists will paint murals depicting the history of the War of 1812. Meanwhile, entertainment from Blue Sky Puppet Theatre, Arachne Aerial Arts and other local groups will begin at 5 p.m. In the metered lot beside Franklins at 5123 Baltimore Avenue will be booths with samples from local restaurants, activities for children, wares from area artists, raffles and giveaways, and more.

But the murals are expected to be the event’s biggest draw. Three artists will paint 10 concrete panels from scissor lifts elevated 25 feet. The public can contribute to the project by filling in the lower levels of the murals.

The murals will remain permanently displayed on the overpass, one of the main entrances into the city of Hyattsville.

“Hyattsville is a destination,” said Stuart Eisenberg, Hyattsville CDC executive director. “A growing destination should have something representative.”

The event will end at what organizers call “the twilight’s last gleaming,” 8 p.m. More information is available at www.hycdc.org/bursting

Editor’s note: The Hyattsville Life & Times is one of the sponsors of Bursting in Air.

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