This weekend, we attended that last bastion of class and dignity, Baltimore's Honfest. And if you don't know what that is, you clearly have not spent enough time in Bawlmer.

HonFest is a local tradition. The Bawlmer term of endearment, Hon, short for Honey, embodies the warmth and affection bestowed upon our neighbors and visitors alike by historic working-women of Baltimore. HonFest is an annual celebration in honor of these women.

Pink flamingos are a staple in the Honfest tradition, much to the delight of The Caterpillar, who constantly refers to them as "flaming-go's." (I will never encourage her to say that word right - even if it gets her laughed at when she goes to school.) Whenever she says this, it reminds me of the ramshackle motel in my college town called the "Flamingo." At least that's what the owners intended for it to be called. But the big script neon sign on the front of the hotel had the "g" not physically connected to the "o." So everyone in town called it the "Flaming O hotel." And believe you me, there were more than just a few cases of "Flaming O" caught at this place.

Honfest is held in the neighborhood of Hampden, which is one of Baltimore's best kept secrets. It is also the home of my current favorite restaurant (more to come on that in a subsequent post). Hampden hosts the Miracle on 34th Street each year. We've attended that a couple of times over the years and it's a really fun neighborhood, full of kitchy shops and loads of Baltimore culture.

The other overriding theme to Honfest is the actual "Hon."

The term Hon is actually a friendly Baltimore greeting and comes from the word honey. Around here, however, the women who vie to become Baltimore’s Best Hon are a vision of the sixties-era. They are women with beehive hairdos, bright-blue eye shadow, spandex pants and anything with leopard print!

And hons there were to be had:

You'll notice that these are all people who dressed up purposely (hopefully), but I'd have to say that the most hilarious thing about Honfest is the fact that a full third of the people there aren't dressed up, yet fit in perfectly.