Chicago has its blues, New Orleans has its jazz and Haverhill has Elle Gallo and her Eve Rising Festival.
The three-day Eve Rising Festival peaked on Saturday with a full day of music. It ran from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., drawing a crowd of nearly 500 people.
Wei Chi Healing Center of Haverhill led this year's growing list of sponsors. Sponsors also included Mill 77 Trading Company of Amesbury, Commonwealth Computers of Bradford, Life is Odd of Newbury, Good Gracious Goodies of Merrimack, Authentic Sentiments of Bradford and Blue Sky Marketing of Haverhill.
Saturday's music festival bested last year's with more vendors, more space and more sponsors but was still managed by familiar faces. Last year's vendor director, Kellie Hickey, who worked as this year's stage manager, helped orchestrate the annual festival to raise money for women's causes.
"Last year it was a little hectic, but this year we have the experience to help us make things run smoother," Hickey said.
The festival raises money and support for women in need, women who have escaped abuse and addictions and women fighting cancer.
The festival's proceeds will go to Emmaus, Inc; the Kick Cancer Celebration of Dana Farber; City Sports Fees for Single Mothers through the Haverhill Parks and Recreation Department; a fund to help single mother's pay their children's Haverhill city sports fees; and Songbird Sings, which provides music for trauma survivors.
The event was held on the roof of the Merrimack Street parking deck behind the police station. The venue gave vendors more room and provided more access for more people and better parking.
Mayor James Fiorentini spoke at the festival and thanked residents for their show of support for the event. He described it as one that has helped put Haverhill on the map as a city that supports pro-active female causes.
"We're not just putting on a festival but a festival with a purpose,'' he said. "Thank you, Haverhill, for the support you're showing here. This event, in its second year, makes Haverhill a special place and helps us promote the city.''
The venue allowed 25 minutes for each performance. The first set done by soloist Donna Fullman opened the festival. She was followed by Carrie Rowan, who played solo at the festival last year, but opened this year as Stefilia's Stone as she teamed with singer-song-writer Adrienne Fawkes.
Rowan is part of the duo that did several original and standard pieces for the second set of the day.
"We're always glad to play for one of Elle's events,'' she said. "This festival is a good way to make the public aware of women's issues."
Amy Petty, a classically trained singer and musician with a bachelor's degree in classical music and opera, returned to the festival "because it helps people. It's good music that serves a good purpose," she said.
Gallo and the other organizers remarked on the assistance and support given to the festival by Haverhill.
"The city and the Police Department have been very good to us as we worked out the logistics this year," Gallo said.
The food donor list grew, too. This year, Fletcher Farms, George's, The Tap, Olivia's, Maria's, Comeau Catering, The Dunkin' Donuts at Main and River streets, the Loft and Joe Fish donated food to the volunteers and stage and sound crew.