For 31 years the annual Summerfest Festival in Denton has marked the turn toward Fall in Caroline County. As vacations wind down and families prepare to return to the regular schedules set by school days, Summerfest has symbolized one last hurrah of family, friends, and food coupled with great music on three stages.
It begins on Friday, August 16, from 5 to 10pm and on Saturday, August 17, from 2 to 9pm. Free parking and shuttle bus transportation are available from the Health and Public Services Building off Sixth Street (across from Fire Hall) on both days.
Celebrating Both Tradition and Innovation
Although Caroline Summerfest has been around for three decades, a new theme each year and a few new attractions keeps the event fresh and exciting. But, longtime tradition also keeps folks coming back year after year as well.
New last year was a fourth indoor stage venue at Market Street Pub. It will be the perfect place to cool from the August heat and catch the quieter performances of the emerging and veteran musicians at the festival Friday and Saturday.
These new performers don’t replace old traditions they just add to the fun. Paul Belanger, who has only missed a few festivals since it began 30 years ago, will be wandering through the streets making balloon magic happen. Slim Harrison, the fiddle-playing one-man band will be back making music with kids and families at the Children’s stage, and the event will close on Saturday evening with the terrific tradition of fireworks.
Other event features
This year’s event will again feature an opening ceremony, followed by a street performance showcase by area marching bands on Friday. After very positive responses to its first two years of performances, the Courthouse Community Band will be “The” featured performance on Saturday on the Main Stage right before the traditional Fireworks finale on Saturday. Both days include strolling jugglers, “balloonatics” and several artisans.
This year’s Summerfest Car Show will include an exclusive display of classic and custom cars in partnership with the Ridgely Car Show. Other features include:
• Fireworks launch from the bottom of Market Street at 9pm on Saturday.
• KidzArt!! Enjoy a variety of family-friendly free activities and crafts at the open lot off Market and Third streets on both Friday and Saturday until 8pm. Kids will be able to discover a wide variety of hands-on activities and crafts. The GIANT children’s sandpit will be located on Third Street right next to KidzArt.
• Plus, bounces, giant slides and games, face painting, sand sculpting, the “World’s Longest Chalk Board” and other activities that will keep kids and adults busy for hours.
And, of course, you can also enjoy the variety of festival foods and gaming, all benefiting local nonprofits.
Diverse live music on four stages
A variety of music will be performed on three outdoor stages throughout the festival and one indoor stage at the Market Street Pub, including Mike Hines & the Look on Friday night, the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters, Slim Harrison and his Sunnyland Band, Choptank River Band, 21 Horses, Cari Ray and the Shaky Legs, Poppy Blue Eyes, Black Dog Alley, Sam Peugh, Mike Elzey’s Riding the Break, Penny Pistelero, Courthouse Community Band and more! Performance schedule is posted on carolinesummerfest.com
Caroline Summerfest is a pet-free, wheel-free and alcohol-free event. Park your bicycle, scooters and skateboards on the bike racks located at Third and Gay streets. For more information, call 410-479-8120 or visit www.carolinesummerfest.com. Like the event on Facebook for festival updates at facebook.com/carolinesummerfest.
The festival is supported in part by a grant from the Caroline County Council of Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council and the Maryland Tourism Development Board. The Town of Denton and Caroline County Recreation and Parks produce the event with the volunteer support of hundreds of citizens. More than 100 area businesses and nonprofits support the festival through donations and in-kind gifts.