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Celebrate 30 Years of Magic at Summerfest
August 17 - August 18
For 30 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. On August 17 and 18, Caroline Summerfest honors 30 Years of Magic and the free, family entertainment cornerstone. The rain date is Sunday, August 19.
Summerfest begins on Friday, August 17, from 5 to 10 p.m., and continues on Saturday, August 18 from 2 to 9 p.m. Free parking and shuttle bus transportation is 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.
It is not “magical” without a master magician. Comedy magician and mind reader, Tim Hall, will provide two stage shows and street magic on Friday and Saturday. His nationally-recognized performance will leave everyone speechless. Variety entertainer Erin Jeannier returns with hoop magic – juggling, tossing and dancing with up to 10 hoops to inspire the audience with a completely new performance twist on the traditional hula hoop. Mark Lohr and Company also returns for a second year with his street-based Vaudeville comedy and tricks.
New this year is 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 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 29 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 street corner artists.
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 9 p.m. 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 8 p.m. Kids will be able to explore their interest in magic with a wide variety of hands-on activities and crafts. The giant children’s sandpit will be located on Third Street right next to KidzArt.
- 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 Three Stages
A variety of music will be performed on three outdoor stages throughout the festival, including: Mike Hines & the Look; the Bumper Jacksons “Adjunct,” Jeff Washington Band, Choptank River Band, Penny Pistelero, 21 Horses, American Uke Box; Mike Elzey’s Riding the Break, River and Rhodes and more.
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.
Summerfest Performance Schedule
Friday, August 17
Provident State Bank Courthouse Stage
5:15-5:45 p.m. Randall Butler
5:45-6:15 p.m. Barbershop Quartet
6:30-7 p.m. Opening Festival Ceremony
7-7:45 p.m. American UkeBox
8-8:30 p.m. Magician Christophe Jelenski
8:30-9 p.m. Sammati Dance, American Tribal Belly Dance
9-10 p.m. Justice Quartet
Comcast & Choice One Urgent Care Main Stage
5:30-6:30 p.m. Penny Pistelero
6:30-7 p.m. Opening Ceremonies
7-8 p.m. River and Rhodes
8:30-10 p.m. Mike Hones and the Look
Towers Concrete Products and Walmart Family Stage
5:30-6:30 p.m. The Jon Benson Trio
7-7:20 p.m. Hoop Juggler Erin Jeannier
7:30-8 p.m. Entertainer Paul Belanger
8:15-8:45 p.m. The St. Michaels Ukulele Group
National Property Inspectors Market Street Pub Acoustic Stage
7-7:20 p.m. Barbershop Quartet
7:30-7:50 p.m. Penny Pistelero
8-8:20 p.m. Randal Butler
8:30-8:50 p.m. River & Rhodes
9-9:20 p.m. Magician Christophe Jelenski
9:30-9:45 p.m. Sammati Dance
Saturday, August 18
VNA of MD Courthouse Stage
2-2:30 p.m. Mike Jamison
2:30-3 p.m. Slim Harrison & Friends
3:15-3:45 p.m. Victoria Tarbutton
4:15-5:15 p.m. 21 Horses
6-6:30 p.m. Tim Hall Magician
7-7:45 p.m. Disco!grass!
8-9 p.m. Guitar Maniacs
R&M Performance & Comcast Main Stage
2-3 p.m. Band Showcase: e=MC2, Uncle Eli, Riding the Brake
3:15-4:15 p.m. Choptank River Band
4:30-5:30 p.m. Disco!gras!
6-7:15 p.m. Jeff Washington Band
7:45-9 p.m. Courthouse Community Band
National Property Inspectors Market Street Pub Acoustic Stage
4-4:20 p.m. Emma Bailey and Rebecca Yockey
4:30-4:50 p.m. Jeff Washington One Man Band Unplugged
5-5:20 p.m. Victoria Tarbutton
5:30-5:40 p.m. The Peach Trio
6-6:20 p.m. Emma Bailey & Rebecca Yockey
6:30-6:50 p.m. Jon Simmons & Friends
7-7:20 p.m. Gina Eutsey from Uncle Eli
7:30-7:50 p.m. Savanna Vroman
8-8:20 p.m. Mike Jamison
8:30-8:50 p.m. The Bumper Jackson Duo
Towers Concrete Products Family Stage
3:15-3:45 p.m. Magician Tim Hall
4:15-4:45 p.m. Sim Harrison and the Sunnyland Band
5-5:30 p.m. Dance Showcase
5:45-6:45 p.m. Elzey’s Guitar Studio Showcase: Jinxed, Uncle Eli, e=mc2
7-7:30 p.m. Paul Belanger
7:30-8 p.m. Slim Harrison and the Sunnyland Band
9 p.m. Fireworks
Nurturing Young Musicians at Summerfest
There are so many layers to becoming a musician. Even the word “musician” conjures up many images. As a musician who continues to teach young, rising musicians on the Mid Shore after 35+ years, Mike Elzey is familiar with these complexities.
Perhaps the first step of becoming a musician is to learn how to read music, finger placement, and practice, lots of practice. As a young musician progresses, and gains mastery of an instrument, Mike encourages a student to perform live in front of an audience.
There may be a lot of “closet musicians” out there, but Mike tries to find an outlet for his students’ music. For some, gaining confidence on stage is a big part of becoming a musician. It’s a journey. Some of Mike’s students will journey to Denton to perform live on the big stage at the Caroline Summerfest on August 17 and 18.
It’s an invigorating and awesome opportunity to perform on the same stage as area favorites as Mike Hines and the Look and 21 Horses Band. Even Mike is getting on stage to perform, taking the opportunity to share his love of music.
Mike has been teaching guitar lessons in Cambridge for over three decades and more recently Easton. He’s added summer camps and percussion lessons as part of the lineup in Easton, too. From these lessons, three bands have emerged, as like-minded youth get together for jam sessions and collaboration. Jinxed, E = mc2 and Uncle Ely will be performing in the Band Showcase at Summerfest in front of big crowds on Saturday afternoon.
Jinxed is a sibling band featuring tweens. E = mc2 features younger teens. And Uncle Ely is an older teen band that performs hits from Weazer, Nirvana, Offspring, Smashing Pumpkins and others.
For Mike, it’s very rewarding to see these young people performing in public. “A lot has changed since I started playing in 1971,” explains Mike. “Kids have so many things to do today.” Video games and sports trump music for many tweens and teens. Lately, instruments aren’t seen on TV and the internet, which is why Mike has pushed so hard to inspire young people to pick up an instrument.
Mike wants to do his part in Little Town America to provide a safe place for young people to learn, play and meet other musicians, in addition to being a positive influence and support system to our youth.
Summerfest has been promoting the arts and entertainment for 30 years. Sue Simmons, director of the Caroline County Recreation and Parks that hosts Caroline Summerfest, has been a big supporter of Mike’s idea to feature his students this year. Three stages will feature more than two-dozen performers on Friday night and Saturday.
For more information about Mike Elzey’s Guitar Studios in Easton and Cambridge, call 410-228-7199 or visit mikeelzeysguitarstudio.com.