There’s no shortage of offerings that encourage Anne Arundel County residents to go outdoors and enjoy happenings in the area. Here’s a sampling of events taking place this summer and beyond.
Cafe Mezzanotte and the Severna Park Voice are teaming up to host the third annual Art in the Park, coming October 1 to the Severna Park restaurant. Great music, intriguing art, and the smells and tastes of Mediterranean cuisine will be available to attendees.
“The event will be a sensory experience,” said Jonathan Katz, Severna Park Voice vice president of business development and sales manager. Cafe Mezzanotte owner Kosmas “Tommie” Koukoulis said Art in the Park flowed out of the success of his restaurant’s Jazz at the Mezz events that featured professional acts touring Washington, D.C., and Annapolis.
Koukoulis wanted to transition the popularity into more of an outdoor festival with multidimensional art and jazz. The inaugural Art in the Park was a hit.
This year, the event will feature local and regional talent. Multiple musicians are booked, at least six local artists will showcase and sell their work, and the restaurant staff will serve Cafe Mezzanotte’s classic Mediterranean fare. Painters and potters will do live demonstrations throughout the event.
“We are lucky to have our own outdoor patio and courtyard, which will be used for the musicians,” Koukoulis said. “Plus, we’ll open up the double doors that connect to the private banquet rooms for an art gallery with up to 100 pieces of art for sale.”
Whether window shopping or adding to a collection, everyone can find something that suits their level of interest in the arts, Koukoulis said. Both he and Katz are excited about the music, which includes musicians Sweet Leda and Lower Case Blues.
Sweet Leda offers a blend of new-school funk, psychedelic rock, soul and pop. The group describes itself as “a female-fronted, soul-based, Zeppelin meets Chili Peppers.”
The group has been the recipient of numerous awards and has shared the stage with Galactic, 311 and Jefferson Starship.
Katz praised lead singer Julie Cymek’s abilities not only as a blues artist but also her talent to utilize multiple musicians in different ways to create the group’s signature sound.
Lower Case Blues are inductees into the Delaware Blues Hall of Fame and are known as a tri-state area blues, rock and funk band. The group has shared the stage and worked with industry heavy hitters such as Buddy Guy, Marcus King, Blues Traveler and Grand Funk Railroad.
Attendees will also be able to partake in Cafe Mezzanotte’s popular food offerings.
“We’ll have a little mobile kitchen and bar set up in the courtyard to add a festival feel, and there will be those wonderful smells of food cooking outdoors,” Koukoulis said. “Folks can also get beer and wine from an outdoor bar.”
Though the menu has not been set, Koukoulis plans to add festival-style “playful items,” like meat, veggie skewers and fried desserts.
Some of the event proceeds will benefit Providence Center, a nonprofit that supports people with disabilities to live their best lives.
More information, along with ticket sales, will be available in early August.
Annapolis Arts Day on June 10 includes festivities offering multiple art forms in and around the city.
The Maryland Federation of the Art will host a two-hour “Paint Annapolis” exhibition opening reception at 5:00pm at its pop-up gallery at 4 Church Circle.
Maryland Hall will have several exhibits throughout the day, including the “Sound + Light Project” by artist Craig Colorusso and the “Community23” exhibit by AND Creative.
The Banneker Douglass Museum, located at 84 Franklin Street, will open for visitors to enjoy a current exhibit, “The Radical Voice of Blackness Speaks of Resistance and Joy.”
Kids-n-Kaboodle is a free fair for children at the Weems-Whelan Field featuring arts and crafts, face painting and a book giveaway.
The Art Stroll down West Street offers visual art, music and some theatrical performances.
End the evening with dinner under the stars. Many Annapolis restaurants plan to offer romantic al fresco dining.
Visit www.annapolisartsweek.com for times, costs and other details.
If you’re a craft beer fan, check out The Annapolis Homebrew Club’s seventh annual Pints 4 Paws from 2:00pm-6:00pm on June 10. Tickets include samples of more than 50 home brews, a silent auction, raffles, more than 30 local vendors, food and more. Children, as well as dogs, are welcome. Funds will benefit the Anne Arundel County SPCA.
The event will be at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. General admission is $55, but check out the various options, including discounted tickets for designated drivers.
Get tickets and more information at www.annapolishomebrewclub.com/pints4paws.
Hayrides aren’t just for Halloween fun. Kinder Farm Park in Millersville offers hayrides one Saturday a month during the warmer seasons. The next is on June 17 from 9:00am-11:30am. Kids and adults can catch a ride, offered every half hour for $5. Gate fees apply also.
You can also visit the Kinder Family Farmhouse on various days this summer. More information is available at www.kinderfarmpark.org.
Chris Gives Foundation is kicking off its inaugural fundraiser at the Millersville-based Baldwin Hall from 4:00pm-6:30pm on June 17. Enjoy Witt’s Barbecue, a cash bar, music by DJ Lionel, a silent and live auction, and raffles throughout the evening.
Prizes include a weekend for two in Ocean City, goose hunting in Talbot County for up to four people, and a NASCAR outfit signed by Brian Vickers.
Chris Gives Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization that provides free vehicle repairs for individuals and families in need.
The Greater Severna Park and Arnold Chamber of Commerce’s annual Fourth of July parade is a tradition unlike many others. Each year, floats from neighborhoods, sports teams, youth clubs, civic groups, businesses and other organizations display patriotic spirit and vie for the title of Best Overall, Best Theme and Most Patriotic.
This year’s theme is “Broad Stripes, Bright Stars and Big Hearts.” The parade starts at 10:00am, after the decorated bike contest for kids. That contest is held at the chamber office, and the parade begins at St. Martin’s-in-the-Field Episcopal and Our Shepherd Lutheran churches on Benfield Road. Next, the route turns onto Evergreen Road and then Riggs Avenue, B&A Boulevard and Cypress Creek Road.
To learn more about participating in the event or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.gspacc.com.
Get your soul & R&B on at the Summer Soul Funk Festival at Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds on July 22. National artists and groups include Lakeside, Klymaxx, Brick, Clones of Funk, DC Vibe and more. Comedian Lawrence Owens will be the host. Various vendors, along with wine tastings, will be at the event.
Gates open at noon. Visit eventbrite for more information or to buy tickets.
The Maryland Renaissance Festival begins its 47th season August 26 and runs Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day Monday through October 22 for nine weekends of thrills, feasting, handmade crafts, entertainment and merriment at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds in Crownsville.
Learn more at www.rennfest.com.
Modeled after the Key West Songwriters Festival, this event debuted in Anne Arundel County in 2022, bringing musicians to venues around the area. This festival aims to give music lovers a chance to get to know the names and faces behind the industry’s biggest and most famous songs in an up-close and personal setting. This year’s event runs from September 14-17. Learn more at www.annapolissongwritersfestival.com.
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