Everyone knows Maryland is Blue Crab Central. Something else to know about your home state, though? It has the ideal climate for ripening classical winegrapes.Hey, just repeating what the Internet says. You can look it up for yourself on the official site of Maryland’s wineries, www.marylandwine.com. But those who want to make that determination for themselves can make tracks to O’Donnell Square this Saturday for the Canton Wine and Jazz Festival. The event, which runs 1 p.m.-7 p.m., offers tastings of Maryland wine, live entertainment and more.
Dan Tracy, one of the volunteers working to administer the event, says organizers are hoping for a crowd of about 3,000.
The event will be presented rain or shine.
Tracy also says the event is unique, since it, apart from membership dues, is CCA’s only fund raiser.
This year, several aspects of the event are new.
“Last year, we didn’t have particularly good security around the square,” notes Tracy. “This year, it’s better.”
Translation: Last year, a few people managed to sneak in free; this year, they’ll all have to go through the admission gate.
Admission charges are $25/person in advance including wine sampling tickets, and $30 the day of the event. (Note: Age 21 and up only are eligible for wine sampling tickets). A general admission ticket is $10/person and does not include wine sampling. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free.
Last year’s event had two stages for live entertainment. This Saturday, there will be an entertainment stage at one end of the festival area, and at the other, there will be a tent where educational seminars will be offered by each of this year’s wine presenters.Primarily Maryland wines will be featured, notes Tracy. According to the website, wines will be provided by Boordy Vineyards, St. Michaels Winery and Terrazas de los Andes, all of which will bring multiple varietals.
Seminars to be presented include wine expert Laurie Forster’s “Don’t drink, taste: Learn how to think and drink like a sommelier.” Boordy vineyards will offer “Wien 101: Basic steps in making wine.” St. Michaels holds three ‘wine controversy’ seminars on natural cork vs. synthetic, West coast vs. East coast, and whether tasting etiquette is ‘a must or a myth.’
And since this is the Wine and Jazz Fest, those who are coming for all that jazz will want to know about the musical line-up. The schedule is as follows:
1 p.m.-2 p.m. – James Bazen Big Band
2:15 p.m.-3:15 p.m. – Gail Marten
3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. – Paul Carr
4:45 p.m.-5:45 p.m. – Larry Brown Quintet
6 p.m.-7 p.m. – David Bach
Tracy says there wll be some children’s activities, including a balloon artist and a face painter. Nearly two dozen artisans and crafters will also be present to sell their wares, and exhibitors from various businesses will also provide information.
While those who live in the area can simply walk to the event, Tracy notes, offsite parking for out-of-towners is provided at the offices of Obrecht Commercial Real Estate, which will offer a free shuttle to the festival area.
“This is definitely better than last year,” he adds.
For details and online ticket purchase visit www.cantonwinefestival.com.
Mary Helen Sprecher