Circus Aerialist and Strolling Entertainment Abounds as Caroline Summerfest Honors the Three-Ring Circus
“The Greatest Show on Earth” may have closed its doors this year, but the Greatest Event on Earth or at least on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, honors the boundless spectacle and energy of a three-ring circus. On August 18 and 19, Caroline Summerfest celebrates this Big Top tradition in historic downtown Denton. The rain date is Sunday, August 20.
This end-of-the-summer celebration starts its entertainment -rich tribute on three performance stages on Friday, August 18, from 5 to 10 p.m. and on Saturday, August 19, 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 the Fire Hall) on both days.
New to Summerfest is an expanded roster of strolling performers. These jugglers, stilt walkers, “hoopers”, comedians and balloon artist only add to the three “ring” stages of established entertainment that are a part of this free family festival celebration. An event first will be an “in-air” performance by accomplished aerialist, Erin Jeannier. A veteran of the circus-arts from Baltimore, Erin confirms with a broad smile that “dancing with fabric ropes 20 feet in the air is always a thrill!”.
Frederick-based entertainer Mark Lohr’s physical comedy includes his talented four children as they unicycle, juggle, silt walk and wander the tight rope of crowds that gather before the 9:00 p.m. fireworks display on Saturday night.
Although a first in 2016, the Courthouse Community Band returns with 42 local musicians under the direction of Thomas Cheezum, Colonel Richardson High School Band and Orchestra Director with Caroline County Public Schools. Their Saturday evening performance will include a Kazoo parade of festival attendees of all ages to celebrate their Main Stage performance. These musicians are also supporting the “Music-KaZoo”, a musical instrument “petting zoo” of brass, percussion and string instruments for children and families to touch, explore and play (Saturday).
Friday afternoon performances start at all three stages at 5:00 p.m. but will also include a pause for the official opening ceremony at 6:30, followed by a street performance showcase by area marching bands on Friday instead of a pedestrian parade. Ocean City sand sculptor, George Zaiser returns both days to capture the Summerfest theme in a 20-ton sand mountain. A shaded sand pit for family play is also available.
Other event features include:
Fireworks display. 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.
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 non-profits.
Diverse live music on three stages
A variety of music will be performed on three stages throughout the festival, including: Flatland Drive; Mike Hines & the Look; Silhouette Song; Slim Harrison’s Sunnyland Jazz Jug Band; Mike Elzey; United States Navy Sea Chanters; American Uke Box, Jeff Washington Band, Penny Pistelero, Choptank River Big Band and Butler & Jamison.
Caroline Summerfest is a pet-free, wheel-free and alcohol-free event. Park your bicycle, scooter and skateboard 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 non-profits support the festival through donations and in-kind gifts.