Come One, Come All When the Circus Comes to Historic Denton

In tribute to the end of an era as the Barnum & Bailey Circus folds its tent for the last time, Caroline Summerfest celebrates “Under the Big Top.” On August 18 and 19 Caroline Summerfest will have Denton feeling like the circus has come to town. The rain date is Sunday, August 20.

This traditional end of the summer celebration starts its music-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 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 nearly 30 years, a new theme each year and a few new attractions keeps the event fresh and exciting. But, longtime tradition also keep folks coming back year after year as well.

Going along with the circus theme, Summerfest will welcome, for the first-time, Aerialist and Circus Entertainer, Erin Jeannier, who will perform at the corner of third and Market Street near the KidzArt tent. She will be joined by Mark Lohr, Vaudeville and Street Performer. Lohr wowed audiences with school-based performances in 2016 at Ridgely, Greensboro and Denton Elementary schools.

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, and the event will close on Saturday evening with the terrific tradition of fireworks.

Back by popular demand after debuting in 2016 will be the Musical Instrument Touch Zoo on Saturday, August 19 on the Courthouse Green. This activity is produced in partnership with members of the Mid-Shore Community Band and Caroline County Public Schools, and kid are encouraged to come out and try all the instruments. Another feature introduced in 2016 and a big hit is the “World’s Longest Chalk Board” which will be located between the KidzArt area and Market Street both event days.

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 a very positive audience response in 2016, the Courthouse Community Band will be featured on Saturday on the Main Stage, and both days include strolling jugglers, “balloonatics” and street corner percussionists.

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. Since the event theme is fashioned after the circus, kids can expect to make lots of related crafts. Also, in response to last year’s festival goers, 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 three stages
A variety of music will be performed on three stages throughout the festival, including: Mike Hines & the Look; American Uke Box; Mike Elzey Trio and Youth Performer Showcase; United States Navy Band’s Sea Chanters; Jeff Washington Band and River & Rhodes and Butler & Jamison.

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 Like the event on Facebook for festival updates at

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.

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