Summer officially launches this month â€” but before you start filling up your calendar, consider shaking things up this season. With the amount of events celebrating local arts, music and food on tap over the next few months in Frederick, thereâ€™s just no excuse for the dog days of summer to be dull ones.
Music in the Air
The Summer Concert Series put on by local nonprofit Celebrate Frederick, Inc. is back for an impressive 35th season. Every Sunday between June 10 and Aug. 25, a different free concert will be held at the Baker Park Band Shell starting at 7 p.m. Organizers said this yearâ€™s line-up has something for everyone, and people can expect to see more tribute bands in the mix than in years past.
â€śBased on a survey weâ€™d taken and communication from the audience, [tribute bands] seemed to be important so we focused heavily on that this year,â€ť said Jennifer Martin with Celebrate Frederickâ€™s Office of Special Events.
For example, the first act in the concert series will be an artist who calls herself â€śShania Twin,â€ť and covers songs by â€” who else? â€” Shania Twain.
â€śFrom everything Iâ€™ve heard, sheâ€™s just really amazing,â€ť Martin said. â€śThat will be a really unique show to see.â€ť
Meanwhile, the always-popular Jimmy Buffet tribute band â€śSons of Piratesâ€ť returns, as will the oldies group â€śRock and Roll Relics.â€ť
Summer Concert Series organizers are also aiming to make the music a little more interactive, scheduling fun extras like a Zumba instructor to give the crowd a free lesson before the Grupo Latino Continental Band takes the stage July 1. Plans are also in the works for a military appreciation day to coincide with a swing band scheduled for July 22.
Fixed seating is available in the Band Shell, but spectators are welcome to bring blankets and sit on the grass â€” or even pack a picnic. Vendors will be on hand at the park selling food and drinks as well. In lieu of admission, concert-goers are encouraged to bring canned food items to each performance to benefit the Frederick Food Bank. For a full schedule of performances, visit www.celebratefredrick.org.
Local Cuisine & Cocktails
If youâ€™re craving a taste of local flavor, you might want to add an â€śAl Frescoâ€ť Progressive Dinner to your summer menu.
â€śI wouldnâ€™t want to miss any of the events going on downtown this summer, but if I had to pick just one [to go to] it would be the progressive dinner,â€ť said Eli Roth, associate director of promotion and development at the Downtown Frederick Partnership, which organizes three progressive dinners annually.
On June 12, a four-course meal will be served at some of Frederickâ€™s hottest spots including Volt, CafĂ© Nola, Acacia and Angelcakes. Weather permitting, diners will get to experience the delicacies in outdoor seating. Tickets are $90 a head.
Meanwhile, if youâ€™re in the 21-and-over crowd, head on down to the Carroll Creek Amphitheatre most Thursday evenings throughout the summer months. The Downtown Frederick Partnership and Frederick County Bank are sponsoring Alive @ Five Happy Hours featuring live music, alcoholic beverages, local food and the chance to win prizes the second, third and fourth Thursday of each month from 5 â€“ 8 p.m. Admission is $5.
The Downtown Frederick Partnership is also responsible for free monthly events called First Saturdays taking place from 5 â€“ 9 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month at various venues around downtown Frederick. Activities in June, July and August will focus on everything from fine arts to 4th of July floats and four-legged friends.
For more information and schedules on the Progressive Dinner, Alive @ Five Happy Hours and First Saturdays, head to www.downtownfrederick.org.
Fine Art in Frederick
Hunt the streets of Frederickâ€™s historic district for painters at their easels capturing the cityâ€™s charm on canvas from June 20 – 24. The second annual Easels in Frederick competition will bring in 30 professional painters from all over the mid-Atlantic to compete for more than $15,000 in prizes. Public interaction is welcome and encouraged. Check out the full Easels schedule at http://easelsinfrederick.org.
Meanwhile, more than 100 artists from around the country will be showing off their stuff at the 19th annual Frederick Festival of the Arts this weekend, June 2 â€“ 3. The free-admission juried arts and crafts festival is also set to include performing artists and childrenâ€™s activities. Get the details at http://frederickartscouncil.org.
Keep in mind, city parking garages charge a flat fee of $1 after 5 p.m. on weekdays, all day Saturdays and after 2 p.m. Sundays, making it convenient and affordable to head downtown to put a little sizzle back in your summer.