Summer is prime season for visits to Historic Downtown Annapolis. This is the perfect season for farmers markets on City Dock, eating ice cream on Main Street and taking in the First Sunday Arts Festivals and cafes on Calvert and West Streets. The August First Sunday Arts festival is Sunday August 7th from noon to 5pm. The line up of free hot summer artistic fun is sure to please the whole family.
The entertainment for the day starts off at noon at Weiseman Park sponsored by Long and Foster Realtors with the Annapolis Junction Big Band. This 17 piece big band features 5 saxophones, 4 trombones, 4 trumpets, bass, piano, drums, and vocals. This high engery group always attracts a fun crowd. Be prepared to put on your dancing shoes and to sing along as they play some of your big band favorite hits. The entertainment continues at the Long and Foster stage with The Jazz Update band at 3:30pm, which features the exciting players Jeff Antoniuk, Tom Baldwin, Wade Beach and Tony Martucci who regularly perform at top rated jazz festivals. Their repertoire ranges from straight ahead jazz to avant-garde and includes many original tunes. If you been to Edmonton International Jazz Festival, Wolftrap Jazz and Blues Festival or the Princeton JazzFeast you may have seen these guys play.
At 1:30 starts Latifa’s dance troupe dancing between Back Street Books and Stan and Joe’s Saloon. They are one of the most popular Middle Eastern dance troupes in the Baltimore-Washington area. Over the years, they have built a solid repertoire of both folkloric and nightclub-style dances, derived from such different cultural influences as the African-nuanced dancing at traditional Saudi Arabian women’s parties, the melting of Spanish and Arabic culture in Andalusian Spain, the proud line dances of the Levant, the night clubs of Cairo, and the “melting pot” of American belly dance. The dancing and the costumes are both fantastic.
3pm Kicks of the Sweet Leda performance at Whitemore Park on Calvert Street, sponsored by Yelp.com. Are you ready for sweet soulful vocals and hip-shaking blues-rock songs one after another? If you answered yes arrive early and get ready for some hot summer fun and great music. Sweet Leda’s heartfelt original material is a rich blend of new school funk, soul, and pop. After watching this group you will be ready to hit up the fresh squeezed lemonade stand on Calvert Street.
Plus the day would not be complete without hosting over 100 artisans and crafters in the 3 areas along Calvert and West Streets. These local and regional artists will be exhibiting pottery, hand blown and fused glass, paintings, photography, wood turnings, jewelry, fibers, handmade soaps, books, face paintings, henna tattoos and more. One of the great things about shopping at First Sunday Arts is meeting the artisans, learning their stories and feeling their passion about the unique items they create.
Plan to arrive early and take in the Bloody Mary brunch at Stan and Joe’s Saloon, a Brazilian Bossa Nova Brunch at 49 West Coffeehouse and the Jazz Brunch at Ramshead Tavern. If you have any energy left after the festival, West Street stays alive with Steel Drums by the The Geckos playing on the patio at Ramshead, and Gary Wright and Leah Weiss playing roots-Americana music inside the 49 West Coffeehouse.
Admission is always free to First Sunday Arts festivals and parking is free at the State Parking Garage on the corner of Calvert and Bladen Street, just 2 short blocks from the start of the festival on Calvert Street.
Directions and more information at www.firstsundayarts.com
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