Towson Gardens Day

Towson Gardens Day willl be held May 3 around the County Courthouse in Towson, kicking off a four-day celebration that concludes May 5-6 with the annual Towsontown Spring Festival. (Staff Photo by Brian Krista / March 14, 2012)

Flowers, music, food, entertainment, shopping and community spirit are being rolled together for four days in May — dubbed "Towson Spring Daze" by the Towson Chamber of Commerce.

Set for Thursday through Sunday, May 3-6, and sponsored by the chamber, the "daze" events feature Towson Gardens Day and a free evening free Beach Bumz concert Thursday, May 3; a free concert by Uncle Jack's Band Friday night, May 4, and the 45th annual Towsontown Spring Festival, Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6.

Towson Gardens Day on May 3 will be centered around the Courthouse Fountain Square area from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The festival was established 26 years ago to encourage the greening of Towson, and includes vendors selling spring flowers, plants, crafts and jewelry, as well as gardening advice, entertainment and a variety of food. Highlights of the day will include:

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• A free tour of the historic Courthouse Gardens, led by landscape architect Avery Harden and landscape designer Carol Oppenheimer, at 11 a.m.

• A performance by students of the Anna Apicella School of Dance, at 11:30 a.m.

• Music by the Towson High School Jazz Band, at 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

• Greetings from Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, at noon.

• An awards ceremony at 12:15 p.m. will recognize gardening efforts in Towson's neighborhoods and announce the recipients of the 2012 Towson Azalea House plaque for a property with an outstanding display of Towson's official flower.

• Songs by the Trinity Episcopal Children's Center Chorus, at 12:45 p.m.

In addition, lectures will be offered by the District III Federated Garden Clubs in their on-site "Potting Shed," including "Knock 'em Out With Knockout Roses," with Scott Robinson of L&R Landscaping (10:30 a.m.); "Veggie M.D.," with master gardener Norman Cohen (1 p.m.); and "Five Beautiful Native Plants for Touch Spots, with Vincent Vizachero of Blue Water Baltimore (2 p.m.).

Nancy Hafford, executive director of the Towson Chamber, said the Gardens Day is perfect for a weekday because it gives employees working in the downtown area a chance to take part.

"You'll see office workers, county employees, lawyers from the courthouse, stay at home moms with strollers and senior citizens, as well as gardening folks," Hafford said. "They'll be browsing the street, lugging plants or munching on lunch."

After Gardens Day ends at 3 p.m., a free concert by the group, Beach Bumz, will take place 5 to 7 p.m. in the Courthouse Gardens.

"Beach Bumz plays Jimmy Buffett kind of music," said Hafford. "They've been a favorite in Towson ever since they played at our first Friday night Feet on the Street block party five years ago."

On Friday, May 4, a "Flashback" concert will feature the group, Uncle Jack Dance Explosion, performing "disco, funk and Motown," from 5:30 to 9 p.m. in Courthouse Plaza.

Beer, wine and food will be available for sale during both concerts. Parking will be available for $1 in the Revenue Authority high-rise parking garage off Baltimore Avenue.

For further information, call Chamber Executive Director Nancy Hafford at 410-825-1144.

Two days, 250,000 people

Then on Saturday and Sunday, May 5-6, the 45th annual Towsontown Spring Festival will include some 450 vendors and exhibitors offering art, crafts, flowers, food, beer and wine, as well as bands and entertainers performing on four stages in the blocks surrounding the Towson Courthouse.