George Jones will be headlining the first Cecil County Food and Wine Festival, held in Port Deposit's Marina Park on Sept. 10. Jones has been an established national performer since the 1950s and performs both country and Southern gospel music.
Joining Jones for the concert is Dean Crawford and the Dunn's River Band, as well as several local bands, highlighting the Food and Wine Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jones goes on at 4 p.m. and general admission tickets are $49.50.
For Sam Dixon, who planned the event with Deidre Garoutte, this is a major event in Port Deposit and a chance to showcase the town.
"We wanted to have a top level, nationally known artist come in and perform at the event," Dixon said.
They called George Jones' people, he added, and were happy to find out he was available for the festival.
Jones won't be any stranger to the area, however. He appeared at the old New River Ranch and Sunset music parks near Rising Sun and Oxford, Pa., respectively, during the parks' heyday in the 1960s.
The food and wine festival itself is new to Port Deposit and Cecil County. Dixon said local interest led them to put on such an event, which not only features local restaurants but wineries from throughout Cecil, Harford and Baltimore counties.
"There's never been one put on in the county before," he said.
In addition to the one-day festival, the week prior to it will be "Food and Wine Week," when local restaurants will offer special menus promoting entrees and wines that pair well together.
Both the festival and concert benefit the Port Deposit Chamber of Commerce.
Thus far, Dixon said, they have gotten an excited response from citizens, especially at Tuesday's town hall meeting when their park permit was approved.
People were saying, "it would be one of the biggest events ever held in Port Deposit," Dixon said, and they thought it was "great."
"The people in Port Deposit are excited," he said, "[and] looking forward to having such a big name headliner coming to Port Deposit to perform."
Dixon said they intend on holding the festival in Port Deposit every year to "spotlight" restaurants and bands in the area.
For more information or to purchase tickets, go to http://www.portdepositwinefestival.com.