In addition to Frederick Road Fridays at Mews on Mellor and the Lurman Woodland Theatre Summer Concert Series on Saturday and Sunday evenings, Catonsville residents will have a third venue to enjoy free, live music this year.
Saturday marks the start of a new daytime concert series hosted by The Hub bicycle shop, 821 Frederick Road.
The series, known as Family Time Festivals, will feature a themed concert each month in the courtyard area behind the 800 block of Frederick Road known as "Strawberry Fields." In addition to The Hub, the area includes Catonsville Gourmet restaurant and C'Ville Bikes, Just Right Technologies, Pottery Cove and You Scream for Ice Cream shops.
The inaugural concert, with its "Spring Fling" theme, will take place March 16 and will feature a mix of roots music and Jamaican and Trinidadian music.
"What we've done is, we're making it an early spring Reggaefest there," said Scott Westcoat, owner of The Hub and the creator of the festival.
The event will feature live music, food and family-friendly games from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Westcoat envisions the monthly events as something an entire family could enjoy. In addition to all-day live music, there will be food vendors from local restaurants, moon bounces and games.
"Catonsville is really going through a resurgence right now," said the Catonsville resident. "We aim to be family friendly."
Westcoat said that he and his business partner, Chris Adair, has always wanted to integrate his 18 years of event planning experience into his bike shop business.
Westcoat used to work for ASG Events, a company that planned large events in partnership with professional sports teams such as the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Ravens.
"When we were putting together the idea for a shop in Catonsville ... that was a big part of it for us, to reach out to the community," Westcoat said.
"Give back and let people know that we're here," he said.
He said that, because Catonsville is known as Music City Maryland, there should be as many live music events in the area as possible.
"We just felt that it's been this moniker of Music City Maryland and, to be honest with you, there wasn't a whole lot of live music being done on the same level (as Family Time Festivals)," Westcoat said
He said that cycling has been his hobby for years and he enjoys marrying his love of cycling with his talent for event planning through the shop's sponsorship of the festivals.
"It's really not a switch," Westcoat said. "Just really furthering the passion I have for certain things."
He said his children, 11-year-old Trevor and 13-year-old Maddy, help him around the shop and that he hopes to promote a healthy and cultured lifestyle to his children and families around the area with his bike services and concert series.
"We're selling a lifestyle. A healthy alternative transportation," Westcoat said.
Westcoat also feels that bringing people to Catonsville during the day could mean more customers for businesses in the area into the evening.
Craig Witzke, who owns Strawberry Fields and the building that houses Westcoat's shop, is thrilled to have a music series in the space.
"When I built the courtyard, that was always my hope, to have community events and live music in the courtyard," Witzke said.
He said he thinks the new series will offer variety to the Catonsville music scene and increase the area's popularity.
"I think that the more people that come to Catonsville for different events, the more people will recognize what Catonsville has to offer and they'll come back or they'll stay," Witzke said.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun