This summer in Harford County is going to be a big one, musically.
The county will host several festivals and concerts, featuring well-known national acts, up and coming performers and some popular local bands and singers, too.
One of the biggest summer musical weekends comes up in early August.
The Havre de Grace Seafood Festival has been around for more than 30 years, but this year marks the first with an added day. Instead of the usual two-day weekend festival on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13 and 14, it has been extended to include Friday, Aug. 12.
Featured that Friday is the Charlie Daniels Band, but those interested have to act fast because tickets are already selling out, according to Chuck Maslin, husband of Lori Maslin, the organizer for the event.
"Tickets have sold extremely well," Maslin said earlier this week.
The VIP seats have been sold out since January, he added, and reserve seats for the past two months. The only seats left are $35 lawn seats, which can be purchased online at http://www.hdgseafoodfestival.com.
This isn't a surprise, given the fame of Charlie Daniels. The Charlie Daniels Band has released more than 50 albums since its first in 1970 and is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The seafood festival will run from 4 to 8 p.m. that evening and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Although they normally offer "22 hours of live entertainment," Maslin said this is the first year they secured a major headliner.
"[People] can expect a top rated, national act appearing in Havre de Grace," he said.
Choosing Charlie Daniels Band wasn't hard, either, Maslin added, because they simply looked for the "absolute best" performer who was available that weekend.
"We decided that Charlie Daniels was the best fit for our event this year," he said.
Also that weekend is the 10th Anniversary Maryland State BBQ Bash in Bel Air, held on both Friday and Saturday, Aug. 12 and 13.
The bash, which has huge attendance in recent years, will feature a variety of musical acts in those two days, with local station WXCY 103.7 FM in bringing two up and coming Nashville acts.
Ty Stone will perform from 7:45 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, followed by The Farm from 9 to 9:45 p.m.
"We have had a fantastic relationship with WXCY 103.7 FM since we started the BBQ Bash in 2001," Executive Director Scott Walker, of the Bel Air Downtown Alliance, one of the bash sponsors, wrote in an e-mail. "They have been bringing rising stars from Nashville to perform at the BBQ Bash since the beginning."
Other than those two bands, Walker wrote, they like to bring in local bands or bands that perform locally, most of which that have performed at First Fridays events throughout the years.
For the BBQ Bash, this includes Whisky Train, which bills itself as "Maryland's Best Party Rock Band," on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m., Route 66 from 5 to 7 p.m. and the popular local band Fiction 20 Down from 7:30 to 10 p.m.
"Music is a big part of First Fridays and the Maryland State BBQ Bash and our fans have been very happy with our choices over the years," Walker wrote.
Another plus for the BBQ Bash is that there is no cover for the music, Walker added. The BBQ Bash will go from 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday.
'Gimme three steps…'
Doors will open at 6 p.m., with the concert starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at http://www.apgmwr.com.
Finishing up a summer of big events is the Cecil County Food and Wine Festival, held in Port Deposit. This is the first year of the festival but, according to co-organizer Sam Dixon, hopefully not the last.
For their first year, Dixon and co-organizer Deidre Garoutte, wanted to bring out a major act and ended up with country legend George Jones. On Sept. 10, at 4 p.m. in the Port Deposit Marina Park, Jones will take the stage.
In his more than 50 years of music, Jones has been known for country and Southern gospel hits and will be joined by Dean Crawford and the Dunn's River Band Saturday afternoon as well.
"We definitely felt that he had the resume to bring out a crowd," Dixon said.
The music starts at 10 a.m. in the park and will also have other musicians as well.