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Havre de Grace Seafood Festival features Charlie Daniels, food, crafts

One week from today (Friday), the Charlie Daniels Band will descend on Havre de Grace.

As part of the now three-day long Havre de Grace Seafood Festival, the Southern country singer is headlining a concert Friday night. The festival will run from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12; from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13; and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 14.

Although all of the VIP and reserve tickets have been sold out for months, as of Wednesday morning, Chuck Maslin, husband of organizer Lori Maslin, said there are approximately 200 lawn seat tickets left. Those tickets are being sold at $35 each and can be purchased online at or by calling 410-939-1525.

The Charlie Daniels Band doesn't just stick with country, either, as Charlie Daniels plays rock, bluegrass, blues and gospel.

Since forming the band after graduating from high school in 1955, according to his website, the Charlie Daniels Band has won several awards, including the Academy of Country Music's Touring Band of the Year and the Academy of Country Music's Pioneer Award.

Gates open Friday night at 6 p.m. and the Charlie Daniels Band takes the stage at 8:45 p.m. Attendees with lawn seat tickets will be permitted to come in, stake their "real estate" with blankets, Maslin said, and get stamped to go back into the festival.

Opening up for them, as scheduled, is Jack Foreaker, a puppeteer, as well as a newly-booked group, with the first act starting at 7:15 p.m.

After seeing the School of Rock, of Baltimore, at the Honfest this past summer, Maslin said he and his wife were surprised to learn they were 16- and 17-year-old students.

"The children do an unbelievable job," he said, later adding that you can't tell they are students when they perform.

The School of Rock, Maslin added, sounded like a '70s rock band and would be opening for the Charlie Daniels Band.

Despite the heavy emphasis on the Charlie Daniels Band and the other 22 hours of live, free entertainment from local and regional bands, the Havre de Grace Seafood Festival is really about the food.

"[People] go for the food and the crafters," Maslin said.

There certainly will be a lot to eat, too, with 28 vendors selling more than 160 different types of food. Some of the vendors are coming from as far away as Alabama, Florida and the Carolinas.

One of the most popular vendors, however, is a Havre de Grace local, Laughing Crab Catering, owned by Lori Maslin, whose lines "tend to be the longest," he said.

Hammerheads out of south Florida, too, are very popular, serving a variety of alligator dishes, including alligator skewer and nuggets. Seafood Unlimited, also out of Florida, offers "beautiful platters" as well, Maslin said.

In addition to the food vendors, which include desserts from orange cream smoothies to kataifi, a type of pastry, the Havre de Grace Seafood Festival also boasts a variety of craft vendors and artisans.

There are 120 arts and craft vendors, according to Maslin, and they are a "huge attraction."

"People come and do their Christmas shopping at the Havre de Grace Seafood Festival," he added.

On the Spot Jewelry, a maker of wire-bent jewelry that has been coming to the festival for 10 years, Maslin said, is particularly popular, as well as the metal workers the festival features.

The festival also incorporates photographers and artists, he said, but doesn't allow any imported items, only those made by the artists themselves.

"We have every type of craft you can think of," Maslin said.

New to the festival this year is Lyon Clay Studio, a pottery studio in Churchville.

"This is his first time with us," Maslin said, "and I imagine he will be very popular."

The Havre de Grace Seafood Festival will also have a silent auction and charity raffle, with gift certificates and items donated by local businesses. The silent auction in particular will have sports memorabilia.

This includes a framed picture of three Triple Crown Race winners, signed by the jockeys of each horse, as well as football and baseball autographed pictures. Another framed photograph includes a piece of the foul pole at Yankee Stadium, Maslin said.

Vincenti Decoys, too, donated a 1960 Madison Mitchell decoy and there will also be a three-and-a-half foot high laser-cut Blue Heron from South Carolina.

"The local businesses have been very generous in giving us items for the silent auction," Maslin said.

With the variety of food, crafts and live entertainment, visitors are encouraged to come out to a free-admission festival, which Maslin said is the "oldest and largest seafood festival in Maryland."

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