Westminster will once again be home to the Secret Garden Reggae Music, Arts and Wine Festival this Sunday, July 22.
The day of “good wine, good people and good food” always ends in a dance party, organizer DJ Tanz Davidson said. “The whole point and purpose of this event is seeing smiles on people’s faces”
The July festival, to be held from noon to 7 p.m. at the Carroll County Farm Museum Grounds, 500 Center St., Westminster, features two live bands and a variety of DJs as well as food and craft vendors and two wineries. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com.
For festival, which is held on a Sunday each month throughout the summer and fall, organizers are mostly sticking to what works and refining the experience for their guests.
“We’re just paying more attention to the details this year,” Davidson said.
Guests are encouraged to set up with tents, blankets, umbrellas and other items to stay cool. Food and coolers are allowed, but outside alcohol, grills and pets are not.
From the first Secret Garden event where less than 100 guests gathered at a winery to the event today where upwards of 2,000 gather, the festivals have become a space to meet new people and see familiar friends.
“It’s that Secret Garden wine festival bond,” Davidson said.
Some even bring their birthday parties and family reunions to the events to celebrate with their loved ones and a few thousand other folks.
“Everyone looks forward to seeing everyone. It becomes a yearly event for families,” Davidson said.
Around 30 arts and craft vendors, many selling handmade items will also set up shop at the festival.
Though the event is family-friendly— there is no profanity in the music and ticket prices are reduced for children — Davidson said the event is adult-focused. No activities will be set up especially for children.
As in seasons past, a donation from the proceeds of the festival will go to Carroll Food Sunday. This is a way for the festival organizers to keep bonds with the local community strong.
“It's kind of like our gift back to the the county for letting us operate there,” Davidson said.
When guests leave, he hopes they can’t wait to come back.
”We hope that they were able to get away from all the issues of the world or even just take a mental break from work and go enjoy themselves,” he said. “It’s like a mini vacation.”
Though they may be tired from dancing, the festival should be a place to mentally recharge.
“When you were around happy people, that energy just makes you feel good and you can carry it with with you once you leave.”
It’s a place to “trust that there are still good people and happy people … Those places are becoming few and far between,” he said. They hope to offer “a sense of camaraderie and sense of family and sense of hope.”
Tickets are $25 for general admission and include tastings from Basignani Winery and Dejon Vineyard. The event is rain or shine. More information is available on Facebook under Secret Garden Music, Arts and Wine Festivals, at www.secretgardenwinefestival.com or by calling 410-967-1740.