Westminster's Flower and Jazz Festival not just about plants and tunes

Main Street was packed with vendors, food, music, art and more at Saturday’s Flower and Jazz Festival in downtown Westminster.

If you closed your eyes and followed the crowd, you could almost know which vendor you’d reached, by the aroma wafting through the air.


From funnel cakes to barbecue, from cotton candy to rows and rows of colorful sweet-scented flowers, there was much to explore. There were aromatic candles, bath bombs and a variety of food: pit beef and ham, crab cakes, hot dogs, potato ribbons, fudge and nuts, barbecue, bourbon chicken, fresh squeezed lemonade and more. Each booth emanated with a scent all its own.

Angela Fain and her husband David Freto of Finksburg stood watching glassblower Alex Shaffer, of Reisterstown.

“This is our second time to see glassblowing,” Fain said. “We saw it at Deep Creek [Lake]. My husband is an antique dealer. He deals with old glass, and he likes to hear them talk about it.”

“I like to see how it is made,” Freto said. “They’ve made it like this since Roman times. They used metal rods then, but they use the glass rods now, so they don’t burn their selves.”

Shaffer concentrated on the molten glass — an expanding bubble. He said he’s been glassblowing “pretty much” his entire adult life.

“Not a lot of people still do lampworking,” he said as he held the rounded glass over a torch fire by the ends of each rod. “That’s what I am doing here. There’s a big difference between furnace workers and lamp workers. This is honestly a dying art. I only know about 20 people in Maryland who blow glass by lampworking, not furnace.”

Just down from the glassblower on the other side of the street, the city was giving away pots of impatiens to every mom. As fast as a worker placed the colorful pots of flowers out, they were picked up and he was filling the slot again.

“The flowers are wonderful, and it was very nice that Westminster city gave us flowers,” festival-goer Jill Edwards said. “The impatiens are beautiful, and I love the variety.”

Edwards and her friend Robin Warren had come from Eldersburg.

“She saw it in the newspaper and called me,” Edwards said. “It’s a nice family atmosphere and the weather is nice, not too hot.”

Warren agreed.

“I am just looking to see what’s here,” she said. “It was advertised that there are 50 vendors. I’m looking for plants and at the arts.”

Kay Main had come from Germantown.

“We come every year,” Main said. “We love this place. There’s the flowers and the food, and the people are so nice. They give the free flowers every year to every mom. They think of everyone.”


From far away to nearby, people came to fill Main Street, closed to traffic from Longwell Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue.

Andrew Pearce stood between his wife, Heather, and his mom, Beth. The entire Pearce clan of Westminster was there to celebrate Mother’s Day — they even brought their dog, Charlie along.

“We’ve been before, and we hope to make it an annual tradition,” Andrew said. “This is awesome. You’ve got all the people out, you’ve got the dogs and you’ve got the kids, and all the food. Pitt beef and pit turkey — that’s enough to get me out on its own!”

“We look for places to take the dog,” Heather said. “He’s a Boykin Spaniel, and we are training him.”

“They’re trying to get him trained so that when the baby arrives he is ready. She’s due in June,” Beth said of Heather, her daughter-in-law.

As Andrew’s brother Carter and his wife Sarah joined them with daughter Harper, Beth spoke of the fellowship she finds at the Flower and Jazz Festival.

“I usually run into a ton of people that I know but I haven’t seen in a while,” she said. “And we love all the flowers.”

Five-year-old Harper sported some fancy face-painting — a half-mask design, with a circle of colorful flowers around her left eye.

“The man showed me the pictures and I picked this one,” she said. “My favorite thing here is the face-painting!”

Beth’s husband Ken leaned down to pat Charlie the dog as they talked about the festival.

“Every year it gets better and better,” he said.