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Weather and wine mean big turnout for annual Taneytown festival

Mother Nature provided perfect weather for the eighth annual Wine, Art and Music Festival hosted by the city of Taneytown on Saturday at Taneytown Memorial Park.

It allowed those in attendance an opportunity to peruse the nearly 30 artisans and food vendors while listening to the swing and jazz sounds of the Monte Leister Quintet, jazz guitarist, Abe Ovadia, and DJ Christian Harper.

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The festival began at 11 a.m. and ended at 4 p.m. Several wineries and breweries offered fine wine and microbrew tastings including Great Shoals Winery from Silver Spring, Olney Winer from Olney, MISCellaneous Distillery from Mount Airy, Il Dolce Winery from Beltsville, and Taneytown’s own microbrewery, Brewery Fire.

Dave Palmer and Jesse Johnson, owners of Brewery Fire, saw the festival as an opportunity to meet members of the community and give them product to get the word out about the new brewery.

More than 30 artists and artisans sold their arts and crafts, including jewelry, paintings, beauty products, and plants.

New this year was a petting zoo that proved to be quite popular, run by Natasha Doan, owner of Cedar Hedge Farms. Several baby animals were on hand for kids (adults, too) to interact with including bunnies, goats, a pig, two lambs and a baby cow

Along with the petting zoo, Happy Hounds Homeward Bound attracted crowds throughout the day as they made puppies and dogs available for adoption.

Nancy McCormick, director of economic development for the city of Taneytown, said, “The dog adoption has been the highlight [of the event].”

She was thrilled by the turnout.

“We’ve doubled the attendance [over last year], we’ve doubled the vendors also,” McCormick said. “[We were] up against four different big events in Carroll County and Frederick so I feel we did a marvelous job.”

People seemed to have a great time, she said.

“People are giving us [feedback] of what they love, [saying] they want to see more vineyards,” McCormick said.

The money raised Saturday will be put to good use, she said.

“The proceeds from the wine festival go back into Mainstreet investment and other charities that we have,” McCormick said. “We give back to the schools. We’re doing the zoo program for senior center.”

McCormick explained further that the Maryland Zoo is bringing some aspects of the Zoo to the Senior Center. Taneytown’s donation helped make that program possible.

In addition, Mainstreet Taneytown has supported Relay for Life, community beautification including the hanging baskets going up in the downtown area, and future plans for murals and an arts and cultural center.

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“People are excited.” McCormick said.

She credited “the team” for the success of the Wine Festival and the many programs it will support. She defined the team as the many people “wanting to jump on board; to say, ‘What can we do to help?’ So, it’s investing back into our community to make it better. [It’s] our officers participating, being visible out there [that] is critically important to the quality of life.”

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