Sampling sips and songs


Thousands are expected to sample local wines and food while grooving to the rhythms of acoustic folk rock this weekend at the fourth annual Celebrate Annapolis Wine, Food & Music Festival.

An elaborate stage and larger sound system are part of an overall expansion this year. "We want this to represent all of Annapolis hospitality, not just wines," said Darlene Pisani, festival coordinator.

Nationally known musicians Lowen & Navarro and David Wilcox headline the list of mostly local artists, who, Ms. Pisani promised, "won't get on your nerves even if you're 85." Music will run from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Organizers hope to lure 5,000 people each day to St. John's College. A total of 7,000 attended last year.

Besides the five stands selling Maryland wines and local seafood, booths will feature the work of 60 regional crafts people. The festival will spill out onto College Creek with rowing expeditions and demonstrations of miniature remote-control yachts.

Jan and Jerry Hardesty, owners of Middleton's Tavern in Annapolis, are producing the event, and The Baltimore Sun, WHFS-FM and the "Maryland You Are Beautiful" program are sponsors.

Advance tickets can be bought from Ticketron for $8 (call [800] 448-9009) or at the door for $10; those under 21 are free, but only admitted if accompanied by a parent.

Free shuttles will run from the parking lot at the Naval Academy Marine Corp stadium to the festival; by foot, it's about a seven-minute walk.

For performance times and other information, call the Celebrate Annapolis hot line at (800) 477-7018.

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