ST. MARY’S CITY, Md. — After having a virtual festival last year, St. Mary’s County NAACP 7025, RB&L1, Inc., Historic St. Mary’s City and Tau Lambda Lambda Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. partnered to host the Overflow Festival in person on August 28, 2021.
The event featured over 30 vendors who were sampling Southern Maryland’s finest wineries, distilleries and eateries with live music. This event was held outdoors on the grounds of Historic St. Mary’s City statehouse lawn.
This year’s festival was only the second anniversary of the event. The idea came from the mutual interest of the various organizations and Historic St. Mary’s City. All parties wanted to fundraise and highlight what they consider one of the best parts of St. Mary’s County.
“Historic St. Mary’s was looking to have more events at their site. Our organization and other organizations that I work with were looking for a large fundraising opportunity to help with capacity building. This seemed like a great opportunity for collaboration to fundraise and highlight one of the most beautiful places in St. Mary’s County,” William “BJ” Hall, NAACP President, said.
The event saw well over 250 people attend and experience the Historic St. Mary’s City grounds. However, the event saw many obstacles on the way to this year’s festival.
First, this event stayed in the planning stages for years, just to make sure it was an on-site event because these organizations did not want people to miss out on the beauty of Historic St. Mary’s City.
“This event had been in the planning stages for an on-site event for two years. Last year, we were not able to have the event physically because of COVID-19,” Adrianne Dillahunt, St. Mary’s County NAACP Vice President said. “The goal was to be able to expose as many people to Historic St. Mary’s City and to help people understand and connect with our organizations.”
Also, this year’s event was supposed to be held in person on June 12, 2021, but it had to be rescheduled due to inclement weather. When the festival finally came back around, there were some great highlights.
“The actual site itself and being on the water in Historic St. Mary’s City was a really big draw. Then, we had four bands this year that celebrated the DC area’s best,” Dillahunt said. “The environment was a draw because people were able to bring their lawn chairs, coolers, relax, listen to the entertainment and get some nice food.”
Currently, the aforementioned partnered organizations are looking to have another on-site festival next year because of the complexity of scheduling a virtual festival.
“The hardest thing about the planning was pivoting to a virtual environment because the whole concept or idea warranted us to be on the ground. When we had to pivot, it was like how do we do what we want to do and let the public see the event as well as let them be a part of it,” Dillahunt said.
There is not a confirmed date for next year’s Overflow Festival, but they are pushing to have it on-site again in June 2022.
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