LEONARDTOWN, Md. — The 21st annual award-winning Potomac Jazz and Seafood Festival took place in St. Mary’s County last weekend, bringing three days of soulful fun to Southern Maryland. The event was presented by the Friends of the St. Clement’s Island and Piney Point Museums in St. Mary’s County, in collaboration with the Town of Leonardtown.
The event kicked off July 9 on Fenwick Street in Leonardtown. The street was shut down, jazz music (by GrooveSpan) played while people danced and socialized. Old Towne Pub sold food out of their Wing Wagon on the corner of Fenwick and Washington Street, and businesses around the square were open late. The highlight of the evening was the Chesapeake Orchestra Swing Combo and dance performances from 6-9 p.m.
The Fenwick Inn featured a signature drink called “The Hurricane” and sold beer, wine, and charcuterie boxes. A thunderstorm swept through around 6:30 p.m., but it didn’t stop the fun. Some party-goers stayed under the pavilion out back, and others moved inside The Fenwick Inn.
The main fundraising event took place on July 10 at St. Clement’s Island Museum in Coltons Point. The Latrice Carr Music Group performed at 3 p.m., and Marion Meadows performed at 6 p.m. The seafood was plentiful, the music was captivating, and the views of the Potomac River and St. Clements Island were beautiful.
The finale of the Jazz and Seafood Festival took place all around Leonardtown on Sunday, July 11. The first event of the day was a 1920’s outdoor flapper barre class at Spice Fitness Studios.
Many of the restaurants and bars around Leonardtown Square hosted events-which included jazz brunches such as Antoinette’s Garden, The Front Porch, and Old Towne Pub. Port of Leonardtown Winery featured GrooveSpan-playing jazz hits in the afternoon. Fenwick Street Used Books and Music featured a large variety of jazz records, and the St. Mary’s Arts Council Gallery & Gift Shop had a special for jazz lovers.
The highlight for some of the Jazz Festival attendees was the two-hour cruises that took place on Breton Bay — which featured live jazz music, drinks, and appetizers while enjoying the beautiful area from a boat. The weekend festivities ended around 11 p.m. at Brudergarten of SOF Market with the last of the Jazz Festival attendees toasting with a signature drink, the “Jazz Ambassador,” a delicious Bourbon Blueberry Smash.
The weekend was quite a success, and Friends of the St. Clement’s Island and Piney Point Museums in St. Mary’s County are both looking to make next year’s events even more special.
The weekend events are the signature fundraiser for the nonprofit group, which aims to support historical interpretation, education programs, and special needs of the sites managed by the Museum Division of St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks. St. Clement’s Island Museum and Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park are enjoyed by many students, families, and members of our local community, but there are still residents who don’t know these little gems exist in Southern Maryland.
Wynne Briscoe, the jazz ambassador of the Potomac Jazz and Seafood Festival, said that she would like to bring awareness to the Southern Maryland community about this fun and worthwhile event and to inform them the festival is every second weekend of July.
Mark your calendars now, and she will see you next year!
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