Bay Music Festival

As members of the Centreville Lions Club observe their 65th year of service to the community, they are also completing plans for their 31st annual Bay Music Festival, set for June 9th at the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Park on Rt. 18 near Centreville, rain or shine.

The Bay Music Festival will provide the venue for six Eastern Shore based artists/groups to perform on the stage from 4 to 10 p.m. in the park. The club is in hopes that this will attract more local attendance to the club’s major fundraiser.

Also, in an effort to make it more attractive to music lover’s to come out to support their favorite musicians, the admission price has been slashed to $12 in advance and $15 at the gate. Children under 12 are free and the gates open at 3 p.m. There is plenty of cover at the park and festival goers can bring their own lawn chairs.

Anna Burgess will begin the entertainment at 4 p.m., followed at 4:40 p.m. by M.J. Neuberger and J. Laverty. Anna plays a blues style with folksy overtones while M.J. Neuberger and J. Laverty are blues with some International flavor. Tim & Savannah Finch and the Eastman String band take the stage at 5:40 p.m. with their high energy Americana Newgrass sounds, and they will be followed by the “kicking country music” of the Twenty One Horses Band at 6:50 p.m. The icon of rockabilly, Bird Dog and the Road Kings start their show at 8:00 p.m. and this year’s extravaganza will be closed out by the “rocking soul sounds” of Kentavius Jones and his band at 9:10 p.m.

Past Music Festival goers know that Bird Dog & Billy West of the Road Kings have been one local band that has been on stage for all of the last 30 years and is looking forward to entertaining his loyal fans and hopefully making some new fans this year.

Two special added attractions will be at the park this year. The club will have two beautifully handcrafted musical instruments for raffle. An Eastman Mandolin will be raffled at the festival; tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and can be purchased online through the website or at the Corsica Design Studio in Centreville. The second raffle item is a PRS McCarty 58 guitar that is signed by the maker Paul Reed Smith. Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25 and can be purchased at doyocaboodle.com, at the Festival or at the Queen Anne’s County Fair where the drawing will take place on August 10, 2012.

The festival has always been family oriented and is especially so this year as there has been some great new additions to entertain and educate the children as well as their parents. Although you parents may not want to bounce or slide on the Moon Bounce/Slide Combo or get your face painted, you will want to check out the Scales and Tales exhibit from Tuckahoe State Park, the Fishmobile form Phillips Wharf that contains Bay life, or FireWise, which is none other the Smoky Bear to tell the children his story as well as give out balloons as he celebrates his 65th birthday. These exhibits are all free to the festival goers.

While no coolers, alcohol or pets are allowed, there will be plenty of Eastern Shore style open pit cooked BBQ chicken, roast beef, sausages, hamburgers, hot dogs, fresh cut French fries, all of which can be washed down with plenty of ice cold beverages including beer from Coors Light, the presenting sponsor again this year. There will also be ice cream and baked goods to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Advance tickets may be purchased through June 8th at PNC Bank in Centreville and Kent Island, Caboodle Cartridge and Draper’s Liquors in Centreville, Compleat Bookseller in Chestertown, Kent Towne Liquors in Stevensville, Believe in Music in Easton Plaza in Easton or online at www.baymusicfestival.com or doyoucaboodle.com.

The Lions Club is especially thankful for all the local businesses who have supported the event over the years, especially including the sponsors: Coors Light as the presenting sponsor, PNC Bank & PRS Guitars as platinum sponsors, CNB Bank as Diamond sponsor, and Ashley Insurance Company, Caboodle Cartridge, Doc’s Riverside Grill, Price & Gannon True Value Hardware and Queenstown Bank as Gold sponsors.

Proceeds from the festival for the past 30 years have benefited the Lions Club SightFirst programs, locally and globally, provided money to purchase eye glasses and receive care locally, as well as provide scholarships to Chesapeake College. Funds have also gone to the world famed Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore, as vision is one of the primary missions of the club. Used eyeglasses are collected around town and you may bring them to the festival as they are recycled throughout the world.

Lions International has raised $415 million to support the global SightFirst program which was launched in 1991. Among the many successes are 30 million people with improved vision through screenings and fitted with eyeglasses, a 9 percent reduction in blindness and visual impairment globally which translates to 20 million people; and 121 million children protected from blindness through the childhood blindness prevention program in partnership with the World Health Organization. Funds raised at this Bay Music Festival all help to support our local community in these ways and we hope to see you on June 9th as the Eastern Shore continues the tradition of the Bay Music Festival as friends join together in fun to hear some great local artists and their music.

In photo: Kentavius Jones

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