Frederick County has a lot to offer, and organizers hope their Harmony Arts Jamboree this weekend will help visitors realize that.
“It’s a chance to get the community together and people from outside the community,” says Dave Snyder, owner of Cafe Nola in Frederick and one of the organizers.
Local artists, musicians and small-business owners have banded together to offer a mix of music, paintings, ceramics and jewelry, as well as health-related workshops, at Hawkwood Farm in Myersville.
“The more people who come in and out of the county and the community, the more they’ll remember the things we do,” Snyder says.
A two-day pass is $35, a one-day pass is $20, and campers can also stay overnight for an extra $10 per car at the farm in the hills northwest of Frederick.
A portion of the proceeds, after expenses, will be donated to the Hurwitz Breast Cancer Foundation at Frederick Memorial Hospital.
Booked are more than 50 bands, artists, jewelry makers and vendors, along with more than a dozen bands playing bluegrass, rock, jazz and the blues.
Among them will be the Cotton Jones band, whose members live in Frederick and Cumberland.
“We’ve been touring since 2007, and we’ve played a lot of festivals,” says drummer Chris Morris of Frederick, who is looking forward to the event. “With the smaller festivals, they tend to be more personable, warm and inviting.”
Morris says Cotton Jones writes most of its music, which tends to incorporate touches of Motown, late-’60s pop and folk.
“It’s nostalgia when you listen to it,” says Morris, who adds it’s also “very relaxing.”
Also in the lineup are Steel Wheels, an Americana band based in Virginia.
“We play acoustic country blues and a little old-time and bluegrass,” says Trent Wagler, lead singer with the four-man band that writes most of its own music.
Also in their repertory are some fiddle tunes.
“Some people may want to hear the song, but others may want to get up and dance,” Wagler says.
Also performing are The Mumbles, a duo that plays jazz on drums and keyboard; Roni Stoneman on banjo, and more than a dozen other performers.
“It’s to create an experience for the whole event,” says Snyder, with no single band headlining.
Also featured will be workshops covering everything from making an Australian didgeridoo to acupuncture, yoga and bellydancing, as well as how to plant a space with herbs, roots, berries and nuts, and also how to tap into solar energy.
Hawkwood Farm owners Erin and Angela Aylor, a musician, believe in conservation and living close to the earth.
They have a garden and water mill on the farm and also plan to install about 40 solar panels to supply electricity for the event.
“”It’s completely solar powered,” Snyder says about the energy required.
An artisan who studied wood carving in Switzerland, Erin Aylor is known for his sculpture, furniture, metal work, knife handles and other functional objects.
Not interested in the throw-away aspects of contemporary life, he says he makes things that last and “that can be passed on to children.”
Snyder says he sees the healing and environmental aspects of the event as an extension of the food he serves in his restaurant.
The food is nutritious and the healing arts also help the body, he says.
Snyder, who buys local produce for his restaurant, says the event also will feature a farmers market. There also is a workshop about how to plant a “food forest” with berries, nuts, herbs and spices.
Children also can join a “hoop jam” using multicolored hula hoops accompanied by drumming. There also will be facepainting, magicians, hay rides and a moon bounce.
Both Snyder and Morris say the Harmony Arts Jamboree is the first of its kind in the area.
Although the Frederick community has its music, arts and health-minded communities, they have not converged in one location before.
“It’s the first time that they’re all in one place at one time,” Morris says.