SpringFest brings arts, brews and live music Saturday to Old Ellicott City – Baltimore Sun

The Ellicott City Partnership will again host SpringFest on Saturday, celebrating with drinks, food and live music in the historic district.

The event takes place from noon to 8 p.m. and features more than 20 local bands on two outdoor stages – the Main Stage, in Lot D behind the Howard County Welcome Center, and Wine Bin Stage on Upper Main Street.

Severn artist Mark Russo works on a painting on reclaimed wood at his vendor tent during SpringFest in Old Ellicott City on Saturday, April 23, 2022.

“Our goal is to have a nice variety of styles of music and a lot of different kinds of crafts and vendors and things like that,” said Jeni Porter, owner and head chef at Little Market Cafe and one of SpringFest’s founders. “Really, you can find something for anybody.”

Alongside the music acts, which range from rock to funk, festivities will feature dozens of local artisans, a pop-up gallery and free children’s crafts, including face painting and tie-dyeing T-shirts. Food, craft brews and cocktails will be available at food trucks and from Old Ellicott City restaurants.

The artists’ village at the Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum Plaza and children’s activities run until 5 p.m. Attendees can take advantage of free shuttle rides from outer parking lots beginning at noon.

“Our businesses are open and happy to welcome everyone to OEC,” said Pam Long, owner of Pam Long Photography on Main Street and an Ellicott City Partnership board member. “It’s awesome to witness everybody talking, laughing, listening to the bands, shopping and dining.”

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SpringFest originated as an Earth Day-themed event in 2012 and has evolved into one of Old Ellicott City’s two major annual outdoor festivals, along with Main Street Music Fest in the fall.

While SpringFest organizers still try to incorporate “any piece of cool, groovy Mother Earth stuff” they can, according to Porter, the day has grown into a celebration of the community itself and welcomes about 5,000 residents and visitors throughout the day.

Before starting her own business in Ellicott City, Porter crisscrossed the country working for music festivals as big as Grateful Dead tours and Lollapalooza. But after visiting Ellicott City during a stop at Merriweather Post Pavilion, she knew she had found a place to settle.

“I was blown away,” said Porter, who would later apply her musical expertise to help coordinate SpringFest. “I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is the cutest, coolest little town ever.”

More than 30 years later, Porter is still in love with Ellicott City and says a renewed SpringFest is a testament to the perseverance of residents following the devastating floods of 2016 and 2018 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are very proud of our town,” she said. “This town is filled with people that are fighters and they really believe in this town, they believe in the community and we love having people come and see us and get to find out how cool we are.”

To learn more about SpringFest 2023, visit: https://visitoldellicottcity.com/springfest/.

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