(ANNAPOLIS) — Sunday, May 1, 2016 is your chance to kick off spring celebrations in Annapolis, Maryland. The City will be celebrating May Day and it is the first day of the areas premier art festival, First Sunday Arts. This is your chance to work on your photography skills and photograph the many May Day flower baskets. They are on display from the merchants, vendors and residents throughout downtown Annapolis taking part in the May Day festivities. It will be a friendly competition where the winners of the best May Day flower baskets when ribbons and bragging rights.
The First Sunday Arts Festival is expected to bring over 7,000 locals and visitors on May 1st to West and Calvert Streets in downtown Annapolis. The festival provides shopping opportunities from over 100 local and regional artists and crafters selling their artwork. You will find vendors selling handcrafted jewelry, pottery, glass, clothing, purses, wood-turnings, furniture, sculpture, photography, paintings, garden art and more. You will find food trucks and even a blacksmith demonstration in Whitmore Park. Plus with Mother’s Day just a week away, it’s the perfect place to find mom a unique and original gift.
All the restaurants in the festival area will be setting up cafes on West Street, so its easy to take a break and enjoy some good food at the festival. Several of the restaurants will also host entertainment indoors during and after the festival including Ramshead Tavern, 49 West Coffeehouse and Gallery and Tsunami. Also new this year will be the Great Frogs Wine Garden located next to Stan and Joe’s Saloon. Here you will be able to sample wines made in Annapolis and purchase wine by the glass or bottle.
Performers throughout the festival will be showcasing live music, dance, theater in four free performance stages including, Weisman Park near the Visitors Center which is s a good spot to relax in the shade, the Garrett Park Guitars Stage in the wine garden next to Stan and Joe’s Saloon, City Gate Park and the Jeremy Ragsdale Sound Studio Stage in Whitmore Park. For the kids there is face painting and a balloon artist.
Plus there are several galleries with new exhibits in the Annapolis Arts and Entertainment District to check out, including Nancy Hammond Gallery, Fin Art, Whitehall Gallery, The Annapolis Collection Gallery and Art Farm. Stop in the visitor’s center on West Street for a map of all the art galleries.
The First Sunday Arts festivals are conveniently located in downtown Annapolis on West Street and Calvert Streets where parking is a breeze. There are five parking garages including: Whitmore and Gott’s parking garages located on the festival grounds and Knighton, Loews and the State Parking Garage within a one-to-three block stroll from the festival. Plus with so many Annapolis’ locals attending the festival, many just walk or bike in from the surrounding downtown Annapolis communities of the Historic District, Murray Hill, Presidents Hill and Clay Street. The high numbers of locals attending also means you will find a lot of friendly pets joining their families at the First Sunday Arts Festivals.
To accommodate the ever-growing festival attendance the festival will again start this year at 11 a.m. instead of noon. This year’s festivals will be on the first Sunday of each month from May to November with a bonus festival on the first Sunday of December called the Annapolis Chocolate Binge Festival.
Admission to the First Sunday Arts Festivals is always free, so bring your friends and family to spend a day out on the town. Free parking is available at the State Parking Garage located at 19 St John Street.
First Sunday Arts Festivals will be Sunday May 1, June 5, July 3, August 7, September 4, October 2, November 6 and December 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.