News Release, St. Mary’s County Public Information Office
LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Potomac Jazz & Seafood Festival, one of the Mid-Atlantic’s signature, award-winning jazz events, which has provided visitors with lots of jazz music, seafood, stunning waterside views and a variety of activities for jazz enthusiasts in both Leonardtown and St. Clement’s Island Museum in Colton’s Point, MD for the last 20 years, has been canceled.
After considering the guidance of local, state and national leaders, as well as medical professionals and the St. Mary’s County Health Department, the organizers of the festival are sad to announce the cancellation of the 2020 event, set to occur July 10-12, 2020. With such uncertainty surrounding the length of the current pandemic, as well as having the best interest and safety of our guests, visitors, community and local partners in mind, organizers believe this is the best course of action and are excited to look forward to the 2021 event, which will take place July 9 – 11, 2021.
The Festival weekend usually includes a free Friday concert celebration and Sunday jazz brunches and activities in downtown Historic Leonardtown in addition to the Saturday “Main Event” at St. Clement’s Island Museum, where visitors are encouraged to relax waterside on the scenic museum lawn and enjoy national jazz artists, lots of delicious local seafood and gorgeous views of the Potomac and St. Clement’s Island.
Karen Stone, Manager for the St. Mary’s County Museum, references the disappointment over having to cancel an event that has run continuously for 20 years. “Unfortunately, due to current world events and our desire to keep our festival-goers safe, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s 21st annual festival for the first time ever. We’re incredibly sad, as we had a ton of new and fun things planned for you this year. But we decided to focus on 2021 festival, which will occur July 9 through 11 of 2021, where we will bring back the event bigger and better than ever,” said Stone.
This popular, annual festival, which has become known in the past two decades for showcasing local culinary delicacies of Maryland’s Mother County in addition to renowned, national jazz talent, draws close to 1000 jazz enthusiasts every year. The event was expanded to a 3 – day weekend event in partnership with the nearby Town of Leonardtown in 2019 for its 20th Anniversary. Due to the overwhelming success of that partnership, the Maryland Office of Tourism awarded the festival one of its yearly tourism awards – the only event in Maryland to receive such an honor.
“This festival is not just a fantastic weekend in beautiful Southern Maryland – it also supports an important mission,” mentions Amber Puschinsky, Fundraising Coordinator, for the Friends of St. Clement’s Island & Piney Point Lighthouse Museums. “All funds raised by the event goes toward the nonprofit Friends of St. Clement’s Island & Piney Point Museums, which supports the history, heritage and programing of the museums and historic sites under the care of the St. Mary’s County Museum Division. By attending the event, your money directly impacts preserving local history and bringing it to a wider audience – and we’re incredibly thankful for that,” said Puschinsky.
If you were looking forward attending the jazz festival this year and would like to still help support the Friends’ mission, please visit the festival website at www.PotomacJazzAndSeafoodFestival.com. Stay up to date on the planning or next year’s festival by following the Potomac Jazz & Seafood Festival on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PotomacJazzandSeafoodFestival. Don’t forget to save the date – July 9, 10, and 11 of 2021.
The Friends of St. Clement’s Island and Piney Point Museums raise funds in order 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. The Friends organization is a 501(c) 3 organization sponsoring events, assisting with acquisitions and supporting efforts to broaden the understanding of our culture and community’s heritage.