The fifth annual Celebrate Annapolis wine festival kicks off Saturday, pouring out a new sampling of home-grown music, food and regional wine.
The popular festival had to be moved from the banks of College Creek to a field next to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium after St. John's College adopted a strict new policy banning alcohol consumption on its campus.
But organizers hope to draw even more people than last year with popular bands, including Lowen & Navarro and Mama Jama, and a sampling of ales from Maryland micro-breweries.
The two-day festival off Rowe Boulevard will offer a full menu of food choices, from crab cakes to pit beef, plus 75 different arts and crafts. The festival opens each day at 11:30 a.m. and continues until dusk.
A volksmarch through the brick streets of Maryland's capital will precede the festival Saturday morning.
Jerry Hardesty, the owner of Middleton Tavern, who sponsors the event each year, had to petition the General Assembly for special legislation this spring to allow out-of-state wineries to participate.
Last summer, only six of Maryland's 11 wineries took part. The Association of Maryland Wineries blamed the lack of interest on poor attendance in previous years. This year, 17 wineries from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have signed up to showcase their products.
West Virginia wineries are adding a sweet touch to the festival -- fruit wines. Several popular Baltimore micro-breweries, including Sisson's in Federal Hill, will serve up ales and pilsners.
Parking is available at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, off Rowe Boulevard.