Fall for Downtown Cumberland Festival features entertainment and contests | Slice Of Life

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CUMBERLAND —  The fourth annual Fall for Downtown Cumberland Festival will be held Oct. 11 and 12, with free live music and numerous other weekend activities planned.

The Plate Scrapers will perform on the McCoury Family Stage Oct. 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. to begin the celebration under the auspices of Burgmeier’s Hauling Discover Downtown Cumberland. Festivities will continue Oct. 12 beginning at 10 a.m. All performances on the McCoury stage are free and open to the public.

The Plate Scrapers originated in Western Maryland in 2014. Songwriting is the identifying characteristic of the band, with styles from multiple members offering balance and diversity to its sound. The group is working on its third studio record, with new and different material, setting its sights on touring the western United States in the near future. 

Friday evening will also mark the beginning of a raffle for two four-day passes to DelFest 2020. The raffle will continue throughout the festival with the winner selected from the McCoury stage at the end of the event on Oct. 12. The winner must be present at the time of the drawing to win.

Saturday’s events will start with a vendors’ fair and downtown merchants’ sidewalk sale along North and South Liberty streets and various areas downtown from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. At 11 a.m., the band Day Old News will host a fiddle and banjo jam on the McCoury stage. The open-mic style event is open to all local and regional musicians with any type of Appalachian music instrument.

Interested musicians should sign up with Tom Bond of Day Old News when they arrive between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A basic sound system will be provided.

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The second annual Queen City Chili & Cornbread Challenge is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at various locations. Wristbands will be available for sale at the DDC tent near the McCoury stage that will permit the wearer to sample food at participating restaurants and then return to cast a vote for their favorite.

The contest is open to all locally owned restaurants within the 21502 ZIP code. For more more information or late entries, contact Dave Love at azadsofcumberland@gmail.com.

The Appalachian Man Bearded-Beauty Pageant will also start at 11 a.m. Five judges will watch the crowd and select finalists, who will be brought to the stage during the performance of Old Salt Union, where the crowd will help to select the winner who will receive a gift from Mr. Alan’s Lifestyle Salon of assorted beard, skin and hair products and a cash prize.

Registration for the second “Boss of the Toss” Jaycees cornhole tournament will begin Saturday at noon with a tournament start time of 1 p.m. Rules, guidelines, buy ins and more information will be available during registration. This year’s tournament is being hosted by and in support of the Western Maryland Jaycees in the outdoor area between North Centre Street and Allegania restaurant. The 1812 Brewery Fire Bus will be set up on the bricks in the tournament area and available to all festival goers throughout Saturday’s event.

A special “open carry” area has been extended to the festival this year to allow those attending to open carry from the Embassy Theatre to the CVS area on Baltimore Street and from Baltimore Street to Patty Palooza at Mezzos on South Centre Street from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. No glass, bottles or outside alcohol is permitted.

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The 2019 Queen City Waiter Race will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the area of the McCoury stage. All locally owned restaurants in the 21502 ZIP code are invited to send two servers to compete in an obstacle course throughout downtown. Participants are asked to bring their own standard-sized serving tray and to arrive in their restaurant’s uniform by 3:15 p.m.

The festival will conclude Saturday with a performance by Old Salt Union on the McCoury stage from 6 to 9 p.m With their latest album “Where the Dogs Don’t Bite” reaching the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Bluegrass Charts shortly after its release in August, Old Salt Union has been seeing its fan base and popularity soar.

Though the band had established itself as a growing festival act with performances at LouFest, Stagecoach Festival, Bluegrass Underground, Winter Wondergrass, Freshgrass, Wakarusa, Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Festival, and the 2014 Daytona 500, it was the breakout track on Spotify, “Madam Plum,” that seemed to amplify awareness of the band.

For more information on the event or future downtown activities, contact Dave Love at azadsofcumberland@gmail.com or Mikayla Dodge at mikayla.dodge@cumberlandmd.gov.



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