Westminster welcoming spring with Flower and Jazz Festival and 5K

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Westminster residents hope to celebrate spring this Saturday at the 27th annual Flower and Jazz Festival and 5K — without any unwelcome rain.

With weather posing a factor, Mayor Joe Dominick doesn’t hold lofty expectations on the turnout but does hope for as big of a turnout as last year.

“Last year, we had a lot of people — we had several thousand,” he said. “This year’s weather should be nicer and last year’s was in the 90s. We expect several thousand.”

Main Street will be closed off from traffic due to the festival.

The 5K Color Run/Walk will be first, starting at 9 a.m., and will start at the former Wakefield Valley Golf Course. The run will benefit Carroll County Youth Service Bureau and the Boys and Girls Club of Westminster.

The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature various vendors, flowers, living music and children’s games. The theme of the event is Mother’s Day. Several local nurseries will be there selling all manner of flowers, such as hanging baskets suitable for Mother’s Day presents. More than a dozen vendors will line Main Street with food and drink from fruit cups to ice cream to pizza to crab cakes. More than 50 artisans have signed up to sell their wares. And, of course, there will be plenty of jazz music, on three stages.

On the library stage, in front of the Carroll County Public Library’s Westminster branch, the Eric Byrd Trio goes on at 10 a.m., Jazz Caravan at noon, and Cats Pajamas at 2 p.m. On the RockSalt stage, by RockSalt Grille, Kevin Burns is on at 10 a.m., followed by The Swanns at noon and Mr. Jon at 2 p.m. And on the BB&T stage, near the former bank, the lineup is: Westminster High School at 10 a.m., Folly Quarter at 11 a.m., Mount Airy Middle School at noon, Sunday Night Big Band at 1 p.m., Jazz Quarter at 2 p.m. and Towson High School at 3 p.m.

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Lately, the weather has been muggy but even with bad weather, the show will go on. Changes would have to be made for severe weather like a monsoon.

The weather is currently looking clear of a downpour, but there could still be some precipitation. The National Weather Service on Thursday evening was calling for a slight chance of rain before 8 Saturday morning, as well as after 2 p.m. The high is predicted to be about 67 degrees.

“For the city, it’s like a welcoming of spring,” Dominick said. “It helps showcase how beautiful downtown Westminster is. It’s a flower festival, flowers are a sign of spring and when you think of spring, you think of May flowers.”

The festival is open to all. Online registration for the run is closed, but anyone interested can still sign up at the Family Fitness Center, at 11 Longwell Ave. in Westminster, or at the race Saturday morning for $35. Registration includes a T-shirt and beer or wine for those 21 or older — or bottled water — after the race.

Race packets can be picked up Thursday or Friday until 8 p.m. at the Westminster Fitness Center.




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