Two of downtown Frederick’s popular events will be able to go forward this summer, as long as the local coronavirus numbers cooperate.

The city’s aldermen approved requests Thursday night for alcohol to be served at the Frederick Festival of the Arts in June and at the Alive @ 5 concert series, held from May through September.

The approvals are part of efforts to prepare for the events held along Frederick’s Carroll Creek. But there’s still no guarantee that the events will be able to be held.

Alcohol consumption is usually not allowed in public parks, but the aldermen can allow it for events they find to be of significance to the city, or if they find the consumption wouldn’t be contrary to the public interest.

The Frederick Festival of the Arts, organized by the Frederick Arts Council, would be held June 12 and 13.

The organizers are hopeful that the event will be able to happen, and getting permission for beer, wine, and alcohol to be served is part of the preparation, Louise Kennelly, the Arts Council’s executive director, said Thursday.

“There’s so much work that goes into a festival of this kind,” she said.

The pandemic has added even more levels to the planning, with preparations to have food and refreshments served off to the side so people will be away from the main crowd when they have their masks off to eat and drink, she said.

The Alive @ 5 concert series, held along the creek on Thursday afternoons from May through September, is also preparing in case their events are able to take place.

The Downtown Frederick Partnership, which organizes the series of 21 concerts and happy hours, wanted to make preparations despite not knowing whether they’ll be able to move forward, Kara Norman, the partnership’s executive director, said in February.

The aldermen also approved the waiver of park rental fees for the Festival of the Arts for its two days, as well as for set up on June 11.

Bob Smith, the city’s deputy director for parks and recreation, said the city currently will not issue permits for events that can’t meet capacity limits. But he said the city can let organizations continue their planning and hope that events can go forward with guidelines in place at that time.

“Right now, the current guidelines would not allow this event to occur,” Smith said.

— Ryan Marshall

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at

(1) comment


Are they taking a page from the Texas playbook?

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