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Mare’s Wares music event to be held next week

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MORRISTOWN — Mare’s Wares Pottery is hosting its first music event from 2 p.m. until dusk Aug. 30 behind the store at 3938 Route 37.

Mary Ann Evans is known for the Mare’s Wares Art Festival that she hosts every July, but next week, she’s trying something new. The Mare’s Wares Music and Wine Fest is the first backyard event she’s hosted other than the art festival, which she’s been holding for the past six years.

“I think the people that love the art festival will love any event that I do here,” Ms. Evans said.

She said she wanted to offer an alternative for people who drive to Alexandria Bay for its blues weekend.

“It’s Labor Day weekend, and a lot of people go all the way to Alexandria Bay to get some blues and barbecue,” she said. “I’d like to do it in Morristown.”

Musician Patrick C. Duffy, Ogdensburg, will open the festival and play until 3:45 p.m., followed by the Paul Baldwin Blues Band from Syracuse and ending with local band Annie in the Water.

“It’s good to support the local bands, too,” said Brian A. Smith, stage manager for the upcoming event. “It’s the perfect kickoff” for the long weekend, he said.

The barbecue dinner will be catered by Mullin’s Catering and Takeout, Gouverneur.

Bella-Brooke Vineyard, Hammond, Thousand Islands Winery, Alexandria Bay, and Coyote Moon Vineyards, Clayton, will offer wine tastings at the event.

“I’m just feeling out the neighborhood to see if it will be successful,” Ms. Evans said. “It’s always best to start out on a small scale if you don’t know if it will work.”

Ms. Evans has invited 20 artists to set up booths to demonstrate and sell their wares.

“There’s no pressure and no commitment with my artists, because I can’t guarantee you 2,000 people,” she said. “I just want to have 400 or 500 people, and I’ll be excited.”

According to the Mare’s Wares Facebook page, tickets are $10 for adults and for children 8 ages and older, or $20 per family. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

Parking became a bit troublesome during this year’s art festival. With more than 2,000 people attending the event, cars lined both sides of the road in front of the property, causing a problem for trucks and large vehicles trying to get by. Although she expects less than half that number of people in attendance next week, Ms. Evans said, she will have designated space on either side of the property for parking.

The property belonged to Ms. Evans’s late father, Jim Evans, who built a go-cart track in his backyard in 1958. Now, Ms. Evans uses the space for her festivals.

“Fifty years later, we’re still entertaining people in our backyard,” she said. “Dad would’ve been proud.”

Depending on the success of this event, Ms. Evans said, she would like to start a weekly music event featuring local and regional bands and musicians.

“I feel like there’s a niche in Morristown for music events, so next summer my goal is to have open acoustic nights,” she said. “We’ll have live performers all summer long and it will be a Mare’s Wares Backyard Music Series in conjunction with open studios.”

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