Caroline Summerfest 2011 Will be “Out of this World” for Area Families and a Great Marketing Option for Savvy Businesses That Need to Connect With Them

Despite a sluggish economy and challenging local budgets Caroline Summerfest, now in its 23rd year, has remained steadfast to its commitment to provide a top notch, fun two-day free family festival to area festivalgoers. In fact, if anything, the economy has inspired the festival organizers to be even more creative and entrepreneurial in its execution of the festival, which has consistently attracted between 12,000-14,000 attendees during the past three years.

Just like most small businesses and organizations, festival organizers reviewed and tightened budgets while also developing strategies to retain corporate sponsorships, and it has worked.

“We managed to retain the integrity and energy of this much-loved family event by infusing our planning with creative programming and marketing ideas. Three years ago when the federal government developed its stimulus package we created our own which continues this year,” says Sue Simmons, event coordinator and director of Caroline County Recreation & Parks.

“Summerfest corporate sponsors are entered into a drawing for a $1,200.00 media marketing package that includes radio and print advertising as well as public relations consulting. This tactic created a value-added element for both businesses renewing their support as well as new businesses that were looking for ways to do community outreach while being attentive to their bottom line,” she adds.

The fact that corporate sponsorship is the fastest growing marketing medium didn’t hurt either. According to IEG, a global leader in the sponsorship industry, sponsorships are particularly attractive to businesses because they not only get their business name out (visibility and brand), but also do so using a technique that consumers will respond to, thereby deepening their relationship with a desired target market.

Caroline Summerfest has become a long-standing tradition for area families as their last hooray before summer’s end, making it a great promotional vehicle for “the cradle to the grave” businesses that market to families. This year’s event — with an outer space theme — is set for Friday, August 19 and Saturday, August 20, Sponsorships are still available and begin at $250.00. Sponsorships that include an information booth at the festival begin at $375.00. Booth space must be reserved in advance and are available on a first come, first served basis with a suggested deadline of July 8.

Current sponsors
Caroline Summerfest 2011: Space Odyssey sponsors at press time include: American Legion Post 29; Arby’s and Goosecreek Markets; Branson and Branson; Carmean Grain, Inc.; Choptank Electric; Choptank Supply; CNB; Comcast Cable Television of Delmarva, Inc.; Lifetime Well Drilling; Moore Funeral Home; PNC Bank; Preston Automotive Group; Prettyman Manor; Sisk Fullfillment Center; Smiles by Holsinger & Higgins; Towers Concrete; and Vitech Consulting Services.

Businesses interested in learning more about corporate sponsorship packages can visit or call (410) 479-8120 or (888) SUNFEST (786-3378).

Caroline Summerfest is a pet-free, wheel-free and alcohol-free event. The festival began in 1989 as a one-night, one-block party celebration for nearly 1,000 cyclists in the inaugural Cycle Across Maryland event. The festival is supported in part by a grant from the Caroline County Council of Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council and the Maryland Tourism Development Board. The Town of Denton and Caroline County Recreation & Parks produce the event with the volunteer support of hundreds of citizens and local non-profit organizations. More than 100 area businesses support the festival through donations and in-kind gifts.

In photo: Galactic duel … “Training” for the upcoming Caroline Summerfest 2011: Space Odyssey, from left, are: Larry Porter, Caroline County Commissioner; Sue Simmons, event coordinator and director of Caroline County Recreation & Parks; Wilbur Leavengood, Caroline County Commissioner; and Robert Clendaniel, Denton mayor.