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Sweet Caroline: Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Caroline County

From decadent chocolate-inspired cuisine and beautiful bouquets from our local florists to romantic winter walks and Valentine’s-themed art classes, here are a few ways to celebrate with your Valentine this February in Caroline County! This list is updated daily, so check back for more offerings!

Wine & Dine: Valentine’s Dinners

  • Indulge your senses at Chocolat, a decadent evening to benefit the Caroline Culinary Arts Center on February 10th featuring a chocolate-inspired menu, savory cuisine, cocktails, decadent desserts & more! Tickets are $70 per person and can be purchased online here by calling (410) 479-2144.
  • Treat your sweetheart to a heart made of a dozen delicious tacos from Tenchi! The taco hearts are made of 12 double corn tortilla tacos in 4 styles – Authentic, American, Al Pastor and Street! Taco hearts are $40. Pre orders start on February 1st and pick ups start February 8th. Find out more at, on Facebook, or by calling (410) 482-4046.
  • Tenchi is also offering a special Valentine’s Dinner for $55/person. The menu includes cream of crab soup, jumbo shrimp cocktail, caesar salad, filet mignon topped with chimichurri, chicken pesto penne pasta, Tenchi fajitas, chocolate covered strawberries, and fried ice cream. To make a reservation, please call (410) 482-4046.
  • Caroline’s in Denton is offering a special Valentine’s Eve Dinner! This one-night-only event will also include a single’s table at the bar for their single foodie friends! The menu is $70 per person and includes Maine mussels, a charcuterie and local cheese board, steak tartare, lobster bisque, ham & clams linguine, Statler chicken, steak & shrimp, and a dessert course of chocolate fondue, rose-scented creme brulee, or Nancy’s famous cheesecake. Call Caroline’s at (410) 490-4495 for reservations!
  • Earth Tones Cafe is offering a special dessert menu featuring chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate cupcakes with mocha buttercream, chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, and strawberry glazed sugar cookies topped with freeze dried strawberries. Orders must be placed before February 8th and can be picked up February 11th & 12th during normal business hours. To place your order, please call (443) 448-4355.

Flowers & Gifts for your Valentine

February Fun for your Valentine

  • UPDATE: SOLD OUT Come learn the art of charcuterie February 2nd! In this workshop, led by Sweet Bites Charcuterie at the Fretterd Community Center, participants will create a Valentine’s Day themed charcuterie board complete with meat, cheese, and desserts! All supplies are included. The cost is $55 for Caroline County residents, and $60 for non-residents. Register online here. 
  • Enjoy a Paint Afternoon at Martinak State Park on January 29th –  just in time to make something special for your Valentine! Paint a lovely composition of miniature hearts on branches. The afternoon includes guided instruction, materials, and refreshments! All proceeds benefit scholarships for future teachers and the Friends of Martinak and Tuckahoe. Find out more here. 
  • The practice of forest bathing encourages you to slow down, quiet your mind, and connect with nature.  Awaken your senses and deepen your relationship with the natural world at Valentine’s Forest Bathing at Adkins Arboretum on February 11th! Grab a partner, friend, or loved one and join certified forest guide Shelli Smith to experience the forest together and foster a connection with nature and each other. The walk will conclude with a tea ceremony. Find out more here.
  • Take a winter walk in the woods and enjoy the natural beauty of Caroline County! Check out our list of trail maps here to find the perfect spot!
  • Escort your princess to Caroline County Recreation & Park’s 17th Annual Daddy Daughter Dance on February 19th. Dad and his Little Princess will enjoy dancing, games, refreshments, and great music.  Registration deadline is February 10th.  Dance has limited number of spots, so sign those princesses up early! There are two times to choose from: 4:30 – 5:30 pm or 6 – 7 pm. Cost is $40 per couple and $10 for each additional young lady. Register online here.
  • Join art teacher Megan Parker for a Wine & Paint night at the Foundry on Friday, February 10th from 5:30-7pm and celebrate your sweetheart! Bring your valentine along, go single and make a unique gift for your valentine this year, or bring your besties for a ladies or guys night out and just have fun! All materials will be provided. $40/1 ticket, $75/2 tickets. This event is limited to guests ages 21+. Learn more and sign up here. 
  • The Caroline County Council of Arts invites you to celebrate Black history with a diverse offering of the arts on February 18th from 11am – 3pm, including readings of original published stories by Author Dawn Wayman, cultural collage-making by artist Yolanda Acree, delicious soul-food prepared by Chef Jameyra, and music by Teran Goldsborough. Fabric and textile works by Black Eastern Shore artists will be on display at FACES. This is a FREE event for all ages. Find out more here. 
  • Head to the Goldsboro Volunteer Fire Company for Designer Purse Bingo on February 12th! Doors open at 11:30am and bingo starts at 1pm. There will be 20 regular games and 5 special games. The cost is $30 in advance or $35 at the door for the regular game packet. The special games will be $10 per packet or $2 a sheet. There will also be door prizes and 50/50. Proceeds benefit the Children Exploration Organization. For more information, please contact Angie Cowgill at (410) 829-6084.
  • The Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore (FACES) in Denton invites you to their latest exhibit: The Winter Coverlet Collection of Catherine K. Spence, on view through February 25th. Dated coverlets in the collection range from the late 1830’s to 1850’s. Come visit this beautiful textile display and be mesmerized by their beauty! The exhibit is free of charge, and FACES is open Wednesday – Saturday from 12pm – 4pm. Find out more at
  • The Tom Cheezum Memorial Toy & Train Show on February 11th features Lionel, Plasticville, Ertl, Legos, action figures, farm toys and more!  Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for additional people in your group, and free for children under 12 with adults. Come enjoy the vendors, great food and train display at this great event at the Preston Firehouse! Find out more here.
  • Cow Barn Events in Ridgely is partnering with On Cloud Cline and Jeffery Murphy Photography to host a Wedding Expo on February 25th from 12pm. – 3pm. Come check out this beautiful barn wedding venue and meet some of the Eastern Shore’s best vendors to make your day perfect! Learn more here. 

Land as Teacher, Healer, Sustainer, works by Botanical Art League of the Eastern Shore Members, on View at Adkins Arboretum

The golden brown feathers of a perky cedar waxwing glow from behind dark, lacy cedar needles dotted with tiny blue berries in an unusual show in the Adkins Arboretum Visitor’s Center. On view through Feb. 24, Land as Teacher, Healer, Sustainer is more than just a show of exquisitely crafted botanical art. It’s a celebration of the plants that sustained the native peoples of the Chesapeake region for centuries before the arrival of Europeans. There will be a reception to meet the artists and learn more about this project on Sat., Jan. 14 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Created by 11 members of the Botanical Art League of the Eastern Shore, this show was inspired by the Indigenous Peoples’ Perspective Project, a collaboration between Adkins Arboretum and the Washington College Food Initiative. Focusing on 21 native plants used for food, crafts and medicine by the indigenous peoples of the Chesapeake region, the project aims at honoring their traditions and teaching about how their lives were intricately tied to the land and the plants that grow there.

Some are still used for food, including the blackberries in Sharon Weaver’s energetic watercolor of berries in every stage from unripe green to pink to the dark purple of ready-to-eat fruit. You’d be correct if the peeling bark of a river birch tree, drawn in precise and nuanced shades of graphite by Robert G. Hammond, makes you think of birchbark canoes, but a look at the informative list provided in the gallery will tell you that river birches also provided sap that was boiled down to make a sweet syrup and medicine to treat colds and stomach pain.

The Arboretum began offering classes in botanical art in 2006, and this program has become increasingly popular. In 2021, to address this interest, instructors Lee D’Zmura and Anna Harding co-founded an independent group, the Botanical Art League of the Eastern Shore, for artists interested in studying and developing their skills in botanical art.

“Many of the members who came to our first meeting said they were looking for inspiration and encouragement,” said Harding, the show’s organizer. “It seemed to me that a group project on an important theme might inspire people in their work, and I thought of the Indigenous Peoples’ Perspective Project.”

Harding proposed a show featuring the IPPP’s 21 plants, all of which grow at the Arboretum and on Washington College’s campus. Using detailed descriptions of the attributes and traditional uses of these plants listed on the IPPP’s webpage, members of the League began studying them and walking the Arboretum trails to observe them growing throughout the seasons

Each artist chose one or more species to draw or paint, often with an eye to catching the plants at crucial stages of their annual cycles. In Sarane McHugh’s pastel drawing, a trio of ripe persimmons seems ready to burst with sweet, succulent juice, while Robin Herman’s colored pencil drawing captures the rich shades of deep red, earthy green and brown of a white oak’s autumn leaves.

Martha Pileggi followed milkweed through the seasons in her pair of watercolor and colored pencil works that reveal tiny details of the plant’s purple-pink blossoms from buds to mature flowers and the pale green of ripening pods to a dried pod filled with seeds and silky fluff. There is another surprise here. While it’s become common knowledge that monarch butterflies will not survive without milkweed, their host plant, few of us know that the region’s native peoples also depended on milkweed for food and medicine, even gathering the gossamer fibers attached to its seeds to use as pillow stuffing.

“It’s our hope that this show will help visitors become aware of the incredible creativity and ingenuity of the ancient people who used these 21 plants in their daily lives,” Harding said. “And that, by looking closely at the artwork, people will be inspired by the beauty of botanical art and the talent of our art league members.”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through Feb. 24 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Rd. near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410-634-2847, ext. 100 or for gallery hours.

Announcing the Holiday 2022 Capture Caroline Photo Contest

Enter the Holiday 2022 Capture Caroline Photo Contest
Do you have amazing photos of Caroline County? Enter them in the Caroline Office of Tourism’s Capture Caroline Photo Contest: Holiday Edition! From your favorite activities and cherished places to one-of-a-kind events, show us what makes Caroline County special to you during the holiday season! Participants are invited to enter up to five photos in the contest. The winning photographer will receive a $50 gift certificate to the Caroline County business of their choice, and the two runners up will receive a $25 gift certificate to their Caroline County business of choice.

How to Enter
Photos may be entered by posting them to the Caroline County, MD Facebook page with the hashtag #CaptureCaroline or by emailing them to Entries are due by 12pm noon on December 14th, 2022.

All eligible entries will be posted in an album on the Caroline County, MD Facebook page on December 15th, 2022, where the public will be invited to vote on them by liking the photo of their choice during a two-week open voting session. The winner will announced on the Facebook page on January 1st, 2023.

When submitting an entry, please provide a title for the photo and share details such as the location, the date taken and/or event name. Please make sure that your submitted photo is high resolution, as contest winners will be asked to submit a high-resolution file. Photos with watermarks are not eligible. If the photograph includes a recognizable person, a model release must also be completed and submitted. Model releases can be downloaded here.

Note: By entering your photograph(s) in the Caroline County Capture Caroline Contest, you acknowledge and grant permission for it to be used by the Caroline Office of Tourism in a variety of promotional materials, including newsletters, advertisements, brochures, media kits, websites, social media sites and other print and digital communications.

Ghost Forest, Photographs by Geoff Delanoy, on View Through December at Adkins Arboretum

The bare trunks of loblolly pines reach toward the sky at slightly tilting angles in Ghost Forest, Geoff Delanoy’s achingly beautiful show on view through Dec. 23 at Adkins Arboretum. In this elegant series of large black-and-white photographs, Delanoy explores an increasingly familiar sight—the “ghost forests” that are left as rising water causes tidal marshes to take over where trees once flourished. There will be a reception to meet the artist on Sat., Nov. 12 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Delanoy became interested in the vulnerability of coastal landscapes to climate change while working for more than a decade on a series of photographs called Fugitive Landscapes. Photographing the Northern California coast at Point Reyes National Seashore, he began over time to notice day-to-day changes in the landscape and tides. Curious, he started to research predictions about the impacts of climate change on the California coast, a project that soon led him to think about what might be happening closer to his home in Baltimore.

“I became aware of climate change in the Chesapeake Bay,” he explained, “and how ghost forests were a very visible manifestation of changes in the environment with sea level rise.”

Delanoy serves as a professor and the chair of the art department at Notre Dame of Maryland University. Since 2018, he has been photographing the coastal landscapes of Maryland and Delaware, with a particular focus on Dorchester County. Full of nuance and intricate textures, his images reveal the grace and individuality of trees struggling with sea level rise. In one photograph, a single tree, bare branched and bent by years of wind, leans out across a seemingly endless expanse of marsh. In another, a fallen trunk lies at the edge of the water where a low, still-forested island in the distance is hardly more than a dark stripe on the horizon.

For most of his projects, Delanoy has worked in black and white, but when he started his Ghost Forest series, he tried photographing in color, thinking that the realism of color would convey the threat of climate change more strongly. But he changed his mind.

“As I worked through these series, I found the cool earth tones of the landscape of the shore too peaceful and visually pleasing to convey the urgency of the climate crisis,” he said. “The images have a more immediate impact in monochrome.”

Perhaps the most arresting photograph in the show is a shot from 2019 in which puffy clouds are reflected in a flooded road leading through a marsh to a distant stand of trees. Seemingly playful and happy, the clouds are a direct contrast to the destructive threat silently posed by the calm, smooth water.

“The trees bear witness to the landscape and communicate on a visceral level,” Delanoy said. “Hopefully the photographs strike a balance between the inherent beauty found in nature but also motivate us to change course with the great losses that we face because of climate change.”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through Dec. 23 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410–634–2847, ext. 0 or for gallery hours.

Fall Fun in Caroline County: October 2022

Autumn has arrived in Caroline County! From pumpkin patches and orchards to hayrides and haunted happenings, here are a few ways to celebrate fall in Caroline County, MD! This list is updated regularly, so check back for more October fun! View our full online calendar here.

Fall Fest at JZ Farms
JZ Farms Fall Fest is a season-long celebration featuring more than 20 activities for children of all ages! Activities include a 10-acre corn maze, a kiddie maze, Farmersville, two jumping pillows, corn bins, farm animals, tire playground, a U-Pick pumpkin patch, paintball and more! The farm is located at 6526 Dion Road in Federalsburg, and they are open Thursdays through Sundays from 10am – 5pm through October 30th!

Haunted Hayride at Bartenfelder Farms
Feeling brave? Head to Bartenfelder Farms, located at 4110 Payne Road in Preston for a spook-tacular Haunted Hayride on October 14th, 15th, 21st and 22nd! They also have food, a corn maze, and a bounce house open all day. The hayride is $8/person.

Apple Picking at Redemption Farms
Looking to pick your own apples? Redemption Farms, located at 26564 Hignutt Road in Denton, has a u-pick orchard and a farm market that is open Monday through Saturday from 10am-6pm!

Cider Fest at Harvest Ridge Winery on October 15th
Harvest Ridge Winery invites you to Head to Rebel Seed Cider Fest, a fun-filled day featuring cider, food, music and games! Find out more here.

Federalsburg Heritage Day & Bicentennial Sneak Peak Party on October 15
Federalsburg is the place to be on October 15th! Celebrate the town at Heritage Day, a free, fun-filled day celebrating Federalsburg’s vibrant history! Stop by the museum to view the many displays and demonstrations on a wide variety of subjects such as broom making, spinning wheels, painting and competition chickens. Colonel Richardson HS graduate Mitch Northam will be showcasing his book, “High School Basketball on Maryland’s Eastern Shore: A Shore Hoops History.” For the automobile buff, there will be an outdoor display of antique vehicles to enjoy as well.  There will be food and beverages available for purchase.

Later that day is the Federalsburg Bicentennial Speak Peek Party! The evening will include food, drinks, entertainment, and information about their upcoming Bicentennial Celebration schedule for 2023. Tickets can be purchased online at or in person at the Federalsburg Town Hall. Find out more here.

Howl-o-Ween 5K on October 22nd
Come out to the Howl-O-Ween 5k Run/Walk to benefit the Caroline County Humane Society on October 22nd! The race starts at Martin Sutton Memorial Park, located on Rt. 480 (or West 6th Street) and Park Avenue in Ridgely, MD. This flat-loop course includes the town’s rail trail and scenic farmland. Registration is $25/participant until October 21st and $30 day of event for adults or $15/participant until October 21 and $20 day of event for racers ages 13 and under. All participants will receive a race t-shirt. Registration opens at 8am, and race begins at 9am. Find out more and register online at

Beer Garden at Adkins Arboretum on October 22nd
Adkins Arboretum invites you to enjoy libations and live music by Dell Foxx Company at their inaugural Beer Garden on October 22nd! Since their first performance in 2014, local favorites Dell Foxx Company have developed a repertoire that ranges from Alabama Shakes to Grand Funk Railroad to Florence and the Machine. Groove to the band as you grab a hula hoop, play corn hole, or take a walk. Beer from Bull and Goat Brewery and Ten Eyck Brewing Company and food from Blue Monkey Street Tacos and So Coast Street Eats will be available for purchase. Find out more and get your tickets here. 

Halloween Dodgeball Tournament on October 22nd
You won’t want to miss this spooktacular Halloween Dodgeball Tournament on Saturday, October 22nd at North Caroline High School at 3pm! This event will feature prizes, costumes, and fun for all! Co-ed divisions include Middle School, High School, and Open Division. $40 per team, with a three game guarantee. Find out more here. 

Interpreting Nature, Works by Anne Arundel Community College Printmaking Club, on View Through October at Adkins Arboretum

Interpreting Nature, an exhibit of handmade prints by members of the Anne Arundel Community College Printmaking Club, highlights the broad variety of individual visions and styles of the group’s members and presents a wide range of printmaking techniques. Comprising etchings, lithographs, silkscreens and relief prints, the show is on view at the Adkins Arboretum Visitor’s Center through Oct. 29. Many of the artists will be present at a reception on Sat., Sept. 10 from 2 to 4 p.m. to talk about their ideas and techniques and to answer questions.

Founded in 2012 to foster collaboration and advanced learning, the AACC Printmaking Club includes faculty members and beginning to mid-career artists enrolled in the college’s art department programs. These include classes in intaglio, lithography, relief and silkscreen print techniques and the use of the department’s five presses and other printmaking equipment.

With an active membership of 25 artists, the club hosts visiting master printmakers and open houses in the printmaking studio for both the college and the community. It also holds annual member art shows that focus on developing professionalism in creating images, framing presentation and hanging and exhibiting prints. These shows have been held in AACC’s galleries and in venues on both the Eastern and Western shores.

Along with several other works, the show features a collaborative portfolio titled “Nature,” which had its beginnings in a field trip to Adkins Arboretum to provide members of the group with an opportunity to draw from nature.

Chris Mona, who serves as the club’s faculty advisor, noted, “We made this portfolio before COVID, and this is our first real public show, so we’re excited.”

The portfolio is composed of 15 original prints, created in each of the four techniques the college teaches, along with information about the artists and their work elegantly printed on a traditional letterpress and encased in a handsome custom-made box created in collaboration with Jill Cypher and Ray Nichols of Lead Graffiti in Newark, Del.

The portfolio includes one of Mona’s quirky lithographs, “Ma Rainey’s Lichens,” in which the celebrated blues singer’s eyes float in a field of frilly lichens, as well as Mary Bell Shock’s engaging intaglio of a hollow tree and Jake Muirhead’s intaglio, “Little Greenman,” with its strange face, straight out of folklore, staring hauntingly from deep in a bundle of spiky oak leaves.

Several more works, not in the portfolio, include Sandy Sapienza’s delicately nuanced eco print revealing every detail of the intricately patterned veins of a sprig of redbud leaves and Jenni Woolums’ silkscreen, “Hooper’s Eagles,” which captures the calm beauty of a stand of dying loblolly pines reflected in sky-blue water.

Perhaps the most unusual print in the show is “Smith Island #1,” with its dramatic sweep of shadowy black interlaced with a foamy white that suggests a breaking wave. It was created by Louise Wallendorf using a technique she calls “surf lithography.”

“Louise basically invented this,” said Mona, explaining how Wallendorf puts a lithography plate directly into the water. “Then the surf comes up and washes over the plate. She’s using the wave action, so the chemistry of the water creates the image.”

“I’m using bio-based chemistry,” Wallendorf said of the lithography emulsion that reacts to the water’s chemistry. “This particular plate was made over Columbus Day weekend after a Nor’easter full moon when Smith Island was flooded. Our Airbnb didn’t flood, but the water came close to the back door.”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through Oct. 29 at the Arboretum’s Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410–634–2847, ext. 0 or for gallery hours.

Shore Shakespeare to Bring Measure to Measure to Adkins Arboretum

Considered by many a “problem play” for falling somewhere between comedy and tragedy, Measure for Measure is a tale of morals and humanity, justice and forgiveness—one that could happen in any place and at any time. It is a play deeply rooted in early 17th-century culture, but at the same time, it retains a powerful hold on the imaginations of modern readers. Join Shore Shakespeare for two performances of this most passionately discussed play Sept. 3 and 4 at Adkins Arboretum.

With the morals of the city of Vienna creeping lower by the year, the benevolent Duke Vincentio suddenly departs, leaving his self-righteous governor, Angelo, in charge. Suddenly, long-standing laws are strictly enforced and young Claudio finds himself sentenced to death for impregnating his fiancée. A plea for mercy from Claudio’s sister Isabella, a novitiate on the brink of taking her vows, may be his only hope.

Isabella’s words go unnoticed by the righteous Angelo, but her beauty does not. Torn between his attraction to Isabella and an unwavering loyalty to the letter of the law, Angelo agrees to pardon Claudio—but only if Isabella relinquishes her sacred chastity to him. Isabella faces an impossible choice: saving her honor or her brother’s life.

As it turns out, the Duke has not actually departed but is actually hovering about in disguise to monitor and manipulate the cascading complications that ensue when unforgiving justice is unleashed upon the bawdy, vice-ridden people of Vienna.

Though dark in subject matter, the play is rife with comic characters and outlandish scenarios, a dark comedy that borders on absurdity as each tries in their own way to navigate the space between civic justice and human mercy.

Performances are Sat., Sept. 3 and Sun., Sept. 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Arboretum Pavilion. Attendees should bring a blanket or chair and are welcome to bring a picnic. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 3–18 and free for children ages 2 and under and can be purchased in advance at or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Founded in 2013, Shore Shakespeare Company is a pan-community theatre company dedicated to presenting the works of the classical theatre repertoire, with an emphasis on the works of William Shakespeare.