After years of planning and hard work, David Blackmon, 58, is opening an event space above Smoketown Brewing Station in Brunswick.
The space, dubbed Cannon’s Events, will open on September 10.
The event space is on the second floor of the former Brunswick Fire Hall on West Potomac Street.
The event space’s name is inspired by the man with the original vision for the space, Blackmon said.
In 1948, Sonny Cannon approached the Brunswick Fire Department and said he would build a firehouse there, as long as he could have event space on the second floor to host concerts, community events and more.
For a while big names like Duke Ellington and Patsy Cline filled the room with their music. Roller derby teams trained there, people played bingo and ate at banquets. But it hasn’t been used since 2010, the News-Post reported.
Blackmon said he was delighted to see it restored to its original glory.
“I thought it best to honor [Cannon’s] name,” Blackmon said. “And he had the concept, so I want to carry his name.”
Blackmon plans to hold concerts, weddings, and other events in the space, much like the original event hall. It has a capacity of 600 people, he said.
For the grand opening from 2 p.m. on September 10, he is giving people an afternoon full of music.
A Patsy Cline tribute band, led by country singer Katie Deal, will perform in honor of Cline’s 90th birthday. Next is Sean K. Preston – a blues and rock ‘n’ roll band with other genre inspirations – and a jazz tribute to Duke Ellington by Sweet Something.
Blackmon is thrilled with the opening, especially considering how long it took him to make the upgrades he needed to open.
“It’s been a long journey. It’s a chapter that I’m glad it’s over,” said Blackmon.
As for the city, Blackmon hopes the event space will help Brunswick regain its reputation as a 1980s “party spot.”
He said he had been in Brunswick for over 20 years. It’s fortunate that the addition of the event space can serve as a catalyst for the city and other businesses.
“It was one of the busiest towns in Frederick County. … It was the area’s entertainment district, and we’re trying to bring that Brunswick back,” Blackmon said.
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