Festivals and Extra-vals
Sowebo Arts Festival, May 24, around Hollins Market, soweboarts.org. With three stages of live music, a salon art show, non-profits representing, arts and crafts, food, and drink, the Sowebo neighborhood invites you to its early summer street fair during which it almost always rains and, frankly, nobody cares because it's just soooo nice to be outside, running into friends and neighbors in one of Baltimore's most character-driven hoods.
Hare Krishna Rathayatra Chariot Festival and Festival of India, May 30, parade starts at the Baltimore of Industry on Key Highway and Light Street, festival on the corner of Pratt and Light streets, baltimorekrishna.com. A colorful burst of flowers, fabric, and paint in a parade of chariots and people followed by the Festival of India, full of music, dance, authentic food, arts, crafts, culture, and community.
Charles Village Festival, June 6-7, 29th and Charles streets, charlesvillage.net. Find out why just about everyone you know has lived in Charles Village at some point in their city life--and some still do--during this weekend of kids' activities, live music organized by Federal Hill's 8x10, food, and drinks. The Sunday garden walk takes participants through beautiful backyards for inspiration and, well, envious thoughts.
MovieFest at Cross Keys, Saturdays June 6-27, Village of Cross Keys courtyard, villageofcrosskeys.com. Free, outdoor movies open with food and drinks, music, and prizes 6 p.m. every Saturday in June. The film line-up shows off how well Baltimore comes off on screen: John Waters' Hairspray (June 6) and Cry Baby (June 27), Barry Levinson's Avalon (June 13), and The Accidental Tourist based on the novel by Ann Tyler (June 20).
Honfest, June 13-14, 36th St. (the Avenue) between Falls and Keswick roads, honfest.net. Hampden celebrates the old-fashioned idea of Hons--ladies in beehives and housecoats like outta a John Waters' film--featuring a neighborhood street fair with babies walking around in costume, live music, local vendors, food and bevies, and open doors on all the area shops. Family-friendly, a little silly, and completely harmless, hon!
Pile of Craft, June 20, 2640 space, 2640 St. Paul st., charmcitycraftmafia. Charm City Craft Mafia's semi-annual DIY art and craft show featuring local crafters with the Mafia and Baltimore Etsy Street Team. With drinks and snacks from Red Emma's for purchase.
Baltimore Pride, June 20-21, Mount Vernon and Druid Hill Park, baltimorepride.org. Let your rainbow flag fly during one of the most entertaining weekends all summer. Started in 1975, Baltimore Pride just gets better with age with the Stiletto Race Friday, parade up Charles Street Saturday followed by the street fair, live music into the night, and so many bars throwing afterparties you're sure to stumble into one. Sunday's fair in Druid Hill Park is a tad more low key, with kid's activities, health and well-being information, and community groups.
Little Italy Open Air Film Festival, Friday nights July and August, intersection of High and Stiles streets, littleitalymd.com. Baltimore's cute and cozy Little Italy neighborhood sponsors this free summer outdoor film series, typically screening popular Italian-flavored movies, such as Life is Beautiful and Cinema Paradiso, or crowd-pleasing fare such as Seabiscuit.
Flicks from the Hill, 9 p.m., July 2-Aug. 13, 800 Key Highway, (410) 244-1900, avam.org. The American Visionary Arts Museum sponsors this free annual Thursday night summer film series, this time screening movies related to its The Marriage of Art, Science and Philosophy exhibition. Movies include Raiders of the Lost Ark (July 2), Dr. Strangelove (July 9), The Time Machine (July 16), Sleeper (July 23), Dr. No (July 30); The King and I (Aug. 6), and Ghostbusters (Aug. 13).
African American Heritage Festival, July 3-5, M&T Bank Stadium Lots B and C, 1101 Russell St., aahf.net. Free festival (donations welcome) celebrating African-American cultural featuring some of the best live music found in Baltimore all year, along with "villages" trained on health and wellness, arts and history, culture, children's, empowerment, and community along with local flavors and beverages. Advice for this and all other summer festivals: wear and bring sunscreen and take public transportation if at all possible.
Whartscape, July 9-12, locations around the city, whamcity.com. Totally cool, hip, happening, and beyond creative festival that includes local (and otherwise) music, art, performance, and dancing. Stay hydrated at this one.
Artscape, July 17-19, Mount Royal Avenue and Cathedral Street, along with the Charles Street corridor, Bolton Hill , and Station North Arts and Entertainment District, artscape.org. The largest free public arts festival in America crowds the whole Mount Royal area with food, arts, and crafts vendors; tents including those with kids activities; multiple music stages; and tons of art and entertainments taking place indoors at MICA, University of Baltimore, the Lyric, Theatre Project, etc. Be sure to check out the interactive art taking place on the Charles Street bridge and local galleries for new exhibits.
Fest Africa, Aug. 8-9, Patterson Park, on Eastern Avenue between Linwood and Patterson Park avenues, festafrica.com. Free festical in lovely Patterson Park highlighting African culture with both African tourism and health fairs, a new Fest Africa Top Chef cooking contest, African Renaissance art exhibit, and, of course, live entertainment, foodstuffs and drinks, and arts and crafts.
Salsapolkalooza, July 25, Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, creativealliance.org. Multi-cultural fun inside and out on the street with salsa and bachata with La Fima, polka with the Continentals, Ballet Folklórico Mexico Vivo, Thunderupagus, arts and crafts, activities for kids, and food and beer.
Maryland State Fair, Aug. 28-Sept. 7, Maryland State Fairgrounds, intersection of York and Timonium roads, Timonium, marylandstatefair.com. They say "the best 11 days of summer;" we say, "corn dog!" But seriously, nothing makes one feel like a teenager again than taking a scary spin on those metal seats that spin you up in the air, playing speed-round bingo or ring toss for a coke mirror, kissing on top of the Ferris wheel, or catching a band playing live in the infield. Plus, farm animals, horse racing, and beer.
Bowiefest, June 6, Allen Pond Park, 3330 Northview Drive, Bowie, (301) 809-3011, cityofbowie.org. Head south for Bowie's big day in the park featuring games and raffles, information booths, three stages, a petting zoo, and a bizness expo in the ice arena that sounds pretty cool.
Frederick Festival of the Arts, June 6-7, Carroll Creek Linear Park, Market Street, Frederick, (301) 662-4190, frederickarts.org. Take a road trip to charming Frederick for this two-day juried fine arts and crafts festival with performances on the water.
KarmaFest, June 7, Oregon Ridge Park, 13555 Beaver Damn Road, Cockeysville, karmafest.com. Zen out at this holistic/psychic/yoga festival and take a trip with Leotha, a shaman from California, who will be conducting guided imagery, meditation, and shamanic journeys--but you gotta book in advance. Other events include belly dancing, musical performances, and workshops. Bring a yoga mat and your journal, natch.
Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival, June 12-14 and Sept. 25-27, near Charles Town W. Va., (304) 725-2055, jeffersoncountywvchamber.org/festival/info.html Like a low-key Dollywood in our own back yard, spotlighting local arts and crafts like leather goods, dried flowers, and West Virginian wineries along with mountain music. But, no pets or alcohol, so, um, have fun y'all.
Columbia Festival of the Arts, June 12-27, venues out and around Columbia including the Rouse Theatre and Centennial Park, (410) 715-3044, columbiafestival.com. Two weeks of performance and fine arts and crafts that kick off with a LakeFest Celebration June 12-14. Highlights from this year's offerings include Chicago City Limits on June 6, Ballet Hispanico on the Slayton House stage June 19 and at the Rouse Theatre June 20, the Howard County Arts Council Resident Art Exhibit and Showcase reception June 19, and Cinema Columbia short film project June 24.
Celebrate Lancaster, June 26, downtown and binns Park, Lancaster , Pa., (717) 291-4758, lancastercityevents.com. Head north for an afternoon among the street fair food vendors all along North Queen Street--including Italian favorites like calzone and stromboli along with Trinidadian shark pits--followed by a free evening performance by the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and fireworks in binns Park.
Kutztown Folk Festival, June 27-July 5, Kutztown Fairgrounds, Kutztown, Pa., (888) 674-6136, kutztownfestival.com. This is our most favorite reason to head to Kutztown and the oldest continuously operated folklife festival in America. This year, 'sides tasting all of the "eat to ya ouch" local Dutch fare, we are seriously buying a quilt and barn star to bring some of the homey love home.
Augustoberfest, Aug. 22-23, Hagerstown, (301) 739-8577, augustoberfest.org. Get your ass to the Volksmarch, a non-competitive walk hosted by the Piedmont Pacers at 8 a.m. the first day of this German festival because you know you'll be hitting the steins of brew and weiners of brauten for the rest of the weekend. Don't miss the die Schlauberger, the Heidi and Heimat Echo Band, and Alt Washingtonia Schuhplattler Verein.
Maryland Renaissance Festival, Aug. 29-Oct. 25, 1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, rennfest.com. Rain or shine, the Renn Fest guides you slowly out of summer and into the fall with a jolly pat on the back, a turkey leg and chalice of mead, a wreath of flowers for your hair, lux crafts, and lively entertainment by skilled performers who seem to really love what they do.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201