Annual Events

City Paper

Every city has a tree lighting around Christmastime, but how many can boast an entire festival of decorated trees or a giant lit-up monument to the country’s first president? The festivals and events throughout the year are a reflection of the city’s fabric. Sure, there are plenty of events celebrating a particular culture (German, Caribbean, Italian, Russian, and so on), but there are just as many that show Baltimore’s embrace of the bold and eccentric, from a large, moveable art race (Kinetic Sculpture Race) to improvised and experimental music (High Zero). Put it all together in one giant pot and you get something as crazy and diverse as Artscape. No matter when you’re in town, you’re bound to find something unique.

Fall

Ukrainian Festival

Sept. 6-7, ukranianfestival.net

Kiev comes to Patterson Park for a weekend of folk dance performances, Ukrainian food, a beer garden, music, and more.

Hampdenfest

Sept. 20, hampdenfest.blogspot.com

Consider this a street festival with an edge. Few neighborhood celebrations combine street vendors and funnel cakes with toilet races and some of the city’s best underground bands.

High Zero Festival

Sept. 15-21, highzero.org

The festival brings together some of the best experimental musicians from Baltimore and around the globe. See performers play everything from guitar to “objects.”

Baltimore Book Festival

Sept. 26-28, baltimorebookfestival.com

This year finds the festival moving from tony Mount Vernon to the waterfront of the Inner Harbor. In addition to author talks, readings, and autograph signings with local and national writers, attendees can enjoy cooking demonstrations and live music.

Fells Point Fun Festival

Oct. 3-5, fellspointfest.com

Head to the historic waterfront neighborhood of 18th-century rowhomes and cobblestone streets for a weekend that includes hundreds of vendors and four stages of entertainment.

Baltimore Beer Week

Oct. 10-19, baltimorebeerweek.com

In recent years the city’s brewing scene has surged, with plenty of new labels setting up shop in the city limits. Bars all across the city celebrate the craft-beer boom with tastings, specials, and more.

Russian Festival

Oct. 17-19, russfest.org

The Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church invites you to enjoy borscht, traditional music, dancing, and more.

Baltimore Open Studio Tour

Oct. 11-12, promotionandarts.org

One hundred or so artists from across the city open up their studios to visitors, who can view works on display and pose questions about the artistic process.

Winter

Festival of Trees

Nov. 28-Dec. 2, festival-of-trees.org

The holiday season kicks off with hundreds of decorated Christmas trees, with proceeds supporting the Talbot Hospice Foundation.

Miracle on 34th Street

December, christmasstreet.com

In one of the most well-known holiday traditions in Baltimore, the 700 block of 34th Street in Hampden is decked out with bright lights, lawn ornaments, and so much more.

A Monumental Occasion

Early December, promotionandarts.org

Each year the Washington Monument, in the heart of the city’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, is lit like a big Christmas tree. The lighting ceremony includes musical performances and a fireworks display.

Mayor’s Christmas Parade

Dec. 8, mayorschristmasparade.com

Festive floats, performers, local celebrities, and the Jolly Old Elf himself cruise through the Hampden neighborhood, bringing plenty of holiday cheer.

Baltimore’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular

Dec. 31, promotionandarts.org

Ring in the new year at the Inner Harbor with musical performances and a big fireworks display high above the city skyline.

Martin Luther King Jr. Parade

Jan. 19, promotionandarts.org

Baltimore celebrates the legacy of the pioneering civil-rights activist with a parade featuring marching bands, cheerleaders, civic organizations, and floats.

Spring

Max’s Belgian Beer Fest

Feb. 14, maxs.com

Max’s Taphouse specializes in a lot of things—among them: a deep list of Belgian beers. For this annual festival, they provide more than 200 different types for attendees to enjoy.

Cosmic Cocktail

March, citypaper.com

City Paper invites some of the best restaurants and bars in the city to offer samples of some of their signature dishes and cocktails. Head to the dance floor between visiting booths.

St. Patrick Parade

March 16, irishparade.net

For everybody who either celebrates Irish heritage or adopts it for a few days, the annual parade features bagpipe players, dancers, and floats. And there’s even a 5K race before that.

City Paper Brew Fest

citypaper.com

We bring together brewers from all around the region and set them up in one place, allowing attendees to sample brews and enjoy live music.

Privateer Festival

April 17-19, fellspointmainstreet.org/privateerfestival.htm

This festival has a little something for the pirate in everyone. Enjoy live music, food, games, ship tours, a grog garden, and much more.

Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race

May 2, kineticbaltimore.com

Watch as contestants race their large, human-powered moving machines through an obstacle course that spans most of the waterfront area.

Flowermart

May 1-2, flowermart.org

Just in time to plant a garden for the spring, gardeners and growers showcase flowers and other plants. There’s also local craft vendors, food, and live music.

Maryland Film Festival

md-filmfest.com

Local and national filmmakers showcase their latest works over the course of five days. The hardest part for attendees is figuring out the right schedule.

Sowebo Arts and Music Festival

May 25, soweboarts.org/festival.html

The Southwest Baltimore community brings together an eclectic mix of live music and artist displays in one of the great neighborhood block parties.

Summer

St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival

June 5-8, greekfolkfestival.org

Baltimore has a deeply rooted Greek community on the city’s east side, and that community celebrates its heritage with traditional music, dancing, and of course terrific Greek cuisine.

HonFest

Early June, honfest.net

A nod to the working-class women of Baltimore yesteryear, Hons of all stripes rock beehive hairdos, cat’s eye glasses, spandex pants, and all manners of ’60s kitsch. In addition to that, enjoy talent competitions, live music, food, and vendors.

Baltimore Pride Festival

Mid-June, baltimorepride.org

People from all across the city take part in this celebration of Baltimore’s LGBT residents. Events include a parade, high-heel race, and concert. And plenty of area bars and clubs throw killer parties in conjunction with the weekend-long event.

LatinoFest

Mid-June, latinofest.org

Much of the area north of Fells Point, a popular neighborhood on the east side, has thrived with Latino culture in recent years. The city’s Latino residents and people from all across town come together for dancing, performances, an award ceremony, and more.

African American Festival

Mid-summer, africanamericanfestival.net

As a majority black city, Baltimore has a rich history and tradition of African-American culture, which is celebrated with a huge festival featuring big-name music acts, plenty of art, and much more.

Ports of America Chesapeake Fourth of July Celebration

July 4, promotionandarts.org

It wouldn’t be much of a Fourth of July without fireworks, right? Head down to the Inner Harbor for live music and a dazzling fireworks display.

Baltimore/Washington One Caribbean Carnival Festival

July, dccarnival.org

Performers from both Baltimore and D.C. take part in a parade that winds up at Lake Clifton Park for a festival celebrating Caribbean culture. 

Artscape

July, artscape.org

“America’s largest free arts festival,” as Artscape calls itself, draws thousands of visitors for a weekend of music, film screenings, and art displays of all media. There’s plenty of funnel cake and other carnival food, too.

Maryland German Festival

July, md-germans.org

Why wait until October? Get your fill of German food and delicious beer in the middle of the summer. You’ll also get a portion of Bavarian art and performance.

Polish Festival

July, pcamaryland.org

Polka! Well, it’s that and so much more, including Polish beer, kielbasa, crafts, vendors, and cultural displays.

Otakon

Aug. 8-10, otakon.com

It may only have three more years left in town, but Otakon is practically a Baltimore tradition, bringing colorful costumes to the streets. The premier event for anime, manga, and other forms of East Asian culture features a maid cafe, karaoke, concerts, and much more.

St. Gabriel Festival

Mid-August, littleitalymd.com

Baltimore’s old-world Italian enclave already has some of the best eateries in town. They up their offerings with a street festival that includes bocce, wines, carnival rides, live music, and games.

Maryland State Fair

Late August, marylandstatefair.com

Even though it’s in the heart of the suburbs, the Maryland State Fair brings the best in rural living, including award-winning livestock and agriculture. There’s also plenty of carnival rides, fried foods, live music, races, exhibitors, and more. 


Table of Contents

Baltimore is on the Rebound

Getting Around

Tourist Attractions

The Weed Situation

The Art Scene

The Music Scene

Dining

Food Trucks

Breweries and Wineries

Nightlife

Red Light

Shopping

Vape Shops

Sports and Recreation

Baltimore for Kids

Places To Stay

Annual Events

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