Balticon 51. Eric Flint, creator of the 1632 universe, is this year’s guest of honor at the annual convention hosted by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. The weekend-long event features panels, exhibitors, film screenings, and all things sci-fi and fantasy. May 26-29, Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, 202 E. Pratt St., balticon.org, $75 for adult weekend pass (daily prices vary).
Brew At The Zoo. Help raise funs for the Maryland Zoo while enjoying unlimited sampling of more than 80 beers alongside vendors, live music, and plenty of animals. May 27 and 28, 1-7 p.m., The Maryland Zoo, 1 Safari Place, marylandzoo.org, $50-$55 ($10 off for members).
SoWeBo Arts and Music Festival. To The Moon, Troll Tribe, Pasadena, Rasha Jay, and other musicians play across three stages surrounded by art and craft vendors, kids’ activities, food and drink, and a salon-style art show. May 28, noon-8 p.m., 1100 block of Hollins Street, soweboarts.org/festival.html, free.
Boundary Block Party. No Boundaries Coalition and Jubilee Arts Baltimore host the 10th annual West Baltimore block party with the Twilighters Marching Band among other live entertainers, fresh produce for sale, a community resource fair, food vendors, art activities, and more. June 3, 1-4 p.m., Pennsylvania Avenue Triangle Park, corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Presstman Street, jubileeartsbaltimore.org, free.
Philippine Festival. Celebrate Filipino culture with music, arts and crafts, games, and cultural presentations, and a Santacruzan procession. June 3, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium, (443) 812-3241, katipunan.org, $3-$5 (free for kids under 12).
Taste of 3 Cities Food Truck Fest. Bond St. District and Elikeh headline an all-day festival highlighting top food trucks—don’t forget to cast your vote for your favorite. June 3, noon-9 p.m., Patterson Park, corner of Linwood and Eastern Avenues, tasteof3cities.com, $15.
Charles Village Festival. The neighborhood festival returns with food and craft vendors, games, a 5k race and 1k kids’ run, a garden walk, and live music from Brooks Long and The Mad Dog No Good and Lafayette Gilchrist Featuring New Volcanoes, among others. June 3 and 4, Wyman Park Dell, Charles and 29th streets, charlesvillagefestival.net, free.
Great Grapes Wine and Food Festival. Sample over 220 Maryland wines from 25-plus wineries and enjoy live music, cooking demos, arts and crafts, food, and a free kids area. June 3 and 4, noon-6 p.m., Oregon Ridge Park, 13401 Beaver Dam Road, Hunt Valley, uncorkthefun.com/hunt-valley-maryland, $22-$56.
Federal Hill Jazz and Blues Festival. Local jazz and blues favorites play at this free outdoor festival alongside 80-plus food and craft vendors. June 4, noon-7 p.m., S. Charles Street between West and Hamburg streets, fedhill.org, free.
St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival. Revel in all things Greek including souvlaki and gyros, baklava, wine, dance performances, live music, and much more. June 8-11, GreekTown Square and Events Center, 701 S. Ponca St., (410) 633-5020, greekfolkfestival.org, free.
Feast of St. Anthony Italian Festival. A Little Italy tradition since 1904, the annual celebration of St. Anthony features Italian grub, wine, art vendors, chef demonstrations, a bocce tournament, a sausage-eating contest, a street procession, and more. June 10, noon-8 p.m.; June 11, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Exeter and Stiles streets, (410) 675-7275, promotioncenterforlittleitaly.org, $1 donation.
Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival. Experience Native American round dancing, Baltimore jazz, Beijing opera, and many other cultural traditions. June 10, noon-7 p.m., Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, creativealliance.org, free.
Vegan Food Festival. Thrive Baltimore hosts an afternoon showcasing vegan food from 15 local vendors. Carnivores: Don’t knock it till you try it. June 10, noon-5 p.m., Thrive Baltimore, 6 E. Lafayette Ave., facebook.com/ThriveBmore, free admission.
HONfest. Hairspray and feather boas fill The Avenue once again. Celebrate one of Baltimore’s most famous mascots with food and craft vendors, live music, bourbon tastings, a pop-up art gallery, and the Baltimore’s Best Hon Contest. June 10, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; June 11, noon-6 p.m.; 36th Street between Falls Road and Chestnut Avenue, honfest.net, free.
Baltimore Wine Fest. Try over 160 different wines while indulging in gourmet food, live music, wine seminars, and chef demonstrations. A portion of the proceeds goes to local non-profits. Noon-7 p.m., Canton Waterfront Park, 3001 Boston St., baltimorewinefest.com, $10-$95.
Baltimore Pride 2017. The city’s LGBTQ community and allies celebrate all things queer with a parade, high heeled race, block party, and festival. Parade on June 17 along N. Charles Street between E. Lafayette Avenue and W. Madison Street; festival on June 18 at Druid Hill Park, 2600 Madison Ave., baltimorepride.org, free.
Chesapeake Crab and Beer Festival. Feast on Maryland’s favorite crustacean alongside live music, arts and crafts, and activities for the kids. June 24, session one 11 a.m.-3 p.m., session two 5-9 p.m., Rash Field, 201 Key Highway, mdcrabfest.com/baltimore, $29-$95.
Dundalk Heritage Fair. Let’s just say there’s no better time to experience Dundalk at its Dundalkiest. This year’s headliner: Hagerstown hair metal heroes Kix. Whatever you do, don’t miss the karaoke. June 30-July 2, 2717 Playfield St., dundalkheritagefair.com.
Latvian Song & Dance Festival. The festival, which takes place about every five years and moves from city to city, returns to the East Coast for the first time in over three decades, bringing polkas, elaborate choral arrangements, sacred music, chamber music, and more to the Inner Harbor. A rare opportunity. June 30-July 3, Inner Harbor, Pratt and Light streets, latviansongfest2017.com, $20-$125.
Baltimore Caribbean Carnival. Our pick last year for “Best Festival” returns with another colorful celebration of island nations. Parade on July 15, noon-5 p.m.; festival July 15, 5-10 p.m. and July 16, noon-9 p.m.; Lake Clifton Park, 2701 St. Lo Drive, baltimorecarnival.com, $10 on Saturday; $20 on Sunday.
Artscape. The country’s largest free arts festival returns with more arts and crafts vendors, live entertainment, art installations, and more. This year’s theme: camping. July 21-23, W. Mount Royal Avenue and N. Charles Street, artscape.org, free.
German Festival. Maryland celebrates German culture for the 117th year in a row with plenty of beer, wursts, entertainment, and more. Don’t forget your lederhosen. July 22, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; July 23, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium, md-germans.org, $10.
BronyCon. The massive fandom of “My Little Pony: Friendship is Forever” gathers once again in Baltimore for a weekend of panels, workshops, merch and collectibles vendors, an art show, and live entertainment. Aug. 11-13, Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St., bronycon.org, $30-$65.
Feast of St. Gabriele Italian Festival. If you missed the Feast of St. Anthony Festival back in June, you can still fill up today on vino, cheese, sausage, pizzelle, and pasta, and other Italian grub; plus souvenirs and used books, bocce, bingo, and more. Aug. 19, noon-8 p.m.; Aug. 20, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Exeter and Stiles streets, (410) 675-7275, promotioncenterforlittleitaly.org, $1 donation.
Maryland State Fair. Halestorm and Sabrina Carpenter headline this year’s fair, returning with the usual carnival rides and games, funnel cake, and livestock competitions. Aug. 24-Sept. 4, Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium, (410) 252-0200, marylandstatefair.com.
Maryland Renaissance Festival. Travel back to the days of Shakespeare and dragons (right?) and watch fencing matches and jesters, eat various fried foods on sticks, and shop for unique gifts and doo dads from old-school artisan vendors. Aug. 26-Oct. 22, 1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, (410) 266-7304, marylandrenaissancefestival.com, $8-$25.
Baltimore County African American Cultural Festival. Celebrate the cultural contributions of African Americans with a full day of family entertainment, educational exhibitions, and vendors. A portion of the festival proceeds help fund scholarships, summer camps, and historical preservation. Sept. 16, Towson Patriot Plaza, 401 Bosley Ave., Towson, aaculturalfestival.com, free.
Small Press Expo. Hundreds of artists, writers, and publishers have exhibit, sell, and discuss their independent comics. Sept. 16, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sept. 17, noon-6 p.m.; Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, spxpo.com, $15-$20.
Fourth of July
A Capitol Fourth. The National Symphony Orchestra and more perform, culminating in a massive fireworks display over the National Mall. July 4, 8 p.m., west lawn of the U.S. Capitol, East Capitol and First streets, Washington, D.C., pbs.org/a-capitol-fourth, free.
Baltimore’s 4th of July Celebration. Head to the Inner Harbor and surrounding vantage points in Federal Hill, Harbor East, and Fells Point to get a good view of the annual fireworks display, accompanied by live music. July 4, 7-10 p.m. (fireworks at 9:30), Inner Harbor, 201 E. Pratt St., promotionandarts.org., free.
Catonsville July 4th Celebration. Be sure to set out that lawn chair days ahead to get a good view of the parade and get to the Catonsville High School grounds before the fireworks display for the Family Fun Fest, filled with live music and food vendors. July 4, parade at 3 p.m. on Frederick Road between Montrose and Bloomsbury avenues; festival at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks at 9:15 p.m. at Catonsville High School, 421 Bloomsbury Ave., Catonsville, (410) 455-9648, catonsvillecelebrations.org, free.
Hereford Independence Day. Hereford celebrates a little early with a parade followed by a festival and fireworks. July 2, parade at 6 p.m., festival at 7:30 p.m., fireworks at dusk, Hereford High School, 17301 York Road, Parkton, (410) 887-1905, herefordparade.org, free.
Independence Day Fireworks Dinner Cruise. Celebrate the 4th surrounded by the reflection of the fireworks over the harbor aboard a cruise ship complete with dinner, open bar, and a DJ and dancefloor. July 4, board at 7 p.m., Spirit of Baltimore, 561 Light St., (866) 312-2469, spiritcruises.com/baltimore, $114.90-$199.90.
Star Spangled Spectacular. The BSO performs Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” plus favorites from Bruce Springsteen and “Beauty and the Beast.” The concert is followed by a fireworks display. Food trucks will be on hand. July 3, 8 p.m. (gates open at 5 p.m.), Oregon Ridge Park, 13401 Beaver Dam Road, Hunt Valley, (410) 783-8000, bsomusic.org, $9-$20.
Visionary Pets On Parade. Dress your dog or cat or zebra in red, white, and blue and join a patriotic pet parade followed by a costume contest and a game of pet musical chairs. July 4, 10 a.m. (9:30 pet registration), American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway, (410) 244-1900, avam.org, free.