Sizzlin' Summer Festivals

May

Balticon 50. This annual sci-fi and fantasy convention includes panels, exhibitors, film screenings, and more. This year’s con is going to be a big one: the guest of honor is George R. R. Martin, author of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. May 27-30, Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, 202 E. Pratt St., balticon.org, $70.

SoWeBo Arts and Music Festival. J Pope And Funk Friday, Skribe, Rufus Roundtree and Da Bmore Brass Band Factory, and other musicians play across 5 stages surrounded by art and food vendors, kids’ activities, craft demos, skateboarding, live art, and more. May 29, noon-8 p.m., 1100 block of Hollins Street, soweboarts.org/festival.html, free.

 

June

Feast of St. Anthony Italian Festival. Little Italy offers up Italian grub, wine, art vendors, a bocce tournament, a traditional street procession, and more. June 4 and 5, Exeter and Stiles streets, littleitalymd.com, free.

Great Grapes Wine and Food Festival. Sample hundreds of wines. I mean, don’t, but you could if you wanted to. Also enjoy live music, cooking demos, arts and crafts, food, and a free kids area. June 4 and 5, noon-6 p.m., Oregon Ridge Park, 13401 Beaver Dam Road, Hunt Valley, uncorkthefun.com/hunt-valley-maryland, $22-$56.

Philippine Fiesta. Celebrate Filipino culture with music, arts and crafts, games, and cultural exhibitions. June 4, Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium, (443) 812-3241, katipunan.org.

Charles Village Festival. The neighborhood festival enters its 20th year with more live music, food and craft vendors, games, a 5k race and 1k kids’ run, and a garden walk showcasing colorful plantlife in front of equally colorful homes. June 4-5, Wyman Park Dell, Charles and 29th streets, charlesvillagefestival.net, free.

Federal Hill Jazz and Blues Festival. Brooks Long and the Mad Dog No Good, Rufus Roundtree and Da B’more Brass Factory, and Ursula Ricks Project play at this free outdoor festival alongside food and craft vendors. June 5, noon-7 p.m., South Charles Street between West and Hamburg streets, historicfederalhill.org, free.

St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival. Enjoy authentic Greek food, wine, dance performances, live music, and a kids’ area. June 9-12, 520 Ponca St., (410) 633-5020, stnicholasmd.org, free.

Brew and Bourbon Classic. Baltimore’s love for horse racing and betting on said horses fueled by alcohol doesn’t die with the Preakness. Sample over 60 beers and spirits as thouroughbreds speed around the track. June 11, 1-6 p.m., Pimlico Race Course, 5201 Park Heights Ave., brewandbourbonclassic.com, $39.

HONfest. The Avenue in Hampden is flooded with hairspray and feather boas, as well as food and craft vendors, live music, the Mashed Potato Dance Contest, and the Baltimore’s Best Hon Contest. Remember, the higher the hair the closer to God. June 11-12, 36th Street between Falls Road and Chestnut Avenue, honfest.net, free.

Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival. The Maryland State Arts Council presents a celebration of the traditional arts of cultural communities from across the state, featuring music, dance, piñata making, food demonstrations, and more to showcase our state’s creative and cultural diversity. June 4, noon-8 p.m., Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, msac.org/folklife-festival, free.

Crab and Beer Festival. No matter how many crabs you’ve already eaten this year, you haven’t eaten enough. And you never will. But this will help—it’s all you can eat, with plenty of beer to wash down that sweet meat. Also live music, arts and crafts, and family activities. June 25, session one 11 a.m.-3 p.m., sesson two 5-9 p.m., Rash Field, 201 Key Highway, mdcrabfest.com/baltimore, $29-$89.

 

July

Baltimore/Washington One Caribbean Festival. Baltimore and DC join forces for one big festival celebrating Caribbean culture with live music, dancing, food, craft vendors, and a colorful parade. July 9 and 10, Lake Clifton Park, 2801 Harford Road (parade on July 9 at noon starting at 900 E. 33rd St.), dccarnival.org/2k14, $15.

Maryland Polish Festival. Baltimore’s big Polish population celebrates with live music, dancing, heritage displays, and traditional food and beer. July 16-17,  Maryland State Fairgrounds, Exhibition Hall, 2200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium, pcamaryland.org, $8-$10.

Baltimore Pride. Though the return of Pride is uncertain after the GLCCB failed to pay off debts from last year’s festival, Pride 2016 is tentatively planned for this week with, as per usual, a parade, High Heeled Race, block party, and festival. July 23 and 24;3:30 p.m., Mount Vernon, July 26, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Druid Hill Park, 2600 Madison Ave., (410) 777-8145, baltimorepride.org.

23rd Hamilton Street Festival. Musicians play across multiple stages amid food and craft vendors, street games, and more. July 30, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., 5500 Harford Road, (410) 319-7150, bmoremainstreet.com, free.

 

August

Festival Latino de Maryland. Enjoy live Latin music, vendors, and Latin-American cuisine. Aug. 7, 10 a.m-9 p.m., Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium, (410) 327-0226, marylandlatinofest.com.

Otakon. Anime and manga enthusiasts put on their best cosplay, peruse exhibitors, and attend guest panels and workshops. Aug. 12-14, Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St., (410) 649-7000, otakon.com.

Maryland State Fair. YouTube star Charlie Puth headlines this year’s fair, returning with the usual carnival rides and games, funnel cake, and horse and livestock competitions. Aug. 25-Sept. 5, Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium, (410) 252-0200, marylandstatefair.com.

Maryland Renaissance Festival. Turn back time—kinda—by walking through an Elizabethan village, watching fencers and jesters, and eating various fried foods on sticks. Aug. 27-Oct. 23, 1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, (410) 266-7304, marylandrenaissancefestival.com, $8-$24.

 

September

Hampdenfest. As of press time, the lineup for this year’s Hampdenfest has yet to be released, but we can expect music across multiple stages as well as Hampden food and craft vendors, a kids area, and, of course, the Toilet Bowl Race. Sept. 17, The Avenue at 36th St., hampdenfest.com, free.

Small Press Expo. Until Open Space’s Publications and Multiples Fair, our favorite and nearest small press event, returns next spring, we’ll satiate our thirst for zines and comics at SPX, where hundreds of artists, writers, and publishers have exhibited and sold their world annually since 1994. Sept. 17 and 18, Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, spxpo.com, $15-$20.

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