It feels like just yesterday we got a tweet for the 29th consecutive week with a link to Tom Tasselmyer’s forecast and some humble-miserable message like, “Don’t look now, but next week’s storm is even bigger.” This time last year, the phrase “polar vortex” had not yet entered our vocabulary. Those were simpler times, and we’ll never be the same, but there’s good news: You survived! Now it’s summertime in Baltimore—easily the best time of the year.

Yes, we know: bugs, humidity, tourists, etc., but come on! Summer! O’s games, crabs, cookouts, concerts, festivals, COLD BEER!

City Paper’s Sizzlin’ Summer guide covers all the good stuff: We’ve got the pullout concert calendar, which you should maybe hang up and start highlighting. There’s also the 11th annual—except for 2008. Anybody remember what happened in 2008?—search forBaltimore’s coldest draft beer. We’ve also got the best possible way to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the British assault on North Point: a pub crawl! And what guide to summer would be complete without a profile of an African-American semi-nudist custom van club? Needless to say, there’s lots more—did you feel how heavy this sucker is?—including recipes for non-ice-cream, non-beer cold treats, the story of a professional Bay Bridge crosser, a travel guide to Maryland’s minor-league ballparks, and advice on the best beer to drink while tubing. And, you, reader—or at least, half a dozen or so of you—contributed too, in the form of summer-camp horror stories, submitted via the City Paper Facebook page.

All of these Sizzlin’ stories come in addition to complete listings of everything from festivals and extravals to what’s on stage this summer and even wineries to make the trek to. Special shoutout to City Papercalendar-editor extraordinaire Brandon Weigel for editing the voluminous listings.

So grab a cold one—or, if you so desire, the coldest one—and start plotting your perfect summer. You deserve it, Baltimore.

Sizzlin’ Summer 2014 was written, compiled, and edited by Gianna DeCarlo, Chelsea Duff, Alvaro E. Duran, Edward Ericson Jr., J.M. Giordano, Emily Glickman, Ryan B.

Harrison, Nicolette Hatzidimitriou, Henry Hong, Alex Jones, Nicole King, Jenn Ladd, Joe MacLeod, Jenna McLaughlin, Evan Serpick, Danielle Sweeney, Athena Towery, Josh Sisk, Van Smith, Lindsay VanAsdalan, Charlie Vascellaro, Wendy Ward, Gabrielle Wathen, Brandon Weigel, and Baynard Woods. Special thanks to cover and feature illustrator Hawk Krall, and photographers Ed Bloom, J.M. Giordano, Noah Scialom, Josh Sisk, and Jefferson Jackson Steele.

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