Published: October 10, 2011
Festival the year away (yes, we just made “festival” a verb) with these wacky Charm City annuals.
Sept. 10-11, ukrainianfestival.net
Relive your life as a Ukrainian: Folk tales represent childhood, group dances represent adolescence, and the beer garden represents adulthood (legally).
Baltimore Book Festival
Sept. 23-25, baltimorebookfestival.org
Meet local writers, converse with romance novelists, explore with literary walking tours, and rest at conveniently placed picnic tables.
Free Fall Baltimore
Museum-hopping made easy with free art exhibits and events all over the city all month long.
Fells Point Fun Festival
Oct. 1-2, preservationsociety.com
Shop Arts and Crafts Row, International Bazaar, Arts on Parade, the Giving Place, and Fun Fest Flea Market to stock up on tchotchkes, fill your tummy with local delights, and ease your ears with five music stages.
Oct. 14-16, russfest.org
Not to be confused with the Ukrainian festival. Peruse imported Russian dolls and paintings, authentic dance, and food cooked by local parishioners of the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church.
Great BIG Halloween Parade of Light and Luminari
Oct. 29, creativealliance.org
Patterson Park becomes an eerie collection of lit-up spirits and costumes fitting with this year’s theme, Wildlights Wildlife. Everyone can participate if sparkly enough.
Miracle on 34th Street
Bask in the glory of holiday lights on Hampden’s own 34th Street, fueled by the self-motivation of the street’s residents, who pay out of pocket to brighten our nights with their lights and no fights (it rhymes).
A Monumental Occasion
Dec. 1, bop.org
Watch Mount Vernon’s Washington Monument get lit up by fireworks choreographed to music for the 40th year of this holiday event, with pre-fireworks activities, refreshments, and, always, big smiling crowds.
Mayor’s Christmas Parade
Dec. 4, mayorschristmasparade.com
Snag a spot along the 2.5-mile route downtown to wave to Santa Claus and get a dose of holiday cheer.
Baltimore’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular
Dec. 31, bop.org
Live music outdoors (brrrr. . . ) and a hell of a lot more fireworks to bring in 2012 with a bang.
Martin Luther King Jr. Parade
Jan. 16, 2012, bop.org
A tribute to King and all those following in his footsteps, along the street that bears his name at noon.
St. Patrick Parade
March 11, 2012, irishparade.net
Also a 5K run and limited-seating brunch, to get you in shape and energetic for the shenanigans that undoubtedly will happen at night.
City Paper Brew Fest
Late April, 2012, citypaper.com
Over 600 kegs of brilliantly brewed deliciousness sponsored by us. We promise we aren’t under the influence while we write this—although April couldn’t come soon enough.
Flowermart at Mount Vernon
May 4-5, 2012, flowermart.org
It’s flower power for everyone at the annual Flowermart festival, with art, hat, costume, and dance contests; live dance and music; and, of course, local flower vendors.
Early June, 2012, polishcommunity.com
After last year’s cancellation, the State Fairgrounds in suburban Timonium will host this year’s polka events and traditional Polish fare.
St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival
June 7-10, 2012, greekfolkfestival.org
The saints come dancing in for Greek Fest, with homemade spanakopita, gyros, and baklava from the self-proclaimed “Greek culinary capital of Maryland.”
Mid-June, 2012, baltimorepride.org
Rainbows are not just for Lisa Frank school supplies this weekend, but for flags, shirts, hair, and anywhere else you can think of during Baltimore’s gay pride festival.
African American Heritage Festival
Mid-summer, 2012, aahf.net
This festival not only focuses on past traditions, but on future dreams, by including seminars on health and wellness, education, and financial empowerment; there’s plenty of food and entertainment too.
Late June, 2012, latinofest.org
Past festivals boasted mariachi, merengue, reggae, cumbia, salsa, y mucho m?¡s (though you could never list enough to cover every Latin American culture).
Ports America Chesapeake Fourth of July Celebration
July 4, 2012, bop.org
The standard Fourth of July deal, but amplified to Charm City status by performances at the Harborplace Amphitheater and West Shore Park, with fireworks over the water.
Caribbean Carnival Festival
July 13-15, 2012, itsbmorecarnival.com
Owner of what is probably the most colorful event site out there, the Caribbean Festival carries that in-your-face energy to an island costume parade, steel drum and reggae beats, and international performers.
July 20-22, 2012, artscape.org
The nation’s largest free arts festival, Artscape takes nearly a week to set up for a mere three days of paintings and sculptures, yes, but also homemade quirky products, video games, music, improv, and any other creative outlet you can wrap your head around.
Early August, 2012, bop.org
A mini-World Cup, and. . . well, does the rest of it really matter? Vendors, multiple performance stages, activities for kids, the works, and all of it truly representative of B-more’s diversity.
St. Gabriel Festival
Mid-August, 2012, littleitalymd.com
Finely crafted, made-with-love pizza, pasta, porchetta, sausage, cannoli, and other irresistible Italian delicacies can be had for a very low price to round out the summer. We might need to be rolled out of Little Italy in a wheelbarrow.
> Email Rebecca Guterman