Dancing at National Folk Festival in Salisbury
Edwin Remsberg

Top Maryland Events and Festivals

By Heather Cisar

Plan a trip around one of these events and festivals which are as diverse as Maryland itself.

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Dancing at National Folk Festival in Salisbury
Edwin Remsberg

To see some unique artistry—and occasional downright quirkiness—check out these annual events held across the state. From ice extravaganzas to celebrations of music and art, to an event all about marshmallow Peeps, Maryland’s event calendar is filled with fun.

1
FeBREWary in Maryland, Statewide - February
A flight of beer from Evolution Craft Brewing Company
Wicomico County Tourism

FeBREWary is Maryland’s official month-long celebration of craft beer, and with craft brew events on tap across the state.  From the mountains to the beach, FeBREWary in Maryland is the perfect opportunity to hoist a pint with good friends in great places.  
 

2
PEEPShow
Westminster
PEEPShow Carroll Arts Center Westminster
Carroll County Arts Council

Peeps aren’t just for eating, and this event proves it. Each spring at the Carroll Arts Center in downtown Westminster, spectators vote for their favorites among hundreds of marshmallow masterpieces, including sculptures, dioramas, mosaics and videos. Don’t forget to bring your sweet tooth!
 

3
Six Pillars Century Blackwater Tour
Cambridge
Cyclists at the Six Pillars Century Blackwater Tour
visitdorchester.org

This event at Great Marsh Park in Cambridge offers courses tailored for fun, fitness and endurance, ranging from the 11-mile Family Ride to the 56-mile Ironman Eagleman course and 100-mile Century Course. Cycle through the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, named one of the "Last Great Places" by the Nature Conservancy. Start with a complimentary al fresco breakfast, bike the scenic paths, then finish off a great day with a picnic in the park. 

4
Secret Garden Tour of Havre de Grace
Black-eyed Susans in a Garden
813photography-instagram

Tour the lovely private gardens of historic Havre de Grace. Start at the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum for your ticket and map.  Then meander along the Susquehanna River on this self-guided tour that features fabulous gardens. Stop by the Garden Mart and Plant Sale for native plants and the food vendors for a bite to eat. There are nature-inspired presentations and demonstrations, too, for those with green thumbs looking for inspiration for their own gardens. 

5
Preakness Stakes
Baltimore
Preakness AP Finish
Jim McCue

The Preakness is one of the nation’s largest, single-day, annual sporting events! Baltimore's Old Hilltop comes alive with the running of the Preakness Stakes, where the finest three-year old thoroughbreds compete.

6
DelFest
Oakland
Brad Kuntz

DelFest is a beacon for bluegrass, and the epicenter of American mountain music. Celebrating not just the sound, but the soul of the music, DelFest is a five day experience of the soul of the Appalachian mountains.

7
Historic National Road Yard Sale Days
Route 40
Historic National Road

How many of the 824 miles of yard sales can you handle? Each area offers its own treasures, food specialties and charm. Historic National Road Yard Sale is one of the greats and it begins in Western Maryland on and near Historic Route 40.  

8
Annapolis Arts Week
Annapolis
Annapolis Arts and Crafts Festival

Annapolis Arts Week is a week-long festival showcasing arts based events happening during the first full week of June in and around Annapolis.

9
National Music Festival
Chestertown
A Conducting Class at the National Music Festival in Chestertown

Two Weeks of Orchestral Concerts - soloists, chamber, full orchestra - plus hundreds of open free rehearsals. Affordable, adventurous performances. Reservations recommended.

10
OC Air Show
Ocean City
U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron "Thunderbirds" fly over Ocean City
DVIDS/USAF/Master Sgt Stan Parker

The annual OC Air Show features either the USN Blue Angels or the USAF Thunderbirds! The OC Air Show keeps getting bigger and better thanks to the hundreds of thousands of spectators who come out to make it a success! 

11
Antique and Classic Boat Festival
St. Michaels
The Antique and Classic Boat Festival in St. Michaels is a summertime celebration of all things nautical.
www.cbmm.org

This festival is a real crowd pleaser no matter what age you are. Hundreds of architecturally exquisite wooden classics, vintage race boats and more are on display on the land and in the water at St. Michaels in June. Festivities include live music, boat rides, food and family activities. 

12
Artscape
Baltimore
Artscape Arts Festival Painting

America's largest free arts festival, attracting 350,000+ attendees over three days. Features 150+ fine artists, fashion designers and craftspeople; visual art exhibits on and off-site, outdoor sculpture, art cars, photography; live music and more.
 

13
White Marlin Open
Ocean City
Ocean City is the White Marlin Capital of the World.

This renowned Annual White Marlin Open is the world's largest billfish tournament. Over 400 boats vie for $6.8 million in prize money. Registration fees for participating boats. 

14
Watermen’s Appreciation Day
St. Michaels
People Gathered at the Watermen's Appreciation Day Festival
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

This August celebration ranks high on the list of fun summer things to do, and includes a “watermen’s rodeo” boat docking contest, boat rides, live music, kids’ activities, and—of course—fantastic seafood.  

15
Vegan SoulFest
Baltimore
Vegan SoulFest Logo
Vegan SoulFest

Vegan Soulfest is a celebration of culture and veganism. All vegan. All soul. Enjoy artists, speakers and cooking exhibitionists.

16
National Folk Festival
Salisbury
People at the National Folk Festival
Courtesy of NCTA/Photo Credit: Edwin Remsberg

Experience the oldest multi-cultural traditional arts celebration in the United States.  This is a three day outdoor festival that is free to the public.  Expect to see and hear some of the best talent from throughout North America.

17
Country Fest and Auction
McHenry
Country Fest and Auction in McHenry
https://www.facebook.com/countryfestandauction

Held at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry, this event, combines history, fine art and tasty Maryland BBQ. Check out the auction items like authentic quilts, crafts and Amish-made furniture, and let the kids take a ride on a pony or “barrel of fun,” and pedal tractor pulls. Everyone will enjoy the hay rides, miniature horse and cart rides, and the petting zoo—plus free admission and parking.  

18
Maryland Renaissance Festival
Crownsville
knight on horseback
Shelly Good Cook

The 27 acre Village of Revel Grove comes to life each autumn with more than 200 professional performers on ten stages, an arena with armored jousting on magnificent steeds and streets filled with village characters. Join His Most Royal Highness King Henry VIII in the forests and glades with more than 140 artisans exhibiting crafts in their own renaissance shops, taverns featuring cool libations, food and beverage emporiums providing a vast array of succulent and sweet treats to sate even the most hearty of appetites.

19
Berlin's Fiddlers Convention
Charm CityJunction

Fiddling and blue grass music fills the street. Food and craft vendors, beer garden and games for the children.

20
Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival
Annapolis
Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival

The Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival is a free, family-friendly celebration of the perseverance, education, and cultural heritage of Africans, African Americans, and Caribbean people of African descent.The festival features a full day of live music, dance performances, and vendors!

21
J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake
Crisfield
J Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake
Somerset County Tourism

All you can eat seafood, side dishes, beer and soda. A Maryland must attend - see and be seen annual event named after Crisfield native, J. Millard Tawes, 54th Maryland Governor.

22
Autumn Glory Festival
McHenry
This festival held over 4 days in fall has tons of family-friendly things to do.

Celebrate amazing Fall Foliage with fall foliage tours, and much more. This annual multi-day celebration of autumn takes place in western Maryland and boasts incredible scenery and nature. 

23
Sunfest
Ocean City
Sunfest in Ocean City

Summer lasts longer in Ocean City! Enjoy four days of family fun, arts, crafts, live music and food. Admission is free except for ticketed performances. 

24
Holidays at the Harbor
National Harbor
ICE Gaylord Holiday Extravaganza

Nobody does holidays quite like National Harbor. Featuring a nightly tree light show in the heart of the Waterfront District, “I Love Christmas Movies” at Gaylord National, special menus, holiday hotel deals, and – of course – Santa at The Capitol Wheel. It’s a can’t-miss holiday tradition!

25
Kwanzaa Celebration, Baltimore
Kwanzaa Celebration featuring Sankofa Dancers
Courtesy of Reginald F. Lewis Museum

Kwanzaa is celebrated in the United States for seven days, starting December 26 and ending on January 1.  The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture offers a series of Kwanzaa programs including storytelling, crafts and traditional performances.