Five things to eat, drink, see, hear, and do with your Charm City weekend.
August 24-September 4: Maryland State Fair
Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium. Times vary. $3-8.
Whether you’re 8 or 88, this quintessential summer ritual will make you feel young at heart, with amusement rides, carnival games, live animals, big-name blowout concerts—this year by hard-rock quartet Halestorm and Disney star turned pop singer Sabrina Carpenter—and best of all, fried fair food. While cotton candy, corn dogs, and caramel apples abound, head to the Maryland Foods Pavilion for crab cakes, soft-shell crabs, catfish salad, fried clams, pork barbecue, corn-on-the-cob, ice cream, and fresh fruit from Land of Pleasant Living farms or the Chesapeake Bay.
August 26-October 22: Maryland Renaissance Festival
1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis. Times vary. Free-$25.
Hear ye, hear ye! For nine straight weekends, the country’s second largest renaissance festival will post up in the Anne Arundel County countryside for all the jousting, flower crowns, turkey legs, and mead-fueled merriment your heart could desire. Settle into one of the long beer garden tables and enjoy beer, wine, and mead. Drink like you're on Game of Thrones and soak it all up with ye old English turkey legs, crab cakes, and hot apple dumplings. Coming with the family? There will also be root beer floats for the kids.
August 25: Little Italy Open Air Film Festival
Da Mimmo Ristorante, 217 S. High St. 8:30 p.m. Free.
You know summer is coming to a close when the last flick graces the Formstone walls of Little Italy. For one more hot summer night, grab a seat under the stars and join hundreds of Baltimoreans for this Charm City tradition. As it has been since the very beginning, the season finale screening will be Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso, projected onto the outside of Ciao Bella Restaurant, with free popcorn and live music for early bird cinemaphiles.
August 24-26: J. Roddy Walston & The Business
Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St. 8:30 p.m. $25-$65.
At Baltimore, we believe good things come to those who wait, and after four long years, we are thanking the music gods for the new music of J. Roddy Walston & The Business. On the eve of the music venue’s 20th anniversary, the once-local riotous Southern rock band returns to the Ottobar for the first time in several years, unleashing their brand-new album, Destroyers of the Soft Life, and hopefully some old favorites like “Used to Did” and “Brave Man’s Death.” Revel in Rod’s hair as it flips and flies in all its glory, and prepare to leave Remington soaked in sweat.
August 27: Dog Days Of Summer
Birroteca, 1520 Clipper Road. 12-5 p.m. Free.
Calling all dog-lovers: this Sunday, collect your canine companions and head to Hampden-Woodberry border for an afternoon celebration of man’s best friends. At Birroteca, the pizza palace will be teaming up with BARCS and The Buddy Foundation of Maryland for a fete full of breweries—Dogfish Head, Monument City, Evolution, and the neighborhood’s own Union Craft Brewing—food from Birroteca, Encantada, and The Nickel Taphouse, and pet-friendly pop-up shops. Dress your pooch in his finest duds for the Best Dressed Dog Contest and be sure to snap a pic together in the Doggie Photo Booth.