Five things to eat, drink, see, hear, and do with your Charm City weekend.
Sept. 9-10: Baltimore Ukrainian Festival
St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church, 2401 Eastern Ave. 12-6 p.m. Free.
Baltimore is the home to one of the Mid-Atlantic’s largest Ukrainian community, and this weekend, there will be a celebration of that rich Eastern European heritage during this 42nd annual festival near Patterson Park. For two days, celebrate beneath the golden domes of the St. Michael church, with live music, folk dancing, arts and crafts, a Ukrainian beer garden, and a hefty dose of traditional cuisine, such as kielbasa, latkes, borscht soup, homemade breads, and, of course, sweet and savory pierogis. On Saturday, even watch in awe or test yourself during the much-loved, highly competitive pierogi-eating contest.
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Sept. 9: Mommies & Mimosas
Dovecote Cafe, 2501 Madison Ave. 12-4 p.m. $35.
When you become a new mom, it can be hard to get out and socialize, let alone find time to eat a warm meal. But this Saturday, thanks to the Mommy Up meet-up and Best of Baltimore-winner Dovecote Cafe, local mothers can gather together for a three-course brunch featuring fellow inspiring women. Over Dovecote’s home-cooked fare and a few rounds of much-needed fresh mimosas, you can network and talk about the joys and challenges of motherhood. Bring your babes or come solo, but biggest of all, sit back, relax, and soak up some you time.
Sept. 8-10: Little Italy Madonnari Arts Festival
Little Italy. Fri. 5-10 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Free.
Madonnari art is an age-old practice of street painting, still found commonly along the cobblestones of Italy and, for one weekend, alongside the byways of Baltimore’s Little Italy. This weekend, watch master Madonnari artists from around the world—and right here at home—set up shop in the heart of the Italian neighborhood, where they’ll create beautiful works of chalk art on the city streets. With a sunny forecast, things look brighter than last year’s rainy weather. Stroll the streets to listen to live music, indulge in carbs at neighborhoods enotecas, and kick things off early during a cabaret dinner on Thursday at Germano’s Piattini.
Sept. 8: Underground Dance Party
The Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $6.
This month marks the 20th anniversary of Baltimore’s beloved Ottobar (see our September issue, on stands now, for more), and to ring in the two decades, the Remington rock club has brought back some of its old favorites. J. Roddy Walston recently performed a few rabblerousing sets, and later this month, Candy Machine and Roads to Space Travel will be perfomring a throwback combo, as both bands performed during the Ottobar’s first month downtown on Davis Street in September 1997. This weekend, the venue is also reviving its “Underground” dance party, featuring classic Brit-pop, indie, and new wave anthems on the ones and twos all night. Think James, Blur, Oasis, Daft Punk, Depeche Mode—with drink specials to boot. A regular favorite for the last 10 years, this former monthly ritual is sure to pack the house. We only have one request: “Age of Consent” by New Order.
Sept. 9: Hampdenfest
The Avenue, W. 36th St. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Free.
There are few neighborhoods in the city more quintessentially-quirky Baltimore than that of Hampden. On Saturday, head north and celebrate the hons and Hampdenites of its eclectic avenue with an end-of-summer block party, full of fun for the whole family. As you wander 36th Street, dig into eats from local restaurants, including slices by Paulie Gee’s, shucks by The Local Oyster, scoops from The Charmery, and a pie-eating contest with Dangerously Delicious, and sip on local beer, including the special Brewer’s Art/Union Craft Hampdenfest collab, Hampden On Rye. With three stages for live music, you can catch more than 20 homegrown bands, such as Snakes, Wume, Raindeer, and the inimitable headliner, Bond St. District. Just don’t miss the annual toilet bowl races, as porcelain flies past the colorful rowhomes of Chestnut Avenue.