Five things to eat, drink, see, hear, and do with your Charm City weekend.
August 26: The Gathering
Hollywood Diner, 400 E. Saratoga St. 5-10 p.m. Free.
This Friday, head to Holliday and Saratoga streets beneath the belly of the JFX, but not for an early bird spot for Sunday’s weekly farmers’ market. Just as the clock strikes quittin’ time, hoards of four-wheeled kitchens will roll in, as the Hollywood Diner transforms into a foodie haven with the help of Baltimore’s favorite food truck rally, The Gathering. Outside amidst the warm weather and beneath the stars, indulge in some of the city’s best mobile eats and boogie down to the groovy sounds of the city’s monthly dance party, 4 Hours of Funk.
August 27: Hope Floats: A Jones Valley Flood Benefit
Union Craft Brewing, 1700 Union Ave. 7-10 p.m. $25.
Nearly a month ago, our beloved Union Craft was celebrating its fourth birthday when a heavy rainstorm flooded the Jones Falls Valley on which the little brewery sits. UCB and its friends and neighbors—largely small, independent, local business owners—were damaged and devastated by the flood, including Nepenthe Brew and Mouth Party Caramel of Clipper Mill. This Saturday, come out and help rebuild, with food by nearby Woodberry Kitchen and Best of Baltimore-winning Well Crafted Pizza, music by Brooks Long and Joseph & The Beast, and of course, all the Steady Eddie you can drink. All proceeds will benefit those affected by the flood.
August 27-Oct. 3: Maryland Renaissance Festival
1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis. Times vary. Free-$24. 410-266-7304.
Over nine weekends throughout the fall, all the world’s a stage at the 40th annual Maryland Renaissance Festival. Don your flower crowns or suits of armor and travel back in time to 16th-century England. There, across 27 acres, hundreds of thousands of festivalgoers can revel in the lifestyle of medieval folk, with jousting tournaments, one-pound turkey legs, mugs of mead, and arts and crafts of yesteryear. Don’t miss one of the 14 weddings that happen each year (yes, weddings) and get your photo opp with the RennFest king and queen.
August 27: Wing Dam record release
The Windup Space, 12 W. North Ave. 8 p.m. $8.
The new Wing Dam Record, Glow Ahead, makes us feel nostalgic. The local trio has left Baltimore, trading in their position as one of the city’s top acts to shine on the West Coast. We should’ve seen it coming, with the big-name tours, festival lineups, and evolution of the last two albums, building into the crescendo of this third. Following their trademark quiet-loud-quiet style, the sound is bigger and bolder than ever, with smashing drums, resonant vocals, and the fill-your-ears fuzz of grunge guitar. Anthemic and abuzz, each song is California-ready—sunny enough for the beach, gritty enough for the sidewalks, infused with the energy and urgency of all the dreamers of the Golden State. Hear it for yourself this Saturday, with fellow local bands Natural Velvet, Post Pink, and Amor Fatigue. We’ll miss Wing Dam around Baltimore, but we wish them the best of luck in San Diego, and beyond.
August 25-Sept. 5: Maryland State Fair
Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Rd., Timonium. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Free-$8. 410-252-0200.
Cue the lights, start the Ferris Wheel: The Maryland State Fair returns for the 135th year with 12 jam-packed days of carnival rides, fried fair eats, livestock shows, horse racing, bull riding, and blowout concerts by the likes of pop star Charlie Puth and country singer Jana Kramer. In honor of its big anniversary, the fair will celebrate its local roots by showcasing a bounty of farmers, growers, and all things agriculture, including lessons on sustainability and the state’s booming oyster aquaculture industry. Learn about the Land of Pleasant living, and join thousands of visitors to stand beneath the bright bulbs of the carnival rides, breathe in the comforting smell of cotton candy and corn on the cob, and soak up the final days of summer with this all-American tradition.