The Launch: August Highlights

Our five musts from this month's calendar of events.

Willie Nelson & Family
Aug. 19. Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. 8 p.m. $45-75. 410-715-5500. It’s not hyperbole to call Willie Nelson one of America’s greatest songwriters. After four decades of timeless tunes like “On the Road Again,” he has cemented himself in our national narrative as country music’s ultimate guitar-strumming, pot-smoking, braid-dangling, bandana-donning, hippie-redneck sweetheart. For one wild Wednesday, hear him live with his full band and fellow Americana musicians, Old Crow Medicine Show.

Baltimore magazine’s Best of Baltimore Party
Aug. 6. Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, 12 N. Eutaw St. 6-11 p.m. Sold out. 410-837-7400. Happy 40th birthday to our “Best of Baltimore” issue! Once again, we’re throwing a party at the historic Hippodrome to celebrate all things Charm City. For this year’s casino theme, don your best cocktail attire and roll the dice with hundreds of guests, dozens dishes from the region’s best restaurants, speciality drinks, and live music.

BronyCon 2015
Aug. 7-9. Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St. Times vary. $70-$125. 410-649-7000. Remember My Little Pony, the colorful dolls and cartoon of the 1980s? Thirty years later, it’s back and bigger than ever, with the world’s largest festival for and by “bronies,” aka adult fans (many of whom are bros). For the third year in Baltimore, join thousands of them for hundreds of screenings, panels, and activities.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Weekends, Aug. 29-Oct. 25. 1821 Crownsville Rd., Annapolis. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. $7-24. 800-296-7304. Hear ye, hear ye. Head back in time to 16th-century England and learn how the medieval folk lived at the 30th annual Maryland Renaissance Festival. Partake in jousting matches, live music, arts and crafts, and, if all else fails, chown down on a turkey leg and tip back some mugs of mead.

Maryland State Fair
Aug. 28-Sept. 7. Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Rd., Timonium. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Free-$8. 410-252-0200. Cue the lights. Corral the animals. Start the Ferris wheel and spin the cotton candy. At the very edge of summer, the Maryland State Fair returns to Timonium for its 134th year. During its 11-day stay, make the most of those dog days with carnival rides, livestock, horse shows, bull riding, barrel racing, and a variety of competitions; plus beer, wine, and the finest fair food around.

[Image credits from top: David McClister; Lydia Woolever; Amy McGovern; Dave Fimbres Photography; Roy William Cox.]