The Launch: July Highlights

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

July 17-19. Mt. Royal Ave. & Cathedral St. Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Free. 410-752-8632. For the 34th year, America’s largest free arts festival returns to Station North for three days of all-art everything. From its iconic art cars and outdoor sculptures to big-name concerts and boundless creativity, dive into this year’s water theme with more than 150 artists, designers, and craftsmen, plus art exhibits and performing arts.

Idina Menzel
July 8. Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, 12 N. Eutaw St. 8 p.m. $50.25-122.75. 410-837-7400. Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel is off Broadway and headed to the historic Hippodrome stage for a one-night performance from her new world tour. The Glee, Frozen, Rent, and Wicked superstar will show off her powerful pipes with beloved hits like “Let It Go” and “For Good.”

Bill Maher
July 11. Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric, 140 W. Mt. Royal Ave. 8 p.m. $45-85. 410-900-1150. Bill Maher might not be for everyone, but the political satirist, cultural critic, and host of HBO’s Real Time has made his mark over the last 30-plus years with an honest, unapologetic sense of humor, garnering some 23 Emmy nominations. This month, see him at the Lyric as he goes back to his roots with a night of standup comedy.

Baltimore Pride
July 25-26. Saturday: Charles & Eager Sts. 3-10 p.m. Sunday: Druid Hill Park, 2600 Madison Ave. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. 410-777-8145. Celebrate the LGBTQ community with the 40th annual Baltimore Pride, the largest event of its kind in the state of Maryland. The two-day festivities start with a Mt. Vernon block party and parade on Saturday, followed by a festival at Druid Hill Park on Sunday, with performers, competitions, vendors, and fun for all.

Billy Joel
July 25. M&T Bank Stadium, 1101 Russell St. 8 p.m. $49.50-124.50. 410-261-7283. This summer, the Piano Man is leaving New York to get in a Bmore state of mind. Catch the rock-and-roll legend at Ravens stadium as he performs from his epic collection of greatest hits.

[Image credits from top: Flickr Creative Commons; Robin Wong; David Becker; Shutterstock; Myrna Suarez.]