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Summer Fun: Free Music and Farmer's Markets

Summer in Hyattsville with local and area free music festivals and abundant farmer's markets.

With a week’s exception of normal temps, we seem to have landed in August rather than June. A friend on Facebook blamed this on the realignment of the astrological charts so that June thinks it is August (tongue-in-cheek of course).

But even as we sweat, there are many favorite summer rituals here in Hyattsville as well as destinations a short drive, bike ride or Metro away that allow us to enjoy the outdoors and some entertainment as well.

One of my favorite activities in the summer is the preponderance of free outdoor music. In Hyattsville we have the monthly Summer Jam, and in between those Friday nights, many local jurisdictions have weekly or monthly or even annual free music. Last weekend was the Takoma Jazz Fest, and coming up on Father’s Day weekend is the Silver Spring Blues Fest. Silver Spring is home to a number of weekly music events, such as the Silver Spring Swings Summer Concert Series.

If you can get down to Farragut Square on Wednesdays in June, you can see the Golden Triangle Summer Music Series from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. No mention of free summer music in Washington, D.C. could be complete without the Ft. Reno concert series held each Monday and Thursday starting June 27. More locally, and not just in the summer, but still worth mentioning are the free events held at the Archie Edwards Blues Barbershop, including every Saturday afternoon blues jams from 1 to 5 p.m.

There are other free events such as movies and theater. The City of Hyattsville is featuring four family movie nights in area parks. Once again, the Maryland Shakespeare Festival will be performing As You Like It at Magruder Park on July 13.

A great resource for free and low-cost events is this blog, Free In DC. While it may seem District-centric, a few weeks ago I noticed that it featured our Gateway Arts Open Studio Day. NoMa, the so-called North of Massachusetts neighborhood also has free films with the NOMA Summer Screen series.

Another summer favorite is of course the availability of wonderfully fresh fruits and vegies at the local farmer’s markets. I had my first real tomato of the season just a few weeks ago--fantastic with just a touch of salt! It was such a treat after the long winter of tasteless textureless tomatoes from grocery stores. 

Virtually every day of the week we are fortunate enough to have these markets within an easy drive. The Hyattsville Farmer’s Market opens next week on Tuesday June 14. Each Wednesday you can hit the Crossroads Farmer’s Market, and on Thursdays you can hit the Riverdale Park market (which also has live music!). On Saturdays there is one in College Park at the Ellen Linson Pool parking lot and a smaller market in Mount Rainier adjacent to its city hall as well as one on Fenton Street in Silver Spring. Sundays there is a market in Takoma Park, and now there is a new market at the College Park City Hall parking lot on Sundays. The State of Maryland has a fairly comprehensive list here.

So get out to your local farmer’s market and pad your picnic basket with some yummy locally grown treats, and head out for some tunes, films or theater!

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