Whether you’re a fan of festivals, fairs or barbecues, summertime typically brings out the best in each. Check out our list to see what Maryland and Washington, DC, have in store for you this summer.
If you love to barbecue (or just love to eat it), don’t miss DC’s 20th annual Safeway Barbecue Battle on Saturday, June 23, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sunday, June 24, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The battle occurs on Pennsylvania Avenue, where you can take your kids on rides, check out one of the 30 bands scheduled to perform or just hang out and eat delicious barbecue. Admission is $12 for ages 12 and up, $5 for ages 6 to 12 and free for children under 5.
If you happen to be on the National Mall between the Smithsonian museums between June 27 and July 1 or from July 4 through July 8, you’ll find yourself in the midst of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Featuring live music, entertainment, arts and crafts, food and much more, you’ll have the chance to explore different cultural traditions and lifestyles throughout the ages. Admission is free for the event.
Start your Independence Day celebrations early at the Great American Festival. Head to the National Harbor Waterfront on Saturday, June 30, between 3 and 10 p.m. for music, entertainment, food and drinks and, of course, fireworks. Grab a sitter for this 21-plus event, and don’t forget to get your tickets ahead of time.
If you’re interested in Caribbean culture, spend your weekend exploring it in Baltimore. On July 14, from noon to 10 p.m., and July 15, from noon to 9 p.m., check out a parade, arts and crafts vendors, live music and Caribbean foods at the Baltimore/Washington Caribbean One Carnival. The festival will start with the parade on Saturday near Lake Clifton Park in Baltimore. Bring $10 for admission on Saturday and $15 on Sunday.
Featuring over 40 rides, all your favorite carnival foods (think "fried Oreos") and tons of contests and exhibits, the annual Montgomery County Agricultural Fair has something for everyone. The fair will take place on Chestnut Street in Gaithersburg from Aug. 10 through 18, and tickets are $10, but if you happen to be 11 years old or younger, admission is free.
Check out the 10th Annual African Festival for the State of Maryland on Aug. 11 and 12 in downtown Silver Spring. From 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Veterans Plaza, explore African culture through a variety of cultural foods, music and dance, vendors, games and exhibits. Admission is free for the event.
On Aug. 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 5 to 9 p.m. on the National Harbor Waterfront, you get an all-you-can-eat-and-drink experience, with crabs, beer, live music, arts and crafts and other entertainment. The Crab and Beer Festival is a pricier event (the cheapest packages run from $35 to $89, while the most expensive ones cost up to $1,600), so come hungry (and thirsty) for a day of crabs, beer and outdoor fun.
Head to Timonium, MD, between Aug. 24 and Sept. 3 for the Maryland State Fair. You’ll get all your typical fair events (rides, games, food and entertainment), as well as something you don’t find at every state fair: horse racing. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $3 for children ages 6 to 11 and free for ages 5 and under.
Where can you go to see a beautiful baby contest, a chain saw artist and pig and duck races, all in the same place? The Prince George’s County Fair features all of these events, along with plenty more, from Sept. 6 to 9. Admission is $6 for ages 12 and over, $5 for ages 6 to 11 and free for ages 5 and under.