Baltimore comes alive during the summer months as it showcases its personality, history and culture with a variety of family friendly festivals and events. Visit the city's diverse neighborhoods and you will enjoy great local and international foods, live musical performances, dance and street entertainment, plus a wide array of cultural experiences. From the Downtown and the Inner Harbor to Druid Hill Park to suburban Timonium, Baltimore boasts some of the region's best summer festivals and is a fun place to unwind and try something new. Here is the lineup of the best summer festivals.
Chesapeake Crab & Beer Festival
As Maryland's blue crabs are a regional specialty food, the area’s largest crab feast is a sell-out summer event featuring a four-hour, all-you-can eat event with more than 50 beers and wines to choose from and local bands playing in the background. Crabs varying in size from medium to large are offered at six crabs at a time, per person. Tickets include corn on the cob, cole slaw and potato chips. Beer is optional. Seating is communal and available on a first come, first served basis. The event is so popular that a second festival is held in August along the National Harbor waterfront in neighboring Prince George's County.
- Location: Rash Field, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD.
The annual event is a celebration of Hispanic culture with live Latin music including salsa, merengue, bachata, cumbia, reggaeton, duranguense, mariachi, dancers in colorful costumes from their native lands, bomba and plena performances, salsa dancing and the hottest Latino DJs, Arts and Crafts displays, Latino cuisine from the Americas and the Caribbean, community support information booths and family fun activities such as rock climbing walls, clowns, face-painting, two stages, and much more.
- Location: Patterson Park, Eastern and Linwood Avenues, Baltimore, MD.
Experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the Caribbean at this annual parade and festival the parade offers music, dance, colorful costumes and more. After the parade, a family-friendly festival features live music, performances, authentic Caribbean food and children’s activities. Participating groups represent the Caribbean, Latin America and the Diaspora in colorful costumes portraying different themes, dancing to the sound of Calypso, Soca, Reggae, African, Haitian, Latin and Steelband music.
- Location: E. 33rd St. and Clifton Park, Baltimore, MD.
More than 40 years ago, Baltimore Pride started as a rally with a few dozen supporters. The event has grown to become Maryland’s largest SGL/LGBTQ event, providing an opportunity for the greater Maryland community to experience and learn more about the SGL/LGBTQ community through a weekend of events and exhibitions. From the block party in Mount Vernon to the festival in Druid Hill Park, this event offers a weekend of fun. Join in the high heel race, wave at the parade, or take in a show at one of two stages.
- Location: Charles North and Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD.
America’s largest free arts festival is a weekend-long event featuring 150+ artists, designers, craftspeople and performers. Gathering in outdoor tents, exhibition spaces and various performing arts venues throughout city neighborhoods, attendees will enjoy a vast array of live concerts, performing arts including dance, opera, theater, film, experimental music and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, hands-on demonstrations, children’s entertainers and street theater, and a menu of international food and drink.
- Location: Mount Royal Avenue & Cathedral Street, Charles Street, Bolton Hill, and Station North, Baltimore, MD.
The annual festival, presented by A Well Fed WORLD, brings together vegans and those curious about the lifestyle to celebrate the vegan culture. This event features a variety of delicious foods, live music, guest speakers, cooking demonstrations and informative exhibits designed to celebrate the benefits of a vegan existence. Non-profit exhibitors present information about health, social justice, and animal rights.
- Location: Baltimore City Community College, 2901 Liberty Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD.
Home to greats like Billie Holliday, Frederick Douglass and Eubie Blake, each summer, Baltimore hosts the largest cultural celebration on the East Coast, the African American Festival. The family-friendly event celebrates Baltimore's deep-rooted African American life, music and culture with live musical performances by national recording artists as well as emerging local talent. Along with entertainment and activities, there will be a wide selection of cultural foods, crafts and services, as well as financial and empowerment seminars.
- Location: Druid Hill Park, 900 Druid Park Lake Dr., Baltimore, MD.
Baltimore’s premier electronic dance music festival features DJs, live bands, and performing artists from around the globe gathering under the moon to perform across 4 stages of music with state of the art lighting, sound, and special effects. Line-ups have included Afrojack, Diplo, Carnage, Kaskade, Louis the Child, Cashmere Cat and many more.
- Location: Pimlico Race Course, 5201 Park Heights Ave., Baltimore, MD.
Since 1928, St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Little Italy has presented the annual feast of St. Gabriel. This two-day event showcases the quaint old Italian neighborhood in Baltimore City that has survived and thrived for generation. The event features classic Italian food, vino, beer, cannoli, fried dough, a sausage-eating contest and booths packed with game wheels, souvenirs, books, and vendors. Entertainment for the whole family includes game wheels, bingo, bocce tournaments, face painting and other kid’s activities.
- Location: Little Italy, Baltimore, MD.
The Maryland State Fair features the thrills and chills, sights, sounds and aromas of numerous Midway and Kiddie Land rides, games and food stands provided by Deggeller Attractions. For those with a more local palate, the Maryland Foods Pavilion and Dairy Bar showcases fresh from the farm and Chesapeake Bay food and drinks. Fairgoers may also watch and wager in the Grandstand on live Thoroughbred horse races as they round the Timonium track. The fair recognizes the enduring appeal of local residents who share their talents and compete for ribbons, prizes and bragging rights.
- Location: Timonium Fairgrounds, 2200 York Rd, Lutherville-Timonium, MD.