May is the perfect month to head to an outdoor festival on a date for a taste of local wine, beer, music and a little seafood.
Last year, Glen Burnie resident Dana Dwyer and her boyfriend went to Wine in the Woods in Columbia for the first time and enjoyed it so much that they plan to attend again this year.
“The festival was a lot of fun and is a great way to try locally produced wines and to enjoy great music,” she says.
If you are looking to hit a festival with your mate or a group of friends this month, here are five worth a ticket.
Calvert Arts Festival, Sunderland
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Calvert Arts Festival at All Saints’ Episcopal Church is the spot to discover Calvert County wine, beer, food and artists on May 13.
Sip wine from nine wineries from the Patuxent Wine Trail or taste beer from local breweries. Snack on treats from vendors such as Calvert Kettle Korn or Mrs. Moo’s Ice Cream while you listen to live music and shop from local juried artisans.
“The show has so much to see and do,” says Lusby resident Kay Simkins, an artist who has been a vendor at the festival for the past five years. “This is a juried show, which means high quality work, and a nice range of styles and materials.”
While you’re there, tour the church’s historic 1774 building and grounds and walk the labyrinth.
All proceeds benefit the parish and community projects.
All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 100 Lower Marlboro Road, Sunderland
Saturday, May 13, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tickets: $15 for beer/wine tasting, includes tasting glass; free for general admission.
Photo courtes of All Saints’ Parish
Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival, Annapolis
Two days of food, music, beer and wine mark the signature Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis from May 20-21.
Wander the crafters village while you enjoy barbecue, crab cakes, oysters and more. Musicians such as Jonny Lang, The Mavericks and Ana Popvic will perform.
All proceeds will go to two nonprofit organizations, Special Love Inc. and We Care and Friends.
Sandy Point State Park, 1100 E. College Parkway, Annapolis
Saturday, May 20, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, May 21, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Tickets: $62 one day; $112 both days.
Photo courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival
Wine in the Woods, Columbia
Sample wines from local wineries such as Boordy Vineyards, Basignani and St. Michael’s Winery during the 25th anniversary of Wine in the Woods in Symphony Woods May 20-21.
Enjoy local treats from Maryland eateries such as fried chicken from Friendly Farms and gourmet grilled cheese from Grilled Cheese and Company. Shop from over 30 different artisans and check out the two stages for live music ranging from jazz and swing to pop and rock.
Symphony Woods, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia
Saturday, May 20, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, May 21, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tickets: Saturday, $32 in advance, $40 at the door; Sunday, $27 in advance, $35 at the door. Designated driver Saturday, $25; Sunday, $20.
Photo courtesy of Wine in the Woods
Chillin’ on the Choptank, Cambridge
Great food, wine, beer and jazz will all be part of the first annual Chillin’ on the Choptank at Governor’s Hall at Sailwinds Park May 26-27.
The festival starts Friday night with a small plate dinner, prepared by Chef Henry from Tilghman Island’s Two if by Sea restaurant, paired with wine, beer and spirits. An open-air jazz concert along the riverbank will follow dinner.
Saturday features a wine, beer and oyster tasting with over 100 wines from California to Chile and artisan beer from the local RAR Brewing. Hoopers Island Oyster Aquaculture will be shucking locally grown oysters. Enjoy a jazz concert under the stars in the evening.
“The focus of the whole event is to have fun and to come down to the river and chill,” says Ed Johnson, who spearheaded the event with Randy Decker, his partner and co-owner of The Wine Bar.
Net proceeds will go to the Dorchester Family YMCA and the Dorchester Chamber Foundation Scholarship fund.
Governor’s Hall at Sailwinds Park, 200 Byrn St., Cambridge
Friday, May 26, 7 – 10 p.m.; Saturday, May 27, noon-5 p.m
Tickets: $114 for Complete Chillin’ Package (all events); $75 Friday Pairing Dinner; $45 Saturday Wine, Beer and Oyster Tasting, includes tasting glass; $15 Saturday concert only.
Brew at the Zoo, Baltimore
Sample over 80 different beers while listening to live music, shopping from local artisans and exploring the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore at Brew at the Zoo May 27-28.
The event will feature beers from Brewer’s Art, Flying Dog and Samuel Adams among other breweries as well as local musicians like The Kelly Bell Band and Nelly’s Echo.
“My favorite part about this festival was all of the options in drinks and food,” says Caitlin Smith of Baltimore. “I also am a huge animal lover so being able to enjoy a fun festival while enjoying the animals is fantastic.”
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, 1 Safari Place, Baltimore
Saturday, May 27, 1-7 p.m.; Sunday, May 28, 1-7 p.m.
Tickets: $50 in advance or $55 at the gate, includes tasting glass and all-day admission to the zoo; $75 for VIP tickets, includes early entry via the Express Entry line at noon and 16 ounce glass mug; $25 non-sampling ticket.
Photo courtesy of The Maryland Zoo
By Amanda Danaher