The state sometimes referred to as "Little America" lives up to its nickname by offering plenty of activities for families looking for something to do with the kids on a weekend, wine aficionados, music lovers, art enthusiasts and people who are looking to find some unique, handmade crafts. Regardless of your particular interests, there are plenty of Maryland festivals to enjoy throughout the year, with late spring and autumn being especially active festival seasons in Maryland.
Maryland State Fair (Timonium, late August through Labor Day)
Taking place near the intersection of Timonium road and York, this 11-day festival is best known for its thoroughbred racing competition and related events. The agricultural-based fair includes thousands of livestock, fresh fruit and vegetables, farm and garden exhibits and home arts displays. You'll also find carnival-style rides and local concerts for your enjoyment.
Arts and Crafts
Many of the festivals in Maryland are centered around arts and crafts. Considered one of the nation's premier craft shows, the American Craft Council Baltimore Show (Baltimore, late February) showcases everything from contemporary jewelry to handmade furniture. As one of the largest free arts festivals in the United States, Baltimore Artscape (Baltimore, mid-July) offers a little something for everyone, including hands-on crafts for children.
Maryland music festivals include a little something for every preference. The Charm City Folk and Bluegrass Festival (Baltimore, April) brings together many of the region's most talented folk and bluegrass performers. Rock fans will appreciate the M3 Rock Festival (Columbia, mid-spring), which attracts a variety of alternative and rock acts. If you prefer a little horse racing with your music, Preakness Infieldfest at Pimlico (Laurel, May) is where you want to be. Also worth mentioning: Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival (Annapolis) and Delfest (Cumberland, May).
Drink in the best of the state's famed regional wines at the Double Down Wine and Beer Festival (Berlin, early October), where guests receive $20 in free slot dollars. The Winestock Festival (Rising Sun, early October) offers wine tasting courtesy of Maryland's four wineries along with live bands.
The most notable of the seasonal festivals in the Old Line State is the Maryland Renaissance Festival (Annapolis, early fall through mid-October) where you can celebrate the wonders of the 16th-century with events taking place on ten stages on 22 acres. Six Flags America becomes a truly scary place for families to enjoy the thrills and chills of Halloween with its annual Frightfest (Upper Marlboro, October).