Pimlico Race Course on Preakness Day. Photo by World Red Eye.

All eyes are on Old Hilltop, as the Preakness Stakes brings lots of visitors to town for the weekend’s largest draw. But don’t sleep on chances to get out for a farmer’s market kickoff, birding or a bike tour of West Baltimore.

Note: With all the inclement weather expected this weekend, please check with the venue for any scheduling changes.

Happening tonight:

Lexington Market Crab Derby: 4-8 p.m. at the old Lexington Market Racing Grounds (now a parking lot). Before the horses round Old Hilltop, 3-year-old crustaceans will crawl on the city pavement to race for the Faidley/Devine Cup. The event features food from Lexington Market vendors, music by Stryker’s Posse and games.

The Necessity of Tomorrow(s): Ta-Nehisi Coates: 6-10 p.m. at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The Baltimore-born writer returns to discuss the resurgence of “Black Panther,” which he helped usher in by penning a new series for Marvel in 2016. The theme spreads throughout the museum, including a conversation with Bashi Rose on black radicalism, a film screening of “Space is the Place” and a comic book reading room. First come, first seated.

Opening Reception for “Waving and Wavering”: 6-9 p.m. at Maryland Art Place. A new exhibit looks at interpretations of flags locally, nationally and internationally. Artists include Project KALI, FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, Ursula Populoh, Iqrama Muhammad, YARISAL & KUBLITZ, René Treviño, Brette Gabel, Nino Cais, UBIK, Amy Yee, Carver Audain, and ±MAISMENOS±.

Cocktails at the Conservatory: 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Rawlings Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. It’s blooming in Baltimore–even in the drinks. Imbibe botanically inspired cocktails like the Palm House Punch and two special drinks infusing flora from the conservatory.

Refugee and Immigrant Awareness Forum: Who Will Tell Your Story?: 7-9 p.m. at Beth Am. Leaders have deemed Baltimore a “welcoming city” in an era of freezes on immigration from many countries. Tonight, some of these neighbors share their stories.

Friday, May 18:

Black-Eyed Susan Day: All day at Pimlico Race Course. Billed as “The Ultimate Girls Day Out,” Preakness weekend begins with a racing tradition dating back nearly 100 years. It’s a more relaxed day to take in the fillies, with highlights off the track including the colorful fashion on the concourse, and a seminar with female racing analysts.

Baltimore Birding Weekend: May 18-20. Hike, paddle or water taxi at landmarks across the city to spot the warblers, orioles, tanagers and flycatchers returning to these environs. The series of guided tours runs morning and afternoon all weekend.

Summer Block Party Series Kickoff: 5-9 p.m. at McHenry Row. World of Beer begins once-a-month block parties in Locust Point with featured libations from Key Brewing, food trucks and live music.

Trinidad and Tobago Baltimore Steel Orchestra: 6-9 p.m. at Peabody Heights Brewery. The Abell brewing cooperative opens its doors for Fridays in the Beer Garden. It’s free and family-friendly, and it offers live music.

Say it Loud Film Festival: 7-9 p.m. at the Peale Center. The showcase of local poets, musicians and short films seeks to give voice to the unheard. The program also runs May 19 at Jubilee Arts Center in West Baltimore.

Corey Glover: 7:30 p.m. at Fish Head Cantina. The frontman from Living Colour is in Halethorpe as part of a stint celebrating the 20th anniversary of his solo album “Hymns.” Kelly Bell Band, Normandy Wood, The Mayan Factor and Outlet are opening.

Bollymore: 8 p.m.-midnight at Motor House. The South Asian diaspora gathers at Showroom for a cultural celebration with music, art and free samosas.

Spring Campout: May 18-19 at Lake Roland. Pitch a tent and enjoy a night hike, s’mores around the campfire and the great outdoors. (UPDATE: The campout has been cancelled due to the weather.)

H.R. (of Bad Brains) & Human Rights: 8:30 p.m. at Ottobar. A year removed from brain surgery, the frontman of legendary punk band Bad Brains brings his reggae band to Charles Village. The Upstarters (EP release), Canker Blossom and DJ Bobby Babylon open.

Saturday, May 19:

Image via Preakness.com

Preakness 2018: All day at Pimlico Race Course. The 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes headlines a day of racing at Old Hilltop, as Justify seeks to add a second jewel toward a serious Triple Crown bid. The party in the center of the oval is back for its 10th year, as InfieldFest features music from Post Malone, 21 Savage, Odesza, Frank Walker and Vice. For those who aren’t attending, viewing parties abound.

Year of the Market: Farmer’s Market Kickoff: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. The BMI Farmers Market begins its 10th season with fresh food and live music. The day also features free museum admission for the opening of a new exhibit titled “Why We Work.” For those heading alone, meet up with the crew from Mixolo.

2018 Baltimore Vintage Expo: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Ideal Arts Space. More than 25 retailers and dealers from the Baltimore/D.C. area converge on Hampden with clothing, furniture, antiques and records ready for retro browsing.

Wine in the Woods: May 19-20 at Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods, Columbia. The state’s largest wine festival returns with a chance to taste what local vineyards are offering, as well as sample food from local vendors.

Operation Airdrop Challenge: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Maryland Science Center. Gather a team to build a device that can withstand a landing and protect emergency supplies. Teams of four get access to supplies and admission.

‘Baltimore Rising’ Film Screening and Discussion: 4-6 p.m. at John and Frances Angelos Law Center. Planned Parenthood of Maryland and Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle partnered to present the HBO documentary about the protests that followed Freddie Gray’s death, directed by Sonja Sohn. Free.

An Evening with Cris Jacobs Band: 8 p.m. at the 8×10. The Baltimore singer-songwriter has an impressive resume, having fronted The Bridge and collaborated with Steve Winwood, Sturgill Simpson and Ivan Neville. The versatility is on display in his own project as well, which makes a local stop on a national tour in Federal Hill.

Cabinet of Curiosities Gala: 6-10 p.m. at Natural History Society of Maryland. The Overlea museum is holding its first-ever gala, harkening back to the Victorian days when the discoveries were made by amateurs with a passion for the natural world recording what they saw. Come for the live animals and vintage cocktails, stay for the silent auction.

Baltimore Square Dance: 8-11:30 p.m. at Mobtown Ballroom. Grab your partner and answer the call, as all skill levels are welcome in Pigtown Saturday night. Ginny’s Kitchen provides the live music, you fill in the fun.

Sunday, May 20

Image via Baltimore Heritage

West Baltimore Murals and History by Bike: 9:30 a.m.-noon. Baltimore Heritage leads a two-wheeled exploration of a host of public artworks, and a look at seminal events that beget long-distance telegraph and the railroad.

Artubus Arts Festival: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The one-day arts and crafts show is one of the better browsing bets on this spring Sunday. Check out the car show, food vendors and beer garden.

Baltimore Record Bazaar Spring Show: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Windup Space. Spin over to Station North for more than 25 vendors hawking vinyl, tapes, CDs and other music-delivery mediums. Plus, DJs spin throughout the day.

Brewscape: noon-5 p.m. at Birroteca. The season of scapes begins already with a local art, music and craft beer festival. The event features the BirrOlympics with undoubtedly fierce competition in cornhole, flip cup and keg tossing.

Sunday Sounds in Union Square Park: 5-8 p.m. Get the chair out a little early and warm up for next weekend’s Sowebo Festival with the pop, rock and soul of Nalina and Sarina.


  • The 34th Annual Sowebo Arts and Music Festival returns to Hollins Market on May 27 for a full day of gallery browsing and music listening.
  • Start making plans to head to Glen Arm for the Good Life Feastival. Kick off summer at Boordy Vineyards on May 26 and 27 with new wine, food from local farms and hayrides. Plus, music from Free Range Blue and Blue Octane.
  • Start building the beehive. HonFest is coming up on June 9-10 on The Avenue in Hampden. While there’s a full street of performances and vendors, all eyes are on the crowning of Baltimore’s Best Hon.
  • That same weekend, The Greater Northwest Neighborhoods Festival celebrates unity in the communities with a day of food trucks, music and a fashion show at Calvin Rodwell Elementary School.
  • Less than a month remains until Pride Weekend. The LGBTQ+ celebration featuring a parade, block party and festival at Druid Hill Park is June 16-17, with the theme “United We Shine.”

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Technical.ly Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.