The Sowebo Arts and Music Festival. Photo by Ed Linton.

It’s time to welcome summer (unofficially), as Memorial Day weekend in Baltimore sees public spaces like Hollins Market and the Maryland Zoo transformed into celebrations, and welcomes back seasonal series.

Happening Tonight:
Opening reception for “West Baltimore Stories II”: 5-7 p.m. at Full Circle Fine Art Services. See the results of a yearlong photography project, as students at Excel Academy set out to capture raw images of life.

Opening reception for “Baltimore’s Arabbers – Calls from a City Street”: 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. Artists Megan Lewis, Andrew “Gaia” Pisacane, Ken Royster, Roland Freeman and M. Holden Warren display works inspired by Baltimore’s horse-drawn street vendors. The opening reception includes an appearance by an Arabber cart.

Patterson Park Wine at Sunset: 6-9 p.m. at Patterson Park Pagoda. Head up Hampstad Hill to see the spring sunset and enjoy unlimited tastings and food pairings from the neighborhood, like Di Pasquale’s, Twist Fell’s Point and Water for Chocolate. It’s the largest annual fundraiser for Friends of Patterson Park.

Portrait of the Artist as a Sad Little Girl in New Jersey: 7 p.m. at University of Baltimore, Wright Theatre. Memoirist, storyteller and Baltimore Fishbowl contributor Marion Winik performs her new one-woman show.

Free Film at the Parkway: Derek Jarman’s “Edward II”: 7:30 p.m. at the Parkway Theatre. A postmodern take on an Elizabethan drama is heralded as a New Queer Classic, starring Tilda Swinton and featuring a special appearance by Annie Lennox.

Maryland Deathfest: May 24-27 at Rams Head Live and Baltimore Soundstage. Metal bands from around the world converge on Baltimore for the weekend. Four days and two venues provide lots of variety, from Norwegian black metal masters Satyricon to English industrial metal pioneers Godflesh to stateside favorites like Helmet and Eyehategod. There’s hardcore (Integrity), grindcore (Pig Destroyer) and Lord Gore. Unfortunately, Bloodbath won’t be appearing due to visa issues. Check out the full lineup for lots more.

Baltimore Bike Party: Beach Prom edition. Image via Facebook.

Friday, May 25
Summer Sounds: 6-9 p.m. at Belvedere Square. The near-weekly Friday night concert series in Belvedere Square gets started for the season with music, local food and vendors. This week features Kelly Bell Band.

Baltimore Bike Party: 6:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Park. The last-Friday celebration welcomes summer by heading through South Baltimore en route to the Sandlot in Harbor East for a Beach Prom. The Sandlot is also hosting a Can Jam that night.

Kinetic Images | Short Films: 8 p.m. at Creative Alliance: Come for the kinetic sculptures in the gallery at the Highlandtown art center under the title “Journey Through the Cosmos,” stay for the short films inspired by Rube Goldberg.

FESPACO West Film Series: Afro-Caribbean: 7 p.m. at the Motor House. Nilewater Multimedia brings back its local showcase of black-made international film, this time with screenings of seven short movies from Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Martinique, Barbados and Curaçao. The series is an extension of Fespaco, Africa’s largest film festival, which happens every other year in Burkina Faso.

SHOW: BIG Time–with Lou Catelli: 8-9 p.m. at the Baltimore Improv Group Theater. The unofficial Mayor of Hampden inspires a set of improv. As with all of BIG’s May, June and July performances, this show is free.

Wing Dam’s Final Show: 8 p.m. at Windup Space. As reported earlier this month, the local indie rockers are hanging it up with drummer Abe Sanders moving to Seattle. Grace Vonderkuhn and Infinity Knives + Randi open.

TT the Artist. Image via Facebook.

Saturday, May 26
Baltimore Herb Fest 2018: 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. at Gwynns Falls Leakin Park. Shop more than 50 plant and garden vendors, or take a ride on a miniature steam train. Featuring food trucks and live bands. The 30-year-old festival is a fundraiser for Leakin Park’s historic Winans Chapel.

Brew at the Zoo. May 26 and 27, 1-7 p.m., at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Take a walk on the wild side. One of the biggest beer festivals of the year happens right alongside live animals in Druid Hill Park. The festival includes unlimited beer and wine sampling, live music, food, vendors, a ticket to the zoo and a commemorative glass.

8th Annual King of Baltimore: 5-11 p.m. at Patapsco Arena. The Baltimore club community’s annual dance competition crowns the city’s best. More than 50 dancers will vie for one crown. Plus, hall of fame inductions and performances by TT the Artist, A1 Chop and Yannababy & Friends.

Good Life Festival: May 26 and 27 at Boordy Vineyards. Take a day trip out to the Glen Arm to sample new wines and local food. Plus, hayrides around the vineyards.

The Charmery opens in Towson: Noon at 6807 York Road. The ice cream shop that started in Hampden has a double scoop of upcoming new locations. First up is the new shop in Towson with 16 flavors ready to serve for summer.

Yapoma Bazaar Opening Party: Noon-8 p.m. at 3216 Belair Road. A pop-up shop in Belair-Edison is featuring handmade goods from mostly local artists and crafters all summer. Opening day brings drinks, snacks and music from Cynthia Marie.

2018 Baltimore Drag Awards: 8 p.m. at Creative Alliance. It’s a glamorous night on Eastern Ave., complete with red carpet arrivals. Hosted by Brooklyn Heights and Betty O’Hellno, this year’s theme is Metallic Mixer.

The “Beer Boat” water taxi (disclaimer: not real). Image via Facebook.
The “Beer Boat” water taxi (disclaimer: not real). Image via Facebook.

Sunday, May 27
35th Annual Sowebo Arts and Music Festival: Noon-8 p.m. at Hollins Market. The free event is a high point of Memorial Day weekend, as well as the Baltimore festival circuit. It features three stages of music, art galleries, food trucks, drinks, a mural wall, Kids Alley and live animals. Highlights around the neighborhood include a show at Zella’s Pizzeria, photography at New Beginnings Barbershop and a Carriage House art show.

Chariot Festival/Festival of India 2018: Noon at McKeldin Square. The celebration of Indian culture begins with a chariot parade from the Maryland Science Center–the tradition, called Rathyatra, dates back 5,000 years–followed by an afternoon with a vegetarian feast, live music and dance, plus cultural exhibits.

Bike & Brunch Tours: 10 a.m. at Harbor East. Meet at the Bike Share station before heading out on a 10-mile tour of the city to check out history and some of the high points happening today. It culminates with brunch.

The UKG Summer Social: 2-9 p.m. at the Ynot Lot. Station North plays host to an all-day block party, with DJs spinning UK garage, house and funk.

Water Taxi Cask Crawl: 11 a.m. at Max’s Taphouse. Good beer on the water? Sounds like a good bet. Grab an all-day water taxi pass and join stops at Fells Point, HarborPlace (Pratt St. Ale House) and Anthem House (Diamondback Brewing).

Monday, May 28 (Memorial Day)
Stanley Cup Game 1: Caps vs. Golden Knights
: It’s not often you get to see the Washington Capitals compete in the Stanley Cup Finals–in fact, it’s been exactly 20 years since the franchise made it there, only to be swept by the Detroit Red Wings. Now they’re back and looking to surprise the red-hot Golden Knights of Las Vegas. Cheer them on for game 1 at watch parties hosted by The Brass Tap, Ropewalk Tavern and Abbey Burger in Fells Point, among others.

Memorial Day celebration at Fort McHenry: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Learn something about the Civil War-era origins of this federal holiday at Baltimore’s historic star-shaped fort in Locust Point, and watch a park ranger raise a replica Civil War flag to commemorate lives lost in battle. Special ranger programs offered throughout, and kids get in free.

Parts and Labor’s Memorial Day party11 a.m.-9 p.m. The Remington butcher shop and eatery is putting on a celebration, complete with $2 draft, $6 burgers and other specials. There will also be games, including ping-pong, cornhole, Yardzee (life-sized Yahtzee) and the simple, but beloved Stump.


  • SOUL: The Stax Musical will be rounding into its final stretch at Baltimore Center Stage, marking the final directorial effort of Kwame Kwei-Armah. Music-loving theater-goers who want to go solo can join Mixolo for the June 1 performance.
  • 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.”
  • Get the moptops back in shape for Beatles Family Festival. WTMD’s Saturday Morning Tunes comes to life on June 23 by paying tribute to the Fab Four with an indoor/outdoor festival at its Towson studio. It has Beatles reggae tribute band Yellow Dubmarine, as well as Beatles-themed photos, arts and crafts.