Summer is here! The sun is shining, air is warm, birds chirping, flowers blooming—you know the drill. Oh no, stopped traffic! It’s rainy and humid again and surprise, surprise: That’s the forecast for the whole week. I refuse, however, to let this weather dampen my summer mood on the official first day of summer so to get myself and the rest of Baltimore out of this gloom, I have compiled a list of the top five events that are the recipe for rowdiness in B-more this season:
1) U2 Concert, M&T Bank Stadium – Wednesday, June 22
Yes, it’s tomorrow but it’s not too late to get your tickets. They are still reasonably priced around $60. Not bad especially with Florence and The Machine as the opening act. Let your inner Irish out and start the festivities in Fed Hill at MaGerks Pub, a short walk from the stadium.
2) Baltimore’s Annual ArtScape Festival, by the Maryland Institute College of Art – Friday, July 15, through Sunday, July 17
This is the Michelin of people-watching if I’ve ever seen one, with attendees ranging from 70-year-old eccentrics who are still living in the Woodstock era to high school students draped from head to toe with piercings and chains to the cookie-cutter families toting strollers and snow cones. If this isn’t enough, there are hundreds of vendors displaying all types of art including traditional, dance, photography and, of course, the “What the *&%^?!” For dessert, post yourself up at one of the four stages skewed around the downtown streets to enjoy live music of all niches, including Matisyahu, ’80s karaoke, and Eric Byrd Trio.
3) The White Marlin Open, Ocean City, Maryland – Monday, August 8, through Friday, August 12
True, this event isn’t actually in Baltimore, but it is only a measly two-and-a-half-hour drive to the beach for a quick and much-needed weekend getaway. The event has all the Baltimore flair you could ask for, from cold Natty Bohs to all the Old Bay crabs you could ever want, and then some. Spend the day partying with your friends in lower OC at one of the countless bars in the area. I suggest Fishtails or M.R. Duck’s for an unforgettable time. The key is to make your way to the weigh-in area at the marina by 4:00 p.m. This is where things get good. With plenty of beer and food vendors ready for your business, you can eat and drink your fill while watching the excitement as the boats bring in their day’s catch and hope for the big one.
4) Baltimore Grand Prix, Downtown Charm City – Friday, September 2, through Sunday, September 4
So the FIFA exhibition games have left Baltimore this year (yes they’re only moving to DC but they’re still not in our fair city) but fear not! These futbol matches have been replaced, trumped even, by the Baltimore Grand Prix coming to town this September. The race will run throughout downtown Baltimore during the course of the weekend, skidding around corners, almost guaranteeing some exciting crashes. There will be vendors, parties, activities, and bands set up around the Inner Harbor and scattered across different downtown districts; this is not the event to miss out on. There are various seat options for sale, but the best move is to buddy up with someone who has a deck along the route and hold a shindig there.
5) Baltimore Hockey Classic, 1st Mariner Arena – Tuesday, September 20
The Washington Capitals vs. the Nashville Predators downtown is the perfect event for a final summer blowout. The game isn’t until 7:00 p.m. so head down early to grab dinner and drinks outside at some local hotspot like Little Havana or Power Plant Live. With a new downtown arena on the horizon, the possibility for Baltimore to have its own NHL team is becoming more and more realistic, so why not test the waters of Baltimore hockey with Caps game?