Break out those feathered headbands and hipster threads! You don’t have to run off to the desert to enjoy a good warm weather jamboree, Howard County has festivals, music and outdoor entertainment for every taste and every age!

Merriweather 1

Merriweather Post Pavilion

One of the world’s most beautiful and storied amphitheaters is celebrating 50 years of music with their 2017 season! Nestled in 40 acres of forest smack between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. A concert season at Merriweather Post Pavilion is like putting your iPod on shuffle: the calendar features the best in rock, country, rhythm and blues, pop, jazz, hip hop, alternative, electronica and classical. For more information on Merriweather’s current season and tickets, click here.

APRIL

Springfest in Old Ellicott City 2016

SpringFest in Old Ellicott City

Bring the family to town and celebrate Earth Day at the annual Ellicott City SpringFest! Lots of fun is scheduled throughout the day! There’ll be 4 Music Stages with 25+ bands performing, craft beer & wine gardens, kids area with free crafts, Earth Day activities, sidewalk shopping, dining and plenty of parking plus a free shuttle!

Cherry Blossoms in Ellicott CityCherrybration Days

Cherrybration Days are Howard County's annual celebration of our almost 2,000 Kwanzan cherry trees and Blossoms of Hope, the organization responsible for adding the pops of pink to Howard County's landscape. Lots of events take place between March 30 and June 12 to benefit Blossoms of Hope and their mission to enhance quality of life through beautification projects and support for the Claudia Mayer / Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center and other causes. These bright pink blooms usually begin to blossoms about 2 weeks after DC's cherry blossom trees. 

MAY

Linganore Winecellars Festival Series

Linganore Winecellars offers outdoor festivals on select weekends, May – October. All festivals feature live music, tasting of 19 different wines, guided winery tours, fine art and craft vendors and food vendors!

Hot Air Balloon Festival at Turf ValleyPreakness Balloon Festival

The Long Running Preakness Celebration Balloon Festival is one of many events planned during the week-long series of special events celebrating the annual running of the Preakness Stakes, Baltimore's "Super Bowl" and the 2nd jewel in thoroughbred racing's prestigious Triple Crown. The Hot Air Balloon Festival has a long and colorful tradition going back 40 years. The Howard County Fairgrounds in Howard County, Maryland will brighten the skies this year as the Centerpiece Venue for the long running balloon festival. Spectators will enjoy the wonder of hot air balloons, specialty crafts, entertainment, and good food during this family-friendly festival. 

Savage Fest

The town of Savage’s popular annual celebration. Fun for all! Kids pony ride, moon bounce & petting zoo. Live music & magic shows! Raffles & local history! Food, retail and craft vendors!

Pouring a taste at Wine in the Woods 2016

Wine in the Woods

Come out and celebrate the charm and character of an event that has aged to perfection! Wine in the Woods is celebrating 25 years in 2017! Sample a variety of Maryland’s finest wineries from a souvenir glass; purchase food from an abundance of high quality, distinctive restaurants and caterers; sharpen your palate by attending wine education seminars; purchase exceptional works of art and specialty crafts; and revel in continuous live entertainment. 

Sheep at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

The Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival is one of the largest festivals of its kind celebrating all things sheep, from hoof to handwoven.

JUNE

Capital Jazz Fest

The 25th annual Capital Jazz Fest will take place June 2-4, 2017 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD and will feature nearly 30 national acts on two big stages. 

Books in Bloom - downtown Columbia Book Festival

Columbia's inaugural book festival, Books in Bloom, will take place on Sunday, June 11 at The Chrysalis in Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods. Books in Bloom will bring together some of the country’s best and brightest writers for a daylong festival celebrating the joy of books and reading. Readings, panel discussions, a poetry wall and pop-up bookstore by Politics & Prose are featured.

ManneqART Madness 2016

ManneqART Madness 

One hundred models transform from ordinary to EXTRAORDINARY in one day at Historic Savage Mill as part of the annual ManneqART Madness! Watch the photoshoot live! At this event, 40 Hair and 40 Makeup artists will arrive ready to construct their Hair Sculpture and Special Effects Makeup creations on live models. Wigs, armatures, prosthetics, and other elements can be made beforehand and affixed to the model on the day of the competition. This is a free event open to the public. Personal photography by the public is allowed. The costumes that correspond with the competing Hair and Makeup designs will be displayed on mannequins at the event and will be considered during judging. More info to come. 

Katena - Architects of Air Luminairium

Columbia Festival of the Arts & Architects of Air

The mission of the Columbia Festival of the Arts is to present a world class celebration of the arts and entertainment that attracts, engages and inspires the broad and diverse community it serves. The highlight of this year’s Free Opening Weekend will be the Architects of Air: Katena Luminarium, presented in partnership with Columbia’s 50th Birthday. Katena is a soaring structure that has been seen across the globe and is now coming to Columbia. A luminarium is an inflatable multi-room lighted sculpture that people enter for an encounter with the phenomenon of light. Those who enter the structure experience a spectacular and surreal world, touring visually stunning interiors. The installation awakens all the senses, creating a sense of wonder and enchantment for all ages. Visitors are transported and immersed in an amazing world of architectural beauty with subtle and saturated hues, creating a unique visual arts sensory experience, in ways you wouldn’t expect. The inflatable walk-in sculpture from the United Kingdom will be free and open to all, June 16-18, 2017. It is part of this summer’s Columbia Festival of the Arts free weekend Your Summer Starts Here! and Columbia’s 50th Birthday Celebration at the Columbia Town Center Lakefront . The three-day event includes live music, kids’ entertainment and crafts, a fine arts and craft sale, festival food fare, a beer garden, wine tastings, and a variety of activities for all ages.

Downtown Columbia Lakefront PierColumbia's 50th Birthday Celebration

Celebrate 50 years of Columbia, MD! There will activities ranging from concerts to sports and from fireworks to art installations. Be sure to mark your calendars especially for the official birthday week - June 19-25, 2017 - when seven days of concerts, toasts, stories and celebrations will take place. 

Columbia's Lakefront Summer Festival

The Lakefront Summer Festival is sponsored by the Columbia Association and held on the lawn at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront, located off of Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia, MD. Admission is free and so is parking No glass containers or alcoholic beverages are permitted on the premises. There is great entertainment throughout the summer every night of the week from mid-June through late August with movies on the weekends until mid-September. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy live performances or movies. The schedule has something for everyone and is sure to please!

JULY

Fireworks Columbia4th of July

Downtown Columbia, MD celebrates the fourth of July with a family fireworks extravaganza along the Downtown Columbia Lakefront. Entertainment includes live bands on 2 stages and a variety of children’s entertainment. Bring blankets, chairs and a picnic.

Painting The Firehouse Museum Plein Air 2016

Paint It! Ellicott City Plein Air Festival

Paint It! Ellicott City is an annual event that brings artists and spectators interested in the plein air tradition to Historic Ellicott City. Both juried and Open Paint artists set up their easels around the historic district, enjoying a summer weekend as they capture the picturesque mill town and all its charms.

*Nighttime photo of event at Merriweather Post Pavilion courtesy of Will Cocks.
*Photo of Katena Luminarium courtesy of John Owens.
*Photo of fireworks over Lake Kittamaqundi courtesy of Howard County Recreation & Parks.