Annual Events

Howard County Restaurant Weeks

Howard County's top chefs serve up savings and local dining experiences at fabulous prix fixe prices during Summer and Winter Restaurant Weeks. 

Blossoms of Hope Cherrybration Days

April is Cherry Blossom time in Howard County and Blossoms of Hope’s annual pink season brings a month-long celebration of activities that honor the beauty of the trees and help raise cancer awareness. With more than 1,700 beautiful pink Kwanzan cherry trees blossoming in parks, along roadways and at attractions county-wide, spring in Howard County awakens the human spirit filling it with hope, happiness and health.

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

Discover the beauty of sheep, the warmth of wool and the delicious taste of lamb during a fun-filled weekend celebrating all things sheep, from hoof to handwoven. Featuring over 800 sheep, sheep shows, sheep breeds display, parade of breeds, all kinds of demonstrations (including working sheepdogs, sheep shearing, spinning and weaving), sheep to shawl contest, fleece show and sale, workshops and seminars, special activities for kids, cooking demonstrations, food booths, musical entertainment, over 275 vendors, and much, much more! Always the 1st weekend in May.

Preakness® Celebration Hot Air Balloon Festival

This three-day festival offers spectators the change to enjoy the wonder of hot air balloons, specialty crafts, entertainment and good food. New this year, the event will take place at the Howard County Fairgrounds. May 18-20, 2017.

Wine in the Woods

One of the premiere events in the region and a source of pride for Howard County for over 20 years. Voted Best Outdoor event by Columbia Magazine in 1997 and 1998 and awarded Best Annual Festival in Howard County by Howard Magazine in 2009. Live Music, food and samples from over 30 Maryland wineries. Usually occurs mid-May.

Capital Jazz Fest

Tens of thousands of music lovers from throughout the country flock to the suburbs of Washington, D.C. to attend this weekend of cool jazz and soul — The Capital Jazz Fest. Started in 1993, this multi-day, multi-stage outdoor music festival, is more than just a concert, it’s an event! A place to people-watch, eat, drink, shop, mingle, relax, soak in the rays, and, of course, hear some of the coolest music performed by artists whom you won’t see anywhere else in the Washington-Baltimore area this summer. Usually occurs in early June. 

Columbia Festival of the Arts

A seasonal, weekend-long celebration of the arts in a broad spectrum of art forms and cultures, encouraging interaction among artists and audiences, and featuring local and national artists. Occurs seasonally.

Fourth of July Fireworks

Howard County Government with support from the Columbia Association present a family friendly fireworks extravaganza along the Columbia Lakefront. Entertainment includes live bands and a variety of children’s activities. Blankets, chairs and picnics are welcome; food is for sale onsite.

Paint It: Ellicott City, A Juried Plein Air Paint-Out

Artists are invited each summer to participate in an organized outdoor “paint-out” in Historic Ellicott City over two days. Festivities include street walking to see the artists at work, a welcome reception and a gallery reception at the Howard County Arts Council. Occurs in July.

The Howard County Fair

A celebration of Howard County’s farming past and present. Lots of family fun with livestock exhibits, carnival rides & games, demonstrations, parades & contests. Usually occurs early August. 

Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon

A premier triathlon for women featuring a 0.62mi Swim – 17.5mi Bike – 3.4mi Run. Hosted annually at Centennial Lake by the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, a 501c-3 non-profit organization based in Columbia and Baltimore Maryland.

Symphony of Lights

Cars, vans and busses can drive-through this spectacular display of more than 70 larger-than-life light creations, both stationary and animated. Special nights for families with children under 5 and even dogs and their owners! Occurs during the winter holiday season.

Ellicott City Arts Festival Artwalk

Ellicott City ArtWalk reveals hidden artists and features more than twenty artists’ studios, galleries, and retail venues. Many styles of art will be showcased, including fine oil and watercolor paintings, metal and wood sculpture, mixed media, artistic jewelry, ceramics, and photography. Meet and greet the artists, tour their working spaces, watch demonstrations, and purchase works large and small. Usually occurs in the Fall.