FestivALL Event Guide
Explore Howard County Music, Arts, & Cultural Festivals this Spring!
Weekend One: May 3rd - 5th
Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival at Howard County Fairgrounds
FestivALL starts off with Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival at Howard County Fairgrounds. Antique shearing equipment, cheesemaking demonstrations, a wool fashion show, parade of sheep breeds, and shearing demonstrations are just some of the great activities you will experience. There will be performances from Fiddlin’ Earl White, Maggie Sansone, Port Right, Rob Caruthers & Friends, Slim Harrison, and Walt Michael & Company. Families can participate in crafting activities include twining, lucet braiding, crochet, spinning, knitting, needle felting, hand carding, woven bookmark, and wool applique.
M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion
The M3 Rock Festival will take place May 3rd through May 5th at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Tease out your hair, put on some leopard print spandex and fingerless gloves, and celebrate the days of decadence and glamour. The best and most memorable hair metal bands will all be in attendance, including: Whitesnake, Warrant, Skid Row, Extreme, Tora Tora, Quiet Riot, Vixen, Kingdom Come, Bang Tango, Vain, Autograph, Dokken, XYZ and a special VIP acoustic set by Kip Winger.
Weekend Two: May 10th - 12th
The Preakness Festival is taking place the weekend of May 10th & May 12th. This Annual Preakness Celebration Festival is one of several events during the week-long special events celebrating the annual running of the Preakness Stakes, and the 2nd jewel in thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. The Festival includes midway rides and games, a ferris wheel, helicopter tours, Fastrax Skydiving Team, and the first ever Weis Markets Hot Dog Eating Concert. Of course, the festival also features the best hot air balloons and tethered balloon rides in Maryland. Enjoy the beer and wine garden, Maryland’s finest vendors, Baltimore area’s best food, and live music throughout the day, including performances from The Dale Toliver, Hypnotic Willi, Over Under, and Sean Hetrick and the Leftovers.
Weekend Three: May 17th - 19th
Wine in the Woods at Merriweather Park
The 26th Annual Wine in the Woods will be taking place May 18th & 19th at Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods. This is the largest Wine festival in Maryland, with over 30 wineries participating this year. Sample a variety of Maryland’s finest wines from a souvenir glass; purchase food from an over 20 distinctive restaurants and caterers; sharpen your palate by attending wine education seminars, and purchase exceptional works of art and specialty crafts from one of the almost 50 artisans in attendance. There will also be live music on two stages and, as is tradition, a visit from Bacchus, the Gold Living Statue.
DC101 Kerfuffle at Merriweather Post Pavilion
DC101 presents Kerfuffle at Merriweather Post Pavilion on May 19th. Bands that will be performing will include Greta Van Fleet, Young the Giant, The Revivalists, Tom Morello, SHAED, and The Blue Stones.
Weekend Four: May 24th - May 26th
Fantasywood Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion
Fantasywood Festival will take place on May 25th & May 26th. This is a fantasy experience for everyone. The woods will be transformed into a fantasy land with mermaids, fairies, fighting knights, and even a live unicorn. See imaginative life-size art pieces by ManneqART, roaming performers and entertainers, and even take part in “The Quest”: a separately ticketed event which takes adventurous teams of two around the whole festival solving riddles, participating in challenges and earning tokens! Top teams will be able to win fabulous prizes.
Howard County Brewery Tours
Maryland Brewery Tours are the newest and most enjoyable way to experience Maryland's rapidly growing craft beer scene. No one will have to pull the short straw because on these tours, the driving is taken care of for you! You and your friends will be chauffeured to four of Howard County, Maryland's unique breweries and tap rooms. At each stop you'll be treated to a behind the scenes tour and tasting, then you'll have the chance to enjoy a pint of your choice.
Weekend Five: May 31st - June 2nd
Books in Bloom Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion
The 3rd Annual Books in Bloom will be held June 2nd at Merriweather Post Pavilion. This is a day long event featuring author conversations, book signings, Q&A sessions, panel discussions, and more.
Lakefront Concerts at Centennial Park
Weekend Six: June 7th - 9th
Capital Jazz Fest at Merriweather Post Pavilion
Each year in early June, tens of thousands of music lovers from throughout the country flock to Merriweather Post Pavilion to attend The Capital Jazz Fest. Taking place this year from June 7th to 9th, it's an event to, eat, drink, shop, mingle, relax, soak in the rays, make new friends, and of course hear some of the coolest jazz and soul music on the planet!
In-between musical sets, enjoy fine art and crafts at the Festival Marketplace, culinary treats at the food court, and meet & greet the artists. Gladys Knight, Kenny ‘Babyface” Edmonds, Gregory Porter, India.Arie, Gerald Albright, Regina Belle, Patie Austin, Black Violin, Phil Perry and Norma
Weekend Seven: June 14th - 16th
Festival of the Arts Lake Fest Weekend in Columbia
Lake Fest Weekend is a three-day event from June 14th to June 16th filled with live music, an invitational arts and crafts show, performers, festival food, a HowardOnTap Beer Garden and so many different activities and entertainment for everyone. This year’s featured artists do ceramics/clay, drawing/painting, glass, jewelry, mixed media, photography, sculpture, textiles, and wood. Live music from Nelly's Echo, the US Navy Band Cruisers, All Our Exes Live in Texas, the Glenelg Jazz Band, the Centennial Jazz Band, the Wilde Lake Steel Drum Band, and many others.
Weekend Eight: June 21st - June 23rd
Manor Hill Farm Fest in Ellicott City
On Saturday, June 22nd, Manor Hill Farm will be holding Farm Fest on their 54-acre working farm in Ellicott City, Maryland. There will be farm tours and education activities like learning from the farm staff and brewing team how hops are grown and harvested at Manor Hill Farm. In addition to the wonderful farm brewed beer, there will be fresh, locally-sourced food from nearby farms and establishments, including La Palapa, Scoop & Paddle, Manor Hill Tavern, Food Plenty, and Victoria Gastro Pub. Live music from local bands (Grayson Moon Trio and Soul Island Rebels), yard games and more. Beer and apparel will also be available for sale.
Phish Concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion
Rock band Phish will be performing at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Saturday, June 22nd and Sunday, June 23rd. During the early ‘90s, Phish came out as inheritors to The Grateful Dead’s throne. Despite the fact that their music was similar to the Dead’s sound (an eclectic, free-form rock & roll consisting of elements of folk, jazz, country, bluegrass, and pop) the group had more of a jazz-derived improvisation than folk tradition. This concert has become an annual staple of Merriweather's summer line up, bringing thousands of Phans to Howard County Each year.
Weekend Nine: June 28th - 30th
Howard County Pride Festival in Ellicott City
On Saturday, June 29th, Howard County Pride and PFlag of Howard County will be hosting the inaugural Howard County LGBTQ PRIDE festival at Centennial Park. Engage, learn, and celebrate with the many diverse organizations that represent and support Howard County’s LGBTQ community. There will be live performances from many bands, including Blue State and the Columbia School of Rock, food trucks, and craft vendors.
Paint It! Plein Air Workshop in Ellicott City
Artists from around the region will gather in Historic Ellicott City June 27-July 1 to participate in Paint It! Ellicott City, an annual plein air painting event. Spectators are invited to spend the summer weekend strolling the streets and shops of the picturesque mill town and watching the artists at work. Community artists are encouraged to grab their easel and brushes and join the fun as Open Paint-Out participants.
Paint It! culminates in an exhibit of juried artists' work at the Howard County Center for the Arts from July 1 through August 9. Artists and the public are invited to attend the free opening reception on Monday, July 1 from 6-8pm. During the reception, awards will be presented to the artists and the exhibited artwork will be available for purchase.
Weekend Ten: July 4th - 7th
4th of July Fireworks in Columbia
The Columbia Lakefront 4th of July Fireworks will start after dark on July 4th at 9:30 PM. Those wanting to place a blanket may start beginning at 8 AM on July 4. Those wanting to place a tarp on the grass may start at 3 PM, so the grass can be protected. Attendees should arrive early to avoid traffic. Little Patuxent Parkway will be closed about 7 PM and will not reopen until the fireworks are over. Free parking is available in the parking lot at the mall or off of Wincopin Circle.
First Friday at Manor Hill in Ellicott City
On July 5, Manor Hill Brewing will be holding their monthly First Fridays from 4 PM - 8:30 PM. Manor Hill Brewing is located on the Marriner family’s 54-acre working farm in Ellicott City and is the home to 14 acres of crops, over 2 acres of hops, approximately 30 chickens, and more than 20 free-range Angus cattle. The Brewery began in June 2015, making Manor Hill Brewing Howard County’s first farm brewery. The top brewer uses high-quality seasonal ingredients to make hand-made beers from original and unique recipes. Limited release cans will be available at the Manor Hill Brewing Tap Room. Beers will vary from month to month and will be sold exclusively at the taproom throughout the weekend during regular Tap Room Hours. Reservations are not needed, but you should make one if you want to come and/or sample.
Weekend Eleven: July 12th - 14th
African Cultural Experience “A Trip to Africa”
On July 13, the African Cultural Experience will be hosting “A Trip to Africa” at Carroll Baldwin Hall in Savage. This festival celebrates diversity in the community by showing the unique Arts, Music, Fashion, Food, Games, Dance, and Folktales from other countries. You can shop, eat, drink and dance as the activities take place. This is a great experience of amazing cultural performance, great food, and upbeat music.
Weekend Twelve: July 19th - 21st
Howard County American Indian Pow-Wow
Howard County American Indian Pow-Wow will have their 26th Annual American Indian Show and Festival on July 20 & 21 at the Howard County Fairgrounds. The pow-wow is a chance for the public to meet with American Indian dancers, singers, drummers, artists and craftspersons. This Pow-Wow educates the public about American Indians, past and present, through the arts. Native American Dancers in regalia will dance/drum daily. Children activities will include a bow-n-arrow shoot, face painting, and storytelling.
Worth Planning Ahead for:
42nd Annual Korean Festival
The 42nd Annual Korean Festival at Howard County Fairgrounds brings together diverse, authentic, living traditions from Korea.The ultimate Korean American Festival which allows everyone to experience unique cultural connections through food, music, craft demonstrations, dance performances, K-pop stars, dancing groups, taekwondo, face painting, kids zone and much more.
Howard County Hops & Harvest Festival
On October 5th will be Howard County’s Hops & Harvest Festival, which showcases the finest craft beer, music and food in Howard County. There will be over 25 Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries. As well as live entertainment, fresh local food, artisans and vendors, games and more for the entire family.