Forty varieties of bourbon and 60 beer draughts flow freely from taps into souvenir glasses, slaking thirsty throats with unlimited sips as guests tear through smoky meat concoctions at the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival's tasting stations. Once stuffed with ribs, brisket, and sausage, attendees can retire to the tasting theater to take in a seminar from pit masters and gourmet chefs on preparing fine barbecue or brewing stellar bourbon. Live rock, blues, and bluegrass bands set the airwaves quivering from the main stage with wailing tunes or announcements drawn in barbecue sauce. A cigar tent provides a smoky haven for puffing on fine tobacco products, and big-screen TVs beam the latest sports action directly into eyeballs.
Attracting more than 170,000 art enthusiasts to its events in 2011, the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival showcases original work from hundreds of artisans showcasing everything from handcrafted pottery, sculpture, and metalwork to jewelry, fashion, décor, and photography. Audiences can witness art being made live during educational demonstrations as artisans sculpt clay, whittle wood, forge metals, and imbue baskets with the power of speech. Hungry crafters can also sniff out specialty food items to sample or purchase while dancing across the sprawling venue to the tunes of live music.
A finalist in the 2003 season of Nashville Star, Grammy-winner Miranda Lambert's lively, heartfelt country rock sets toes a-tapping and eardrums abuzz with catchy Southern tunes. Strumming such well-known country songs as "The House That Built Me," and "Heart Like Mine," Lambert's virtuosic singing and guitar playing lends life to touching ballads and high-energy tunes alike, touching even the most curmudgeonly hearts and compelling weeping willows to wave their tendrils with unabashed excitement. Aural oceans wash over listeners in the Frank Gehry–designed Merriweather Post Pavilion, nestled among 40 acres of forest between Washington and Baltimore. Today's deal lets concertgoers relax with a Bud Light on the lawn, where they can watch the show beneath the open sky or whisper movie endings to clusters of furiously immobile grass stalks.
When the holiday season rolls around each year, the natural beauty of Symphony Woods shines a little brighter with the electric festivities of Symphony of Lights and the donations it provides to Howard County General Hospital. More than 70 animated and stationary light displays set the scene ablaze with images of candy canes, snowflakes, and toys, and twinkling string lights dress the trees in a blaze of white. Visitors can enjoy the scenery in numerous ways throughout the season, as family and pet walks, drive-through routes, and the 1.4-mile walk/run of Dazzle Dash keep eyes engaged and bodies exercising during the holidays. The lights stay twinkling seven days a week, only closing for New Year’s Eve or when the moon comes looking for who’s stealing her audience.
Usually, runners swig water during a race. But at the Annapolis Beer Week 5K Beer Run, participants stop at beer stations to rehydrate with samples of various brews?drink packages are available for purchase on-site?before continuing their dash for the finish line. The event encourages racers to dress creatively, awarding distinctive costumes such as old bridesmaid's dresses, team uniforms, or running shorts made from two miniature kegs. Proceeds benefit the MSBusters Support Group of Edgewater, a community organization that provides financial and emotional support for those living with multiple sclerosis.
The fourth annual Annapolis Arts, Crafts, and Wine Festival will draw a wide array of artists and craftsmen to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, where they'll exhibit their oeuvres to curious onlookers. Visitors examine booths full of paintings, photos, and jewelry and watch as craftsmen manipulate metal, clay, leather, or preconceived notions of reality.
When not soaking up arts and crafts, festival-goers can check out the live jazz playing all afternoon, or indulge in the food and wine tastings. Specialty food exhibitors offer samples of flavored olive oils and vinegars, dips, pumpkin rolls, and more. Children can enjoy the Kids' Art area, with musical and theatrical performances, face painting, and storytelling.