In an effort to banish the long waiting lines and spread-out obstacles of other mud runs, the organizers of Armageddon Ambush, The Extreme Mud Run, have designed a fun and unique competition that is extreme and unpredictable with more than 15 professionally constructed obstacles built by licensed contractors, including climbing walls and tire pits. To keep things unpredictably colorful, they also set up powdered color ambushes throughout the course. An after-party with beer, food, and live music offers participants an opportunity to dance off the mixture of mud and paint, a much more fun alternative to showering and a much safer one than rolling around on a cop's freshly washed squad car. (However, washing off is also available.)
Gaylord National Resort - ICE! immortalizes beloved holiday characters by carving them into ice. More than two million pounds of it went into the creation of this year's theme: Frosty the Snowman. What came out were colorful reindeer, homes bedecked in icicles, and scenes of Frosty frolicking with the neighborhood kids, all masterfully carved out of ice. You can even zip down frozen slides that are more than two stories tall. Watch how it all comes together at live ice-carving demos inside The Frostbite Factory.
The magic doesn't stop when you leave the exhibit; the atrium outside sparkles with more than two million lights, strung through trees, hanging banners, and a red giant snowflake. The indoor spectacle includes a choreographed water fountain that "dances" to holiday music and a nightly snowfall, the result of a binding legal agreement between humans and clouds.
It's possible to find art almost anywhere?from the galleries of a museum, to the side of a building, to the pages of a comic book. It's a little more difficult, however, to find all those styles in one place. That's one of the problems that Art Whino Gallery?a sleek, modern space at the National Harbor?seeks to solve by showcasing artists from around the world that run the gamut of modern high- and low-brow art. The gallery celebrates more than 1,200 established and up-and-coming talents, in part through rotating exhibits that explore new media such as stencil and wheat pasting, screen-printing, and vinyl, as well as more established arts such as burning effigies to ancient gods. An onsite store features modern-art figurines and toys as well as prints. Art Whino doesn't keep all its talent indoors, though: the gallery often helms cultural street festivals and participates in conventions and live arts-and-music events.
Despite its food-centric name, the Maryland Seafood Festival casts a wide net over Chesapeake Bay culture, capturing the essence of the area?s music, art, sports, and cuisine in an annual celebration that has endured since 1967. For 30 of those years, the festival has camped out on Sandy Point State Park?s seaside grounds, where, like the mattress of a giant, the event sprawls across a space the size of nearly three football fields. On Saturday, the festivities kick off with one of the event?s two traditions: the Annual Crab Soup Cook-Off followed by the Maryland Fishing Challenge the next day. After that, hungry patrons can sample local flavors at vendor booths by Jimmy's Famous Seafood and the Maryland Watermen's Association, or visit chef demos where pros impart tips on preparing dishes such as blackened snakehead and oyster shooters. Local artisans also fill festival tents, selling colorful wares that range from jewelry to furniture. A lineup of live music will soundtrack the event through most of the weekend, helping kids bop to the beat in bouncy houses while adults sample imported and craft beers from local brewers.
The Annapolis Craft Beer & Music Festival encourages visitors to BYO. That's not BYOB, mind you (there are more than 100 beer styles here from craft breweries around the country). Instead, visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs?and set them up near the Pilsner stage to listen to live music all day while sipping their samples.
But there's plenty to do at the fest away from the lawn, too. Informational seminars teach all about beer, with sessions that might cover the fundamentals of craft beer or cooking gourmet dishes with it. Until festgoers can get back home and can put those lessons to action, there are plenty of hearty eats to try at the festival grounds, including freshly shucked Maryland oysters.
Wine and art belong together like peanut butter and jelly. That's why, every year, The Annapolis Arts, Crafts, and Wine Festival brings together Maryland winemakers and local artists and craftsmen for a weekend of celebration. More than 200 jury-selected artists exhibit at the outdoor festival, presenting creations such as paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and leatherwork. Meanwhile, vintners from more than 25 of the state's wineries pour their best reds and whites into guests' tasting glasses. Live jazz musicians provide a smooth soundtrack for the weekend, and kids can get their own arts enrichment through children's theater performances and tie-dyeing workshops.
With its convenient location at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, the festival is just a short distance from historic downtown Annapolis. After a day spent sipping wine and discovering artwork, festival-goers can explore the waterfront community's brick-lined streets, shops, and restaurants. The city's 18th-century architecture is another attraction, reminding sightseers of what buildings looked like in the days before bricks went extinct.