Since 1993, Cirque Dreams' family-friendly variety extravaganzas have called upon a cast of acrobats, strongmen, and daredevils to wring the oohs and aahs out of audiences with tremendous feats of derring-do. During each themed production, more than 100 performers garbed in dazzling outfits twirl high in the air, contort their bodies into impossible shapes, and solve long division problems to earn uproarious applause from the crowd. At Dream Studios in Pompano Beach, Florida, hundreds of contracted artists from around the world develop their skills and prep for Cirque Dreams performances under the direction of Neil Goldberg and his team of choreographers, contortionists, and designers.
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.
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.
From April 18th to the 25th, lovers of fine brews gather at Annapolis for Annapolis Beer Week?a celebration of local and craft beers, live music, and delicious food. Visitors sip suds from producers such as Yards Brewing Company, DuClaw, Flying Dog, and Port City after completing the 5K Beer Run or as they enjoy outdoor concerts. The week also involves a chicken wing festival and competition, live entertainment, and a comedy show.