Every year on the first weekend of May, downtown Baltimore's streets bustle as tens of thousands of moviegoers visit local theaters to watch films shot, directed, and edited around the globe. The Maryland Film Festival, like a freakish hurdle sprinter, runs for five days and showcases about 50 feature films and 75 short pieces—ranging from documentaries to animations—many of which are presented by their respective filmmakers or celebrity guest hosts. Past hosts have included Ian MacKaye and Branford Marsalis, and legendary filmmaker John Waters regularly makes an appearance at the festival, hosting a feature film of his choice. Attendees may also stimulate and expand their sensory palates with special events that have included international flicks, three-dimensional movies, and vintage silent films synced to live music.
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 each year, the Sugarloaf Craft Festivals 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 live music.
For 30 years, Woodhall Wine Cellars has functioned as a small, family-run boutique winery in the rolling hills of Parkton, where its winemakers have perfected the food-friendly art of table wines. These award-winning varietals are all crafted from Maryland-grown grapes, which are pressed, strained, and eventually transformed into a dry, oaked chardonnay or a rich, dessert-friendly ice wine from late harvest. Inside the rustic tasting room, you can line up along the bar to sample these wines, try a whole glass, or grab a bottle to smash at a yacht-christening party.
Scores of people walk the streets of Washington DC during the day of the Snow Day Bunny Hop Bar Crawl. This annual holiday-themed walking tour sends its participants to popular watering holes such as BlackFinn, The Front Page, Mighty Pint, and Sign of the Whale. Everyone in attendance receives drink specials at each participating establishment, plus a signature mug that's perfect for holding a frosty brew or all of the kids' Easter eggs you can find.
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.