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Busy weekend in Baltimore: 6 things to do and the drinks to go with them

The first weekend of May is packed with spring festivities, and while rain is in the forecast, Baltimoreans looking for a fun activity have plenty of options.

In that spirit, we’ve pulled together a list of six events happening this weekend — and a corresponding drink we think might pair well with each. Cheers, Baltimore!

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A lemon stick at Flower Mart

There is no spring tradition quite like Flower Mart, the historic Mount Vernon festival of flowers, and no drink more perfect to sip as you walk around smelling the roses than the lemon stick.

The non-alcoholic “quasi-popsicle,” as Sun reporter Hallie Miller calls it, “consists of a peppermint stick wedged inside half of a lemon.”

The festival, which also includes vendors, workshops, lectures and other family-friendly activities, runs Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Mount Vernon Place.

A hand-crafted cocktail at the Lord Baltimore Skybar *after* the Tattoo Arts Convention

The 12th Annual Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention this weekend will bring 900 tattoo artists to the Baltimore Convention Center downtown, where attendees can get inked up on site and meet celebrities from “Black Ink” and “Tattoo Nightmares.”

The event will feature food vendors — including crab cakes — and Convention Center concessions. But drinking and tattoos are a recipe for disaster, so the best move might be to head over afterward to the Lord Baltimore Hotel, whose Skybar — one of the only rooftop bars in the city — just opened for the season.

The Skybar on the 19th floor serves up hand-crafted cocktails and a menu of light bites. The tattoo convention hours are Friday 2 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets to the convention cost $20 per day or $40 for a three-day pass. Children under 12 are free.

A mint julep during the Kentucky Derby

Sugar. Water. Mint. Cracked — not cubed or crushed — ice. Bourbon.

We’ll defer to The Sun’s resident expert on this one. Here’s John McIntyre’s recipe for crafting the perfect mint julep on Derby Day.

The 145th running of the Kentucky Derby is Saturday at 6:50 p.m., airing on NBC.

Now remember, you can write drunk, but you must edit sober.
An iced coffee for the Kinetic Sculpture race

The Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race begins with opening ceremonies outside the American Visionary Art Museum at 9:30 a.m., heads into the water at 11:15 a.m. at Canton Waterfront Park and winds its way to an obstacle course at Patterson Park around 1:15 p.m. before ending back at the Visionary Arts Museum between 3:30 and 6 p.m.

The race runs rain or shine, and even if you’re not piloting one of the “amphibious, human powered works of art,” as the race organizers call the racing sculptures, you’ll need some energy to keep up.

With temperatures expected to be in the upper 70s, grab an iced coffee.

A margarita for Cinco de Mayo

For those raising a toast to Cinco de Mayo on Sunday, Baltimore’s Mexican restaurants will be serving up margaritas all day.

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Barcocina in Fells Point will offer outdoor music, an outside bar, and food and drink specials, including margaritas. Clavel, the popular taqueria and mezcaleria in Remington, and Blue Agave, a Mexican restaurant in Federal Hill, are two of the city’s other most popular spots for tacos and tequila. You could also can try Papi’s Tacos, which formally opened its new location in Hampden this week with specialty margaritas “locas” like the Rita En Fuego, made with house jalapeno-infused tequila or the the Papi Grande — a 20 ounce “Cadillac” marg’ with organic house sour mix, Grand Marnier and a personal sized bottle of Camerena silver tequila.

A light beer at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

The Birds are home this weekend, playing a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays and celebrating Star Wars Night at the Yard on Saturday by giving BB-8 beanies to the first 20,000 fans 15 and over. (Trey Mancini Jedi bobbleheads come with a specialty ticket package.)

But Camden Yards is no Mos Eisley cantina, and nothing pairs with baseball like a tall, cold, light beer.

First pitch for Friday and Saturday’s games is 7:05 p.m. Sunday’s matinee game begins at 1:05 p.m.

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