Top 2017 events in the Baltimore area

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The new year is here, and it's likely that while you were busy thinking of a list of resolutions, you forgot to map the fun part — your plans. Lucky for you, we have you covered, with a list of some of the top 2017 events to look forward to. And plenty of them can tie in with your new goals, too. Want to laugh more? Check out the comedy shows happening this year. Looking to get serious about your fitness? Opt for a fun 5K or set your eyes (and legs) on the Baltimore Running Festival in October. And if you're just looking to have a good time, well there's plenty of that here, too.

This is by no means an exhaustive list — and the events here are subject to change. But what follows should help you start planning a fun and fulfilling new year.


Baltimore Winter Restaurant Week Choose from more than 100 Baltimore restaurants, where you can indulge in two-course lunch and brunch menus priced under $20 and three-course dinners for under $35. Special prices for wine and beer pairings will be available at some restaurants. Jan. 13-22. Various locations.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade The 17th annual parade will feature more than 50 organizations and groups. Noon-2 p.m. Jan. 16. The parade starts at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Eutaw Street and travels south to Baltimore Street. Free.


Orioles FanFest Break out your black and orange and let the first glimpse of the baseball season brighten the winter doldrums. There will be giveaways, clubhouse tours, autograph and photo stations, and — of course — appearances by Orioles players and coaches. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Jan. 28. Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St. $6-$12.

Polar Bear Plunge In its 21st year, plungers will help raise money for Special Olympics Maryland by taking a dip in the icy Chesapeake Bay. Multiple plunges will take place over three days starting Jan. 26, but the main events will be at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Jan. 28. Sandy Point State Park, 1100 E. College Parkway, Annapolis. Must raise or pay $75.

Baltimore Boat Show Maryland's longest-running boat show returns for four days of exhibits, sales and activities. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Jan. 26-28. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 29. Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St. $14; free for 15 and under with paid adult admission.

Cupid's Undie Run Party and participate in a 1-mile fun run in your underpants to benefit the Children's Tumor Foundation. Doors open at noon, run starts at 2 p.m. Feb. 11. Luckie's Tavern, 10 Market Place. $30.

Katt Williams What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with some sidesplitting laughs from stand-up comedian Katt Williams. 7 p.m. Feb. 14. Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. $55-$128.

Riverdance: The 20th Anniversary World Tour The touring production of this Irish dancing phenomenon returns to North America after a four-year absence. 8 p.m. Feb. 17; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Feb. 18; 1 p.m. Feb. 19. The Lyric, 140 W. Mt Royal Ave. $35-$80.

Amy Schumer Live Mark your calendar for a night of jokes, jabs and who knows what else with the Towson University alumna. 8 p.m. March 4 (rescheduled from November). Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. $42-$112.

Maryland Home and Garden Show Celebrate the start of spring and find inspiration for, as the name suggests, your home and garden at this annual showcase. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. March 4 and 11; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. March 5, 10 and 12. $3-$12; free for ages under 6. (There's also a fall show Oct. 20-22. Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium.


St. Patrick Parade Run the Shamrock 5K race at 1:15 p.m. March 12 at Charles and Franklin Streets, or simply find your way to the St. Patrick Parade, which kicks off at 2 p.m. at the Washington Monument, and travels down Charles Street to Pratt Street, then to Market Place. The parade is free, the race is $40-$45.

(Re)Generation Who Doctor Who Convention This "Doctor Who" fan convention features three days of programs, panels and appearances from the BBC series' writers and actors — including Sylvester McCoy, Karen Gillan and Ingrid Oliver. March 24-26. Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, 202 E Pratt St. $20-$90; free for children under 5.

Light City Baltimore Baltimore's biggest new festival returns for its second year, showcasing an illuminated medley of light installations, music and street performances along the Inner Harbor and in select city neighborhoods, best viewed after dark. March 31-April 8.

Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival Indulge in some drinks — there are around 40 bourbons and 60 beers on tap — and a wide selection of barbecued and smoked meats, with sides. Plus live music, games and more. 6 p.m.-10 p.m. March 31, noon-6 p.m. April 1. $29-$99; free for kids 12 and under. Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium.

'Rent' Jonathan Larson's groundbreaking rock musical celebrates its 20th anniversary with a stop at the Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, 12 N. Eutaw St. 8 p.m. March 31, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. April 1, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. April 2. $48-$142.

Orioles' home opener Two birds will battle it out at Camden Yards as the Orioles open their season against Toronto Blue Jays. 3:05 p.m. April 3. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, 333 W. Camden St. Individual tickets are not yet on sale.


Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention Whether you're going for inspiration or to get inked then and there, the 10th Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention will host a range of tattoo artists, seminars, live entertainment and contests. 2 p.m.-midnight. April 7; 11 a.m.-midnight. April 8; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. April 9. Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St. $20-$40; free for children under 12. Tickets sold on-site only.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus The circus comes to town with an "Out of this World" theme, full of intergalactic adventures (but, for the first time, without any elephants). Various shows April 20-23 and 27-30. Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. Tickets go on sale Jan. 24.

Baltimore Farmers' Market and Bazaar Maryland's largest producers-only market returns on April 23. 7 a.m.- noon every Sunday. Located below the Jones Falls Expressway at Holliday and Saratoga streets. Free.

AC2: An Intimate Evening with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen Late- night talk-show host Andy Cohen and journalist Anderson Cooper sit down to interview each other and take questions from the audience on pop culture and world events. 8 p.m. April 28. Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St. $92-$399.

CityLit Festival Award-winning Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will be the headlining speaker at the free literary festival. April 29, times and location to be determined.

Johns Hopkins Spring Fair Enjoy a weekend full of arts and crafts booths, food vendors and live music acts. (Past headliners have included The Chainsmokers, J. Cole and Nelly.) Noon-8 p.m. April 28; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. April 29; 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. April 30. Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St. Free.


Charm City Bluegrass Festival The fifth annual Charm City Bluegrass Festival will feature a full day of music from groups including The Lone Bellow, Cabinet and more, along with food vendors and beers provided by Union Craft Brewing. 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. April 29. Druid Hill Park, 2600 Madison Ave. $45-$160; free for kids 10 and under.

Maryland Film Festival The Maryland Film Festival promises dozens of films from across the globe — including John Waters' annual selection — as well as panels and workshops. May 3-7. Various locations. Time and prices TBD.

FlowerMart It wouldn't be springtime in Baltimore without FlowerMart, complete with flower vendors, craft booths, and an array tasty treats, including the classic lemon peppermint stick. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. May 5-6. Centered around the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon, Monument and Charles streets. Free.

Kinetic Sculpture Race Watch as participants wander 14 miles through the city via streets, mud and water in their moving works of art. Begins at the American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. May 6; time TBD. Free.

Charm City Comedy Festival Charm City Comedy Festival will deliver improv sketches, standup comedy and workshops over the course of two weeks. Improv and Sketch Week: May 3-7. Standup Week: May 10-14. Zissimos Bar, 1023 W. 36th St. $10 for each show.

Baltimore Arena Football League team home opener Baltimore's newest sports team may not have a name yet, but it does have a coach (Omarr Smith, pictured) and a schedule. The AFL team will make its Baltimore debut 1 p.m. May 7 when it takes on the Tampa Bay Storm at Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. (It opens the season at the Verizon Center in D.C. on April 7.). Single-game tickets not yet on sale.


BSO Pulse with Lower Dens Prepare for a night of blending genres, with a performance by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, a set by local indie pop band Lower Dens and a collaborative performance from the two. 8:30 p.m. May 11. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. $30-$35.

'Jazz' Center Stage presents the world premiere of Nambi E. Kelley's stage adaptation of the Toni Morrison novel. Various times May 19-June 25; prices TBD. 700 N. Calvert St.

Wine in the Woods Vibe and imbibe with wine and live entertainment at Symphony Woods, 5950 Symphony Woods Road, Columbia. the Wine in the May 20-21. Times and prices TBD.

Balticon 51 Spend Memorial Day weekend chumming it up with science-fiction fans and fantasy professionals over literature, film, anime, art, costuming, science, gaming, music and more. Activities run 24 hours a May 26-29. Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, 202 E. Pratt St. Prices TBD.

Preakness In its 142nd year, the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown keeps the tradition going. In addition to the horses, keep an eye out for fashion, celebrity sightings and music performances at the InfieldFest. May 20; times TBD. Pimlico Race Course, 5201 Park Heights Ave. $40-$160.

Honfest The annual celebration of big beehive hair and Bawlmer charm, will span four blocks of The Avenue (West 36th Street) in Hampden with a variety of craft and food vendors, live entertainment, contests and photo shoots. June 10-11; times TBD. Free.


Baltimore Pride Celebrate Baltimore's LGBT community with a parade, festival and various activities and after-parties. June 17-18; times and location TBD. Free.

Latinofest The city's vibrant Latin American and Hispanic culture will be on display at the annual Latinofest hosted in Patterson Park, 27 S. Patterson Park Ave. Typically held the last weekend in June; details and prices TBD.

Fourth of July Celebration Celebrate our country's independence with music at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater, Pratt and Light streets, followed by a fireworks show. 7 p.m.-10 p.m. July 4. Free.

Baltimore/Washington One Caribbean Carnival Performers wind and dance through Baltimore's streets in vibrant costumes in celebration of Caribbean culture. July 8-9; times and prices TBD. Lake Clifton Park, 2701 Saint Lo Drive.

Artscape In its 36th year, the free arts festival's theme — "Camp Artscape: Adventure Awaits" — encourages visitors to step out of their comfort zones and explore all that Baltimore (and summer) has to offer. As always, expect various live performances, demonstrations, art vendors and more. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. July 21-22; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. July 23; Various locations. Free.

African American Festival The annual African American Festival features musical acts (last year it was Common), entertainment, food, vendors and more to celebrate African-American culture. Camden Yards Sport Complex, 333 W. Camden St. Specific dates, times and prices TBD.


BronyCon The world's largest convention for and by fans of the animated TV series "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" returns to Baltimore with themed activities, panels and seminars. Aug.11-13; times TBD. Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St. $30-$65; packages are $125-$1,000.

Maryland State Fair Dubbed the "best days of summer," the Maryland State Fair — and the livestock, midway games, rides, deep-fried foods and music that come with it — returns for a 136th year. Aug. 24-Sept. 4. Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium. $3-$8; free for children 5 and under.

Maryland Renaissance Festival Embark on some olde time fun at the fictional 16th-century village of Revel Grove with royal court events, theatrical performances and street acts, jousting matches, and food fit for a king. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from Aug. 26-Oct. 22 (plus Labor Day). Crownsville Road, Annapolis. $8-$36 through Sept. 10, $12-$40 after.

PotterVerse Harry Potter Convention The organizers of the (Re)Generation Who Doctor Who Convention will give a new group of fans a reason to come to Baltimore. The inaugural convention will celebrate all things Harry Potter — so get your wands ready. Sept. 8-10; times TBD. Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, 202 E. Pratt St. $20-$80; free for children under 5.

Ravens home opener The date and opponent have yet to be set, but sometime in early September, the Ravens will return to M&T Bank Stadium, 1101 Russell St., in hopes of kick-starting their season with a 'W'.

Maryland Wine Festival Taste-test more than a dozen wines and pair them with food offerings, live music, arts and crafts and tours of the Carroll County Farm Museum. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 16; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 17. 500 South Center St., Westminster. $30-$50; free for children 12 and under with paying adult.


Dogfest Baltimore Humane Society's annual fundraiser offers plenty of fun for humans and canines alike. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 16. 1601 Nicodemus Road, Reisterstown. $5-$15; kids 5 and under free.

Baltimore Comic-Con Superheroes, super-villains and fans unite at the Baltimore Comic-Con, which in its 18th year, keeps the tradition going with comic booth booths, appearances by actors and writers, contests, panels, workshops and more. 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 22; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 23; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 24. Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St. $25-$68.27; free for children 10 and under with paid adult admission.

Baltimore Book Festival Immerse yourself in a world of storytelling at the annual Baltimore Book Festival, which will feature hundreds of authors, live readings and book signings, and more. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 22-24. Light Street and Key Highway at the Inner Harbor. Free.

Free Fall Baltimore Take advantage of Free Fall Baltimore, which offers more than 300 free arts and cultural events throughout the month of October. Times and locations vary.

Baltimore Beer Week Celebrate hops, lagers, ales and everything beer with more than 300 events in the Baltimore area during the ninth annual Baltimore Beer Week. Oct. 13-22. Held at various locations.

Pigtown Festival Embrace the Pigtown neighborhood at its 16th annual festival (and yes, there will be pigs). Oct. 14. Pigtown. Free.


Weekend Watch


Plan your weekend with our picks for the best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV shows and more. Delivered every Thursday.

Baltimore Running Festival From the kids fun run to full marathon, there's a race for every pace on Oct. 21. Races start between 7:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. downtown. $15-$145 to run; cheering on runners: priceless.

Charm City Fringe Festival See a showcase of Baltimore's talent at this independent theater and performing arts festival. Typically held in November. Times, prices and locations TBD.

Maryland Irish Festival Typically held in November, the festival allows attendees to dive into Irish tradition and culture through entertainment, food, kilt competitions and more. Times, prices and location TBD.

Festival of Trees Stroll through the Festival of Trees, where more than 700 trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses are decorated to benefit Kennedy Krieger Institute. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 24-25. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 26. Maryland State Fairgrounds, The Cow Palace, 2200 York Road. $7-$15.

Washington Monument lighting A sure sign that holiday season has arrived in Baltimore. Dec. 7; times TBD. Mount Vernon Place, 600 block of Cathedral St.