Street painter Michael William Kirby of Baltimore works on his pastel chalk version of Raphael's "Sistine Madonna" at the Madonnari Arts Festival in Little Italy in 2015.
Street painter Michael William Kirby of Baltimore works on his pastel chalk version of Raphael's "Sistine Madonna" at the Madonnari Arts Festival in Little Italy in 2015. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Madonnari Arts Festival

Be amazed by all the gorgeous chalk-on-sidewalk artwork, then be entertained by all the music, dance and other performances. And don't forget to chow down on all the delicious food and wine that will be available. Many Little Italy restaurants will offer dining specials, so take advantage. 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday along South High Street. Free. littleitalymadonnari.com.

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Potterverse

Harry Potter fans, Muggles and otherwise, will flock to Baltimore for three days of costuming, games playing, panel discussions and other Hogwarts-worthy activities. There'll be a dealers' room, too, plus the chance to meet actors from the "Harry Potter" films, including Natalia Tena (Nymphadora Tonks), Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley) and Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood). Begins at noon Friday and runs through 5 p.m. next Sunday at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace, 202 E. Pratt St. $20-$1,585, free for kids under 5. potterversecon.com.

Defenders' Day will be celebrated at Fort McHenry Sept. 8-10.
Defenders' Day will be celebrated at Fort McHenry Sept. 8-10. (Ferron,Karl / Baltimore Sun)

Defenders' Day at Fort McHenry

Following a tumultuous night 203 years ago, lawyer Francis Scott Key, overjoyed that the invading British had failed to take Fort McHenry, jotted his poetic thoughts down on a piece of paper, and thus a national anthem was born. This weekend's commemoration of that event, and of the Battle of Baltimore that preceded it, begins at 7 p.m. Friday with a procession from Hull Street to Fort Avenue to Fort McHenry, 2400 E. Fort Ave., followed by living history demonstrations at the fort on Saturday and next Sunday. Also on Saturday: a 1 p.m. military pageant and demonstration featuring active-duty soldiers and a 6:30 p.m. ceremony honoring veterans of both the War of 1812 and World War I, ending at dusk with a 20-minute fireworks display. Admission to the fort is $10, free for ages 15 and under; the Saturday evening program is free. nps.gov/fomc.

'The Christians'

Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., opens its 2017-18 season with Lucas Hnath's 2016 Outer Critics Circle Award winner about a preacher who embraces a more inclusive Christianity, and the effect that has on his congregation. Opens with a 7 p.m. show Thursday and runs through Oct. 8. No shows on Mondays or Oct. 3. $20-$74. centerstage.org.

Dwight Yoakam will perform at the Lyric on Sept. 8.
Dwight Yoakam will perform at the Lyric on Sept. 8. (Getty Images)

Dwight Yoakam

The country superstar, whom no less an authority than Johnny Cash once called his favorite male country singer, brings the hits to the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric, 140 Mount Royal Ave. 8 p.m. Friday. $36-$56. modell-lyric.com.

'As Much As I Can'

An immersive, involving theatrical experience offering audiences honest, revealing looks into the lives of gay black men living in Baltimore and Jackson, Miss., touching on their experiences, their hopes and their realities. Thursday-next Sunday and Sept. 12-14 at the War Memorial, 101 N. Gay St. 7 p.m. daily, plus 2 p.m. Saturday, next Sunday and Sept. 14. Free, but tickets are limited. acceleratetickets.com.

The 42nd Baltimore Ukrainian Festival is set for Sept. 9-10 at St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church.
The 42nd Baltimore Ukrainian Festival is set for Sept. 9-10 at St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church. (Colby Ware / Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore Ukrainian Festival

Music, dance, food (feast on those pierogi!) and the Original Ukrainian Beer Garden. Sounds like a weekend worth celebrating. Noon-9 p.m. Saturday, noon-8 p.m. next Sunday at St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church, 2401 Eastern Ave. Free. baltimoreukrainianfestival.com.

'M Butterfly'

A French diplomat falls in love with a Peking opera star harboring some — shall we say, potentially deal-breaking secrets in David Henry Hwang's Tony-winning drama. The 2017-18 season opener for Everyman Theatre, 315 W. Fayette St., premieres with a 7:30 p.m. show Wednesday and runs through Oct. 8. $25-$65. everymantheatre.org.

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The 31st Reisterstown Festival will take place Sept. 9-10 in Hannah More Park.
The 31st Reisterstown Festival will take place Sept. 9-10 in Hannah More Park. (Ken Koons / Carroll County Times)

Reisterstown Festival

Reisterstown fetes itself with two days of outdoor partying, including a 9 a.m. Saturday parade (with three marching bands and a Black Hawk helicopter flyover) and tons of music (don't miss the James Brown dance party, 8 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturday), plus family activities, a science show with Eric Energy and fireworks at sundown Saturday (about 8:45 p.m.). 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at Hannah More Park, 12035 Reisterstown Road. Free. reisterstownfest.com.

Sticky Bun Festival

Appreciate The Arts, dedicated to providing opportunities for artists and art enthusiasts in urban communities, presents an afternoon of visual artists, musicians and performing artists, along with plenty of merchandise for sale and (of course) food. 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Saturday at the Ynot Lot, 4 W. North Ave. Free. "Appreciate The Arts" on facebook.com.

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