The 205th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore and the bombardment of Fort McHenry, when Baltimoreans may very well have saved the U.S. from once again becoming a British colony, is celebrated at the place where (most of) it happened: Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, 2400 E. Fort Ave. The fun kicks off with a 7 p.m. Sept. 13 parade, featuring the Fort McHenry Guard, living historians and National Park Service rangers, from the foot of Hull Street in Locust Point to the fort. Sept. 14 offers family-friendly activities at the fort from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., followed by an evening of music, photo ops with U.S. Army soldiers, living history presentations and a flag-raising, all culminating in an 8:25 p.m. fireworks display. The program of family-friendly activities returns on Sept. 15 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission to the grounds and visitor center is free; admission to the fort itself is $15, free for kids under 16, and for everyone Sept. 14 after 4 p.m. nps.gov/fomc.
Baltimore Rhythm Festival
Listen, move and interact with musicians, dancers, artists and performers from throughout the city, in a festival designed to “shift boundaries between performers and audiences through participatory experiences.” Very involving, and freeing. Noon-7 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School and Schoolyard, 1600 Guilford Ave. Free. baltimorerhythmfestival.org.
Following a $115 million restoration, the 1930s-era Pratt library building reopens in all its reclaimed glory with a free day-long block party, featuring food trucks, kids’ activities, appearances by authors Laura Lippman and Sujata Massey, Adam Gidwitz, Chris Wilson and Kondwani Fidel featuring D. Watkins, plus music from A1Chops, Old Bay Brass, the Morgan State Choir, 124 Andres! and more. Noon-4 p.m. Sept. 14 on the block in front of the library, 400 Cathedral St. prattlibrary.org.
Baltimore Symphony Musicians
Two free concerts this week, courtesy of the musicians who make up the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. On Sept. 8, an ensemble will perform works by Bach, Debussy, Ibert, Brian Prechtl and more. 3 p.m. in the Linehan Concert Hall at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle in Catonsville. On Sept. 14, Baltimore Symphony Musicians, this time led by conductor Marin Alsop, will be joined by soprano Janice Chandler and Tony-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (“Kiss Me, Kate”) for a concert featuring everything from Copland to spirituals, to celebrate “the power of music and the city of Baltimore.” 4 p.m. at New Shiloh Baptist Church, 210 N. Monroe St. Free; tickets required through eventbrite.com. bsomusicians.org.
Anne Arundel County Fair
One of the last of the area’s county fairs for 2019, and always one of the best, with lots of award-winning agriculture and livestock, amusement rides and a midway, live music, food everywhere and — don’t miss it — the ultra-competitive Poultry Royalty Contest, set for Sept. 11. A grand fair time is guaranteed for all. 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 11, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 12, 4 p.m.-11 p.m. Sept. 13, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Sept. 14, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, 1450 General’s Highway in Crownsville. $10, free for kids 9 and under. aacountyfair.org.
Hitting the road extensively for the first time since 2013, the comedian brings his Tell It Like It Is tour to the Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13. $59.50-$81.50. france-merrickpac.com.
Maryland Steam Historical Society Show
Vintage steam engines of all makes and models, belching forth smoke and sparks galore. You don’t see machines like this around anymore, which is all the more reason to check out this 64th anniversary show. Includes tractor pulls, parades, spark shows (at dusk, offering quite the display) and other activities. There’s also a flea market and crafts area. 9 a.m. daily Sept. 12-15 at the Arcadia Show Grounds, 16020 Carnival Ave. in Upperco. Free. marylandsteam.org.
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To celebrate four decades of showcasing the work of local, regional and national artists, the School 33 Art Center, 1427 Light St., will host a retrospective featuring the work of more than 40 visual artists whose work has graced its walls and halls. A free opening reception is set for 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 13, with the exhibition remaining on display through Jan. 11, 2020. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. school33.org.
Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention
Hang out with the stars of some TV and movie classics of yore, including George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn from the Oscar-winning “West Side Story,” Loretta Swit (“M*A*S*H”), Loni Anderson (“WKRP in Cincinnati”), Tatum O’Neal (Oscar-winner for “Paper Moon”), Tom Berenger (“Platoon,” “The Big Chill”) and more. Plus lots of vendors, to satisfy your most nostalgic cravings. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 12-13, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley, 246 Shawan Road. $20/day, free for kids under 16. midatlanticnostalgiaconvention.com.
Catonsville happily succumbs to its more creative side with a weekend of arts and crafts (more than 250 vendor spaces), accompanied by live music from local artists (performing classic rock, blues, folk, country, zydeco, Motown, alternative rock, acoustic soul — you name it), food choices galore and a KidZone, for the young-uns. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville campus, 800 S. Rolling Road, Lot 6. Free. catonsville.org.