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Just ahead: all kinds of holiday good times [Hampden]

Since July is almost upon us, that means First Friday is July 1. For my money, holiday weekend First Fridays in Hampden can often be the most fun, since it kicks off a three-day weekend.

A number of businesses will be participating (for more info, go to hampdenmerchants.com), including Atomic Books (3620 Falls Road), which will be hosting, appropriately enough for July 4th weekend, a 21st Amendment Brewing Cooler Coup from 7 to 9 p.m. in Eightbar. There will be a number of 21st Amendment Brewing beers available, including Back in Black IPA, Brew Free or Die IPA, Down to Earth Session IPA, El Sully Mexican Style Lager, Hell or High Watermelon Wheat, Toaster Pastry India Style Red Ale and a special rarity. There will also be free pint glasses and other giveaways from the brewery as well as snacks from the Golden West Cafe. And to help kick off the holiday weekend right, Eightbar will be open an hour later, until 11 p.m.

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And since we're talking adult beverages, The Wine Source (3601 Elm Ave.) has a number of great tastings coming up that you'll want to take note of. On Saturday, July 2, from 1 to 4 p.m., Wine Source hosts Terroir Series Sauvignon Blanc tasting. On Saturday, July 9, there's a New Belgium 25th anniversary beer tasting from 1 to 4 p.m. And then on Thursday, July 14, there's a Flying Fish beer tasting from 4:30 to 7 p.m. As someone who's tasted a lot of Flying Fish beer, I wholly recommend checking it out.

It's also time for Luigi's Italian Deli (814 W. 36th St.) to kick off its outdoor film series. This year, they're focusing on movies from 1996. Saturday, July 2, they begin the series, appropriately enough, with "Independence Day." Then on Saturday, July 9, they'll screen "The Craft." And Saturday, July 16, brings the Adam Sandler vehicle, "Happy Gilmore." Remember, movies start at 10 p.m.

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From July 10 through July 13, Art Hives Summer Institute runs at Make Studio (Schwing Art Center, 3326 Keswick Road). As the make-studio.org website describes it, the institute is "an intensive course teaching the nuts & bolts aspects of starting this special type of third space to foster arts-based social inclusion in your own community." It's three days of experiential learning, co-development and art making. For more information, email network@arthives.org.

And finally, on July 14, two local reading series, Hey You Come Back! and Writers & Words are teaming up to bridge communities of readers, writers and audiences from all across Baltimore City at Atomic Books, from 7 to 9 p.m. This event will feature readings by Isabella Martin, Rejjia Camphor, Hannah V. Sawyerr and James Magruder. Hey You, Come Back! is a monthly series of writers from Johns Hopkins that usually meets at the Crown in Station North and Writers & Words is a series and zine that usually meets at Charmington's in Remington.

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