Ben West, 4, of Howard County, reviews a book during the annual Penguin Random House Book Fair at Carroll Community College on Saturday, March 5, 2016. The day included discounts on new book sales, book talks and signings, children's story time and a silent auction.
Ben West, 4, of Howard County, reviews a book during the annual Penguin Random House Book Fair at Carroll Community College on Saturday, March 5, 2016. The day included discounts on new book sales, book talks and signings, children's story time and a silent auction. (Alan White / Carroll County Times)

Carroll County's largest Fourth of July Celebration features a dazzling display of fireworks to cap the evening, funded by the Westminster Kiwanis Club. Family fun for all ages includes live music, face painting, children's crafts and games, moon bounce, museum tours, delicious food and more offered throughout the day at the Farm Museum.

When: 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, with fireworks at approximately 9:30 p.m.


Where: Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster

Cost: General museum admission applies before 5 p.m. ($10 families/$5 adults/$4 seniors); after 5 p.m., $5 donation to the Westminster Kiwanis Club per car.


More information: www.carrollcountyfarmmuseum.org, 410-386-3880 or 800-654-4645.

Common Ground on the Hill Roots Festival

For more than two decades, Common Ground on the Hill has produced Traditions Weeks at McDaniel College, an annual gathering of artists, musicians, actors, lecturers and dancers of every age and culture who share with one another during three weeks of classes, workshops, concerts and demonstrations. The Roots Music and Arts Festival closes the three weeks of events, featuring music from Grammy nominated and winning musicians, art for sale, a variety of food and drink, and a wine and beer garden. This summer, Americana music trio, the Kruger Brothers, will headline Saturday's concert at 5 p.m. Woodstock's Professor Louie & the Crowmatix will close the festival with a 7 p.m. set. Connla, from Northern Ireland, Junious "House" Brickhouse and Ryan "Future" Webb from Urban Artistry and more than 50 other artists will perform on four stages.

When: 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 14


Where: Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster

Cost: $30 for adults, $25 for ages 13-18 and 65 and older; $10 with ticketed adult age 6-12; free with ticketed adult for children younger than 6. Carroll County Public Schools employees and all students are admitted free; family members receive a reduced rate of $25. Bring CCPS ID.

More information: www.commongroundonthehill.org, 410-857-2771

Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair

By day, visitors to the event will see the talent and hard work of 4-H and FFA members on display in shows and exhibits, and by night experience entertainment including racing pigs, demolition derbies, tractor pulls and music.

When: Friday, July 27 to Saturday, Aug. 4.

Where: Carroll County Agricultural Center, 706 Agricultural Center Drive, Westminster

Cost: Admission to the fair is free, however prices for evening entertainment vary. All ticket sales in 2018 will occur at the gate prior to the event.

More information: www.carrollcountyfair.com for full daily and nightly entertainment schedules.

Old-Fashioned Corn Roast Festival

Come visit the 16-acre stretch of historic parkland at the Union Mills Homestead to go back to a simplier time and enjoy an old fashioned meal of fried chicken, applesauce, sliced tomatoes, buttered rolls, iced tea, lemonade and all the roasted corn that you can eat. Members of the Silver Run-Union Mills Lions Clubs prepare the corn each year, roasting it in the husk atop giant cast-iron cookstoves. The corn is sprayed with water as it roasts to keep it moist, steaming the sweet juices inside the corn. While there, enjoy musical entertainment from Fast Eddie and the Slowpokes, plus tour the historic homestead and grist mill, visit with vendors and tour the blacksmith shop on site.

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, rain or shine

Where: Union Mills Homestead, 3311 Littlestown Pike (Md. 97), Union Mills

Cost: $14 per person; free for children younger than 6 (no chicken), includes parking and admission to the grounds; guided tours of the Shriver Homestead and Grist Mill available for a small fee.

More information: www.unionmills.org, 410-848-2288

Carroll County Restaurant Week

Beginning in 2011 at the behest of local restaurant owners Dane Liberatore (Liberatore's) and Ken Lurie (Bud's at Silver Run), Restaurant Week gives customers the chance to sample many of Carroll County's best places to eat at an affordable price. Restaurants offer a fixed price menu for lunch, dinner or both, allowing customers to sample their best offerings of special dishes for $10.18, $20.18, $25.18, etc. Visit the Restaurant Week website to view detailed menus from participating establishments.

When: Aug. 12 to 19

Where: Various restaurants throughout the county

Cost: Prices for the fixed menus will vary, but will end in .18 for 2018.

Maryland Wine Festival

Celebrate 35 years of the Maryland Wine Festival! The festival has grown exponentially since its start in 1984 and now draws thousands of people who spend the weekend sampling and purchasing 150 wines from more than two dozen Maryland vinters, dancing to a variety of bands and purchasing food from popular regional vendors as well as quality craft items in the juried craft show. Serious festival-goers can upgrade to the Explorer Pass, which offers exclusive sample of more than 50 additional premium label wines in a 16-ounce tasting glass, and gives access to the Hilltop Hangout, which has a shaded seating area, bottled water and private bathrooms. Don't miss the popular Maryland Cheese Pavilion featuring Maryland-made cheese.

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16

Where: Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster (with parking and shuttles from Carroll Community College and the Carroll County Office Building)

Cost: General admission tickets at $30. The Wine Explorer Pass cost $50. Designated driver and ages 13-20 are $20.

More information: www.marylandwinefestival.org, 800-654-4645

Westminster FallFest


Kick off the autumn harvest season with the 40th annual Westminster FallFest, one of Carroll County's largest community events. A Thursday night parade kicks off fours days of family friendly events in downtown Westminster, featuring carnival rides, live music, great food, shopping, a fun run and more. More than 100 vendors set up selling arts, crafts and other gifts, and offering information about local businesses, while bands play throughout the weekend. Purchase wristbands for carnival amusements and ride all day for one price. There is also a special shopping event from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday at downtown merchants. This year's FallFest will benefit four partner charities: Together We Own It, Special Olympics Maryland - Carroll County, Tender Care Pregnancy Center and the Westminster Lions Club.


When: Thursday, Sept. 27 to Sunday, Sept. 30

Where: 11 Longwell Ave., Westminster

Cost: Free admission, there is a charge for ride wristbands

More information: 410-751-5501, or www.westminsterfallfest.com

Festival of Wreaths

More than 150 themed wreaths will be on display at the Carroll Arts Center during this weeklong exhibit that is one of the most well-attended holiday events in Carroll County and is one of the Art Council's most significant fundraising events. Organizations, nonprofits, clubs and businesses can express their purpose and mission in the form of a wreath. Wreaths range from classic and elegant to funny and wacky, and everything in between. Visitors have the opportunity to bid on the wreaths they would like to take home or give as gifts through a silent auction.

When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23 to Saturday, Dec. 1 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2.

Where: Carroll County Arts Center, 91 W. Main St., Westminster

Cost: Free

More information: www.carrollcountyartscouncil.com, 410-848-7272.

Maple Sugarin' Festival

Early spring is the ideal time for syrup making, as warm days and cold nights cause sap to flow through the maple trees, allowing it to be collected and boiled into delicious maple syrup. Enjoy a pancake breakfast, see how the syrup is made, tour the Martin Cabin, participate in other activities at the Bear Branch Nature Center, then buy some real maple syrup to take home at the annual festival. The event also features a chili cookoff, where maple products must be used as an ingredient.

When: March 2019, weather permitting

Where: Bear Branch Nature Center, 300 John Owings Road, Westminster

Cost: $5 parking fee per vehicle; $4 pancake breakfast with real maple syrup

More information: 410-386-3580 or bearbranch@ccg.carr.org

Penguin Random House Book Fair

The Penguin Random House Book Fair was created more than 20 years ago through a partnership of the Carroll Community College Foundation and Random House Inc. as a fundraising event that strives to raise awareness of the importance of reading, literacy and learning. Highlights include 20 percent off new books, author talks and signings, a silent auction, free children's books, kid's activity area and family movie night. The event attracts nearly 4,000 people and has raised more than $650,000 since its inception, supporting student scholarships.

When: Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2, 2019

Where: Carroll Community College, 1601 Washington Road, Westminster

Cost: Admission in free. Wristbands for access to children's activities and events cost $3. Movie night is $4 for children and adults.

More information: www.carrollcc.edu/about/give/book-fair or 410-386-8152

Mount Airy Main Street Heat Chili Cookoff

Competitors from all over converge on Mount Airy's Main Street to throw down in this International Chili Society-sanctioned event, vying for the titles of best red chili, chili verde and salsa and the right to compete in the ICS Championship, as well as the coveted People's Choice Award. Visitors can taste award-winning chilis and participate in a cornhole tournament, hang out at the beer garden and listen to live music, among other activities while enjoying a day in historic downtown Mount Airy.

When: April 2019

Where: 110 S. Main St., Mount Airy

Cost: Admission is free

More information: www.mountairymainstreet.org


The Carroll Arts Council puts the spotlight on the beloved Easter treats from Just Born — marshmallow Peeps — for its PEEPShow each spring. Walk through galleries filled with hundreds of sweet creations of every kind, all made of and with Peeps candies — ranging from dioramas and mosaics to 8-foot-tall Peeps statues of pop culture characters and Peep-inspsired movies in the theater. The event has drawn nationwide acclaim and media attention, attracting as many as 25,000 visitors in recent years and netting more than $70,000 to support the Arts Council.

When: April 12 through April 23, 2019

Where: Carroll County Arts Center, 91 W. Main St., Westminster

Cost: Free

More information: www.carrollcountyartscouncil.com, 410-848-7272

Flower & Jazz Festival

Every year on the Saturday before Mother's Day, downtown Westminster is transformed into a festive atmosphere featuring three stages with live music and entertainment, as well as nursery and flower vendors on-hand to provide that perfect last-minute gift for Mom. Food vendors are also available as well as a kids' carnival featuring obstacle courses, swings and moon bounces. The Festival also features a 5K run at the Wakefield Valley golf course, which in 2018 was a color run for the first time.

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 11, 2019

Where: Main Street, Downtown Westminster


Cost: Free admission; there is a cost to register for the 5K and for tickets to kids' carnivals

More information: westminstermd.gov/flowerjazz

Westminster Memorial Day Remembrance

Westminster's annual Memorial Day parade is considered by many to be the longest, consecutively run Memorial Day parade in America. It began more than 150 years ago in the spring of 1868 with a parade led by Miss Mary Shellman, then 16 years old. Shellman organized children from the Westminster and St. John's elementary schools to cut flowers from their gardens, meet at Main and Center streets, and proceed to the Westminster Cemetery to place flowers on the graves of Union soldiers. The observance continued under her direction until the American Legion Carroll Post 31, Westminster, upon her personal request and trust, accepted responsibility for organizing and conducting the parade — a tradition that continues to this day.

When: Parade, 10 a.m.; memorial service, 11 a.m., Monday, May 27, 2019

Where: Parade begins on Pennsylvania Avenue and ends on Church Street at the Westminster Cemetery

Cost: Free

More information: www.carrollpost31.org, 410-857-7953

Corbit's Charge Commemorative Weekend

Commemorate Carroll County's role in the Civil War by learning about a skirmish known as Corbit's Charge, which some historians say tilted the outcome of the Battle of Gettysburg days later. Designed for visitors and history buffs of all ages, take part in a Civil War encampment, view demonstrations of artillery and horsemanship, as well as performances of period music, and hear from authentic Civil War living historians and re-enactors throughout the weekend.

When: 8 a.m. to dusk Saturday, June 29, 2019, and 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 30, 2019

Where: Emerald Hill Mansion (Historic Westminster City Hall), 1838 Emerald Hill Lane, Westminster

Cost: Free

For more information: pipecreekcivilwarroundtable.weebly.com or 410-848-9000.