Summer is a great time to enjoy the food, music and culture of Baltimore.
And in recent months, going to the African-American Heritage Festival and the annual Baltimore Caribbean Carnival were two ways to take in all three.
Last month, throngs of people in 90-degree heat and high humidity attended the festival at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
There were plenty of things to do, including shopping for the latest in clothing, art and trinkets on the weekend of July 6-8. Activities were geared to all ages: rides, step shows, children's entertainment, dancing and storytelling.
This year, organizers added some new, health-oriented components, including a 1.5-mile walk to get participants exercising and a prostate screening.
Most people came to the festival to enjoy the food and the entertainment on various stages. There was music - mostly R&B;, jazz and soul - from such local groups as Fertile Ground and Groove Stu.
But the main attraction was singer Patti LaBelle.
Then on the weekend of July 13th, the Caribbean Carnival took over Druid Hill Park.
The event included a talent night, street parade of bands and much more.
Vendors, many of whom are from the Caribbean, sold lots of Bob Marley wear and other island clothing and music. And the food, well, it was all Caribbean style.