The Anthony Boucher Memorial Mystery Convention, or Bouchercon, offers a place for mystery writers and fans to gather. Hundreds of writers, including local writer and guest of honor Laura Lippman, Lawrence Block, Peter Robinson, Carolyn Hart and Andrew Gross, will be in attendance. There will be whodunit workshops and awards. The convention starts today and runs through Sunday at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel, 101 W. Fayette St. Go to charmedtodeath.com.
Columbus Day Parade
Celebrate the discovery of America, as well as Italian culture, at Baltimore's Columbus Day Parade, the nation's oldest continual marching parade, according to organizers. It kicks off at Linwood Avenue in Patterson Park, goes west onto Eastern Avenue, travels right onto High Street and disbands on Central Avenue. There will be spectator seating at Stiles and High streets in Little Italy. Events begin at 10 a.m. Sunday, with the parade running from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. and Italian Tenors performing at 3:30 p.m. Go to columbuscelebrations.com.
There will be live entertainment, Highland dancing, fiddle playing, pipe and drum band competitions, Scottish animals, Scottish food, a tug-of-war demonstration and representatives from 40 clans to talk about ancestry. The festival is 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at the Anne Arundel Fairgrounds, 1450 Generals Highway, Route 178, Crownsville. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and $6 for students; free for kids younger than 12. Parking is free. Call 410-451-4343 or go to aasfi-md.org.
The seventh annual Maryland Brewer's Oktoberfest will offer beer gardens with more than 75 beers from a dozen local breweries. There will also be food, live music and dancing, and arts and crafts. Contests will include Miss Oktoberfest, Best Beer Belly and Wife Carrying. The fest will run from noon-8 p.m. Saturday at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium. Admission, a souvenir mug and eight tasting tokens are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Designated-driver admission is $10 and includes water. Kids 12 and younger are admitted free. Call 800-830-3976 or go to mdoktoberfest.com.
From noon-5 p.m. Sunday, the annual Butchers Hill House Tour takes visitors through about a dozen homes in the historic neighborhood of brick rowhouses built from 1850 to 1915. Butchers Hill is roughly bounded by East Fayette Street to the north, Patterson Park Avenue to the east, East Pratt Street to the south and South Chapel, North Washington and North Chester streets to the west. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 on the day of the tour. Advance tickets are available at several sites, including Friends of Patterson Park at the White House in Patterson Park. Call 410-522-6773 or go to butchershill.org.
The Municipal Opera Company of Baltimore, which for years has provided a valuable showcase of black artists, will present a concert of excerpts from the Bent Twig, a folk opera by black composers Helen Roberts Williams and Arlein Ford Straw. The program is at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St. Free. Reservations suggested. Call 410-547-9000, Ext. 238.
Outsider art never took on a more youthful glow than it did in the 1990s. That's when skateboarders, graffiti artists, alt-rock musicians and designers of street fashion developed into an authentic cultural movement - the subject of the documentary Beautiful Losers. The film is this week's entry in the FreeFall film series under the sponsorship of the Maryland Film Festival and Maryland Institute College of Art. It screens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in MICA's Falvey Hall at the Brown Center, 1301 Mount Royal Ave. Free.