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S U M M E R T I M E: When the Living Is Easy

S U M M E R T I M E: When the Living Is Easy

By Pamela Schipper

Montgomery County is blooming with flowers and festivals, all sure to put more than a spring in your step. There’s something for everyone—from big marquee events to community celebrations and free outdoor performances. So take a look and see what the summer has in store—you’ll be out and about in no time!

Before heading out, please double-check information. Since Montgomery Magazine goes to print weeks and months before events take place, details may change.

FANTASTIC FESTIVALS

MAY

POOLESVILLE SPRINGFEST
May 14, 1 to 5 p.m.
Location: Whalen Commons, 19701 Fisher Ave.
Cost: Free; $20 beer and wine tasting
The days of music, barbecue and all-out fun in the sun are finally here! Sample great barbecue from 3rd Alarm BBQ and Java Cruiser & Uncle Charlie’s BBQ, or bring your own grill and display your barbecuing skill. Jay Summerour & Memphis Gold with Eric Selby will jam the day away while festival-goers enjoy a beer and wine tasting, a barbecue competition, local arts and crafts and other vendors. www.poolesville.com

THE TASTE OF WHEATON 2011
May 15, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Wheaton Triangle, corner of Grandview Avenue and Reedie Drive
Cost: “Tastes” from Wheaton restaurants are $1 to $5
Two stages of live entertainment, including Rocknoceros, RTTS and Blue Sky Puppet Theatre for the kids, rides, face painting, balloon sculptures, DJ music, dance groups and a special “Wheaton Idol” karaoke make this event a feast for all of the senses. www.wheatonmd.org

BI-ANNUAL GARDEN TOUR
May 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Sandy Spring Museum
Cost: $12 tickets; $7 lunch (www.sandyspringmuseum.org to purchase)
This tour showcases fabulous private gardens in the community. Visitors can purchase lunch and enjoy an after-tour reception at the museum. www.sandyspringmuseum.org

GAITHERSBURG BOOK FESTIVAL
May 21, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: Gaithersburg City Hall Grounds
Cost: Free admission and parking
This second annual festival is quickly becoming one of the top literary events in the nation. Some 74 authors lead discussions and book signings; writers’ workshops take on pertinent topics; kids enjoy stories, activities, arts and crafts and more; a coffee house hosts poets and singer/songwriters; and books are on sale from Barnes & Noble.

ROCKVILLE 23RD ANNUAL HOMETOWN HOLIDAYS
Memorial Day Weekend
May 28 and 29, 1 to 10 p.m.; May 30, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Rockville Town Square
Cost: Free admission
Rockville kicks off the start of summer in a big way with seven stages of entertainment to include local and national musicians, youth drama and dance performances, special kids’ programs like Reptiles Alive!, and martial arts. An arts and crafts festival features the work of 50 visual artists and crafters from up and down the East Coast. Kids’ activities in the Middle Lane parking lot include a Turbo Tubs Spin Ride, a Finding Nemo Combo Bounce, a rock climbing wall and more. Nonprofits and Rockville’s popular Ride and Stride offer opportunities to get involved in the community. www.rockvillemd.gov/events/hth/2011

J U N E

30TH ANNUAL STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
June 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Road
Admission: $1
Come get to know your neighbors and enjoy games, rides, Civil War-era music by The Washington Revels and lots of great food— including strawberry shortcake. www.sandyspring.org

WASHINGTON FOLK FESTIVAL
June 4 and 5, noon to 7 p.m. (rain or shine)
Location: Glen Echo Park
Cost: Free admission
Now in its 31st year, the Washington Folk Festival showcases the cultural diversity of the Washington area. Musicians, storytellers, dancers and craftspeople all volunteer their time and talents to highlight the folk communities of our area. Seven stages feature more than 450 performers, and include a participatory dance program in the Spanish Ballroom, a storytelling stage and music for the whole family. www.glenechopark.org or www.fsgw.org

THE TAKOMA PARK JAZZFEST
June 5, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: Old Town Takoma Park, Carroll Avenue
Cost: Free
Celebrating its 16th year, The Takoma Park Jazzfest presents 12 acts on two stages. www.tpjazzfest.org

2011 U.S. OPEN
June 13 through 19
Location: Congressional Country Club, Bethesda
COST: $50 and up
After a 14-year hiatus, the U.S. Open Championship returns to Congressional Country Club. www.usopen.com

SILVERDOCS
June 20 through 26
Location: AFI Silver Theatre & Cultural Center and other venues in and around Silver Spring
Cost: $10 ($8 AFI members)
Now in its ninth year, the AFI-Discovery Channel SilverDocs Documentary Festival is an internationally recognized festival that uses documentary to build bridges of understanding between cultures and nations. Last year’s seven-day event screened 102 films representing 54 countries. More than 27,000 viewers attended. The  five day, 2010 International Documentary Conference, held concurrent with the festival, brought together more than 1,000 filmmakers and industry leaders. silverdocs.com

HERITAGE DAYS 2011
June 25 and 26, noon to 4 p.m.
Location: For a listing of sites and activities, visit www.heritagemontgomery.org
Cost: Free
This two-day event organized by the Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County is an amazing, county-wide open house. Museums and historic sites, art studios, churches, schoolhouses, ferries and farms—more than 40 sites—welcome visitors and celebrate the rich diversity of Montgomery County. The popular Washington Revels perform at the Sandy Spring Slave Museum, Monocacy Aqueduct, Seneca Lockhouse and the Town of Poolesville. Many sites feature living history presentations, games, crafts and refreshments.

SMITHSONIAN FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL
June 30 through July 4; July 7 through 11 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (concerts, special events and dance parties often extend into the evening)
Location: The National Mall between 7th and 14th streets, NW, Washington, DC
Cost: Free admission
Since 1967, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival has celebrated culture and traditions from the United States and around the world. This year’s festival focuses on Colombia, the Peace Corps and rhythm and blues music in the United States. www.festival.si.edu

J U LY

OLNEY BIG BAND
July 2, 5 to 7 p.m.
Location: Outdoors at Sandy Spring Museum
Cost: $20 for chair; $10 with your own picnic blanket (purchase tickets at www.sandyspringmuseum.org)
You’ll be swinging to the music of the Olney Big Band at this benefit concert for the Sandy Spring Museum. Made up of 18 musicians and two vocalists, the band performs American swing, dance and jazz. www.sandyspringmuseum.org

FARM TOUR AND HARVEST SALE
July 23 and 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rain or shine)
Location: Farms throughout Montgomery County
This event lets you feel like you’ve spent a weekend in the country—without ever leaving Montgomery County! Local farms offer hayrides, pony rides, music, demonstrations and other fun and educational activities. The Farm Tour this year coincides with the Buy Local Challenge, and lots of fresh fruits, vegetables,  owers, plants and other local products are for sale. www.montgomerycountymd.gov/farmtour

AUGUST

63RD ANNUAL MONTGOMERY COUNTY FAIR
August 12 through 20 Aug. 12, 3 p.m. to midnight; all other days, 10 a.m. to midnight
Location: Montgomery County Fairgrounds Cost: $10 general admission (children 11 and under are free)
Dubbed “It’s Udderly Terrific,” the 2011 county fair celebrates agriculture and fun! Entertainment includes monster trucks, demolition derby, tractor pull, 4-H demonstrations, a KidZone, strolling performers, crafts, a milking parlor and birthing center and new “moovies” in the community square. And don’t miss the pig races—they’re sure to make you squeal. www.mcagfair.com/fair.asp

2011 UNCORKED WINE AND MUSIC FESTIVAL
August 27, noon to 6 p.m.
Location: Rockville Town Square
Cost: Free admission; charge for wine tasting Enjoy Maryland wines, cooking demonstrations, book signings and three stages of musical entertainment. www.rockvillemd.gov/events/uncorked

SEPTEMBER

BLUEGRASS ON THE FARM
Sept. 10, noon to 6 p.m.
Location: Agriculture History Farm Park, 18400 Muncaster Road, Derwood
Cost: $15 at the gate
A stellar bluegrass and old-time music lineup includes the Gibson Brothers, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, and the Blue Moon Cowgirls. www.bluegrassonthefarm.com or www.friendsofthefarmpark.org

SILVER SPRING JAZZ FESTIVAL
Sept. 10, 3:30 to 9 p.m.
Location: Veterans Plaza
Cost: Free
Once a year, Silver Spring syncopates with jazz musicians from every genre. Enjoy a sophisticated evening under the stars relaxing to the smooth sounds of today’s best performers. www.silverspringdowntown.com

TAKOMA PARK FOLK FESTIVAL
Sept. 11, 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (rain or shine)
Location: Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Road
Cost: Free
The Takoma Park Folk Festival has been a community celebration since 1978, organized by volunteers from the Takoma Park area. This year, the festival is built around the theme of “Peace & Reconciliation.” Attendees will  nd music and dance on seven stages, a juried crafts show and sale, community tables for local nonpro ts, children’s entertainment and food. www.tpff.org

2011 POOLESVILLE DAY
Sept. 17, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (rain or shine)
Location: Along Fisher Avenue
Truly a community event, this 21st Annual Festival and Celebration features a 5K race, a parade, music by local bands, children’s activities and the Fifth Annual Classic Rod, Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show. www.poolesville.com

TOTALLY FREE
OUTDOOR CONCERT SERIES AND OTHER EVENTS

B E T H E S DA
OUTDOOR MOVIES STARS ON THE AVENUE
July 26 through 30, 9 p.m.
Location: Corner of Norfolk and Auburn avenues
Enjoy five nights of blockbuster hits under the stars. www.bethesda.org

C I T Y O F G A I T H E R S B U RG
ON STAGE
Times and dates vary
Location: Concert Pavilion in Olde Towne, the Arts Barn in Kentlands and parks throughout the city
This summer arts series presents more than 25 awesome concerts and performances. www.gaithersburgmd.gov

BACKYARD CONCERTS
Parks throughout the city host a wide range of artists and styles. www.gaithersburgmd.gov

CHILDREN’S SERIES
Mondays, 10:30 a.m.
Location: Concert Pavilion in Olde Towne
Kids love the variety of performances offered—music, sing-alongs, magic acts and more. www.gaithersburgmd.gov

R I O
RIO 2011 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
May through September, Friday and Saturday evenings, 6 to 9 p.m.
Location: RIO at Washingtonian Center, 9811 Washington Blvd. (on the patio near the paddle boats)
An amazing lineup of local bands, including the popular Rock & Roll Relics, Sons of Pirates and Bad Influence, fill the summer nights with music. Grab your friends, family or significant other, and head out for a night under the stars. www.riocenter.com

WA S H I N G TO N I A N  C E N T E R
2011 FIRST FRIDAYS
Time: Around 6 p.m.
Location: Lakefront Plaza (between Uncle Julio’s and Joe’s Crab Shack) Performers include Midnight Sun and Infinite Faze. Bring a picnic or get some take-out and enjoy an evening of music on the plaza. www.washingtoniancenter.com

2011 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
Time: Around 6 p.m.
Location: Lakefront Plaza (between Uncle Julio’s and Joe’s Crab Shack)
Diamond Alley, Bad Influence and Gary and the Groove are just a few of the great musicians playing every Saturday night through the summer at the Washingtonian Center. www.washingtoniancenter.com

2011 TOTS SPOTS
Most Wednesdays through the summer
Time: Either 10:30 a.m. or twilight
Location: Varies—RIO Center Atrium or Lakefront Plaza
Kid-friendly programs include The Great Zucchini, Susan Wall’s Carousel Puppets, Mad Science and Peter McCory. www.washingtoniancenter.com

GERMANTOWN
BLACKROCK CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Saturdays in July (starting July 9), 7 p.m.
Location: Lawn at BlackRock Center for the Arts
BlackRock celebrates its 10th anniversary with artists who appeared during the first two years of its free summer concerts. Bring a blanket or some folding chairs and settle in for some great music— James Mabry weaves blues and jazz on July 9 (concert sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union); Mambo Combo brings a Latin beat on July 16 (concert sponsored by Buch Construction); the U.S. Navy Cruisers rock the house on July 23 (concert sponsored by Buch Construction); and Melanie Mason not only sings the blues, but she launches her new album on July 30 (concert sponsored by Mid- Atlantic Federal Credit Union). www.blackrockcenter.org

MONTGOMERY V I L L AG E
KID JA.M.
July 5 through July 28, Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.
Location: Lawn Theater, South Valley Park; park behind Watkins Mill Elementary School, 19001 Watkins Mill Road
For one hour on Tuesday mornings, kids will be treated to interactive performances and fantastic fun. Acts are Wildlife Ambassadors (Journey to the Jungle) on July 5, The Unicycle Lady (Country Cowgirl) on July 12, Philip and Henry Magicians on July 19, and Ray Owen (The Song Imagineer) on July 26. www.montgomeryvillage.com

ROCKIN’ FIRST FRIDAYS
June 3 through Aug. 5, first Fridays of the month, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Lawn Theater, South Valley Park; park behind Watkins Mill Elementary School, 19001 Watkins Mill Road
Local bands cover the rock ’n’ roll era—look for The Crimestoppers (classic rock) on June 3, 45 RPM (rock) on July 1, and Rock & Roll Relics (rock ’n’ roll oldies) on Aug. 5. www.montgomeryvillage.com

PICNIC IN THE PARK WITH THE PERFORMERS
June 5 through Aug. 14 (except July 3), Sundays at 6 p.m.
Location: Lawn Theater, South Valley Park; park behind Watkins Mill Elementary School, 19001 Watkins Mill Road
The 2011 Lawn Theater season presents an exciting lineup and a variety of music. The series starts with the hometown Montgomery Village Community Band, travels back to the ‘60s with the Back Pages Band, visits Latin/Irish cultures with La Unica, R&B with the Je Carmella band, classic rock with Wylde Fire and much more. www.montgomeryvillage.com

P O O L E S V I L L E
SUMMER MOVIE SERIES
July 16 through Aug. 27, select Saturday evenings at 8:30 p.m.
Location: Whalen Commons, 19701 Fisher Avenue Enjoy a great lineup of the year’s best family films—Despicable Me!, Yogi Bear, Shrek Forever After, Toy Story 3 and Gnomeo & Juliet. Admission is free, and popcorn is available for purchase. www.poolesville.com

SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
June 24 through Sept. 9, Friday evenings, 7 to 9 p.m.
Location: Whalen Commons, 19701 Fisher Avenue
The Joint Chiefs kick off the Poolesville Summer Concert Series. Other great performers include The Bob Lauder Band, the Poolesville Band Project and magician David Breth. www.poolesville.com

RO C KV I L L E
OUT TO LUNCH WEDNESDAYS
June 1 through Oct. 26, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: E. Montgomery Avenue, Rockville Town Center
Wacky Wednesday is even more wonderful at Rockville Town Center. That’s because here you get great bands, food from places like California Tortilla, Giuseppi’s Pizza Plus and Tara Asia, and a farmers market. Performers include Lloyd Dobler Effect, Mary Ann Redmond and Dan Hovey and Squeeze Bayou. New this year is Kids Week. On June 29, July 27, Aug. 31 and Sept. 28, kids will enjoy special entertainment like Pam the Kindersinger and Rascal and a moonbounce. www.rockvillemd.gov/events/otl

CONCERT IN THE SQUARE
May 5 through Aug. 25, Thursdays, 6 to 8 p.m.
Location: Rockville Town Square
Dance to the tunes of some of the area’s best musicians—The Nighthawks, Bill Kirchen, Seamus Kennedy, the Daryl Davis Band and more. www.rockvillemd.gov/events/square

S I LV E R  S P R I N G
SILVER SPRING SUMMER SWING CONCERT SERIES
Thursdays starting in July, 7 to 9 p.m.
Location: Veterans Plaza Look for details coming soon on a great summer lineup! www.silverspringdowntown.com

WHEATON TGIF SUMMER SERIES
June 10 through Sept. 9, Fridays at 7 p.m.
Location: Wheaton Triangle, corner of Grandview Avenue and Reedie Drive
Outdoor movies are new this year to Wheaton’s summer concert series. www.wheatonmd.org

This story was published in the May/June 2011 issue of Montgomery Magazine.

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