The Memorial Day weekend is more than the beginning of the swimming pool season: It kicks off a series of festivals which stretch long into the fall.
Everyone has a favorite festival, be it a block party, the Howard County Fair (Aug. 10-17) or the Maryland State Fair (Aug. 24-Sept. 2). The Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster is always a fun place to go to, particularly during the June 9 Deep Creek Fiddlers Convention. Annapolis is another sure bet, rain or shine.
The following are our picks for this weekend:
Baltimore City: Leakin Park's herb festival, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, familiarizes you with wild culinary and medicinal herbs in an extraordinary city wilderness park. Entrance is off Windsor Mill Road. Sunday is for enjoying the zaniness of the all-day Sowebohemian Festival, around Hollins Market at Hollins Street and Carrollton Avenue.
Baltimore County: Memorial Day, the way it used to be celebrated, will be observed at 11 a.m. Monday at the Circle of the Immortals, Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, 200 E. Padonia Road in Timonium. A military brass band will play.
Carroll County: The annual firemen's carnival runs Monday through June 1 at the carnival grounds in Union Bridge, from 7 p.m. to midnight. There will be games, entertainment and food.
Anne Arundel County: The Memorial Day parade marches through the Annapolis historic district to the city dock from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday. Meanwhile, at the U.S. Naval Academy, commissioning week for graduating midshipmen is cause for all kinds of celebrations.
Harford County: Skip the parades and head for the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum in Aberdeen. It offers the world's most comprehensive collection of museum hardware, from tanks to a German V-2 rocket. Telephone 278-9602.
Howard County: Savage Festival, in an old mill town off U.S. 1 near Laurel, takes place through the weekend with arts and crafts, music and games.
Frederick County: Jazz saxophonist Stanley Turrentine is the big-name attraction at Saturday's Frederick Festival of the Arts at City Hall. The historic town, of course, is always a delight to visit.
This is just a sample. This is the time to be in Maryland.