Tonight's fireworks in honor of Independence Day mark the beginning of summer's hottest times, and we're not just talking about the weather. Here's a selection of festivals, kids' activities and places to visit this summer. And see 8F for a list of local Fourth of July fireworks and parades.
10 GOOD TIMES American Indian Powwow
July 5-7. Garrett County Fairgrounds. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A traditional American Indian Powwow features singers and dancers from several tribes, including craft demonstrations, a falconer and a storyteller. $4 for adults, kids 12 and under free. Free parking. Call (301) 963-7284.
Dundalk Heritage Fair
July 5-7. Heritage Park. Noon to 9:30 p.m. each day. A three-day celebration of our nation's birth, featuring international foods, exhibits and live entertainment. Call 284-4022.
July 19-21. Mount Royal Avenue and Cathedral Street. Friday, 6 p.m-10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon-11 p.m. A celebration of visual, performing and literary arts, featuring children's parade, national and local performing artists, dance and street performers. Call 396-4575.
Yachting Governor's Cup
Aug. 2-3. St. Mary's College of Maryland, St. Marys City. Though the race begins Friday night in Annapolis, the party starts the next morning when 300 yachts reach St. Marys City. The day-long party will feature folk, reggae and swing music. $10 entrance fee. Call (301) 862-0380.
Rocky Gap Music Festival
Aug. 2-4. Rocky Gap State Park, Cumberland. Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Country/western and bluegrass festival features Jerry Lee Lewis, Tammy Wynette, Pam Tillis and the Jordanaires (formerly Elvis Presley's band). There will be food, children's entertainment, arts and crafts, camping, swimming and canoeing. Call (301) 724-2511.
Frontier Craft Days
Aug.3-4. Jonathan Hager House, Hagerstown. Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bluegrass music and a wind quartet plus more than 60 craft booths. Music and craft shows are free, but entrance to the historic Hager House is $2 for adults, $1 for children age 6-12. Call (301) 739-8393.
Fair Hill Country/
Aug. 10. Gallagher Road Cross Country Course, Fair Hill. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. As part of their farewell tour, the Judds will highlight this country/bluegrass music festival, also featuring Ricky Van Shelton, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shelby Lynne and the Dillards. Food and crafts will be available. Tickets are $10 each if bought before the festival and $15 at the gate. Call (301) 333-4793.
Maryland Renaissance Festival
Weekends from Aug. 24-Oct. 13. Revel Grove, Crownsville. Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. 16th-century English fair with "all the fun, bawdiness and arch of the Renaissance." Food, entertainment and crafts. The festival features a Scottish Weekend Sept. 14-15. Admission is $3.59 plus tax for kids (5-11), $8 plus tax for juniors (12-15) and seniors (65+), $9.95 plus tax for adults. Call (301) 266-7304.
Maryland State Fair
Aug. 24-Sept. 2. Timonium Fairgrounds, Timonium. Saturday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Daily thoroughbred racing and live entertainment will be featured in this festival of home arts, agricultural demonstrations, livestock presentations and midway rides. $3 for adults, kids under 12 free. Parking is $1. Call 252-0200.
National Hard Crab Derby and Fair
Aug. 30-Sept. 1. Somers Cove Marina Grounds, Crisfield. Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Crab races, arts and crafts, live entertainment, and a parade. Featured will be the Miss Crustacean Pageant and the 44th annual running of the Governor's Hard Crab Derby. The fair will end Sunday night with fireworks. Call (301) 968-2682.
KIDS STUFF International Festival
Through Sept. 1. The Cloisters Children's Museum, 10440 Falls Road, Brooklandville. Hands-on encounters with foreign cultures during the Go Global International Festival. Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $3 for children and adults, and $2 for senior citizens. Call 823-2550.
Fridays in July. The Puppet Company will perform a series of shows at the Maryland Historical Society's Museum and Library, 201 West Monument St. 11 a.m. "Peter and the Wolf," "Hansel and Gretel," "Three Billy Goats Gruff," and a puppet show circus will be presented. Tickets are $4 per performance; $14 for the series. Call 685-3750.
July 7. Baltimore City Life Museums will have a day of 19th century parlor games at the 1840 House, 800 East Lombard St. 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. The event is free with admission to the museum. Admission is $1.75 for adults, $1.25 for senior citizens, 75 cents for children, and free for children under the age of six. Call 396-3279.