10 Things to Do This Summer

Cover Story

June 05, 2005|By Emeri B. O'Brien | Emeri B. O'Brien,SUN STAFF

Summer is fast approaching, and festivals, concerts and plays abound. There's no need to hop on Interstate 95 and head out of town, you can stay right here in Baltimore.

There are many activities that speak to Baltimore's charm - whether you're into charity, education, the arts or just like getting your dance on to a smooth summer groove. So, between family reunions, barbecues and trips to theme parks this summer, take time out to participate in African-American culture, B-more style:

1. Ray's Summer Days. June 16-19.

All-Pro Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is hosting his inaugural four-day, fun-filled Ray's Summer Days to benefit the Ray Lewis Foundation, which assists disadvantaged youth. So, come out and party for a cause.

The event starts with a highly exclusive, invite-only VIP Kickoff Dinner on June 16. (Even the location is top secret.) On Friday, Ray and friends will tee up at 9 a.m. for a Golf Classic at Mountain Branch. Tickets are $500.

The fun continues at 7 p.m. with the "Bacardi main event," a casino night, cocktail reception and auction at the Marriott Waterfront, 700 Aliceanna St. The cost is $150.

On June 18, from noon to 5 p.m., enjoy a free block party sponsored by the Baltimore Ravens at the Can Company, 2400 Boston St. This family-friendly event includes local radio personalities, the Baltimore Ravens Kids Zone and a Health Village.

Later, get your laugh on at Ray's Mega Comedy Jam at 7:30 p.m. at 1st Mariner Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. Among the comedians whose appearance has been confirmed are Alex Thomas, who has appeared on Comedy Central's Premium Blend and BET's Comic View, and Marvin Dixon, a Miami entertainer.

Ray's Summer Days concludes June 19 with a gospel brunch at Rams Head Live!, 20 Market Place, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Several gospel acts are scheduled to perform.

For more information on Ray's Summer Days, call 305-255-3500 or visit rayssummerdays.com. Tickets, which vary in price, may be purchased through the Web site.

2. Kem with special guest Fantasia. June 19.

While jazz-soul artist Kem is the main act, Fantasia (the artist formerly known as American Idol Fantasia Barrino) just might steal the show. The two are scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. at Pier 6 Cavalier Pavilion, 731 Eastern Ave. Tickets range from $38-$53. For ticket information, call 410-659-9540.

3. UniverSoul Circus. June 14-19.

Hip-hop under the big top is the main attraction when the UniverSoul Circus is in town. On this visit, the circus will set up at Security Square Mall, 6901 Security Blvd.

The one-ring affair has been dubbed "The Coolest Show on Earth" by Newsweek. The circus features 17 acts from 11 countries and is led by ringmasters Shuckey Duckey and Patrice Lovely, better known as Maybelle. Showtimes are June 14, 7:30 p.m.; June 15-17, 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.; June 18, noon, 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; June 19, 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets range from $10-$29 and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets. For more information, call 800-316-7439.

4. The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture. June 25.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum officially opens it doors at noon. Fun-filled activities and educational programs are slated for the celebration.

The museum, at 19 E. Fayette St., will highlight more than "350 years of history and accomplishments of Maryland's African-American community," according to its Web site.

The inaugural exhibit will focus on three major areas: Family and Community, Labor That Built a Nation, and Art and Enlightenment. A special exhibition focusing on the faces and voices of the African Diaspora also will be featured. In honor of the grand opening, the museum is sponsoring a black-tie event featuring Johnny Mathis at the Joseph S. Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on Friday, June 24. Tickets range from $36-$85 and can be purchased at the Meyerhoff box office, 1212 Cathedral St., or by calling 410-783-8000.

For more information about the museum, call 443-263-1800.

5. African-American Heritage Festival. June 24-26.

Neo-soul singer India.Arie is scheduled to perform on opening night at the African-American Heritage Festival at Camden Yards. The names of other performing artists have not been released. But no matter who takes center stage at the festival, the show will rock on.

This all-out celebration of African-American heritage with a touch of Baltimore flavor includes exhibits, food, rides and live entertainment that ranges from old school to neo-soul to hip-hop.

There is no admission fee for the Baltimore City-sponsored event, but stock up on cash because there will be lots of crafts and artwork on sale.

For more information, call 410-318-8286.

6. Angie Stone with Urban Mystic. June 25.

This is for the grown folk. Angie Stone with Urban Mystic will bless the Rams Head Live! stage with neo-soul rhythms with a touch of R&B.

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