Jan. 28: Mandy Patinkin in Concert

You might know him as Saul Berenson from Homeland, or as Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride. But before those roles, Patinkin was a Tony Award-winning Broadway performer. In Being Alive, a revue at The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, he performs favorite show tunes and classic American songs. strathmore.org

Feb. 11: Marvel’s Black Panther in Concert

Experience Wakanda in a new way at this special screening of the 2018 superhero movie, with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performing the Oscar- and Grammy-winning score live at The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda. strathmore.org

Credit: Courtesy of City of Gaithersburg by Daniel Martinez

March 11: St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Fire trucks, equestrian units and various community groups join Celtic dancers and bagpipers in marching through the streets of rio at Gaithersburg’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. gaithersburgmd.gov/recreation/special-events/st-patrick-s-day-parade

March 24: Fairytales on Ice

See Cinderella, Peter Pan, Rapunzel, Aladdin and other famous fairy-tale figures dance, glide, spin and jump at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring in this ice-skating show set to an original soundtrack. mcblogs.montgomerycollege.edu/cac/fairytales-on-ice-2023

March 25: Kites Over Clarksburg

Bring your own kite or buy one at this annual festival at Ovid Hazen Wells Park, and get ready to let it fly. The fun also includes games and arts and crafts for kids. Local businesses, clubs and associations will be on hand, and festival-goers are invited to bring their own picnics. montgomeryparks.org/events/kites-over-clarksburg

March 28-May 7: The National Capital New Play Festival

Round House Theatre in Bethesda brings two new world-premiere plays to its stage, On the Far End and Jennifer, Who Is Leaving, in its second National Capital New Play Festival. Audiences also get the chance to hear readings of new plays in development. roundhousetheatre.org


April (Date TBD): Montgomery County Greenfest

For one of the county’s largest Earth Day festivals, Brookside Gardens in Wheaton brings together kids’ activities like tree climbing, plus painting sessions, plant and tree giveaways, a green arts-and-crafts fair, exhibitions from environmental nonprofits and an electric vehicle show. montgomerycountygreenfest.org


April 29: Carousel Day

Celebrate the season opening of Glen Echo Park’s historic carousel. In addition to carousel rides, there are things to do throughout the park, including live musical performances, kids’ arts and crafts, and open artist studios and galleries. glenechopark.org 

May 20: Gaithersburg Book Festival

Hundreds of writers, including bestselling authors, award-winning poets and songwriters, gather at Bohrer Park for the annual Gaithersburg Book Festival, which features discussions with writers, readings, Q&As and writing workshops. gaithersburgbookfestival.org 


May 27-28: Hometown Holidays

Kick off the start of summer at Rockville’s Hometown Holidays at RedGate Park. The two-day festival features two stages of live music and entertainment by local groups; kids’ activities, such as rides and inflatables; and the Taste of Rockville food festival. rockvillemd.gov/665/hometown-holidays

June 17: Silver Spring Blues Festival

Expect dancing in the street (really!) at this daylong festival and block party featuring live performances by regional blues bands in downtown Silver Spring. The event concludes a week of kickoff concerts at various venues in the area. silverspringblues.com

June 25: Pride in the Plaza

This free, outdoor pride festival returns to Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring for the third year with food, music, vendors and resources focused on the LGBTQ community and other special events. Last year’s festival included a drag duel and vogueing competition. doitforyoumc.org


July (Date TBD): Summerfest

Gaithersburg celebrates Independence Day with live music, food trucks, kids’ activities and, of course, fireworks. The party, which takes place at Bohrer Park, concludes with a SummerGlo After Party featuring a DJ and glow sticks. gaithersburgmd.gov/recreation/special-events/summerfest

Credit: Courtesy of Olney Theatre

July 7-Aug. 13: Fela!

Regional stages Round House Theatre and Olney Theatre Center join forces for a production of the Tony Award-winning musical, the first professional production of Fela! in more than 10 years. It tells the story and presents the music of Nigerian performer and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti. olneytheatre.org

Aug. 11-19: Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

The county fair truly has something for everyone, from carnival rides, demolition derbies and monster-truck shows to farm animal demonstrations and incredible food you can only get at Gaithersburg’s Montgomery County Fairgroundsmcagfair.com


Sept. 15-17: Washington Ukrainian Festival

The annual three-day festival on the grounds of St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver Spring features Ukrainian music and dancers, food, a beer garden, crafts and children’s activities. ukrainefestdc.com

Sept. (Date TBD): Salvadoran Festival

Live musical performances, traditional food and a rich display of culture are the hallmarks of this annual festival at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg, marking both Salvadoran independence and Hispanic Heritage Month. festivalsalvadoreno.com

Oct. 7: Taste of Bethesda

The annual festival has been canceled due to weather and the pandemic for the past few years, but when it’s on, it’s on, typically drawing thousands to downtown Bethesda to sample offerings from hundreds of local restaurants. It also features multiple stages of live entertainment. bethesda.org


Oct. 8: Gaithersburg Oktoberfest

The Oktoberfest in Kentlands combines the best aspects of a traditional Deutschland celebration—beer, German music, Bavarian dancers—with favorite American fall rituals such as pumpkin carving and apple cider pressing. gaithersburgmd.gov/recreation/special-events/ oktoberfest

Nov. 18 Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, this parade kicks off the holiday season with inflatable turkeys and penguins, floats, marching bands and dance groups weaving their way through downtown Silver Spring. Expect an appearance by Santa Claus and his elves as well. silverspringdowntown.com

November (Date TBD): Run Under the Lights

This festive nighttime 5K run/walk takes place among Gaithersburg’s Winter Lights Festival at Seneca Creek State Park. The course takes participants through glittering holiday light displays and sparkling illuminated trees. mcrrcrununderlights.com


Garden of Lights 2021 at Brookside Gardens. Photos by Ed Wondoloski. Credit: Courtesy of Montgomery Parks, M-NCPPC

November/December (Dates TBD): Garden of Lights

Brookside Gardens gets a holiday makeover for this half-mile walk-through event. The grounds and flower beds at the 50-acre Wheaton park are adorned with twinkling lights and one-of-a-kind displays, some with holiday themes and others depicting animals or botanical forms. montgomeryparks.org/parks-and-trails/brookside-gardens/garden-of-lights

December (Date TBD): Maryland Youth Ballet’s The Nutcracker

With a cast of more than 100, plus lavish sets and costumes, the Maryland Youth Ballet presents the holiday classic at Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center in Rockville. In the past, students from the Silver Spring-based dance school have gone on to professional dancing careers after being cast in leading roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Flower Queen and Snow Queen. marylandyouthballet.org