A dancer at the Washington Folk Festival Credit: Photos courtesy Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture


Bethesda Fine Arts Festival  

Paintings, photography, sculpture and jewelry by more than 100 artists from around the country are on display and on sale at this annual art fair around Woodmont Triangle. Expect live music from local bands and food for sale from Bethesda restaurants. bethesda.org 

Rockville Hometown Holidays Music Fest 

Rockville kicks off the summer with music from local bands on two stages, a Taste of Rockville food festival and fun stuff for the kids, like inflatables and lawn games. The festival, which returns to RedGate Park for a second year, is free to attend, and tickets for food and beverage samples can be purchased on-site. rockvillemd.gov/665/hometown-holidays 

Rockville Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade  

Marching bands, dance troupes, drum lines, and military and community groups parade through the streets of downtown Rockville in this long-standing tradition. The day begins with a performance by the Rockville Concert Band and Chorus, followed by a ceremony to remember fallen veterans. rockvillemd.gov/2402/memorial-day-ceremony-and-parade 


Strawberry Festival 

All the strawberry shortcake you can eat is just one draw of the 41st Sandy Spring Museum’s Strawberry Festival. The giant party includes live music, pony rides, a petting zoo, games, food trucks and a crafts market.

Washington Folk Festival  


Storytellers, dancers, drummers, musicians and artisans from various cultural traditions come together for this festival at Glen Echo Park. Past performances have included everything from Americana, blues and bluegrass to traditional Indian stringed instruments, Ukrainian folk music, and Latin and Caribbean rhythms. glenechopark.org/folkfestival 

Planet Bethesda Festival 

Bring your bib and belly up to the table for the plant-based pie-eating contest, just one of the festivities at this celebration of plant-based cuisine. Last year’s inaugural event drew more than 2,500 people, and this event is going to be even bigger and better, including a Biergarten, Canine Courtyard, giveaways and more. Dogs are welcome to the healthy hoedown at Elm Street Park. planetbethesda.com 


Silver Spring Blues Festival  

Blues veterans and newcomers take the
stage at downtown Silver Spring’s daylong block party to celebrate the musical genre. The free annual event literally has people dancing in the street, featuring local groups along with bands from around the country.


August Wilson’s Radio Golf  


This Tony Award-nominated drama, the 10th and final work in playwright August Wilson’s American Century Cycle and the third Wilson play staged by Round House Theatre, centers on a man who wants to redevelop Pittsburgh’s struggling Hill District neighborhood. Instead,  he gets caught between his vision for progress and the values of the community’s history. roundhousetheatre.org 

Nate the Great  

Will the clues add up for kid detective Nate the Great in this musical mystery involving a cat, a dog, a couple of friends and a missing painting? Based on the children’s book series, Imagination Stage’s production is recommended for ages 5-11. imaginationstage.org



Bethesda Painting Awards Exhibition  

View artwork by the finalists of the Bethesda Painting Awards, a competition that presents a $10,000 top prize to an artist from Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. An opening reception for the exhibition is planned for 6-8 p.m. June 9 at Bethesda’s Gallery B.


The String Queens 


If TV shows like Bridgerton have you digging classical-style covers of pop songs, check out The String Queens, a trio that fiddles out versions of hits such as Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” at AMP by Strathmore. strathmore.org 

NatPhil: Cosmic Cycles 

Visions of space accompany the world premiere of composer Henry Dehlinger’s symphonic suite, Cosmic Cycles, in this partnership between NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the National Philharmonic. The orchestra will play at Strathmore against a backdrop of celestial images. strathmore.org 


Taiko: The Art of Japanese Drumming 

Learn about Taiko, a form of Japanese drumming, and try it yourself at a demonstration and interactive program at the Rockville Library. mcpl.libnet.info/event/7846920

Tony! Toni! Toné! 


If you had the radio on in the ’90s, you heard this soul-music-inspired R&B group with chart-toppers including “If I Had No Loot,” “Feels Good” and “Anniversary.” The trio revisits their hits at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club.


National Philharmonic Hailstork’s Fifth Symphony and Carmina Burana  


To close its season, the National Philharmonic pairs a world premiere by composer Adolphus Hailstork with the dramatic Carmina Burana at Strathmore. strathmore.org 


Deniece Williams 


An iconic voice of the ’80s, Williams scored a No. 1 hit with “Let’s Hear It for the Boy.” The four-time Grammy winner makes an appearance at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club. bethesdabluesjazz.com 


Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower  


It’s the mid-2020s and society is dealing with climate change, social inequality and corporate greed. That’s the setting for Octavia E. Butler’s 1993 sci-fi novel Parable of the Sower. Strathmore stages the opera version. strathmore.org 


Improbable Comedy  

In honor of Pride Month, Improbable Comedy, the Silver Spring-based production team that stages shows featuring underrepresented performers, brings an all-queer lineup to Gaithersburg’s Arts Barn. gaithersburgmd.gov/recreation/performing-arts/theater/improbable-comedy



Punk the Capital 

Better known for power suits than power chords, D.C. was home to an influential punk music scene in the late 1970s and early ’80s. The Wheaton Library hosts a screening of Punk the Capital, a documentary that explores it. mcpl.libnet.info/event/7944878  

6/11, 14

Tease up your beehive, hon, for the 35th anniversary screenings of the original 1988 John Waters cult-classic musical, showing at local Regal movie theaters. In 1960s Baltimore, teenager Tracy Turnblad tries to win a spot on a TV dance show while also fighting for racial integration. fathomevents.com

This story appears in the May/June issue of Bethesda Magazine.

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