Wheaton Arts Parade Credit: Erik Sharar

Fairs & Festivals

Sept. 8-10

Greek Fest

Get your baklava on at this annual party at Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in the Norwood area of Silver Spring, where highlights include homemade Greek desserts and other authentic cuisine. The three-day event also features live music, Greek dancing and a market offering food, crafts and jewelry for sale. schgoc.org

Sept. 10

Takoma Park Folk Festival

Expect anything from Americana and bluegrass to world music and choral performances on the festival’s six live music stages. A full range of the area’s cultural and ethnic diversity is on display at the daylong event at Takoma Park Middle School. A juried arts show, international food, and children’s games and activities are all on the agenda. tpff.org

Sept. 30


Rockville’s annual fall festival features German music on one stage and rock music on another. Sip suds from local breweries and check out food, crafts and other wares for sale at Rockville Town Center. rockvillemd.gov/1952/rocktobierfest


Oct. 7

Taste of Bethesda 

Forty Bethesda restaurants, from new arrivals to old favorites, set up booths along Norfolk Avenue in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle area for this annual food festival. You can buy tickets to sample food from the eateries and enjoy live music on five stages, as well as activities for kids. bethesda.org

Oct. 8


Gaithersburg Oktoberfest 

Tuba players in lederhosen! Dancers in dirndls! It’s the best of all fall worlds at this event in the Kentlands that features traditional Bavarian Oktoberfest entertainment and autumnal American activities such as pumpkin painting and cider pressing. gaithersburgmd.gov/recreation/special-events/oktoberfest

Oct. 14-15

Bethesda Row Arts Festival 

Browse an outdoor art gallery at this festival, which brings artists from around the country. Original artwork, including paintings, sculptures, photography, digital creations, woodwork, textiles and jewelry, is available for sale in the Bethesda Row district. bethesdarowarts.org


Oct. 15

Wheaton Arts Parade 

Community groups, marching bands and floats kick off this daylong festival with a parade around Wheaton Triangle. The party continues with a community arts festival in Marian Fryer Town Plaza, with live music, performances and food and beverages for sale by local restaurants. wheatonartsparade.org 

Oct. 28-29 


Mid Atlantic Antiques Festival 

Aix La Chapelle Farm in Poolesville becomes a shopping village brimming with antiques for this weekend festival that draws dealers from around the country. Highlights include antique and vintage furniture, Americana, military memorabilia, silver and costume jewelry. Landmade Brewery will offer craft beer and food, and an on-site bakery will have sweet treats and coffee for sale. midatlanticantiquesfestival.com


Sept. 9

Silver Spring Jazz Festival

Expect performances from national, regional and local jazz groups and musicians at this annual free musical event at Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring. There will also be a beer garden and artist demonstrations. silverspringdowntown.com/silver-spring-jazz-festival 


Sept. 22

Leyla McCalla

Mastering stringed instruments from guitar to banjo to cello, and singing in French, English and Haitian Creole, the Carolina Chocolate Drops alumna makes music that inflects her Haitian heritage with New Orleans influences. Her songs, which she’ll perform at AMP, speak to ideas of memory, history, art and activism. strathmore.org

Oct. 11


Little Simz

The British rapper has been compared to J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. She stops by The Fillmore Silver Spring on a tour supporting No Thank You, her latest album. livenation.com


Sept. 9-10

Small Press Expo

The premier festival promoting independent comics and graphic novels comes to the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, bringing with it a chance to meet artists and creators, participate in workshops and attend book signings. smallpressexpo.com



Sept. 3

Chita Rivera: The Rhythm of My Life

Known for originating some of Broadway’s most memorable characters, including Anita from West Side Story, Velma Kelly from Chicago and the title character from Kiss of the Spider Woman, the 90-year-old Tony Award winner performs songs from her storied career at Olney Theatre Center’s Root Family Stage. olneytheatre.org


Sept. 4


Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade

Stake out a good spot to watch as marching bands, dance groups, classic cars and floats parade through the streets of Olde Towne in honor of Labor Day. gaithersburgmd.gov/recreation/special-events/labor-day-parade

Sept. 10

Parks Half Marathon

Join 2,000 runners for this 13.1-mile jaunt through county parkland along the Rock Creek Stream Valley. A favorite among casual and competitive runners alike, one of the county’s largest races is known for its relaxed and friendly vibe. parkshalfmarathon.com


Oct. 14

Rockville Antique and Classic Car Show

You could spot a 1920s Tin Lizzie, a pastel-and-chrome 1950s-era Thunderbird, groovy VW buses and muscle cars from the 1960s and ’70s at this vintage car show, which draws enthusiasts and vehicles from around the mid-Atlantic region. There will be a special display celebrating 75 years of Lotus as well as hundreds of classic vehicles from Fords to Fiats to Ferraris on the grounds of Rockville’s Glenview Mansion. rockvillemd.gov/667/antique-classic-car-show

Halloween Happenings

Sept. 21 through Oct. 31


Field of Screams Maryland

If bloody ax murderers and creepy clowns are your thing, head to Field of Screams, which features 50 horrifying stations along its Super Screams Haunted Trail in Olney. Incorporating live actors and special effects, Field of Screams is among the terrifying haunted attractions in the region. screams.org

Sept. 23 through Oct. 29

Pumpkin Festival

Grab a gourd, clamber aboard for a hayride, get lost in a corn maze and jump in a hayloft at Butler’s Orchard. There’s also a playground, giant slides and farm animals. Food, pony rides and face painting are available for extra fees. butlersorchard.com/festivals/pumpkin-festival/


This story appears in the September/October issue of Bethesda Magazine.