Baltimore Book Festival

Calling all nerds! If you’re anything like me, you’re more than thrilled for the Baltimore Book Festival this weekend. Not only will 2014 be the 19th year of the festival, but it is in a brand new location! If you’ve never been or don’t know what I’m talking about, listen up! You won’t want to miss out.

The Baltimore Book Festival features hundreds of author appearances and book signings, 100+ exhibitors and booksellers, non-stop readings on multiple stages, cooking demos by celebrity chefs, poetry readings and workshops, a variety of food, beer and wine, and much more!

The festival has usually taken place in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood, but due to the restoration of the historic Washington Monument, the festival will take place in the Inner Harbor this year! I, for one, am excited about this change. What’s better than listening to some poetry, sipping some wine, and being right on the harbor?

The festival will begin on Friday and Saturday at noon and run until 8 p.m. On Sunday, it will begin at noon and run until 6 p.m.

Some exciting guests:

  • Jessica Merchant, Friday at 5:30 p.m., Food for Thought Stage – I am personally EXTREMELY excited for Merchant’s arrival! I have followed the five-year food blogger for a few years, and she has introduced me to everything from pumpkin fettuccine alfredo to fudgy avocado brownies to banana bread, Brie and chocolate grilled cheese. She’s incredible and just came out with a book, Seriously Delish. She’s pretty funny throughout her blogs, so you won’t want to miss her speak!
  • Kathy Wakile, Sunday at 12:30 p.m., Food for Thought Stage – You heard right, Real Housewives fans! The Real Housewives of New Jersey star came out with a book earlier this month called Indulge: Delicious Little Desserts that Keep Life Real Sweet, with over 75 yummy treats!
  • Mark Mazzetti, Friday at 6 p.m., Ivy Bookshop Stage – The New York Times national security correspondent discusses the War on Terror and the CIA’s secret army.
  • Brian Stelter, Saturday at 2 p.m., Ivy Bookshop Stage – The former Towson tiger and current CNN anchor exposes the cutthroat world of morning television and his 2013 book Top of the Morning.

  • Bill T. Barry, Sunday at 1pm, Radical Book fair Pavilion – Local labor educator and organizer Bill Barry will be discussing his extensive research on the first national railroad strike in the U.S. that began in Baltimore in 1877.

Some new things for 2014:

  • #EpicBookFest: Geared towards children and young adults, this new component will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, and includes author presentations and discussions, such as The Storybook Parade and Superhero Figure Drawing Demo!
  • Charm City Comic Book Pavilion: Comic fans rejoice! You can come and browse through thousands of books and collectibles, chat with professional comic book creators and game designers, and participate in an informative panel!
  • National Aquarium Ocean Exploration Stage: A full weekend of free programming at the Aquarium for ocean and conservation fans! The programming includes author appearances, special animal encounters, live music, interactive eco-programs and more.

Getting there:

Before you go:

Check out the map to make sure you know where you’re going!

Let us know what you think of the festival! Tweet us at @baltcollegetown or write on our Facebook wall, Baltimore Collegetown Network. Enjoy the festivities and refer to the festival’s website for further information! Have a great weekend!

Emily Dutt, Marketing Intern

Star-Spangled Spectacular in Baltimore

Big boats, Blue Angels, and bombs (okay, fireworks) bursting in air! Why, you ask? This weekend is the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner, and we’re having a seven-day festival to celebrate!

WHY BALTIMORE?

Well, our national anthem’s lyrics were taken from a poem called “Defence of Fort M’Henry” which was written on September 14, 1814 by Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.

PLANES, SHIPS AND CONCERTS – OH MY!

Some of the highlights of the festival include:

  • The Star-Spangled Spectacular Air Show on September 13 and 14 from 2-4 p.m. will feature the Blue Angels, the US Navy’s flight demonstration squadron. They will also have air show practices from 12-3 p.m. on September 12.
  • Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of our National Anthem is a two-hour concert at Pier Six Pavilion co-hosted by John Lithgow and Jordin Sparks. Performances will include Kristin Chenoweth, Melissa Etheridge, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Train and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. You can still purchase tickets online at piersixpavilion.com.
  • Starting on September 11, you can go on FREE public ship tours between noon and 5 p.m. Ships are located at the Inner Harbor, Fell’s Point, and North Locust Point.
  • A 20-minute massive firework show on September 13 at 9:30 p.m., which can be viewed from dozens of points around Baltimore’s waterfront.
  • Red, White & Brew Festival in Fells Point on September 13 from 2:30-9 p.m. and September 14 from 11-7 p.m.
  • Orioles will host the Yankees for the weekend, with games on September 12 at 1:05 and 7:05 p.m., Saturday September 13 at 1:05 p.m. and a Star-Spangled game on September 14 at 8:05 p.m., where the players will wear specially designed patriotic uniforms.

For a full list of events, click here.

ANY GOOD GRUB?

There will be three festival areas in the Inner Harbor, Fort McHenry and Martin State Airport that will have street fair type food vendors. There is also a wide variety of restaurants located in the Inner Harbor – including the Cheesecake Factory, Five Guys, the Hard Rock Cafe, James Joyce and Bertha’s.

If you want to look a little further than the harbor for some Baltimore-based grub, Fell’s Point has a variety of good places. The Point at Fell’s, Max’s Taphouse and Thames Street Oyster House are all worth a try.

HOW DO I GET THERE?

Parking can be tough in the city, but Star-Spangled Spectacular has partnered with Parking Panda to allow customers to purchase parking passes at many parking facilities within easy walking distance to the events.

Buy your ticket here.

If you’re not driving into the city, you can also check out:

BEFORE YOU GO

Check out these maps to make sure you know where you’re going!

Enjoy the events this weekend, and refer to Star Spangled Spectacular for more information!

Emily Dutt, Marketing Intern

Signing Off

Summer in Baltimore 

As finals week and graduation loom in my future, my time interning at Baltimore Collegetown Network comes to a close. I’ve had a tremendous year working for this awesome organization, and I encourage any of you looking for an internship to keep Collegetown on your list for next Fall!  My time here as afforded me so many opportunities, but my most poignant takeaway is an enhanced understanding and appreciation for all Baltimore has to offer. So I thought it’d be appropriate for my final blog post (*tear*) to include a list of some of the great events, festivals, and activities happening this summer in Charm City!

  • Artscape Friday, July 18 – Sunday, July 20
    • Be a part of America’s largest free arts festival! Artscape features more than 150 artists and Artscapelive performances including: dance, opera, theater, film, experimental music, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra! Plus a variety of hands-on demonstrations and competitions to put your creative abilities to the test!
  • Outdoor Movies 
    • Little Italy – the original outdoor movie venue of Baltimore! Beginning July 11, enjoy live music and festivities starting at 7pm and a film at 9pm!
    • Flicks on the Hill – sponsored by the American Visionary Museum this weekly movie night is one of the city’s largest. Thursday nights, beginning July 10, be sure to head down to Federal Hill to enjoy a summer flick!
    • Fells Point Films on the Pier – If Wednesdays are better for you, then be sure to check out the outdoor films in Fells Point beginning July 9 at 8:45pm.
  • Summer Sounds at Belvedere Square 
    • Free outdoor concerts every Friday at Belvedere Square starting May 16 with an upbeat Cajun performance by The Crawdaddies at 6pm.
  • PrintChesapeake Crab and Beer Festival  Saturday, June 21
    • Get Crackin’ In Charm City! Enjoy tons of Old Bay, Maryland crabs, and specialty beers (21+, of course)
  • Cultural Festivals – Experience Baltimore’s melting pot of cultures and enjoy these awesome ethnic celebrations
  • Beat the heat with some sweet treats! What better way to celebrate summertime than with some frozen deliciousness?
    • Check out a few of the city’s top ice cream joints according to The Baltimore Sun!
    • And for all you culinary adventurers out there — check out The Sun’s list of the city’s strangest flavors and where to try them!

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No class, no commitments, no worries – right? And still plenty of things to take advantage of in your favorite college town – sounds like a perfect summer to me! Please leave any additional Charm City summer time plans in a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

And now, as the old cliché goes – all good things must come to an end – farewell Baltimore Collegetown, it’s been an incredible year! Can’t wait to explore the city’s quirky charms as a … dun, dun, dun … college graduate!

 

-Madison Boris, intern

The Beauty of Baltimore

Okay, so I can’t be the only one that’s stopped their car just a little too long at a red light staring at one of the spectacular murals around Baltimore, right? Be honest … we all get a little distracted sometimes – and who can help it with all these open-walls-baltimore-murals-gaiaamazing, larger than life works of art around the city?

It all began in 2012 when Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Station North Arts and Entertainment, Inc. launched Open Walls Baltimore, a community art project dedicated to a tremendous outdoor exhibit of murals across Station North. Over the course of two months, talented artists from Baltimore, New York City, Europe, and South America painted twenty-three remarkable murals. The success of the inaugural UnknownOpen Walls Baltimore two years ago inspired OWB2 (Open Walls Baltimore 2) which began in March and goes through June 2014. OWB2 is curated by local artist (and MICA graduate), Gaia, and promises several new additions to Baltimore’s already exquisite collection of street art.

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And it’s more than just murals! OWB2 will also include several performances and demonstrations over the course of the two-month project. Under the name Open Walls Baltimore X, these programs include Free Yoga Fridays by Charm City Yoga and Story Telling by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, leader of the public art series Stop Telling Women to Smile

Be sure to keep up with the progress of OWB2 over the next couple months, and “Like” them on Facebook. And if you’re interested in other murals around Baltimore, check out The Baltimore Sun’s list of the city’s 50 best!

These beautiful murals aren’t the only reason to go out and about in the city this spring – now that the weather forecast is finally starting to include some sunshine it’s time to enjoy the beauty of Baltimore! Check out this list of lovely, outdoor venues that are sure to be calling your name as the temperatures continue to climb:

All of these look like the perfect excuse for a study break, am I right!? Get out there and See More BMore this spring – and if you have any other outdoor activities you think should be included in our list, please comment below!

 

-Madison Boris, intern

It’s About Time!

Spring Time, That Is 

Now, it may not feel like it quite yet thanks to these near-freezing temperatures, but Spring is here!! And thank goodness, I’m a little tired of being cooped up inside all the time, and what better way to spend warmer days than at a festival? The city has a ton to offer in the upcoming months, so if you’re looking for a study break or simply want to get off campus for the afternoon be sure to check out these festivals for guaranteed good times:

Good, Old-Fashioned Street Festivals 

  • Johns Hopkins Spring Festival, April 25-27
    • Make your way over to JHU for a weekend of free fun!  Funnel cake, games, and a beer garden (21+, of course) – what more could a college student ask for? AND a special performance by the one and only J-Cole!!
  • Towsontown Spring Festival, May 3-4
    • This is gonna be huge – the 47th annual bash hosted by the Timagesowson Chamber of Commerce features carnival rides, live music, and more than 450 vendors! Stop by one of the food tents and pick up oneof your favorite festival treats – crab pretzel, pit beef, pulled pork, cotton candy, you get the idea! (I’m drooling just thinking about the possibilities)

You Don’t See That Everyday!

  • Maryland Bacon Festival, April 26
    • I scream, you scream, we all scream for … BACON!  The Maryland Bacon Festival is coming toBaltimore, and the $25 Early Bird ticket includes entry tophoto-5 the festival plus 3 Bacon Sample Tickets tob
    • e used at any of the 30+ food vendors.  Thisbacon-themed block party has everything a bacon-lover could ever want – samples, eating contests, cooking demonstrations (all bacon themed, of course) plus live music and full service bars!
  • Privateer Festival April 11-13
    •   Arrrgh you ready for some pirate themed fun!? Check out the Fell’s Point 10th Annual Privateer Festival for a weekendof shopping, celebration, and living history! Come honor the bicentennial year of the War of 1812 with traditional privateer reenactments, music, food, and drink! And for those of you who are always down for a good themed party – this is the perfect excuse to break out the swashbuckling boots, swords, and eye patches and get in tune with your inner pirate!
  • Zombie Gras, March 29
    • Geppi’s Entertainment Museum is kicking off its fourth annual Zombie Gras this Saturday!  Beginning at 10am the living dead are expected to flock to Geppi’s to admire displays of zombie Unknownhistory, pick up some unique memorabilia at participating vendors, and learn tips from professional make up artists.
      • After 6pm the real fun begins – a bar crawl including: Pickles Pub, Sliders Bar & Grill, Frank & Nic’s West End Grille, Pratt Street Ale House, Tir na nOg Irish Bar & Grill, and Dick’s Last Resort!

For All The Sports Lovers Out There … 

  • Baltimore Orioles Student Night Fridays, beginning April 11
    • What better way to kick off Spring than with America’s favorite pastime? Check out the Orioles’ special student night Friday deals and catch a great game! Go O’s!
  • Lacrosse National Championships, May 24-26
    • Who will make it to the big dance!? This year, the lacrosse National ChamUnknown-1pionship game will be hosted at M&T Stadium – and who knows, maybe we’ll see one of our very own Baltimore institutions in the arena making the city proud!

Not Specifically Spring, but still FUN (especially for those who love to eat and drink like I do!) 

  • Food Truck Gathering
  • Brewery Tour
    • Heavy Seas Brewery
    • Union Craft Brewery
  • And if you find yourself sick of campus food, or just fancy a night out on the town be sure to check out our website for a list of all the city’s amazing eateries!

So despite the chilly weather, Happy Spring, everybody!!  Now get out there and enjoy some food, festivals, and fun!  Have any special Spring plans? Be sure to tell us about them!

 

- Madison Boris, intern

Spring Break 2014

I think I speak for all when I say that the combination of frigid temperatures and mountains of homework has me counting down the days (hours, minutes, and seconds) until SPRING BREAK!!  Whether you’re planning a trip to some place sunny or heading home, the week off from classes is the light at the end of the tunnel.   Image

Now, society seems to think that college spring break is synonymous with binge drinking and exotic beaches – but apart from those few party-animals featured on MTV, that is not the reality.  For most, spring break is a time to relax and catch up on some much needed sleep!  But this year, instead of just becoming one with your coach and developing an intimate relationship with your Netflix account – check out my list of ideas for new things to try during Spring Break:

  • Road Trip

ImageAnother fun fact: I used to make an annual trip from my home in Utah to my grandparents’ house in Connecticut, a grand total of 2,275 miles and 33 hours – so I know a thing or two about road trips too!  Road trips are a great opportunity to visit new places, bond with friends (what better way to connect with your buddies than to spend countless hours with them in cramped quarters!?), and sample local cuisine – if you’re a Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives fan like me you can plan your entire trip around the famous eateries visited by Guy Fieri!

Here are some other sites to help kick-start your road-trip plans:

  • Read a Book!

Whether you’re on the beach or relaxing at home, Spring Break is the best time to unwind with a great book! Check out this cool site that helps you pick out your next read!

  • Pamper Yourself

Enjoy your time off from classes and take this opportunity to treat yo’ self!  Manicures, pedicures, the whole 9-yards.  Now, I’m not talking about breaking the bank at the spa – no, no all this can be done at home with simple, inexpensive ingredients and tools! Check out these sites for some inspiration:

  • DIY

Use your down time to get crafty!  Check out these links for some ideas that are cheap and easy.  Just think about how much your roommates will love you when you come back with a cute new decoration for the dorm room!

  • Sign Up for a Run!

Whether you’re professional, or just lacing up the sneaks for the first time – signing for and completing a run is a fantastic feeling.  The month of March is full of road race opportunities, so check out this calendar

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and sign up before time runs out ;)

Look Ahead to April: The Color Run (The Happiest 5K in the World) will be Saturday April 19!

Whatever you end up doing, have a great break, everybody!  And if you’ve got some extra special plans that’d you like to brag about, please leave a comment below!

-Madison Boris, intern

Think Outside the (Chocolate) Box This Valentine’s Day

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day!  Although I really wouldn’t consider myself the biggest romantic (Nicolas Sparks books make me gag) I do enjoy Valentine’s Day nonetheless.  Who says you need to spend this Hallmark Holiday with the love of your life!?  Instead, you can use February 14th as an excuse to try a new recipe, do a craft, or tell your friends, roommates, parents, bosses, anybody that you care about them!  Now we all typically associate chocolates and flowers with V-Day, but I thought I’d compile a list of alternative:

Breakfast

ImageLunch/Dinner 

Dessert, duh 

For All  My 21+ Followers, It’s Cocktail Time!

                                                 Who’s Up For Crafts!?

Happy Valentine’s Day from Baltimore Collegetown Network!  If you’re planning on trying any of these recipes or crafts, let us know!  And if you’re doing some sweet and romantic … well, maybe just keep that to yourself.   

 

 

  – Madison Boris, intern