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The National Harbor Cherry Blossom Festival

6 engaging Maryland events

Story by
postedOctober 25, 2019
From its mountainous western region to its shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean, Maryland offers a variety of experiences that showcase its physical and cultural landscapes. Visitors can check out the state’s diversity at myriad annual festivals, including the following six. All dates listed are for 2020.

The National Harbor Cherry Blossom Festival
(National Harbor, March 20–April 12)

National Harbor holds events in March and April in conjunction with the National Cherry Blossom Festival in nearby Washington, D.C. In addition to being able to see the colorful blooms along the city’s Harbor Trail and at Gaylord National Resort, visitors can enjoy Sakura Day, a one-day free festival in National Harbor that highlights many aspects of Japanese culture.

NTA contact: Josh Winston of Visit National Harbor

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival
Bethesda Fine Arts Festival (Photo by

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival
(Bethesda, May 9–10)

Across its 16-year history, the festival has featured the works of thousands of artists from the region and around the world. Held in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle area, the two-day event includes everything from paintings, sculpture, and mixed media pieces to jewelry and handicrafts. Attendees also can enjoy live entertainment and food from local restaurants.

NTA contact: Lee Callicutt of Visit Montgomery

AFRAM Festival
AFRAM Festival (

AFRAM Festival
(Baltimore, Aug. 8–9)

One of the largest cultural celebrations on the U.S. East Coast, AFRAM serves as a platform to highlight Baltimore’s African-American community. Held at the 745-acre Druid Hill Park, the event brings together more than 100,000 people for concerts by headlining entertainers, cultural presentations, art displays, and local food and drink.

NTA contact: Eric Masterton of Visit Baltimore

Augustoberfest attendees  (

(Hagerstown, August)

This festival, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2020, pays tribute to the area’s German heritage and supports the strong link between Hagerstown and its sister city: Wesel, Germany. Traditional music and dance performances are held throughout both days of the annual event, and attendees can enjoy German food, crafts, and souvenirs.

NTA contact: Audrey Vargason of Visit Hagerstown

Maryland Seafood Festival
Maryland Seafood Festival (Photo by Maryland Seafood Festival)

Maryland Seafood Festival
(Annapolis, September)

Held at Sandy Point State Park in Maryland’s capital city, the event showcases the state’s renowned fresh catch. In addition to sampling a range of seafood, festival-goers can enjoy local wines and craft beers. The event, which started in 1966, also features oyster shucking and crab cake eating contests as well as a crab soup cook-off.

NTA contact: Rich Gilbert of the Maryland Office of Tourism Development

Sunfest (Photo by

(Ocean City, Sept. 24–27)

Sunfest, a nationally recognized arts-focused event, celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2019. Across its four days, the popular gathering features music, food, and art. There are outdoor and indoor stages showcasing live music from top regional and national performers, as well as crafts booths, art displays, and children’s activities.

NTA contact: Norma Dobrowolski of the Ocean City MD CVB/Department of Tourism

Top photo: The National Harbor Cherry Blossom Festival
Photo by Kaveh Sardari


Support for Courier articles provided by:
The Army Historical Foundation, National Museum of the United States Army
Busch Gardens Williamsburg/Water Country USA
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Destination Delco
Fredericksburg Regional Tourism Partnership
Luray Caverns
National Museum of the Marine Corps
Ocean City MD CVB/Dept of Tourism
Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum
Winterthur Museum