Our Favorite Festivals Around Baltimore, MD

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Baltimore. This charming harborside city is as gifted in historic sights as it is in the vibrant array of activities that go on during the Maryland autumn. Whether you’re visiting and drafting travel plans, a returning Baltimorean coming to see friends and family, or a local looking for something to do around home, you’ll find more than you can choose from. Read on for some of our favorite autumn festivals and events around Baltimore. 

Madonnari Arts Festival

Every September, artists professional and amateur put together a lively, colorful (and delicious!) display of chalk paintings, up and down Baltimore’s Little Italy neighborhood. The festival takes its name and heritage from the Italian tradition of the ‘Madonnari’, wandering artists who traveled town to town to sell their works at festivals and holidays. In Baltimore, the festival has grown around the Madonnari themselves and has evolved to become a larger celebration of expression and participation in the arts. Open-air markets, live music performances and opportunities for families and visitors to create their own art along with famous visiting artists and a delicious variety of Italian cuisine are just some of the fun offered at the Madonnari Arts Festival.


Water Lantern Festival

The Baltimore Water Lantern Festival is one of the city’s more memorable and heartfelt experiences, where friends, family, neighbors, and visitors alike enjoy decorating and releasing masses of water lanterns. These water lanterns represent so many things for attendees, whether wishes, memories, secrets, or just an outlet for artistic expression, this is a great local tradition to participate in. Attendees need not worry about the impact on Baltimore. The proceeds go towards local charities and all lanterns are made of completely biodegradable materials. Aside from the water lanterns, there are also a number of live bands, pop-up vendors and food options all accompanying the community atmosphere at the event. 


Baltimore Book Festival

Sharing in Baltimore’s rich heritage in history and the arts, the Baltimore Book Festival is a unique experience visitors and locals will enjoy. Celebrity, international and local authors offer Q&A sessions, personal meetings, and conversations about their work, live readings, panels, and book signings. There are also endless booksellers and vendors, and a number of other activities, including a light show, workshops, storytelling, cooking demonstrations by professional chefs, live music, wine tasting, and a variety of delicious food options. Whether you are a major bookworm, or just searching for an event for all interests, the Baltimore Book Festival is a solid addition to any travel plans. 


International Edgar Allan Poe Festival

The International Edgar Allen Poe Festival is truly a specialty unique to Baltimore, the site of his later years, and beloved tradition fans and attendees alike celebrate the world of Edgar Allen Poe. Among homages and expressions of his most famous works, there is still so much to do here, including live musical performances, beer gardens, a tour of the Edgar Allen House, fashion shows, film screenings, and chef tastings. Come to the International Edgar Allan Poe Festival and enjoy arts, activities, and the world of Poe during this October weekend. 


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