5 festivals to attend before summer’s tragic end

5 festivals to attend before summer’s tragic end

The air might be feeling cooler and the kids might be back in school, but it’s still summer. And that’s the mantra until September 22. And then on September 22, the first day of fall, the new mantra becomes “only 272 days until summer!”

The Town of Ocean City feels your pain. That’s why Ocean City and its neighboring communities always have a few end-of-September festivals up their sleeve to ease the transition from summer to fall and let you kick back and enjoy some of the last warm, stress-free vacation days of the year. Sometimes, as seen in this year’s festival lineup, a few drinks are understandably involved. Still, all of the following events that summer 2017 has in store are family friendly and just waiting for you to come have a good time and take your mind off the future and “real life” for a night or two.

Sunfest

Sept. 21-24

This one might be a bit obvious, but if you’re looking to celebrate the last week of summer in Ocean City, you’re going to want to do it at Sunfest. Not only are there tons of things to do at the over 40-year-old annual festival (music, food, vendors, arts ‘n crafts, etc., etc., etc.) but wandering the Inlet during the festival is totally free, and the weather is almost always perfect–still warm, but with a comfortable breeze welcoming in autumn. 

Just hop on a tram and make your way down to the Inlet for a weekend of fun in the sun. (Clara Vaughn | Ocean City Today)

Kite Fest

Sept. 21-24

If you’ve ever passed by the Kite Loft on 5th street and looked on longingly at the kites flying high outside of the store, Kite Fest is your opportunity to get in on the action. Coinciding with Sunfest each year, hundreds of kites of every shape, color and design take to the skies during Kite Fest to “wow!” onlookers with the beauty of the spectacle. Even if you can’t fly a kite without getting tangled in the line, the display is worth a look at the sky. 

Some kites seem less like traditional kites and more like giant inflatable sand ornaments, but if it flies, it flies! (Photo courtesy of The Kite Loft)

Berlin Fiddler’s Convention

Sept. 22-24

This year marks historic Berlin, MD’s 25th Fiddlers Convention. Fiddlers and string bands from all over the U.S. gather in Berlin to play bluegrass, Americana, folk and country music and to compete in the fiddlin’ competition. The convention is a time-honored tradition in Berlin and while it might sound niche, the Fiddlers Convention has always proved to be a great time for families and musical connoisseurs alike.

Tim and Savannah Finch with the Eastman String Band will be one of the convention’s headlining acts.

MARSH Fest 

Sept. 23

You’d think that beer festival season would be coming to an end by September, when really it’s just getting started.  2017 will be the first year for Chincoteague’s MARSH Fest, which includes not only 20+ craft breweries from all over the DMV, but also art, music, food and a prime location for taking in the natural beauty of the Eastern Shore. Plus, 100% of the proceeds from the festival will go toward educating and empowering local students to protect and preserve the ecology of the Shore, so you know your beer money is going to a worthy cause. 

No pictures from MARSH Fest since it’s never happened before, but if it’s anything like last week’s 9th Shore Craft Beer Brews on the Beach, it’s sure to be a great time.

Wine Fest 

Sept. 29-30

Maybe beer’s not your thing. That’s okay–wine is an option, too. Wine Fest (and MARSH Fest, for that matter) technically takes place in the fall season, but since you’re drinking on the beach, you’ll probably be able to pretend it’s still summer, anyway. This year’s 23rd annual festival will feature Maryland wineries and will also include a selection of craft beer, food, arts and crafts and live music. 

drinking wine on the beach
The perfect ending to a perfect summer. 

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