It’s autumn – a sadly brief but wonderfully temperate time in this area, perfect for enjoying outdoor festivals where art and nature conspire to create the perfect ambiance. Here are some of the best opportunities.
Friday through Sunday, Oct. 12-14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Spend a day – or two or even three – checking out local, original art and fine craft during a free, self-guided driving tour of artist studios and galleries located on working farms, renovated barns and chicken coops and historic barns in the scenic countryside of Montgomery, Frederick and Howard counties. The 15 destinations represent more than 50 fine visual, sculptural, textile and beverage (beer, wine and tea) artists. Find more information on the event page: https://www.culturespotmc.com/event/fall-gallery-studio-tour/
In addition, work from all the Countryside Artisans is on view through Nov. 18 in the exhibit “Home Before Sunset: Celebration of a Rural Community” at Sandy Spring Museum, with an artists reception on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2 to 4 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Oct. 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Downtown Bethesda’s streets — Woodmont and Bethesda avenues, Elm Street and Bethesda Lane, east of Arlington Road — will become an outdoor gallery of arts and crafts. More than 190 selected artists will display their museum-quality works of ceramics, drawings, fabrics, glass, graphics, jewelry, metalwork, paintings, pastels, photography, printmaking, sculpture, wood, and 2D and 3D mixed media. Admission is free. The event is held rain or shine. Learn more at the event page: https://www.culturespotmc.com/event/bethesda-row-arts-festival/
Sunday, Oct. 14, noon to 5 p.m.
Visitors will experience a taste of Germany at the City of Gaithersburg’s 27th annual Oktoberfest celebration, held in the Kentlands around the Arts Barn, Kentlands Mansion and Kentlands Village Green and along Main Street and Market Square. Four stages of live entertainment by variety bands and community groups will feature performances by the Alte Kameraden German Band and the Alt-Washingtonia Bavarian Dancers. Fall-themed festivities will include professional pumpkin carving and apple cider pressing demonstrations, free horse-drawn wagon rides, hands-on crafts, pumpkin and face painting, artists and crafters, family activities and strolling entertainers. Traditional food and drinks, courtesy of Dogfish Head and other local microbreweries as well as Maryland varietal wines, will be available for purchase. Admission is free, but some activities have a nominal fee.
The annual Pumpkin Trolleyfest at the National Capital Trolley Museum, 1313 Bonifant Road, Colesville, will be open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays during October as well as from 12:30 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 20 to 28 . The event features a stop at Pinson’s Pumpkin Market, where children may exchange tokens purchased with their trolley ride tickets for a pumpkin and then decorate it. Visitors also may tour Street Car Hall with a docent, learn about the role of street cars in developing communities and see the antics of Harold Lloyd in silent film comedies featuring street cars. Admission is $7, $5 for children and seniors. Learn more at the event page: https://www.culturespotmc.com/event/pumpkin-trolleyfest-5/
Sunday, Oct. 21, noon to 4 p.m.
At the annual World of Montgomery Festival, Montgomery County’s diversity will be celebrated with international music, food, dance and culturally authentic arts demonstrations at Montgomery College-Rockville campus located at 51 Mannakee Street.
The family-friendly event will inspire multicultural appreciation and understanding by spotlighting the cultures of Korea, China, El Salvador, Ethiopia and India, which are among the county’s largest immigrant populations. Hands-on activities will include traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, dancing with a Chinese dragon, henna art painting and craft-making.
Performances on two stages will feature an Ethiopian drumming and dance group, Indian dancers enacting a harvest celebration and an El Salvadoran marching band. Traditional African drummers, Latin American dancers and Asian performers will lead a Parade of Cultures, ending at the main stage where government officials and festival sponsors will reinforce the need for multicultural understanding to make Montgomery County the nation’s most welcoming community. Learn more at: http://worldofmontgomery.com