Downtown Bethesda celebrates the diversity of modern literature by presenting the 14th annual Bethesda Literary Festival from Friday, April 19-Sunday, April 21, 2013. Managed and organized by the Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. (BUP), the festival will feature an array of local and national authors, journalists and poets, as well as writing contests and children’s events. All events are held throughout downtown Bethesda and are free.
The festival features Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author David Maraniss, National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Alice McDermott; New York Times bestselling novelist, Chris Bohjalian, executive editor at Bloomberg News and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Amanda Bennett; New York Times bestselling authorKate Alcott, editor of The National Interest Robert Merry, and award-winning journalist Lynn Povich.
Other highlights of the Bethesda Literary Festival include the Reading and Awards Ceremonies for the Essay & Short Story Contest, the Youth Writing Contest and the Bethesda Poetry Contest; a meet-and-greet with your favorite local authors, and author events for children and teens. Visit www.bethesda.org.
Pike's Peek 10K runs along Rockville Pike from Shady Grove Metro to White Flint Mall. Sunday, April 21, 2013. See the Montgomery County Road Runners Club website at www.mcrcc.org or pikespeek10k.com. Now named Kaiser Permanente Pike’s Peek 10K.
The Annual C&O Canal Pride Days, a joint effort between the park and C&O Canal Trust, brings hundreds of volunteers into the park to conduct maintenance projects. Celebrate Earth Day weekend on Saturday, April 20, from 8 a.m. to noon, by working at C&O Canal National Historical Park at Great Falls (Md.) and other sites along the Potomac River and C&O Canal towpath. Last year, more than 300 volunteers tackled 30 projects from repairing trails, preserving historic buildings, pulling weeds, and painting picnic tables and signs. Call the Canal Trust at 301-714-2233, www.canaltrust.org, or see the park website at www.chohvip.org/co-canal-pride-days.
Potomac Watershed Cleanup, sponsored annually by Alice Ferguson Foundation. Saturday, April 6, 2013, 9 a.m. to noon. Last year, more than 14,000 volunteers picked up 262 tons of trash at last year’s April cleanup event, including 1,566 tires, 37,607 cigarette butts, 31,456 plastic bags, 185,350 recyclable bottles. Volunteers helped at many sites along the Potomac River in Potomac. See www.fergusonfoundation.org.
The 10th annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, a two-day event highlighting more than 120 contemporary artists selling original fine art and crafts. The festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 12 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Artists from throughout the country will showcase painting, drawing, photography, furniture, jewelry, mixed media, wood and ceramics. Participating artists were selected and juried by members of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District. Sunshine Artist ranked the 2008 Bethesda Fine Arts Festival the 78th Best Festival in the U.S. and Best Show in Maryland and Washington, D.C. The event will be held in downtown Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle along Norfolk and Auburn Avenues, and will feature live entertainment, children’s activities and downtown Bethesda restaurants. Call 301-215-6660 or visit www.bethesda.org.
Mule-Drawn Canal Boat Rides, Great Falls Tavern, May – October. Call the C&O Canal National Historical Park at Great Falls visitor center, 301-767-3714 or visit www.nps.gov.
Potomac Horse Center Annual Spring Open House, May 5, 2013. Visit www.PotomacHorse.com.
Greek Spring Festival at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George 7701 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda. Friday and Saturday, May 10-11, noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday, May 12 from noon to 8 p.m. The annual festival includes traditional Greek cuisine, outdoor/indoor dining, Greek dancing, church tours, art, jewelry and Greek pastries. Call 301-469-7990 or visit www.stgeorge.org.
The Potomac Hunt Races, May 19, 2013, an annual May tradition, celebrating the sport of steeplechase racing and benefiting local charities. This year’s race supports The Yellow Ribbon Fund and injured service members. Race day festivities include steeplechase racing, thoroughbreds and festival tailgate parties, a car show, pony rides and more. The event is open to the public and will be held at the Kiplinger Estate, 14401B Partnership Road, in Poolesville. See www.potomachuntraces.com.
Strawberry Festival at Potomac United Methodist Church, 10300 Falls Road in Potomac, will be held on May 18, 2013 (traditionally held the weekend before Memorial Day). Berries, a silent auction, bake sale, rummage sale, craft fair, dollar items and games and activities for children. Call the church at 301-299-9383 or visit www.potomac-umc.org.
The Landon 60th Annual Azalea Garden Festival, May 3-5, 2013 in the Perkins Garden and the Landon campus, 6101 Wilson Lane, Bethesda. The annual festival dates back to the mid-1950s when Landon’s founders, Paul and Mary Lee Banfield opened the newly acquired azalea garden to the public. The weekend will feature food, music, plant sale, student art show, greens sale, shopping and the 12th annual Mark’s Run. Call 301-320-3200 or visit www.landon.net.
Mark’s Run, a 5-K race and one-mile run also takes place during the Landon Azalea Garden festival. Mark’s Run is held each year in memory of alumnus Mark Ferris '94, who lost his battle with juvenile diabetes. In May 2011 the run raised more than $50,000 for the Mark Ferris Scholarship Fund and $75,000 to the Joslin Diabetes Center. Call 301-320-3200 or visit www.landon.net.
Hometown Holidays is a Memorial Day festival and parade in the City of Rockville with concerts, children's crafts and games. May 25-27, 2013, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Rockville Town Center. This year’s event will feature 30 free concerts and a Taste of Rockville. The weekend concludes with the 69th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade to honor those who have served. Call 240-314-5022 or visit www.rockvillemd.gov.
Potomac Theatre Company’s June show traditionally is a Cabaret where the audience eats and drinks while watching a series of One-Act plays. In the Blair Family Center for the Arts at the Bullis School, 10601 Falls Road. Call 301-299-8571. See www.potomactheatreco.org.
Imagination Bethesda, Saturday, June 1, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 18th annual children's street festival celebrating children and the arts. The festival will feature costume characters, face painters, international dance troupes, theater performances, a moon bounce and a variety of hands-on arts activities. Call 301-215-6660 or see www.bethesda.org.
The Bethesda Big Train begins its season June 1 with an exhibition game at the Shirley Povich Field in Cabin John Regional Park, 10600 Westlake Drive. The Big Train plays in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, a wooden-bat collegiate league that has sent athletes to Major League Baseball. See www.bigtrain.org.
2013 AT&T National, June 24–June 30, 2013, features 132 PGA Tour professionals at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda who will compete for a $6.5 million purse. The event raises funds and awareness for the Tiger Woods Foundation while paying tribute to U.S. armed forces. See www.tigerwoodsfoundation.org or www.usga.org.
Autism Speaks Annual 5K run and one-mile walk to benefit research on autism has become one of the major annual events in Potomac and takes place on July 4 starting at the Potomac Library, 10101 Glendolden Dr., one block from the intersection of River and Falls Roads at 8 a.m. Last year’s event raised more than $260,000. See www.autismspeaks.org or email autismspeaks5K@autismspeaks.org.
Montgomery County Fairgrounds 4th of July Fireworks, Activities include live music, games and food. Call 301-258-6350. See www.gaithersburgmd.gov
Montgomery College Rockville Campus 4th of July Fireworks, Rockville. Activities include live music and food. Call 240-314-5022. See www.rockvillemd.gov.
Potomac Whitewater Festival in early July is an annual fundraising event that celebrates kayaking in the Potomac River. Offers races for kayakers and clinics and activities for the public. Visit www.potomacfest.com.