Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Going on around Town: This Month

 It's summer, it's beautiful outside and there is a lot going on these days. Here are a few of those things:
  • TODAY, June 15th through June 18th: Freixenet sparkling wines has a "Tastings & Tapas" truck roaming around Baltimore. Location details will be on Twitter. I like cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and I like tapas - I also think this is a great idea from a marketing perspective. Freixenet is so ubiquitous and it's been lodged in my mind as a mimosa mixer and not much else. It's been around in the U.S. market since before everybody was making the cava/prosecco/champagne/other sparkling distinction and before Spanish food was super popular. It seems smart to me to refine the brand's position as a cava and to emphasize it's Spanishness by pairing it with tapas.
  • June 18th - #1: It's festival season in Baltimore and this weekend offers up a good one - the Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival. It's at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson (3134 Eastern Avenue) and it's free to enter (though you'll have to pay for food, etc.). The festival celebrates all aspects of Maryland living and will feature a ton of music and stuff like decoy-making and boat-building. Most intriguing to me, though, is the food, which will cover the traditional (Smith Island cake), the new traditional (Latin American influences) and food that we don't necessarily think of as Marylandy, but which certainly lives in Maryland (Nepalese). Overall, it sounds like a great time.
    The food at the Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival looks kind of awesome. Photo credit: Shane Carpenter.
    June 18th - #2: The good and hardworking folks at RA Sushi have declared this Saturday "International Sushi Day" and to celebrate, they're offering all of their Facebook fans a coupon for a free Tootsy Maki roll. So get one!
  • June 25th and 26th: The following weekend, DC is the place to be, food-wise, as the 19th Annual Safeway National BBQ Battle rolls into town (on Pennsylvania Avenue; Saturday 11 AM-9 PM, Sunday 11 AM-7:30 PM). This is a huge event, featuring a BBQ cookoff between 50 pitmasters, performances by 30 bands, and a whole mess of activities and food to try. The Battle is a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of America - over past years, the event has raised over $1.2 million for the organization, which means you can feel righteous while eating your delicious smoky pork. On top of that, I have it on good authority (my sister, who caught the tail end of last year's battle) that it's both well-run and a great time. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for kids (free for kids 5 and under) and may be purchased online (for a discount) or at the gate. OR...I've got a couple of tickets to give away. So look for a giveaway post from me tomorrow.
You know what I like about this picture of last year's National BBQ Battle? You can see the smoke. Photo courtesy of the Safeway 2011 National Barbecue Battle.
  •  June 28th, July 18th & August 11th: If you're making plans in advance, pencil in a trip or two to the Maryland Science Center. Throughout the summer, the Science Center is hosting a cooking series called "Beautiful, Delicious, Nutritious." The series, which includes chefs from Antrim 1844, Donna's and Gertrude's, is free to members, or with paid admission. Each demo will focus on healthy cooking and eating - a great fit for the Science Center's exhibit on diabetes.
Speaking of diabetes, have I mentioned what my high school friend Doug Masuik is doing this summer? He's running across the country - from San Francisco to New York - to raise awareness (and money) for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Doug was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was a little kid - he's been managing the disease for most of his life. He'll be the first Type 1 diabetic to run across the country. He's also participating in a ton of events, many of which relate to the JDRF.

So many great events, and so many great causes. It's a busy summer already.

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