Things to See and Do in the Bethesda Area in July and August
Our picks for music, festivals and other entertainment
July 4 | Baby, You’re a Firework
There are lots of options for seeing sparks fly on July 4, but the Mid-County Sparkles program at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington offers a live preshow concert as well as onsite food vendors. The county-sponsored event kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with music by soul band Quiet Fire. Blankets, low lawn chairs and coolers are welcome, but leave the alcohol at home. Handicap parking only is available at the school; general parking is at Westfield Wheaton, where free shuttle buses will take attendees to the site.
Music starts at 7:30 p.m., fireworks 9:15 p.m., Albert Einstein High School, Kensington, free, montgomerycountymd.gov/rec
Photo courtesy of Olney Theatre Center.
July 11-Aug. 19 | Set Sail
The often-parodied Gilbert and Sullivan operas The Pirates of Penzance and H.M.S. Pinafore reach zany new heights in immersive, streamlined productions by The Hypocrites theater company. The Chicago-based troupe brings the two shows to Olney Theatre Center’s Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab this summer, where they will be performed in rotating repertory. In these versions, Pirates is set at a tropical beach party, complete with a tiki bar, kiddie pools and inflatable beach balls, while Pinafore takes place at a pajama party. Adding to the fun, patrons are invited to sit onstage and move with the action in these family-friendly productions, in which actors accompany themselves on ukuleles, washboards, accordions and other instruments.
$30-$74, Olney Theatre Center, olneytheatre.org
Photo courtesy of Strathmore.
July 20 | Call Me Al
2018 may be the Year of the Dog according to the Chinese zodiac, but it’s always the Year of the Cat for Al Stewart. The folk-rock singer-songwriter is best known for his 1976 hit song “Year of the Cat,” from the album of the same name. When Stewart visits AMP in North Bethesda, expect to hear this hit and others from his musical career, which spans more than 50 years—he was prominent in the folk music revival of the 1960s and ’70s, and played alongside Paul Simon, Van Morrison and Cat Stevens.
8 p.m., $30-$50, AMP by Strathmore, ampbystrathmore.org
Photo courtesy of Montgomery County Agricultural Fair.
Aug. 10-18 | Fair Play
The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, founded in 1949, is loved for its well-known attractions, including barnyard animals, carnival rides and demolition derbies. It also boasts some new, lesser known, and even somewhat bizarre attractions. Where else in the county can you taste a “Krispy Kreme Doughnut Cheeseburger,” watch an all-terrain vehicle drag race, or compete in a cheese-carving competition? And despite its mid-20th century origins, the fair is up to date in the era of social media. Attendees can participate in a Twitter and Instagram scavenger hunt for a chance to win prizes, or in a Facebook selfie contest to win cash.
3 p.m. to midnight Aug. 10, 10 a.m. to midnight Aug. 11-18, $10 online, $12 at the gate, free for kids 11 and younger, Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Gaithersburg, mcagfair.com
Aug. 12 | Fiesta Fun
The tastes, sounds and culture of Latin America will be on display at the Latin Heritage Fiesta in Silver Spring. The event features food, traditional folk dance performances, and arts and crafts from countries including Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia and Honduras. Following the performances, which take place from 2:30 to
6 p.m., attendees can dance to salsa and merengue music.
2 to 8 p.m., free, Veterans Plaza, chiceventsdc.com
Through Aug. 20 | Fairy Tale
In the story of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell is known as Peter’s faithful companion; helpful, but prone to anger and jealousy. But there’s always more than one side to a story. This summer, Adventure Theatre is presenting the tale from the diminutive fairy’s perspective. Tinker Bell is a world-premiere play based on the works of J.M. Barrie and adapted for the stage by Bethesda resident and playwright Patrick Flynn. Recommended for all ages, the show features favorite characters from the original story, including Peter Pan, Wendy, the Lost Boys and Captain Hook.
Photo courtesy of Adventure Theatre.
$19.50, Adventure Theatre, Glen Echo, adventuretheatre-mtc.org
Photo courtesy of Strathmore.
Aug. 23-26 | Screen Time
The Comcast Outdoor Film Festival benefiting NIH Charities returns to the lawn outside The Mansion at Strathmore in late August, offering a different adventure each night. The lineup includes Coco, Black Panther, The Lion King and Wonder Woman. Food, beer and wine will be available for purchase. Representatives from several charities supporting National Institutes of Health pediatric patients and their families will be on hand to collect donations. Enjoy music and kids activities before the movies, which begin at dusk.
7:30 p.m., free, The Mansion at Strathmore, filmfestnih.org