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Summer’s Gone

But the breaking season — and Bay Weekly — are full of fall fun

If you’re so swept up by this busy world that you’ve got no time for more, please don’t read this week’s special Fall Fun Guide, 50 Ways to Leave Your Summer.
    There’s so much more here that you’d feel overwhelmed.
    But if you’re feeling early autumn’s invigoration — big breezes … the crisp relief of cool nights … the light, clear air of morning … the hurry-up call of mellowing light … the cicadas’ carpe diem urgency … the rush of school buses — then turn these pages.
    I don’t know about you, but I haven’t yet gotten too old to feel called to new possibilities each early September. That mood softens my regret at summer’s galloping speed and certain fading. I don’t really want to say goodbye, but as I must, well then bring on autumn.
    That’s the mood that led, way back in the last century, to our first issue of 50 Ways to Leave Your Summer. We liked what we found so much that it’s become an annual tradition. The goal is to fill your fall with so much fun that summer receeds as a fond memory. You might orchestrate it with the Beach Boys’ Summer Gone.
    We start by scouring dozens of calendars for adventures stretching from mid-September to Thanksgiving. Leading that six-weeks-long hunt is calendar editor and staff writer Kathy Knotts. Her range runs from Pasadena to St. Mary’s County, Shady Side to Riverdale. As Kathy develops her long list, we all lobby for our favorites. We can only choose 50, so the competition can get pushy. I always argue for the Great Jack O’ Lantern Campfire at Darnall’s Chance House Museum in Upper Marlboro, which you’ll see made the list again this year as No. 24.
    The final 50 Chesapeake champions of fall fun range from church suppers to mammoth productions like the nine-weekend Maryland Renaissance Festival, the two-week U.S. Boat Shows or the Anne Arundel and Calvert County Fairs. Every weekend fills with music festivals, art festivals, even more boat festivals, fall festivals, food truck festivals, harvest festivals, locavore festivals, Oktoberfests and African, Indian, Italian ethnic fests, oyster festivals, a pirate festival, a recycling green art fest, a retro festival and lots of spooky Halloween fests.
    In the roster of fetes, the U.S. Boats Shows are unique. All about boats, they’re the only ones not offering food and drink on site. Surrounding Annapolis restaurants fill that gap.
    All the others tempt you with such a range of good things to eat and drink, from apple-cidar donuts to oysters many ways to many-course dinners like the annual Dining in the Field. Specialty food trucks are a risen star, and many festivals boast a line of them. Craft beer has spread from Oktober fests almost universally. Local wine gets its day at the Twist and Stout festival at Quiet Waters Park and the Riverside WineFest.
    We’re also sharing plenty of more active ways to leave your summer and enjoy autumn’s appealing weather. You can hike, golf in the Bay-CSS tournament, bike up to 100 miles and run off pre-holiday calories.
    Less briskly, you can join the world’s shortest tug of war across water, find your way through a maze, wander a field to pick your pumpkin or an orchard to pick apples.
    In Annapolis Sketchcrawl, walk through the U.S. Naval Academy and nearby streets at a pace that gives you time to draw along the way. At Annmarie Garden’s Artsfest, tour arts and crafts booths along the quarter-mile wooded path. Or take a tour of Muddy Creek Artists Guild studios.
    For fun on the wilder side, Halloween supplies spook houses, hauntings, cemetery tours, scary concerts, cosplay and trick or treating.
    We’ll see you out and about all autumn. Show us where you’ve been: send your Fall Fun photos to [email protected].

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher
[email protected], www.sandraolivettimartin.com