It’s a great spring weekend to wander around some boats in Annapolis, take in a ballet classic or dig deeply into books with their authors.

Boating season opens

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday

The Annapolis Spring Boat Show is the baby brother of the fall shows, with 44 boats arranged around City Dock through Sunday.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t fun to be had. Combined with the Bay Bridge Boat Show last weekend on Kent Island, the ritual of going to a show marks a kind of unofficial start of the boating season on the northern Chesapeake Bay.

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It’s such an important part of the spring calendar that organizers are working with Annapolis officials to make sure they can stage it next year, when the city could be in the midst of an $88 million makeover of the downtown waterfront.

The show will go on next year — it just might look a little different if it’s staged around construction.

“We’ve been assured we’ll be able to have the show,” said Mary Ewenson, a co-owner of Annapolis Boat Shows.

The project, which will replace waterfront parking at City Dock with a green park elevated above the water and surrounded by popup seawalls, is designed to protect downtown from increased flooding related to climate change. Construction is set to start after the fall show, but the city is still awaiting $33 million in federal grants.

Annapolis Boatshows installed some of its flotilla of docks this week to accommodate the in-water boat displays. Boats ashore include the Melges 15, Flying Scot, RS Aero, RS Zest and Viper.

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There will also be 100 exhibits; tastings of Maryland-made liquor, wine, and mixers; live music; and shows promoting Maryland clothing brands Shanks Golf Apparel and Made Plus.

Demonstrations include two new small electric motors, which a show spokesperson says can be used on a dinghy, brought into a bar and charged in a wall plug.

Seminars include one on making a career of sailing tall ships and another on youth sailing for parents interested in getting children into sailing.

The Pride of Baltimore II will be present and open for tours.

The show is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. General admission tickets are $16.25 plus taxes and fees in advance, or $20 at the gate. Discounts are available for military personnel.

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Season finale

7:30 p.m. Friday

Ballet Theatre of Maryland wraps up its season with three performances of “Sleeping Beauty”` at Maryland Hall.

A classic of ballet repertory, this familiar story is danced to Tchaikovsky’s Opus 66, completed in 1889. The waltz in Act 1 plays as the dancers cross the stage holding garlands of flowers in celebration of Aurora’s 16th birthday — one of the most famous moments in music and dance.

The ballet will repeat at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Adult general admission is $55, with discounts for seniors and children. Tickets to a live stream of the performances are $33 plus a fee. In-person ticket sales end Friday.

Two days for Earth

7 p.m. Friday

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St. Luke’s Episcopal Church kicks off its Earth Day & the Arts Festival with a concert by The Annapolis Blend singing group and the G4C Ensemble followed by a reception, 7-9 p.m.

The festival continues from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday on the grounds of the church’s four-acre environmental restoration site leading down to Back Creek. Saturday events include painting and drawing led by the Annapolis Watercolor Club, dancing with the Fearless Dance Ensemble, poetry and guided labyrinth walks. Kids’ events include crafts and face painting. Free.

All about books

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Antonia Hilton, John Frece and Michael Waldman are among the 49 national and local authors scheduled to talk about their books at the Annapolis Book Festival at the Key School.

The daylong event includes panel discussions, book sales and signings, a family-friendly comic section, food and entertainment. Admission is free.

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A tisket, a tasket

10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sunday

May Day and the annual Annapolis flower basket competition are next week. The prelude to that tradition is set up at Maryland Hall.

The 79th Annapolis Flower Mart includes sales of ready-made baskets, baskets for your own creation, small floral arrangements and posies as well as perennials grown locally. Proceeds benefit gardening projects by the organizers, the Four Rivers Garden Club.

Master and Bay Wise gardeners will be on hand to offer advice, although workshops on making your own baskets are full.

Read the play

7:30 p.m. Monday

Play readings are a unique way to understand theater, hearing the words without the distraction of staging.

Jeffrey Kinghorn’s 2019 work “Madbury Winter,” performed by Classic Theatre of Maryland for one night, is a great example of how this can bring new meaning to the text. Written in modern verse, the play explores an American family. $23.75 plus taxes and fees.

Flower basket competition


May Day in Annapolis means a competition to see who can display the best basket of flowers.

The 69th competition, sponsored and judged by the Garden Club of Old Annapolis Towne, encourages residents and merchants in the Historic District and parts of Murray Hill to arrange baskets of fresh-cut flowers for display outside their homes and businesses.

Residential arrangements must be in baskets and include a card indicating the participant’s name; merchants can use a container that reflects an element of their business. Children are encouraged to make baskets and are judged in a special category.

People touring the baskets can use this map to find the displays and are encouraged to post photos on social media using the tag #MayDayAnnapolis.

Winners are announced at the end of the day.

Rick Hutzell is the Annapolis columnist for The Baltimore Banner. He writes about what's happening today, how we got here and where we're going next. The former editor of Capital Gazette, he led the newspaper to a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 2018 mass shooting in its newsroom.

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