Looking for something to do? Here are some of the best ideas through Wednesday, Aug. 23.

Legacy of art

4-8 p.m. Thursday

Art Things was a little shop in West Annapolis where you could find everything you needed for, well, art. It was just as well known for its sign with a Mona Lisa smile, which served as a de facto welcome to the neighborhood for 50 years. When it was sold and moved — it’s since been sold again — it was a remarkable change for the community. Now, West Annapolis Artworks & Fine Framing is hosting a show to celebrate some of the artists who came out of that original location. The show is part of the 33rd annual Art Walk highlighting nine galleries and museums open across the city from 5-9 p.m. Free admission.

A weekend at the races

11 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday

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Admit it. It can be hard to watch a sailboat race unless you’re on a boat. But I might have figured out a way to watch some of the 2023 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship. This event features 10 J-22 style boats with crews of three to five women sailing over three days, culminating Sunday in the championship.

Judges will set the course each day depending on weather conditions, but the general area is off Lake Ogleton outside Annapolis. The only nearby public park is the recently opened Elktonia Beach. Limited parking is available at the Ellen Moyer Nature Park, and the Chesapeake Bay front park is a short walk across Bembe Beach Road down a wooded path.

Or you could watch end-of-day coverage on the T2PTV: Sailing On Demand YouTube channel. The winner will receive the Allegra Knapp Mertz Perpetual Trophy. Free, if you can find it.

Seafood returns

11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

I’m a former judge of the Maryland Seafood Festival crab soup cook-off. I had no idea what I was doing, other than being judgmental, but the soup was very good. Is that reason enough to go to this late summer event? Yes, and so are the music, crafts, chef demos, beer and oysters. What’s new this year is the date, August instead of September, and the location, City Dock instead of Sandy Point.

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The shift in locations will mean a more compact event, but also participation by more local restaurants in the popular contest. This year features 19 entries across three categories — cream, vegetable and creative — from Federal House, Choptank, American Legion Post 7, Ports of Call, Edgewater Crab Shack, Julep, Boatyard, La Prima, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, and Laughing Crab. A panel of judges makes their picks and festivalgoers choose the “People’s Choice” award.

A portion of the proceeds benefit local charities. $15 in advance, $20 at the gate. Children 12 and under are free. Parking is $10 at the Naval Academy stadium with free shuttle.

A different kind of music festival

7:30 p.m. Saturday through Aug. 26.

The Annapolis Chamber Music Festival opens this weekend with “Fine Wine and Finer Music: The New World” on Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, followed by “Serenade at Sea” on Sunday at St. Martin’s Lutheran and ”The Rite Stuff: Music for Voice and Two Pianists” on Tuesday at St. Martin’s. The festival continues next weekend with “Beethoven’s Archduke: Romanticism in Vienna and Prague” and then reaches the finale with Schubert’s “Octet.” You can buy tickets for one concert, two or all five. Tickets for the opening night include wine tastings and light refreshments. $30-$160.

Wet dogs

11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday

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One of the most popular dog-related fundraisers is back: the SPCA of Anne Arundel County’s annual Puppy Plunge at YWCA Camp Letts on the Rhode River in Edgewater. It’s a chance to get a deep whiff of that wet dog smell and raise money for the nonprofit animal welfare group. In addition to swim time for dogs, there will be food trucks, a dog pie-eating contest (careful with the hyphen) and music from The Eastport Oyster Boys. $10 per car, $5 donation when registering for the pie contest at 12:30 p.m.

Cross-border music

7:30-10 p.m. Monday

A folksinger from Nashville and a Québécois folk-pop musician walk into a coffee shop. ... That’s the premise at 49 West when Halley Neal and Geneviève Racette bring their talents to Annapolis for a one-night show to raise funds for artists. $17 plus fees in advance, or $20 at the door.

Proud, or prejudiced?

2-3:30 p.m. Wednesday

Jane Austen wrote a lot of books set in England’s Regency era, and we just can’t get enough of them. “Pride and Prejudice,” “Emma,” and “Sense and Sensibility” have all been adapted as movies. The appetite for more gave birth to the streaming series “Bridgerton” and most recently “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” too. Get a taste of what 19th-century customs and social life of Austen’s life were really like with a 90-minute tour of the historic Harwood-Hammond House. $12.


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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