Monday marked the first official day of spring and what better way to commemorate the occasion than by planning an outing that celebrates the season with food and drinks.
Eater has selected nearly a dozen food, beer and wine festivals taking place over the next several months in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. The guide includes the Cherry Blossom Beer & Wine Festival, which offers samples of more than 100 beers and wine, and the second annual Light City Festival in Baltimore, an arts festival that highlights food from local restaurants and cocktails made with Maryland's Sagamore Spirit rye whiskey.
Cherry Blossom Wine and Beer Festival
What: Celebrate spring and D.C.'s cherry blossoms at the two-in-one festival offering more than 100 beers and wines, live music and food truck fare. Early bird tickets have already sold out.
When: April 1-April 2
Where: Yards Park, 1300 1st St SE
D.C. Wine Fest Spring Edition
What: Sample local and international wines, live music and local food at this festival, which should be safe from weather delays as it's held indoors.
When: April 8
Where: Long View Gallery, 1234 9th St NW
DC Beer Festival
What: Expect lawn games, DJs and more than a dozen food trucks; the festival will feature dozens of craft breweries offering samples of their seasonal beers.
When: April 22
Where: Nationals Park, 1500 S. Capitol St. SE
SAVOR, an American Craft Beer & Food Experience
What: Sample craft beer from 86 small and independent breweries from around the country. Each of the 172 beers is paired with a small plate at the 10th annual event.
When: June 2-June 3
Where: National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW
Cost: $135; tickets for the general public go on sale March 22
Light City Baltimore
What: Charm City's citywide festival of lights returns for a second year with an expanded lineup and more opportunities to sample food from local restaurants and drinks from Heavy Seas Beer, The Brewer's Art and Union Craft Brewing. There's even an official cocktail, The Golden Hour, from B&O Brasserie using Sagamore Spirit rye whiskey.
When: March 31-April 8
Where: Baltimore Inner Harbor and surrounding neighborhoods
Cost: Free for festival; conference tracks cost $149
What: The two-day food marketplace returns to Baltimore's Inner Harbor, showcasing artisan food producers and restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic. Tapas Teatro, steamed Asian bun shop Ekiben, 8Ball Meatball and pintxos spot La Chuchara are some of the local vendors represented.
When: April 1-April 2
Where: Inner Harbor, 600 E. Pratt St., Baltimore
National Harbor Wine & Food Festival
What: The National Harbor-based festival features cooking demonstrations from The Source executive chef Scott Drewno, Del Campo's Victor Albisu and "Hell's Kitchen" winner Rock Harper.
When: April 29-April 30
Where: National Harbor, 165 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Md.
Baltimore Wine & Food Festival
What: The second annual Baltimore event features a 5k, wine and spirits tastings, live music and food samples.
When: May 6
Where: Rash Field, 201 Key Highway, Baltimore, Md.
Decanter Wine & Racing Festival
What: Enjoy horse races while sipping reds and whites from more than two dozen wineries. Don the biggest hat and spring attire at the event, which also offers food, live music and craft vendors.
When: April 8
Where: Laurel Park, 3600 Laurel Fort Meade Road, Laurel, Md.
Mount Vernon's Spring Wine Festival & Sunset Tour
What: Sample wines from 20 Virginia wineries while taking in views of the estate and listening to live jazz at this annual event.
When: May 19-May 21
Where: George Washington's Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, Va.
Taste of Reston
What: Billing itself as the largest outdoor food festival in NoVa, the two-day party promises live entertainment, family friendly events and food provided by area restaurants.
When: June 16-June 17
Where: Reston Town Center, 11900 Market St., Reston, Va.
Cost: Free admission; purchase tickets for food, beer and wine.