In April, everyone in the Annapolis & the Chesapeake Bay region is eager to get out and enjoy the warming weather. The Spring Sailboat Show (April 28 - 30, 2017)-offering free sailboat rides this year!-jumpstart the spring sailing season for novices and veteran sailors alike. If you're planning a visit to Annapolis in April, consider attending what's become a beloved tradition: the St. John's College vs. United States Naval Academy Croquet Match. In what's likely the largest and most well-attended croquet match in the country, the Johnnies (students from St. John's) and the Mids (Naval Academy midshipmen) compete each spring for the coveted Annapolis Cup. The festive atmosphere makes for a fun time for players and spectators alike.

Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show

Annapolis Film Festival
When: Thursday through Sunday, March 30-April 2
Where: Citywide – St. John’s College, Maryland Hall, St. Anne’s Parish Hall, among others
Admission: TBD, based on location and film

The excitement of the Annapolis Film Festival returns for a fourth year with more than 65 narrative and documentary films in all genres; Q&A sessions with filmmakers and visiting industry guests; special panels and showcases; and great parties! Local arts and business leaders are teaming up with the City of Annapolis to present the nationally competitive event featuring internationally acclaimed filmmakers and celebrity guests. Visit www.annapolisfilmfestival.net for more information.

Maryland Chicken Wing Festival
When: Saturday, April 1
Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds. 11 am to 7 pm
Admission: $0-$12 (get tickets)

ABC Events is excited to bring you the 4th annual Maryland Chicken Wing Festival. Join us and enjoy wings from some of the best establishments around. Wings are $1 per wing. Beers are $2 per 4oz sample, $5 per 12oz pour. Admission includes entrance and free parking to the event. This is a family friendly event, with lots of activities, music, and good food and drink!

Maryland Avenue/State Circle Spring Festival
When: TBD
Where: Maryland Avenue and State Circle, Annapolis 
Admission: Free

Enjoy an old-fashioned street festival with merchants and vendors offering art, antiques, jewelry, fashion, home décor, crafts, food and activities for the entire family. Galway Bay and Harry Browne’s offer bistro dining, and Galway Bay provides outdoor live music from noon until 5:00 p.m. Take advantage of free parking at the state garage located at Calvert and St. John’s Streets. Visit www.shopmarylandavenue.com for more information.

Maryland Avenue Festival

2017 Annapolis Book Festival
When: Saturday, April 8
Where: The Key School, 534 Hillsmere Drive, Annapolis
Admission: Free

Recognized as one of the premier community events in the region, the free festival celebrates the beauty, power, passion and excitement of the written word. It includes a full day of discussions with prominent authors, a family-friendly comic-con for children and teens, children’s activities, book signings, live music and new and used book sales. The event attracts more than 3,000 attendees annually. Visit www.keyschool.org for more information.

35th Annual St. John’s / USNA Croquet Match
When: Saturday, April 22, 2017, Rain or Shine
Where: St. John’s College Campus Front Lawn, 60 College Avenue, Annapolis
Admission: $10 in February, Children under 12 are free. First-come first-serve at the gate on game day.

The “Johnnies” and the “Mids” vie for the coveted Annapolis Cup during this annual rite of spring. The croquet match brings together two starkly different institutions for an event Sports Illustrated says has “no parallel in intercollegiate sports.” Attendees dress “Great Gatsby”-style while enjoying a lavish lawn party that includes serenades by the St. John’s Freshman Chorus and swing music provided by the Naval Academy’s Trident Brass Band. The “Johnnies” play in different “uniforms” each year – ranging from camouflage khakis, to U.S. Naval Academy imitation Crackerjack, to Vikings’ attire, to bare feet. The “Mids” follow the United States Croquet Association dress code. Visit www.sjc.edu for more information.

USNA vs St. John's Croquet Match

5th Annual Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show
When: April 28-30, 2017
Where: City Dock, Annapolis
Admission: $12-$19

Set in the charming and historic seaport of Annapolis, the Spring Sailboat Show is the first opportunity of the year for experienced and novice sailors to shop for the latest in equipment, electronics, clothing and boating accessories at the show’s 100+ on-land nautical exhibits and on-site pro surf shops. The fifth annual in-water springtime show will feature Cruisers University (April 21-24) and more than 80 new and previously-owned sailboats of all types and sizes – including catamarans, mono hulls, racing boats, inflatables and day sailors. Visit the Annapolis Boat Shows online for more information.