When Can We Go Out to Play?

         Spring is on the calendar. We had another lovely taste of warm weather last week. Yet the forecasters say not to pack away the winter gear as the thermometer struggles to reconcile with our expectations of spring.

         Prepare your sacrifices to the weather gods, for as April moves forward, more and more outdoor events call us out of hibernation.

         Here’s a look at some of the reasons to pray for warm weather.

         The Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show docks April 20-22, when Ego Alley and the surrounding docks fill with 100+ new and brokered sailboats — monohulls, catamarans and day sailors — plus paddleboards and over 100 maritime exhibitors.

         Prepare your boat for a hurricane, learn to sail, shop for gear and accessories, listen to live music, watch the Junior Keelboat Regatta (Sa noon) and master all kinds of skills in workshops. Prizes, raffles and giveaways abound. FSa 10am-6pm, Su 10am-5pm, City Dock, Annapolis. $12-$19 w/discounts: www.annapolisboatshows.com.

         Sportsmen and women get their own two-day event at the Anne Arundel County Fair’s first Capital Outdoor Sportsmen Event. Watch the talented canines of DockDogs demonstrate their aquatic skills and K-9 officers demonstrate their duties. See lumberjacks in action at the Great Lakes Timber Show, with chainsaw carving, axe throwing and wood chopping. Drop a line in the fishing tanks. This family-friendly event is sponsored by Leo’s Vacation Center and the Maryland Association of Campgrounds, so you’ve got to imagine there will be plenty of camping and outdoor vendors to answer all your questions. April 21-22, SaSu 10am-6pm, Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, $15 two-day wristband or $10 per day (kids 12 and under free): www.aacountyfair.org.

         If you didn’t get enough of the boat show in Annapolis, cross the bridge to Stevensville April 27-29 for the Bay Bridge Boat Show. See more than 400 boats, up to 70 feet in length, the largest in-water show north of Florida. Browse boats of all styles plus visit over 100 exhibitors on land showing off the latest in navigational equipment, high-tech electronics and more. Kids can play in an interactive children’s area and adults relax with food and drinks at the pool bar or one of the beer stations. Attend daily seminars plus sharpen skills in free fishing and casting lessons. FSa 10am-6pm, Su 10am-5pm, Bay Bridge Marina, Stevensville, $19 w/discounts:  www.annapolisboatshows.com.

         Come April 28, you may need to figure out how to be in multiple locations at once.

         Start your day celebrating the 40th year of the oldest Celtic celebration in Maryland. The Southern Maryland Celtic Festival draws more than 50 clans and societies to the 560-acre Jefferson Patterson Park in St. Leonard. Three performing stages offer continuous music and dance, featuring international recording artists and groups. Watch craft and dance demonstrations, listen to harps, Scottish fiddling and storytellers weaving tales alongside historical displays, crafts and food. Shop the Celtic market place for foods and gifts.

         All-day competitions include pipers, fiddlers, highland dancers, athletes, drummers, pipe bands and Celtic harpers. After closing ceremonies, visit the dance pavilion for the free evening ceilidh (dance party with live music). 10am-6pm, Jefferson Patterson Park, St. Leonard, $25 w/discounts: www.cssm.org.

         If your stomach is making all the decisions for you these days, head to the waterfront community of Galesville for Pigs and Pearls as Pirates Cove celebrates the spring opening of its dock bar. You’ll feast on locally harvested oysters served freshly shucked or roasted or chow down on pulled pork barbecue featuring two of Chef Steve Hardison’s sauces, all served with baked beans, mac and cheese and homemade cornbread.

         At Pigs and Pearls, you eat well, enjoy live music (and sea shanties) from the Eastport Oyster Boys and raise funds for the West/Rhode Riverkeeper. Watch the Riverkeeper, aka Jeff Holland, demonstrate live oyster cleaning while sharing fun facts about the Chesapeake Bay and restoration work. Rumor has it a pig will pose for photos. 2-6pm, Pirates Cove Dock Bar, $45 w/discounts, rsvp: www.piratescovemd.com.