There’s plenty to enjoy in Blythewood if you’re into the arts. This festival-happy city fills its calendar each year with events like the Tournament of Bands, Doko Film Fest, Big Red Barn Retreat Summer Jam and a rockin’ free concert series held in Doko Meadows Park’s eye-catching amphitheater.
The town also has its own community history museum, cultural arts council, artist’s guild and a new entertainment complex featuring a popular music school and a new restaurant.
To promote the talents of Blythewood’s artists and musicians, the cultural arts council created Bravo! Blythewood. It offers events and educational programs, including a free community concert series showcasing local musicians with opening performances by up-and-coming music students.
Exhibits featuring the work of Blythewood visual artists are held regularly at the Shives Gallery in Doko Manor, an event venue at Doko Meadows Park. Along with its Bravo! music series, the cultural arts council also has plans to host theater productions, dance programs and music festivals at the new amphitheater located in the park.
Doko Meadows is also the venue for cultural events like the annual Oktoberfest with musical performances featuring polka and oom-pah bands. The Big Red Barn Retreat Summer Jam offers more live musical performances each July in the amphitheater.
Another of the town’s crowd-pleasing events is the Tournament of Bands held in October at Blythewood High School. The competition pits marching bands from nine Mid-Atlantic states in a musical faceoff.
High school filmmakers get their turn in the spotlight in March at the Doko Film Fest. Screenings of the finalist films are held in the Westwood High School theater.
The most recent addition to the arts scene is Freeway Music, an acclaimed Midlands music school offering instruction in piano, voice, ukulele, drums, bass, strings, woodwinds, horns, mandolin and banjo. The school, opened in 2020 in a replica of the town’s original train depot at Doko Meadows Park, hosts year-round performances, from Open Mic sessions to recitals to appearances at area festivals.
A spacious deck outside the building will be used for small student performances. Sharing space at the new train depot complex is Doko Station Pub and Eatery, featuring an eclectic food menu, locally roasted and freshly ground coffee, local craft beer on draft and regional wines.
Visitors interested in learning more about the town’s past will want to visit Blythewood Historical Society & Museum. Housed in the circa 1904 Langford-Nord House, the museum features historic photos, exhibits, documents and artifacts from the community. The historical society also hosts events like the African American Heritage Celebration and Smithsonian traveling exhibits.
The Langford-Nord House is the first point of interest on a self-guided walking tour of historic Blythewood. Two other notable structures—the Tally-Tom Boney Milk Shed and Clara Martin Sandwich Shop—are located on the property.
The walking tour, which includes 22 points of interest, takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete with a shorter version available that includes sites within the original Town Center. You can pick up a map of the tour at the museum, open Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.