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Star-Spangled Sailabration

Seeing the Star-Spangled Sailabration in person

Though I don’t like being crowded or waiting in lines, visiting the Star-Spangled Sailabration today was well worth trudging around in the sun and heat. It was exciting to see so many people out appreciating the tall ships and celebrating the nation’s history made right here in our hometown of Baltimore 200 years ago.

Corn dogs, a ferris wheel, paddle boats, children refreshing themselves in the fountain along the promenade all brought an old-time state fair atmosphere to the harbor. But this was also an international event with sailing vessels and their crews arriving from around the world. 

The visitors center displayed colorful glimpses into War of 1812 history and folks seemed genuinely impressed by the easy fun learning opportunities.

Seeing all those ships flying hundreds of flags in that narrow stretch of water made me feel young again and proud of what our city and state are doing to promote Baltimore and its role in saving the United States from being ruled by the British Empire again. 

When the Blue Angels could be heard above and occasionally even seen during their practice for tomorrow’s shows, everyone seemed to beam and smile and look up into the sky.

And what a treat to discover Officers Bill O’Donnell and Jon Walters of Northern District directing traffic, while serving, too, as tour guides and city ambassadors for thousands of visitors. I heard Officer O'Donnell let every passerby know that the Purple Line would take them to Fort McHenry for free!  

Should Charm City bring back City Fair anytime soon, this is an example of how folks will come out for something rooted in history when the call of a carnival is included to engage and entertain them. Maybe our international old urban small town full of great history is ready for more big tent events celebrating civic pride!  

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Teresa D. June 18, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I popped down there briefly on Thursday to check it out and get a sense of things before the weekend and WOW was it crowded! The tall ships sure were impressive, though. I'm envious of those who could withstand the heat and crowds to enjoy the events more fully. I didn't go back, but I could hear the Blue Angels practicing from Hampden and caught a glimpse of them from Waverly and Charles Village on Saturday. The CEO of our library was there with Naval Commander Kimsey and the crew of the USS Maryland to accept copies of the book, 'The War of 1812 and the Rise of the U.S. Navy' for all Baltimore libraries.So if you missed the festivities, you can still borrow the book! More info here: http://www.prattlibrary.org/booksmedia/blog/prattchat.aspx?id=74452&blogid=12298
debra evans June 19, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Thank you Joe for such a great article. I was able to visit the Harbor Sunday evening,enjoying all the events, but your article made me feel like I was right in the middle of all of the festivties the entire weekend. Great pictures.
LAllen June 22, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Sorry , for the corn dogs . They were great. Looking to see if they are here in Baltimore.
Joe Stewart June 22, 2012 at 11:50 PM
No apology needed; they looked delicious and there was an image of their vendor. They can't beat deep fried peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for being unhealthy; those are sold at MD State Fair!

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