August 6, 2008
Baltimore to Honor Edgar Allan Poe’s 200th Birthday with Yearlong Citywide Celebration
(Baltimore, MD) – Mayor Sheila Dixon and members of Baltimore’s cultural community gathered today in the Poe Room of the Enoch Pratt Free Library to announce the details of Nevermore 2009, a yearlong celebration honoring the 200th birthday of Edgar Allan Poe.
Nevermore 2009 is a cooperative citywide festival organized by the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association (BACVA), the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA), the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum, and the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA). The festival will officially kick off in January 2009 with a variety of events to celebrate Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, and will be followed by a year of lectures, wine tastings, art exhibitions, theatrical performances, special tours and more, all to commemorate the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe.
Signature events of the festival include:
- Baltimore City’s Edgar Allan Poe Bicentennial Birthday Celebration– January 17, 18, 31 and February 1 – including tributes by “The Addams Family” actor and Baltimore resident John Astin
- Edgar Allan Poe: More Than A Poet exhibition at the Enoch Pratt Free Library – Begins January 19
- Art of Darkness exhibition inspired by Poe at the Baltimore Museum of Art – October-December
- Cask of Amontillado Wine Tasting Among the Bones – March 27
- The Fall of The House of Usher – June 13
- Public Viewing of Poe's Body on the Anniversary of His Death – October 9
- Re-enactment of Poe's Funeral Service – October 10
“It is so appropriate that Baltimore host a yearlong celebration honoring one of America’s literary giants, Edgar Allan Poe,” says Mayor Sheila Dixon. “He has strong ties to this city and it is important that we embrace Poe’s legacy and celebrate his accomplishments as one of our own.”
Visitors who are unable to take part in a specific event can still find many opportunities to experience Poe’s Baltimore. The Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum, on Amity Street in West Baltimore, and his gravesite at Westminster Hall Burying Grounds are the two most well-known sites. Other places in Baltimore with Poe connections include the Enoch Pratt Free Library and Maryland Historical Society, both of which have Poe artifacts. There is an Edgar Allan Poe statue at the University of Baltimore Law Center Plaza, and popular watering holes – The Horse You Came in On in Fell’s Point and Annabel Lee Tavern in Canton – both provide “spirited” Poe experiences.
“Poe’s birthday allows Baltimore to once again come together as a city to promote one of Baltimore’s cultural and historical icons,” said Tom Noonan, BACVA president and CEO. “Edgar Allan Poe is one of our country’s premier writers and we plan to promote Baltimore’s connections to him and use this celebration to generate new awareness of Baltimore’s literary significance to potential visitors.”
BACVA began building a buzz around Nevermore 2009 in October with a flash mob at the Fell’s Point Fun Festival. Video of a group, who appeared out of nowhere dressed in Poe costumes dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” was posted on various social networking sites to build anticipation on the Internet. To date, that video has been viewed on YouTube 5,400 times. Today’s announcement was also streamed live on Nevermore2009.com so that media, Edgar Allan Poe fans and others interested in Poe events could take part in the announcement.
Major citywide events such as Artscape, the Baltimore Book Festival and BaltiMORE for Less Weekend will also include tributes and events honoring Edgar Allan Poe. Locals and visitors interested in learning more about Nevermore 2009 can find event information, Poe-related Baltimore attractions and more online at www.Nevermore2009.com. Additional events will be added as the launch of the festival draws closer so guests are encouraged to return to the Web site often.
The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association (BACVA) is the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore that generates economic benefits for stakeholders through the attraction of convention, group and leisure visitors. For more information, please visit www.baltimore.org.
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