Summer Events to Celebrate Baltimore’s Rich History and Heritage

Baltimore’s summer programs and events make for the perfect family getaway

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 2:15pm
BALTIMORE (April 10, 2014) – America’s history and culture will come to life in Baltimore this summer with a packed calendar of events, activities and exhibitions. Whether you are a history buff looking to relive one of America’s greatest milestones or a visitor looking to explore Baltimore’s cultural scene, the diverse array of events ensures that there is something for everyone’s tastes this summer. 
 
Story Ideas
 
O’ Say Can You See! Baltimore’s Star-Spangled Summer 
Baltimore is the birthplace of our national anthem and the focal point in the celebration of its 200th anniversary this year. Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that today is known as “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore, which took place in September 1814 and served as a turning point in the War of 1812. Throughout the summer Baltimore offers visitors an opportunity to relive this important moment in history through a variety of new programs and exhibitions that bring history to life. 
 
New living history programs at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine; exhibitions at the Maryland Historical Society, Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture; and a new IMAX film at Maryland Science Center offer multiple opportunities for visitors to learn more about the penning of our national anthem. The Star-Spangled Banner Pass provides discounted admission to key sites, and hotels throughout the city are offering special packages.
 
The summer of events will culminate with Star-Spangled Spectacular September 10-16 as  tall ships, naval vessels, a Blue Angels’ air show, fireworks and live musical performances mark the moments leading up to the penning of our national anthem. 
 
Summertime in the City. Baltimore’s festivals celebrate its diversity, rich heritage and neighborhoods. From HonFest to the African American Festival, visitors can experience culture, music, art and more. A new four-day LGBT film festival, B’More QFest, will feature special programming in conjunction with Pride, which for the first time ever, continues on for 10 days. 
 
B’more Fit: Health and Wellness in Baltimore. Find your fitness sole in Baltimore with activities that will generate healthy living and help you stay fit while enjoying a getaway. Baltimore has a “running” list of activities for fitness enthusiasts of every level that combine workouts with a cultural immersion into the city. Elite Fitness Tours offers a unique exercise experience that allows participants to simultaneously explore local landmarks and work out. Experience a free workout at the Inner Harbor’s West Shore Park that includes yoga, parkour and Zumba. Additionally, select Baltimore hotels offer special packages and promotions to motivate guests to stay fit while traveling. The Hotel Monaco lends bicycles free of charge to guests who wish to take a spin around the city. The Lord Baltimore offers a “Fit to Be Royal” package that includes a pass for Elite Fitness Tours, Brick Bodies, and discount coupons to City Sports and Under Armour in Harbor East. 
 
Events
 
Third Annual Charm City LGBT Film Festival
Creative Alliance
May 29-31, 2014
Creative Alliance’s Charm City LGBT Film Festival has selected six award-winning films that have premiered at the most renowned national and international LGBT film festivals, including Sundance, Berlin and Tribeca. These outstanding documentaries and features hail from the United States, Taiwan, Germany, Africa and India, and explore a variety of fascinating themes. www.creativealliance.org 
 
B’More QFest
Citywide
June 12-15, 2014
Bringing unity to the community, this four-day festival showcases films by LGBT filmmakers from around the world in several venues throughout Baltimore. www.bmorequeer.org 
 
HonFest 
36th Street, Hampden 
June 14-15, 2014
A truly original festival, HonFest celebrates all things “Bawlmer” and embodies the warmth and affection bestowed upon neighbors and visitors alike by the city's historic working women. The nationally recognized event covers four city blocks in Hampden, a revered old-style Baltimore neighborhood filled with quirky shops, quaint restaurants and endearing residents. www.honfest.net 
 
Baltimore Pride Festival
Citywide
June 13-23, 2014
Baltimore celebrates LGBT communities, families and PRIDE with free outdoor events for the largest LGBT festival in Maryland! The 2014 festival will feature an expanded lineup of events over the 10-day celebration. www.baltimorepride.org 
 
African American Festival
Camden Yards & Entertainment Complex
June 21-22, 2014
The African American Festival is a free family celebration of life, music and culture. Enjoy live music, educational and historical exhibits, interactive children's area, crafts, and more. National performers include Brandy, Mint Condition, Johnny Gill, Chico DeBarge and Deitrick Haddon. www.AfricanAmericanFestival.net
 
“Star-Spangled Banner: Anthem of Liberty” 
Maryland Science Center, 601 Light St.
Beginning June 13, 2014
The “Star-Spangled Banner: Anthem of Liberty” is an IMAX film that re-enacts the events leading up to the bombardment of Ft. Mc Henry, which inspired an onlooking Francis Scott Key to write what would become our national anthem. The film also explores the history of “The Star Spangled Banner” from its writing to its role in modern day. Witness how the flag and the anthem have become revered and enduring symbols of our national identity.
 
Fort! Flag! Fire! 
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Daily, June 28 – September 1, 2014
In conjunction with Baltimore’s Star-Spangled Summer, Fort McHenry will have special daily programming to engage visitors throughout the summer to include the raising of the full-sized 30-by-42-foot flag, ranger-led programs, a robust living history program, ongoing children’s activities and more. http://nps.gov/fomc
 
Artscape
Mount Royal Avenue & Charles Street
July 18-20, 2014
Artscape is the nation’s largest free arts festival with continuous musical performances by local, regional and national talent on multiple outdoor stages, indoor and outdoor visual arts exhibitions, sculptures, art cars, film, theater, crafts, opera, dance, street theater, and children’s activities. www.artscape.org
 
Star-Spangled Spectacular 
Inner Harbor
September 10-16, 2014
Star-Spangled Spectacular is a free festival that celebrates the 200th anniversary of our national anthem. Tall ships, Navy gray hulls and the Blue Angels will come to Baltimore’s famed Inner Harbor to celebrate “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Landside festivals include living history demonstrations, a family fun-zone, live musical performances, and Chesapeake food and beverages. Events crescendo on September 13 with a star-studded patriotic concert and extraordinary fireworks display over Fort McHenry and the Baltimore harbor. www.starspangled200.com
 
Exhibitions
 
Family of Flagmakers: The Women Who Created the Star-Spangled Banner
Star-Spangled Banner Flag House Museum
Now Open
The first exhibit to focus on the life of Mary Pickersgill, maker of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag, her family, household and neighborhood.  Family of Flagmakers includes several interactive areas in the exhibit, including a station where you can measure yourself against the two foot stars, touch reproduction fabric, and attempt to hoist the flag's weight. www.flaghouse.org
 
For Whom It Stands: The Flag and the American People
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
May 17, 2014 – February 28, 2015
Few people realize that Grace Wisher, a young African American indentured servant in Mary Pickersgill’s household, worked on the flag that became a national symbol. Wisher’s contribution to American history will be honored with this major exhibition that is an investigation into the history and representation of the U.S. flag as an icon. “For Whom It Stands” is a 3,200-square-foot exhibition featuring more than 75 works of art, artifacts, documents and photographs. www.rflewismuseum.org 
 
Seeing Music in Medieval Manuscripts
The Walters Art Museum
June 28 – September 28, 2014
This exhibition, composed of approximately 20 manuscripts and objects, will explore music in its relationship with philosophy, religion and the arts during the Middle Ages. Musical harmony and dissonance were thought to mirror the perfection of heaven as well as the disorder of evil. www.thewalters.org 
 
The Art of Sesame Street: From Pictures to Pages
Port Discovery Children’s Museum
Through September 1, 2014
Generations of children know and love Cookie Monster, Elmo, Big Bird, Grover, Oscar, Zoe, and Ernie and Bert. For over 40 years, these and other Sesame Street television characters have also come to life in books, in the stories you were read to as a child or are sharing with your family today. “The Art of Sesame Street: From Pictures to Pages” explores the history of the popular children's educational television show through paintings and prints. www.portdiscovery.org 
 
On Paper: Drawings from the Benesch Collection
Baltimore Museum of Art
Through September 14, 2014
A selection of 10 drawings from the 1960s and 70s by contemporary masters David Hockney, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg and others reveals there are as many approaches to the human figure as there are artists. This is the second exhibition from the museum's Thomas E. Benesch Memorial Collection, a group of more than 140 outstanding drawings by international contemporary artists. www.artbma.org 
 
Making Music: The Banjo in Baltimore and Beyond
Baltimore Museum of Industry
Through October 18, 2014
For nearly 300 years the banjo has been a part of the American narrative, with the city of Baltimore playing an integral role in its legacy, from the manufacture of instruments to being the birthplace of some of the most highly regarded banjo players in history. “Making Music: The Banjo in Baltimore and Beyond” features banjos, sheet music and  profiles of local banjo makers, and explores how Baltimore was instrumental in the history of American banjo music. www.thebmi.org  
 
Coming Soon
 
Horseshoe Baltimore Casino
Downtown Baltimore, 1525 Russell Street
Late August/Early September 2014
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore is expected to open as an urban two-story casino, and will be the second largest casino in Maryland with a 122,000-square-foot gaming floor. The multi-million development will feature VLTs, table games, and a World Series of Poker room. A 20,000 sq. ft. "Baltimore Marketplace" featuring authentic Charm City food outlets, three premier restaurants, and several bars and lounges will round out the food and beverage offerings. www.caesars.com/Baltimore 
 
 
Visit Baltimore – 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, visit http://baltimore.org.
 
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Moneé Cottman

National Public Relations Manager

410-659-7301

mcottman@baltimore.org