Weekend Commemoration of Defenders’ Day to Take Place at Ft. McHenry
by Jill Feinberg, Communications Director, Star Spangled Banner 200, Inc.
Starting tomorrow, the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine will host a patriotic weekend September 9-11, 2011. This three-day event will feature parades, fireworks, a military encampment of over 100 War of 1812 re-enactors, a symbolic ship-to-shore bombardment, noted authors, and a patriotic band concert.
The Star-Spangled Banner Weekend commemorates Defenders’ Day, Maryland’s oldest holiday, which honors the successful defense of the city from British attack, the iconic flag, and the writing of the National Anthem in 1814.
Raymond “Chip” Mason, founder of Legg Mason, Inc., will be honored with the Francis Scott Key Award for his exceptional leadership of Star-Spangled 200: a National Bicentennial in Maryland. Mr. Mason is chair of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, established by Governor Martin O’Malley under Executive Order. The Commission, along with its nonprofit fundraising affiliate, Star-Spangled 200, Inc., is planning a multi-year cultural tourism and educational initiative to commemorate Maryland’s unique contributions to the defense and heritage of the nation.
The Star-Spangled Banner weekend is family oriented, starting on Friday morning when 1,500 Baltimore City School children will participate in “Young Defenders Day,” a curriculum-based program highlighting Baltimore’s role in the War of 1812 and the Defense of Fort McHenry. Later in the afternoon, “soldiers” from the War of 1812 will parade from the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House to the Inner Harbor and then board historic sailing vessels to Locust Point.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Fort comes alive with events including a large military encampment, cooking demonstrations, musket firing, and other activities including the raising of the large 30 x 42 foot star-spangled flag.
The Saturday evening program includes a patriotic concert by the United States Naval Academy Band, the Society for the Preservation of African-American Arts and Culture, reenactments, singing of the National Anthem, and a 30-minute fireworks display.
For more information about the Star-Spangled Banner weekend, please visit www.nps.gov/fortmchenry. For more information about Star-Spangled 200: a National Bicentennial in Maryland, please visit www.starspangled200.com.