On March 25, Maryland turns 386. During Maryland Day weekend from March 20-22, the area’s historical, heritage and cultural sites will come together to celebrate that milestone with family-friendly events that are free or just $1. Events include nature hikes, historic homes, farm and garden tours, museum exhibits, historical re-enactments, and open house events at galleries and art centers.
As it is also the Year of the Woman, there will be a free guided tour (Women of Achievement Walking Tour) in downtown Annapolis by Watermark Tours, and award-winning actress and Smithsonian scholar Mary Ann Jung will perform "Elizabeth Cady Stanton" at the Eastport Library, a new exhibit at Banneker Douglas called “Verda's Place: A Homage to a Valiant Woman.” Guests can also visit the new sculpture of Harriet Tubman at the Maryland State House.
Other new events this year include a Maryland Day block party on Market Space in downtown Annapolis, tours of the Anne Arundel Free School in Davidsonville, an American Indian art exhibit at St. John's College, pirate fun on the Back Creek Campus of the Annapolis Maritime Museum, open house at the historic Goshen Farm, and a scavenger hunt in downtown Annapolis by Visit Annapolis.
This is the 13th year that the Maryland Day celebration has been sponsored by the Four Rivers Heritage Area. The sponsorship allows sites that typically charge an admission fee to either waive the admission fee or charge only $1 for the weekend. Most sites also bring on extra staff for tours, demonstrations, and other events for the public to enjoy and enhance their visit during the Maryland Day weekend.
“This is an opportunity to experience a wide range of historical and cultural sites that fit in every family's budget,” said Erik Evans, the marketing director for Maryland Day. “The participating sites want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to come out and experience the heritage and culture of their community.”
Maryland Day Weekend Event Highlights
Tour historic homes: Visit and tour the Deale Area Historical Society, which is filled with buildings from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Visit a two-room home, a one-room school, an African-American beneficial society building, an outhouse, a tobacco barn, a Russian Orthodox chapel, and various smaller buildings. In Annapolis, check out the homes of two signers of the Declaration of Independence, the William Paca House, and the Charles Carrol House, and see the newest restoration work at the Harwood Hammond House. Plus, don't forget the State House, which is packed with history.
Enjoy the outdoors on one of several guided hikes, a walking tour of downtown Annapolis or Brewer Hill Cemetery, or by visiting a local farm. Plus, all of the Anne Arundel County parks are offering free admission. On City Dock, tour the tall ship, Pride of Baltimore II, and watch a flag-raising ceremony. Visit the block party on Market Space between visiting all the sites and enjoy live music, food and drinks.
Kids activities are in abundance at the Chesapeake Children's Museum, Hammond Harwood House, Annapolis Maritime Museum's Back Creek Campus, and Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Also, check out the flag-raising ceremony at Susan B. Campbell Park with the mayor and flag detail by the award-winning USNA League Cadets of the Training Ship Mercedes.
Take in the arts at Maryland Hall's annual open house ArtFest. It's an afternoon of fun for all ages, featuring art demonstrations, music recitals, dance performances, exhibits, hands-on activities, and children's crafts. This free open house showcases Maryland Hall like no other single day and ends with a free concert. Stop by the Maryland Federation of Art and see local artists’ work for sale. On Sunday, head to downtown Annapolis to hear the live music at the Maryland Day block party on Market Space.
Learn about African-American history at the Banneker Douglas Museum. Discover culinary history at the Galesville Community Center, visit the historic Brewer Hill Cemetery, check out the new sculptures of Frederick Douglas and Harriet Tubman at the State House, and experience the performance Our Legacy of Greatness at the Wiley Bates Legacy Center.
Check out all the Maryland Day events online at www.marylandday.org.