Maryland Living

Save the date for Star-Spangled Spectacular events

As you plan your summer bucket list, be sure to reserve some time in September for celebrating our nation’s history.

The Star-Spangled Spectacular—including dozens of events commemorating the 200th anniversary of the national anthem and the conclusion of the War of 1812—will culminate Sept. 10-16.

“This will be a once-in-a-lifetime patriotic event. Start planning now because you won’t want to miss this,” said Bill Pencek, executive director of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, a cultural tourism and educational initiative created by Governor Martin O’Malley in 2007.

According to Pencek, hundreds of thousands of visitors will flock to Baltimore City and elsewhere throughout the State. At the height of the celebration, visitors will find continuous entertainment from Fort McHenry to the Inner Harbor to Fells Point to Canton, with biking and walking accommodations connecting the festivities.

Among the must-see events are the daytime Star-Spangled Air Shows, Sept. 13-14, performed by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels. The shows will be free and open to the public. Tall ships and U.S. Navy gray hulls will dock at the Inner Harbor and provide tours Sept. 10-16. On Sept. 13, a star-studded patriotic concert, produced by Dick Clark Productions and nationally televised as part of PBS’s Great Performances series, will proceed the largest fireworks and light show in Baltimore’s history.

The fireworks and light show will be produced by Fireworks by Grucci, which has presented some of the world’s largest fireworks displays, from multiple Olympic ceremonies to seven consecutive presidential inaugurations. Pencek said he expects the show to be, “a record-setting jaw-dropping spectacle.”

A full schedule of events is available online here.

Aside from celebrating Baltimore’s national heritage, the events will create a significant economic impact for the State.

The Star-Spangled Sailabration in 2012, which focused primarily on the arrival of tall ships to the Inner Harbor and commemorated the first year of the War of 1812, brought 1.54 million visitors to Baltimore City with an economic impact of $166.1 million. With higher profile festival elements than the Star-Spangled Sailabration, the Star-Spangled Spectacular is expected to bring an even larger economic impact, Pencek said.

Pencek urges the public to follow the Star-Spangled Spectacular’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for event details as they become available throughout the summer.

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