Baltimore's historical sites are throwing themselves a party this weekend and all are invited. Historyfest, the first celebration by the Baltimore Council on Historical Sites, takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway.
Mike Szimanski, president of the Baltimore Council of Historic Sites, says the approximately 30 small museums and historic buildings in the group have banded together out of necessity.
"We are working to promote ourselves as a unit because a lot of these smaller places don't have a big publicity machine working for them. We are proud of the fact we have a variety of sites. There is something for everyone," Szimanski says.
From baseball exhibits from the Babe Ruth Birthplace to snakes from the Baltimore Zoo and fire engines from the Baltimore Fire Museum and with actors in old-fashioned clothes giving living history performances from Lovely Lane Museum and the Baltimore City Life Museum, there is loads happening. And the emphasis will be on hands-on, not glass cases, true to the character of many of the member museums.
"What Historyfest is going to do is give a visual taste of all these sites in one place," says Szimanski. The Museum of Industry was chosen for its tremendous amount of indoor space. "Hopefully, people will want to go visit these sites after the festival," adds Szimanski.
There will be storytelling, arts and crafts, music, food and more participatory activities to keep kids occupied if their attention should wander from the exhibits. Merry, Merry the Recycling Fairy from the Public Works Museum and the Oriole Bird are sure to attract fans. A pumpkin bake-off will be judged by local celebrities at 1 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids and seniors. For more information, call 396-7653.
The members of the Baltimore Council of Historic Sites are B&O Railroad Museum, Babe Ruth Birthplace/Baltimore Orioles Museum, Baltimore City Fire Museum, Baltimore Museum of Industry, Baltimore Zoo, Baltimore City Life Museums, Baltimore Public Works Museum & Streetscape, Baltimore Streetcar Museum, Cloisters Children's Museum, Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum, Flag House & 1812 Museum, Fort McHenry, Homewood House, Jewish Heritage Center, Lovely Lane Museum, Maryland National Guard Military Museum, Maryland bTC Historical Society, Mount Clare Mansion, the Robert Long House, Old Saint Paul's Cemetery, U.S. Frigate Constellation, Westminster Preservation Trust, Women's Civic League, Nine North Front Street and Top of the World.