SEAPORTGet set for a boatload of fun...

CELEBRATE OUR

October 01, 1993|By Karen Zeiler

CELEBRATE OUR SEAPORT

Get set for a boatload of fun -- Baltimore on the Bay, an annual salute to the Chesapeake, highlights the city's rich maritime history with three weeks of events.

* Who's the fastest shucker in town? Find out at noon today when four oyster shuckers from neighborhood markets compete the third annual Oyster Shuck-off at the Harborplace Amphitheater. Cliff Rose of Northeast Market returns this year to defend his two-year title. Stick around and see a real show of strength. Added this year is a a tug of war between management and laborer longshoremen.

* The waterfront beckons you again at 5:30 p.m. with a boat blessing and parade. The Blessing of Baltimore's Work Boats this evening at the Inner Harbor's West Wall celebrates the men and women who keep the harbor running smoothly. The procession features skipjacks, tugboats, police boats, schooners and oyster boats, all of which have been scrubbed and decorated with flags, burgees (those little triangle-shaped nautical flags), and banners. Judges will choose the "Best of Parade" in two categories: commercial boats and military/government boats.

* Crab soup connoisseurs should clear their palates for Wednesday's competition, which brings together chefs from some of the city's most popular restaurants. They will season, stir, taste and otherwise create their best crab soup at the fifth annual Old Bay Crab Soup Stakes beginning at noon at the Harborplace Amphitheater. Varieties include cream of crab, vegetable crab, Cajun crab, crab chowder and -- for the truly brave -- crab surprise. The only required ingredient is Old Bay seasoning. Chefs are judged on taste, consistency, overall appeal, creativity and presentation. The public will get a chance to taste the soups and select a People's Choice winner. Information: 332-4191. Fells Point -- Baltimore's original seaport and a popular stamping ground for fun-seekers -- will be abuzz this weekend as the 27th annual Fells Point Fun Festival gets under way. You'll find four music stages, arts and crafts, and a 12-foot by 24-foot greeting card signed by more than 2 million people around the world (where you can also put your John Hancock). You'll find funky items for sale, including hats for the pooch, air plants and prism candles. Musical groups slated to perform include Poison Whiskey, the Rattlecats, Mambo Combo and Great Train Robbery. The festival is free, but expect to pay for some of the children's activities, such as the picture with Barney, the Moonbounce and pony rides. Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday, rain or shine. Information: 675-6756.

SCHOOL SHIP VISITS

Line up for a look at the T/V Kings Pointer, a 224-foot nautical training vessel from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy that prepares academy students for careers at sea. Among the skills trainees must master are how to fight shipboard fires, how to ZTC navigate in rough seas and how to dock a ship. The public may board the vessel from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow at the Inner Harbor's West Wall. The ship departs Sunday at 8 a.m.

HEAR SEA CHANTEYS

Take in a display of watercolors, pastels, computer art and sculptures Thursday evening at the Roxx Limited Gallery, 336 N. Charles St. Many of the pieces contain a nautical theme, in keeping with this month's Baltimore on the Bay celebration. Outside, Rick Spencer of Connecticut's Mystic Seaport Museum will serenade you with sea chanteys as you stroll along Charles Street. The exhibit and music are part of Downtown Partnership's First Thursdays, when shops and galleries along the Charles Street corridor extend their hours until at least 7:30 p.m. for special exhibits and events. Information: 244-1030.

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