Marylanders celebrate the state's 360th birthday


March 20, 1994|By Dorothy Fleetwood | Dorothy Fleetwood,Contributing Writer

On March 25, 1634, Maryland's first settlers celebrated their arrival with a Mass of thanksgiving at St. Clement's Island. Now, 360 years later, Marylanders continue to celebrate the date as the state's official birthday.

An observance is held each year at St. Clement's Island-Potomac River Museum in Colton's Point. The commemorative ceremony begins at 11 a.m. with a flag raising; remarks by distinguished guests follow, along with a wreath-laying ceremony at the historical marker on the museum grounds. After the ceremony a buffet luncheon is served in the museum. The luncheon is open to the public and costs $4; it is free for museum members. Call (410) 769-2222.

Maryland Days is the annual two-day birthday party at Historic St. Mary's City, the state's outdoor living history museum in Southern Maryland Saturday and next Sunday. The event coincides with the opening of the museum season, and all exhibits will be open to the public free of charge.

During the celebration you can visit a 17th-century militia camp, see the St. Maries Citty Militia muster on Governor's Field, ride in a horse-drawn carriage and visit the archaeological digs, where men and women will be at work uncovering Maryland's past. Presentations on the discoveries will be held in the visitor center.

During Maryland Days the historic iron cargo schooner Pioneer will be docked alongside the Maryland Dove, a replica of the vessel that brought the first settlers to Maryland. Built in 1885, Pioneer is one of the last of the small sailing freighters. It is now a museum ship at New York's South Street Seaport Museum. Pioneer will take passengers on cruises of the St. Mary's River both days at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The cost is $8 for adults and $6 for children, seniors and students with identification.

Other attractions include craft demonstrations, 17th-century folk music, performances by the St. Mary's College wind ensemble and a men's gospel group. Seafood will be for sale along with funnel cakes, Italian sausage and baked goods.

On Sunday Gov. William Donald Schaefer will be in St. Mary's City for the official ceremonies at the town center. Ceremonies begin with wreath laying at the site of Gov. Leonard Calvert's house at 1:30 p.m. The public can then join the St. Maries Citty Militia in a procession to the Old State House, where there will be speeches and a ceremony of flags. Fourth-grade students from every county in Maryland and Baltimore City will participate in the ceremony.

Historic St. Mary's City is six miles south of Lexington Park on Route 5. For information, call (301) 862-0990 or (800) SMC-1634.

St. Michaels inn tour

Last years' Bay Hundred Area Bed & Breakfast and Inn Tour was so successful that this year it has been expanded to two days. A total of 19 inns in the St. Michaels area can be seen Saturday and next Sunday.

You can visit the Inn at Christmas Farm, a 50-acre working farm, circa 1800; the Two Swan Inn, which once served as the clubhouse for the Miles River Yacht Club; and Ashby, an Italianate villa on the Miles River. Saturday's tour includes an Eastern Shore reception with food at St. Michaels Harbour Inn & Marina from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and refreshments at the Tilghman Island Inn from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday's tour-goers can enjoy an English tea at the Inn at Perry Cabin from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $20 per day or $35 for both days. Proceeds will benefit the St. Michaels Community Center. Reservations are limited and by advance reservation. Call (410) 745-6073.

Go fly a kite

One of the highlights of spring in the nation's capital is the Smithsonian Institution's 28th annual Kite Festival, scheduled for Saturday on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Associates (Resident Program) and the National Air and Space Museum, the event attracts kite makers and kite watchers from all over the world.

Registration will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and is open free of charge to all ages and to every level of skill, but kites entered in the competition must be hand-made and capable of flying at a minimum altitude of 100 feet for at least one minute. Trophies will be awarded in a variety of categories.

Kites in the form of high-flying pigs, a 20-foot-long giant dragon and a "Flow-Form 252," a huge kite that covers 252 square feet, will be among some of the more unusual sights. In tribute to the late Paul E. Garber, aviation pioneer and founder of the festival, -- three dozen stuffed "Gar-bears" will be parachute-jumped from kites. The Maryland Kite Society, Kapitol Air Korps and Lehigh Valley Kite Society will also offer non-competitive demonstrations. Call (202) 357-3030.

Sully lecture series

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