The sunshine invigorates, scented breezes swirl and a levity of spirit rises. But these are not the only rewards of winter's end and spring's arrival. As part of the "See Ya 'Round Downtown!" campaign, the Downtown Partnership has set aside four days for a Baltimore blast. The opening of the Civil War Museum is just one event marking a weekend of festivities in the city. Beginning today, every Baltimore resident and visitor is invited to revel in the "Really Big Show." The following is a sample of programs to be presented. For more information about the "Really Big Show" call 410-528-7716 or 800-282-6632.
11: 30 a.m.: Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke will cut the ribbon to officially open the Bicentennial Kiosk on the Light Street Promenade just south of Phillip's Restaurant at Harborplace. The kiosk will be open daily at 11 a.m. through October. After the ribbon-cutting, the mayor will participate in the christening of the Bicentennial Bay Lady, when its Bicentennial logo is unveiled. The Bay Lady is docked near the Bicentennial Kiosk.
11: 30 a.m.-1: 30 p.m.: Twelve downtown office buildings and 12 hotels will participate in "The Downtown Lunchtime Show." The complimentary lunch schedule includes food from downtown restaurants, Mountain Dew, live lobby entertainment, a drawing to toss the first pitch at the Baltimore Orioles game on Friday, a drawing to win a trip for four to the Baltimore Ravens' training camp and, at designated hotels, a floral arrangement competition titled "Downtown Baltimore Blooms." Call 410-528-7716.
Noon-5 p.m.: With newly completed exhibits and a redesigned entrance, the Baltimore Museum of Industry's Grand Bicentennial Opening will offer presentations including "Maryland Milestones," the "National Sheet Metal Heritage Exhibit" and the "Mercantile Bank Exhibit." $3.50; $2.50 for seniors, students and children.
Various times: "First Thursdays" supports the "Really Big Show" in April and takes place one week later than usual. Various locales are offering special events between the 300 and 1200 blocks of N. Charles Street. Included among the activities will be an outdoor barbecue and concert by the Mambo Combo, a steel drum band, in the parking lot behind Louie's Bookstore Cafe, 518 North Charles St.; a free concert at the Peabody Library, 17 E. Mount Vernon Place, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; a presentation of "The Nightclub" at the Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., by the Stuffed Puppet Theatre; a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert featuring pianist Andre Watts; and a "Really Big Happy Hour" at Mick O'Shea's Irish Pub, 328 N. Charles St. Call 410-244-1030.
5 p.m.-8 p.m.: The Chart House Restaurant, 601 East Pratt St., and the National Aquarium in Baltimore will sponsor the "Hats Off to Baltimore! Happy Hour." Attendees are encouraged to wear festive hats, listen to live music on the Chart House deck, sample the complimentary buffet and enjoy "20bicentennial burgers and beverages." All revelers will receive a "20 discount to National Aquarium admission.
Saturday, April 12
10 a.m.: In celebration of the Baltimore Civil War Museum Grand Opening, "troops" wearing Civil War era costumes will march from Broadway Square in Fells Point to President Street Station. The procession also will commemorate the 136th anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter. Museum admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children.
10 a.m.-noon: The "'Round Downtown Walking Tours" will pair a morning stroll with historic background of certain Baltimore neighborhoods. The Baltimore City Life Museum will explain selected Baltimoreans' visions, triumphs and tragedies from the past 200 years while guiding participants on an informative walk through Baltimore's oldest and newest neighborhoods: Jonestown, Marketplace, Little Italy and the Inner Harbor. The tour, titled, "East Side Story," will meet at the Harborplace Amphitheatre. Three other paths also will be offered: the Mount Vernon Sculpture Tour will depart from the Washington Monument; the Fells Point Tour will depart from the Robert Long House; and the Federal Hill Tour will depart from Federal Hill Park. All tours are free. Call 410-396-3523.
10 a.m.-5 p.m.: "The Really Big Flea Market," the grandest of Fells Point's sidewalk sales, will bustle with more than 60 merchants. This event continues Sunday.
11 a.m.-4 p.m.: The 'Round Downtown Mighty KiteFlight will be held on Rash Field at the Inner Harbor. The schedule includes demonstrations of daredevil kites, stunt kites and dancing kites, stations for children to decorate kites, and four one-half hour public kite-flying time slots at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Additionally, the Maryland Science Center will assist any interested visitors in constructing stomp rockets.
11 a.m.-5 p.m.: The Antique Row Open House is a consolidation of 22 stores which will appraise all antiques brought to them. Appraisals are free. Call 410-383-2881. This event continues Sunday.