Nearly 200,000 people are expected to descend on Annapolis this weekend when the Whitbread Round the World Race, the Spring Boat Show and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Walk converge on the 18th-century city.
That means restaurants and shops will be jammed, parking spaces will be all but unavailable and traffic jams will dwarf those caused by the fall U.S. Sail and Power Boat Shows and homecoming weekend at the Naval Academy.
Here is a short schedule of events and parking suggestions: The Annapolis Salutes Its Maritime Heritage Festival has opened at City Dock, and the Volvo Race Village, with Whitbread yacht displays, open-air exhibits, antique boat exhibits and story-tellers, will open there today. Another Volvo Race Village will open at Sandy Point State Park Saturday and Sunday.
The Whitbread yachts leave Baltimore harbor this morning for a parade of sail and are to arrive at City Dock this afternoon, with welcoming ceremonies at 3 p.m. They will tie up at a floating pier between the Naval Academy sea wall and the state Department of Natural Resources Dock.
At the same time, the Annapolis Spring Boat Show will open at the Annapolis Yacht Basin, across "Ego Alley" from the Whitbread festivities, with several hundred new and used powerboats and sailboats on display, along with boating equipment and accessories. The show runs through 6 p.m. Sunday.
Local musical groups will entertain Saturday at the City Dock, concluding with a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's "H.M.S. Pinafore" by the Annapolis Opera Company at 7 p.m., a lighted boat show and fireworks at 9 p.m.
The Whitbread fleet will leave City Dock about 10: 30 a.m. Sunday on its way to the restart of the race just north of the Bay Bridge at 1: 45 p.m., while walkers are on the bridge.
The annual bridge walk will begin at 9 a.m.
Because parking is at a premium in Annapolis even on the best day, driving downtown this weekend isn't recommended.
Today through Saturday, visitors can park at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, at Rowe Boulevard and Taylor Avenue, and take a free shuttle into town.
Sunday, Bay Bridge walkers should park at the stadium, Anne Arundel Community College or Chesapeake Bay Business Park on Kent Island.
Those going to Sandy Point for the festival and to watch the restart can park at one of seven lots on Riva Road shown on the accompanying map.
And all visitors should give themselves plenty of time.
Pub Date: 4/30/98