Blast from the past

UP FRONT

Shipshape: A refurbished Constellation returns to the Inner Harbor just in time for the Fourth festivities.

July 01, 1999|By Sandra Crockett | Sandra Crockett,Sun Staff

The USS Constellation's reappearance at Baltimore's Inner Harbor tomorrow couldn't happen on a better weekend.

The return of the historic vessel, which was built in 1854, will be among the highlights of the city's Fourth of July celebration.

The USS Constellation is the last all-sail warship built by the U.S. Navy. It was in need of major repairs, which have now been completed. The $9 million restoration took place in Locust Point over nearly three years.

The naval vessel was active for 100 years. The ship carried its fight against slavery into the Civil War and aided the 1880 famine relief in Ireland by carrying provisions. It was also the primary training ship of the U.S. Naval Academy for more than two decades.

Baltimore's holiday weekend celebration welcoming the Constellation back begins tomorrow at 10 a.m. when the homecoming ceremony marks the ship's entry into its home port at Pier 1 at the Inner Harbor. It will be accompanied by a flotilla, and there will be a fireboat display, a 19-gun salute and a naval fly-over.

The ceremony will take place on the dock.

Among those welcoming the vessel back to the harbor will be Gov. Parris N. Glendening, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig.

"This is an important moment for Baltimore," says Gail R. Shawe, chairman of the Constellation Foundation. "We have just completed the largest nongovernmental ship restoration ever undertaken.

"The Constellation has been restored to her original 1854 configuration. I think people will be surprised and excited about the way it looks. And people will be happy to have her back in the Inner Harbor. It's been a big void since she left."

At the end of the ceremony, people are welcomed to come on board the Constellation free of charge from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Another ceremony aboard the USS Constellation will be held by the National Organization, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. It will be a service in memory of her crew.

The public is invited, and the event is free of charge.

Read on for more details of this weekend's Fourth festivities.

More fun for the Fourth

Anne Arundel County

Annapolis parade, concert and fireworks. Independence Day parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at St. John's Street and proceeds onto King George Street and into the U.S. Naval Academy. Music from 8 p.m. to about 9:15 p.m. by the U.S. Naval Academy Band at Farragut Field. Watch fireworks at 9:15 p.m. over the Annapolis harbor from the academy's grounds. Free. Call 410-263-1183.

Charles Carroll House of Annapolis, 107 Duke of Gloucester St. Sunday, tours of the house and garden from noon to 4 p.m. Patriotic lecture at 4 p.m. by Maryland State Sen. John Astle, Annapolis Mayor Dean Johnson and Roland Chambers. Celtic music and light refreshments. Free. Call 410-269-1737.

Severna Park. Parade starts at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Martin's-in-the-Field Episcopal Church and Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, Benfield Road, ending at the Park Plaza Shopping Center. Registration for decorated bike contest for children from 9:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Winkelmeyer Building, 540 B&A Blvd. Festival with food, games, pony rides, parade awards ceremony, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Park Plaza. After the festival, open house and free swim from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Community Center at Woods. Call 410-647-3900.

Baltimore

American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. All events Sunday. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., view museum exhibitions; 10 a.m. to noon, Visionary Pet Parade; noon-2 p.m., Black Cherry Puppet Theater performance, art cars on display, balloon animals, bubble-making machine; 4 p.m.-6 p.m., didgeridoo workshop and concert with Kurunba; 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., zydeco music by Roy Carrier and the Night Rockers; 9:30 p.m., watch fireworks from the museum. Some events free, admission to others. Call 410-244-1900.

Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway. Sunday at 6 p.m., bring a picnic supper and enjoy fireworks at the waterfront pavilion. Free hot dogs and soda with admission. Free parking. $20; $15 museum members; $7.50 children. Call 410-727-4808 for reservations.

Federal Hill Fourth of July Parade. Sunday at 10:30 a.m., from the 800 block of William Street to Federal Hill Park. Wear your red, white and blue. Awards for most patriotic display by adults, children, pets, floats, bikes, wagons or strollers. Free. Call 410-837-7940.

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