The Fells Point Haunted Pubwalk, 7 p.m. most Saturdays, outside Max's Taphouse 733 S. Broadway, (410) 522-7400, baltimoreghosttours.com. Ghosts, so we're told, linger in the places they feel most comfortable. Or trapped. And Fells Point is full of them, hanging out at the bar, wandering around in basements, hovering at visual periphery. This tour introduces you to some of the neighborhood's better-known poltergeists.
Chestertown Tea Party Festival, May 28-31, along the Chester River, Chestertown, chestertownteaparty.com. When disloyal subjects in Boston (or patriots, depending on your point of view) staged a now-infamous protest in 1773 against taxation policies, Parliament closed Boston Harbor. In 1774, folks in Chestertown dumped boxes of tea overboard. In honor of the original "tea party," Chestertown throws a fun Revolutionary War-era festival every year, complete with a "Toss the Tory" event.
Fairmount Academy's 35th Annual 1800s Festival, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. May 29, Fairmount Road, Fairmount, (410) 651-3945, visitsomerset.com. Step into a circa 1839 classroom, view folk art, try your skill in a spelling bee, and munch on desserts, baked goods, and seafood savories. Work it off with a good round of square dancing.
Memorial Day at Fort McHenry, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. May 31, Fort McHenry National Monument, (410) 962-4290, nps.gov/fomc. Where's a more appropriate place in Baltimore to observe Memorial Day, other than over the traditional Weber grill? There'll be poetry reading, a wreath-laying ceremony, a hoisting of a star-spangled banner at noon, speeches, and a 12:30 p.m. decoration of veterans' graves at Mount Auburn Cemetery.
Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse Tours, June 6-Aug. 15, Annapolis Maritime Museum, (410) 295-0104, amaritime.org. Take a tour boat to appreciate and maybe photograph this national historic landmark, the very archetype of the Maryland lighthouse.
Civil War Tour, 10 a.m. June 5, July 10, Aug. 7, and Sept. 4, Watermark Cruises at Annapolis City Dock, Annapolis, (410) 268-7601, watermarkcruises.com. During the Civil War, the seat of state government and the Naval Academy was a nexus of railroad, steamboat and telegraph lines, and a number of secessionists sat in the legislature (as you recall, President Lincoln had some of them arrested and interred at Fort McHenry). Learn more about the city's Civil War-era strategic importance from the comfort of a short cruise and see Annapolis the way it's best seen: approached from the waterfront.
Baltimore Heritage's 50th Anniversary, 4:30 p.m. June 11, Engineering Society of Baltimore, Garrett-Jacobs Mansion, 11 W. Mount Vernon Place, (410) 332-9992, baltimoreheritage.org. Benefiting Baltimore Heritage (read: not cheap at $70 a head), this gala helps it keep an eye on the city's landmarks, such as the one where it takes place. Events include open houses at five Mount Vernon buildings including the Peabody Library, plus dinner and an art auction.
Railroad Heritage Days, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. June 12, noon-5 p.m. June 13, Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum, 300 S. Burhans Blvd., Hagerstown, (301) 739-5593, roundhouse.org. The Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum is no B&O, but it's got plenty going on during Railroad Heritage Days. Bring your train-obsessed kids to check out the model railroads, ride a trolley from the museum to City Park and back, and hop on a "trackless" Thomas the Tank Engine (we figure it has wheels). The museum covers years of regional railroad history with lots of artifacts, photos, and fire, police, and military equipment.
Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom, 2-4 p.m. June 19, Fort McHenry, 2400 E. Fort Ave., (410) 962-4290, nps.gov/fomc. Two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, 2,000 Union troops set into Galveston. Slaves in Texas were finally set free. Freedmen and -women poured into the streets, and the Juneteenth holiday was born. Fort McHenry's annual take on the celebration of freedom and respect features re-enactors, speeches, historical presentations, a salute to living black legends, and a public reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Juneteenth Fish Fry and Open House, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. June 19, African-American Schoolhouse Museum, 11730 St. James Newtown Road, Worton Point, (410) 810-1416, ext. 1, aasmhc.org. If you'd prefer a more downhome take on Juneteenth, travel to the African-American Schoolhouse Museum in Worton Point, where you can take in history and culture activities, story gatherings, live music, and home cooking, including a fish fry.
Things Hold, Lines Connect, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. June 22, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St., (443) 263-1800, africanamericanculture.org. Slave traders moved slaves in coffles the two-mile length of Pratt Street, between ships moored in the harbor and Fells Point and beyond. At 11 a.m., the museum dedicates a historical marker representing this path and then later, the museum offers seminars to teach oral history recording techniques. Bring your grandparents, family historians, or family elders, and receive a free CD of your recording.
Gettysburg 147th Civil War Battle Reenactment, July 2-5, 1085 Table Rock Road, Gettysburg, Pa., (717) 338-1525, gettysburgreenactment.com. Gettysburg may overwhelm with its unholy mixture of commercialism and hallowed history, but some places there still make our hair stand on end. And a re-enacted Pickett's Charge is pure adrenaline horror. Salve your battle-weary senses with dinner and carrot cake at General Pickett's Buffets.
Independence Weekend, noon-4:30 p.m. July 3, Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., (410) 685-3750, mdhs.org. Stop and take a little pride in our state at the place "where history never stops!" before beers and fireworks on the fourth. David and Ginger Hildebrand will be playing colonial music at 1 and 3:30 p.m., and you can take part in a Revolutionary War-themed scavenger hunt or look at a print of the Declaration of Independence, one of only nine in existence.
Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Show, noon-10 p.m. July 8, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. July 10-11, Tuckahoe Showgrounds, Easton, (410) 822-9868, tuckahoesteam.org. If you're even an iota of a gearhead--computers, bikes, motorcycles, cars, whatever--and you've never watched someone fire up a steam engine, you owe it to yourself to see this monster come to life. Witness other old-school farm technologies such as saw mills, rock crushers, and wheat threshers, grab some festival food, and browse a flea market.
Chautauqua, July 9-10, Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville, mdhc.org/programs/chautauqua. Thanks to the acting talents of Lenneal Henderson, Gerry Wright, and Selene Phillips, Supreme Court pioneer Thurgood Marshall, architect Frederick Law Olmstead Sr., and Lewis and Clark expedition guide Sacagawea, respectively, come to life in interactive live performances. This is better than Night at the Museum.
Medical Weekend: Giving Aid and Comfort 1864, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. July 24-25, Lower Town, Harper's Ferry, W. Va., (304) 535-6029, historicharpersferry.org. Civil War buffs, medical students, and professionals alike will appreciate the story of how local civilians provided massive medical assistance and relief to the Union Army in 1864 as Gen. Philip Sheridan prepared his army for the Shenandoah Valley campaign.
Tidewater Archaeology weekend, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 24-25, off Route 5, Historic St. Mary's City, (800) 762-1634, stmaryscity.org. Southern Maryland's well-preserved site of the fourth permanent settlement in British North America and Maryland's first capital offers special archaeological activities for the price of museum admission this weekend. Dig into tours of the archaeology lab and all the regular exhibits, including the Woodlawn Indian Hamlet.
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