One of the coolest things about summer in Baltimore is the arrival of the tall ships. There are a number that pass through every year, but this year is bigger and better: their appearance marks the kick-off of the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Star-Spangled Sailabration runs from June 13th through the 19th; what could be a better way to celebrate?

One of the featured ships is our own Pride of Baltimore. If you spend anytime on the Chesapeake Bay, you’ve no doubt seen her under sail. I’ve been lucky enough to see her twice this summer; once outside the Piankatank River, and the other near Rock Hall.

It’s only fitting that the celebrations should have a maritime focus; one of the causes was Great Britain’s attempt to restrain American trade on the high seas. And indeed, the naval war was brought to the Chesapeake for much of 1813 and 1814, culminating in the battle for Baltimore and the bombardment of Fort McHenry. So don’t forget to head out to Fort McHenry as part of your celebration; it’s a great site for a summer picnic!

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