2009 Special Events
Civil War Days at Fort McHenry
Join the National Park Service for a day-long program of Memorial Day observances. Events include wreath-layings, flag demonstration involving veterans at noon, services at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Baltimore, observance of the National Moment of Silence (3 p.m. in the Star Fort), historic Memorial Day speeches and special programs about the history of Memorial Day.
Fort McHenry Guard - Defenders Return to the Fort
Experience the daily life of the War of 1812 soldier, sailor and citizen through presentations by the Fort McHenry Guard. Dressed in replica clothing of the early Nineteenth Century, the Guard conducts drills, barracks activities, artillery and musket firing demonstrations, civilian activities, and children’s programs.
Flag Day – Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance
An event sponsored by The American Flag Foundation, Inc. to foster patriotism. This annual event encourages citizens all over the United States to pause at 7 p.m. (EDT) and say the Pledge of Allegiance. A concert of patriotic music and fireworks follows.
Juneteenth! - A Celebration of Freedom!
What better place to commemorate the oldest celebration of freedom and the ending of slavery than Fort McHenry? It was on June 19th when Union soldiers, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and that all slaves were free. Although beginning in Texas, Juneteenth spread nationwide. Today the holiday celebrates African-American freedom while encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures. Activities at Fort McHenry include: a salute to Black Living Legends, Civil War reenactors, speeches, special presentations by local historians, and public reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Twilight Tattoo Ceremony and Concert
Join us for the first tattoo of the season! Each program is a blend of historical tradition, pageantry and music. See the precision drill of the U.S. Navy Drill Team, hear the stirring patriotic music of the Navy Band and enjoy a special “living history” experience with the Fort McHenry Guard. Uniformed as the 1814 defenders of Baltimore, the Guard will demonstrate a cannon drill and a special cutlass drill. Program concludes with a “hands-on” folding of the 30'x42' Star-Spangled Banner flag and firing of the fort's evening gun.
"The Glorius Fourth!...an Old Fashioned Fourth of July!"
Come to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine on August 1 at 6:00 p.m. for the most musical and colorful twilight tattoo ceremony of the summer season! The program features patriotic music, military pageantry and living history! The program begins with a concert by the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, Continental Color Guard, U.S. Army Drill Team, Baltimore Brass and Fort McHenry
Each Saturday during the Summer, fort visitors will have the opportunity to partake in our newest Ranger program: Fort, Flag and Fire! Meet the Ranger in the Visitor Center for a brief talk on the fort’s role during the Battle of Baltimore. Afterward you will be led out to the Water Battery exhibit to take in the sight and sound of our living history volunteers who will demonstrate the drill and firing of one of our artillery pieces. From there the Ranger will take you into the fort and conclude with a hands-on flag program. Be a part of getting out the Star Spangled Banner replica and learn more about the story behind it and our National Anthem. At the conclusion of the flag talk you will be free to tour the historic fort. The entire program should take about 45 minutes.
Defenders’ Day – The Star-Spangled Banner Weekend!!
Join us for Fort McHenry’s flagship event! This three-day encampment and extravaganza is celebrated with over 100 War of 1812 reenactors, parades, military bands, fireworks, a symbolic ship-to-shore bombardment and much more!
The Star-Spangled Banner Weekend honors Defenders’ Day, Baltimore’s oldest holiday commemorating the bombardment of Fort McHenry and the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner!” Events begin with a Friday evening ceremonial procession of War of 1812 “soldiers” from the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House to the Inner Harbor, followed by a ceremony at the amphitheater. After the ceremony the reenactors will board sailing boats and return with the 30’x42’ replica flag to Fort McHenry. Saturday and Sunday, activities include children’s programs, historic boats, military encampments/demonstrations and a “privateer’s auction” of “captured goods.” Saturday evening’s program, beginning at 6 p.m., features a concert, a musket firing tactical demonstration with volunteer reenactors from all over the country (narrated), a symbolic ship-to-shore bombardment and evening fireworks show.
Flag Change Programs occur twice daily all year. These are presented at: 9:30 a.m. and 4:20 p.m., weather permitting. Help a ranger raise/lower a reproduction of the Star-Spangled Banner flag. Call for more details.
Extended Summer Hours: May 23-September 7, 2009
Visitor Center: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Did You Know?
Fireworks are featured each year during the Flag Day and Defenders' Day celebrations at Fort McHenry. Evening programs present music, military displays and conclude with the fireworks.