Known as Baltimore's oldest holiday, Defenders' Day commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore and the writing of the nation's national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." In accordance with CDC guidance, as well as state and local ordinances, 2020's Defenders' Day will not be happening on site. Instead, the National Park Service is teaming up with park partners and sites along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail to bring Defenders' Day to you! This year's program will take place September 11-13, 2020 as well as virtual programs taking place the week leading up to the event.
Here's what you need to know:
Park Status: Fort McHenry NM & HS will be open during the week of Defenders' Day with the normal operating hours of 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Fort McHenry's grounds are open to explore but park closures will remain in effect including: the star fort historic zone, park visitor center, and all public restrooms. There will be no in person programing, concerts or fireworks on site. Follow park news releases for a full list of what is open within the park.
The week of September 7-11, 2020 will feature a lead up to Defenders Day on Facebook and other social media accounts of both Fort McHenry NM & HS, and the Star-Spangled Banner NHT. Look for posts highlighting items from Fort McHenry's collections and videos with partner sites along the Star-Spangled Banner NHT! All videos will also be available on Fort McHenry's Youtube Channel.
Friday, September 11 will feature a special Patriot Day video.
Saturday, September 12 will feature videos of park programs happening all day starting at 8:30 am and concluding with a special video from the U.S. Military District of Washington filmed on site, featuring the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and a premier performance of the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus at 8:00 pm.
Sunday, September 13 will feature videos of park programs starting at 9:00 am.
How you can participate: Watch the park videos on social media and share with your friends! Tag Fort McHenry in posts about your favorite Defenders' Day memories on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Make sure to use the tags: #VirtualDefendersDay#DigitalDefendersDay and #FindYourVirtualPark!
8:00 PM "Defenders' Day National Anthem Musical Event: Featuring Soldiers of The U.S. Army Field Band and the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard)." (Filmed on site) Virtual Location: U.S. Military District of Washington Facebook and shared to Fort McHenry Facebook and the Star-Spangled Banner Trail Facebook