Star-Spangled Defenders' Day Weekend

Date & Time
Multiple Days: 09/14/2018, 09/15/2018, 09/16/2018
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Fireworks over Fort McHenry

Defenders' Day 2018

Star-Spangled Defenders' Day Weekend


Join us in celebrating Baltimore's oldest holiday as we commemorate Defenders' Day 2018 at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine! All weekend long park staff and partners will offer programs and demonstrations to honor the successful defense of the city from British attack and the writing of 'The Star-Spangled Banner' in 1814. This year visitors are also invited to explore the connections between Fort McHenry and World War I when the fort served as a vast military hospital for sick and wounded soldiers. The weekend will also include flag raisings, fireworks, period music performances, and artillery firing. 

We'll be kicking off the weekend-long celebration on Friday, September 14th at 7:00 pm with a parade through Locust Point. Saturday and Sunday will be packed with special ranger talks, flag change programs, living history demonstrations, and a special fireworks display on Saturday evening. The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own," U.S. Army Drill Team, and the Fort McHenry Guard will perform on Saturday before a spectacular fireworks display in the evening. 

Visitors from near and far are welcome to share their Defenders' Day memories by tagging their photos and videos on social media with #MyDefendersDay.

Dates and times:

Friday, September 14 - 7 pm - 8 pm
Saturday, September 15 - 9 am - 5 pm, 5 pm - 9 pm
Sunday, September 16 - 9 am  - 5 pm

Schedule of Events:

Friday, September 14
7 pm - Parade through Locust Point.
National Park Service staff, volunteers, members of the Fort McHenry Guard, and the National Park Trust's Buddy Bison will kick off the Defenders' Day Weekend with a parade through the local neighborhood.

Saturday, September 15
10 am - Living History Dress Parade.
The Fort McHenry Guard and living historians assemble in the Star Fort for role call.
10 am - Morning Flag Change. Assist a park ranger in raising the morning flag alongside the Fort McHenry Guard and visiting living history units.
11 am - Historic Weapons Demonstration. The Fort McHenry Guard will present 1812-era cannon and musket demonstrations.
11:15 am - Flag Talk. Join a park ranger or volunteer and unfold a replica of the Star-Spangled Banner and learn more about the history of the United States flag.
12 pm - The Great War at Fort McHenry. Join Fort McHenry's Curator Gregory Weidman in the Education Room where she will discuss the fort's most active time period when it served as the second largest military hospital during World War I.
12:15 pmFlag Talk. Join a park ranger or volunteer and unfold a replica of the Star-Spangled Banner and learn more about the history of the United States flag.
1 pm - Fife and Drum Performance. Hear the thunderous beat of drums and shrill of fifes as members of the Fort McHenry Guard Fife and Drum Corps perform inside the historic Star Fort.
1:15 - Defending "the Old Fort" Ranger Walk. Join a park ranger on a walk around the park and learn more about the fort's rich history and how generations of local and national defenders worked to preserve the home of 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' 
2 pm - Tactical Demonstration. Members of the Fort McHenry Guard will present an 1812-era military tactical demonstration.
3:15 pm - Battle of Baltimore. The attack on Fort McHenry was but one aspect of the Battle of Baltimore. Learn about other phases of the battle and the War of 1812 that Francis Scott Key did not see
4 pm - Flag Change. Assist a park ranger in lowering the flag for the evening.
5 pm - Evening Program begins. The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own," U.S. Army Drill Team, and the Fort McHenry Guard will perform on Saturday before a mock bombardment of the Star Fort fills the park with the sights and sounds of the Battle of Baltimore in 1814. The evening's program will conclude with the raising of the 30x42 Garrison Flag over the fort as it waves in front of a stunning fireworks display.

Sunday, September 16
10 am - Living History Dress Parade.
The Fort McHenry Guard and living historians assemble in the Star Fort for role call.
10 am - Morning Flag Change. Assist a park ranger in raising the morning flag alongside the Fort McHenry Guard and visiting living history units.
11 am - Historic Weapons Demonstration. The Fort McHenry Guard will present 1812-era cannon and musket demonstrations.
11:15 am - Flag Talk. Join a park ranger or volunteer and unfold a replica of the Star-Spangled Banner and learn more about the history of the United States flag.
12 pm Fife and Drum Performance. Hear the thunderous beat of drums and shrill of fifes as members of the Fort McHenry Guard Fife and Drum Corps perform inside the historic Star Fort.
12:15 pm Battle of Baltimore. The attack on Fort McHenry was but one aspect of the Battle of Baltimore. Learn about other phases of the battle and the War of 1812 that Francis Scott Key did not see.
1:15 pmFlag Talk. Join a park ranger or volunteer and unfold a replica of the Star-Spangled Banner and learn more about the history of the United States flag.
2 pmHistoric Weapons Demonstration. The Fort McHenry Guard will present 1812-era cannon and musket demonstrations.
2:15 pm - War on the Chesapeake. The Battle of Baltimore was part of the larger campaign in the Chesapeake Bay that raged from February 1813 until February 1815. This interactive program discusses the role of militia, sailors, and citizens in defense of the Chesapeake region, while identifying the importance of the bay as it connects towns, cities - people. 
3 pm - Living History Final Formation. The Fort McHenry Guard and living historians will assemble on the parade ground inside the Star Fort as they conclude their programming for the weekend. 
3:15 pmBattle of Baltimore. The attack on Fort McHenry was but one aspect of the Battle of Baltimore. Learn about other phases of the battle and the War of 1812 that Francis Scott Key did not see.
4 pmFlag Talk. Join a park ranger or volunteer and unfold a replica of the Star-Spangled Banner and learn more about the history of the United States flag.


Entrance fees to the historic zone (Star Fort) will be $15 per adult (ages 16 and up) and children (ages 15 and under) will be free. 'America the Beautiful' passes will be accepted. For more information please call 410-962-4290.


Location:
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

Contact Name:
Shannon McLucas

Contact Email:
e-mail us

Contact Phone Number:
410-962-4290 ext. 207

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

2400 East Fort Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230

Phone:

(410) 962-4290 x250

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