NEWS IN BRIEF
Public gardens across state entice April getaways
Maryland's gardens reveal artistry and history amid natural splendor, says the Maryland Office of Tourism, which is highlighting the state's collection of gardens as tourism destinations in April.
“This is a great time of year to visit public gardens in the state,” says Margot Amelia, director of the Maryland Office of Tourism. “Any of these green oases – with ornamental, heirloom or native plants, topiary, outdoor sculpture and historical roots – can easily be the colorful centerpiece for a Maryland getaway.”
“Whether you are an avid gardener, birdwatcher, appreciator of art – or just looking to enjoy nature, stretch your legs and walk your dog – our public gardens are an inexpensive way to enjoy the outdoors and celebrate the seasons,” says Ellie Altman, executive director of the Maryland Public Garden Consortium, an alliance of 15 gardens in the state. Altman is also executive director of Adkins Arboretum in Caroline County.
Ladew Topiary Gardens, located in Harford County and a member of the consortium, was recently named one of the “five gardens worth traveling for in North America” by the Canadian Tourism Board. The designation becomes official at an April 13 ceremony in Vancouver.
In addition to self-directed visits, Amelia says the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage is another way to visit some of the state's gardens. The pilgrimage, started in 1930, is a series of tours at architecturally significant properties in Maryland. The first tour is April 28 in Baltimore. Four more tours around the state follow in May.
View a sampling of not-to-miss gardens across Maryland.
New Philip Glass work premieres during Sailabration
Gov. Martin O'Malley and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) Music Director Marin Alsop have announced a world-premiere performance of composer Philip Glass' Overture for 2012, Sunday evening, June 17 at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore. Glass, a Baltimore native, has composed 20 operas and eight symphonies during his prominent career.
The BSO performance is part of Star-Spangled Symphony, a 90-minute musical presentation that celebrates Star-Spangled Sailabration – the June 13-19 international maritime festival in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, which launches Maryland's War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration. Tickets for the Meyerhoff event – sponsored by PNC of Greater Maryland – are $15 and available online at the BSO web site.
The state of Maryland and city of Toronto jointly commissioned Glass to create a symphonic work that honors the War of 1812 bicentennial as a companion piece to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.
Representatives of the two entities wanted a new musical work to debut concurrently in June during Sailabration and at Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity, as a tribute to the conflict that had vital historical significance for both the U.S. and Canada.
For the U.S., the War of 1812 was a “second war of independence” and source of the iconic 15-star, 15-stripe flag that inspired the writing of The Star-Spangled Banner.
English soccer teams play July match in Baltimore
International soccer returns to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore this summer when Tottenham Hotspur Football Club plays Liverpool Football Club, Saturday, July 28 at 1 p.m. Both clubs are members of the 20-team Barclays Premier League in England.
“We've learned from hosting previous international matches here in Maryland that the regional fan base is fervent and diverse,” said Gov. Martin O'Malley.“Fans of all ages are excited with the opportunity to see some of the best soccer in the world played where they can enjoy it firsthand. The energy they bring to the stadium – particularly the youngsters – is electric, and I look forward to welcoming the match to Maryland.”
Harry Redknapp, Tottenham's general manager, said on his club's web site: “Both clubs have a fantastic heritage and matches (between) the two teams have a history of being exciting, hard-fought and high-scoring affairs. I expect this to be no different.”
“The Tottenham-Liverpool match at M&T Bank Stadium reinforces Maryland's growing reputation for presenting world-class sporting events,” said Terry Hasseltine, director of the Maryland Office of Sports Marketing. “We appreciate the hard work and commitment of all our partners who brought this event to fruition.”
M&T Bank Stadium hosted two previous international soccer matches – InterMilan vs. Manchester City in 2010, and A.C. Milan vs. Chelsea in 2009. Ticket information about this summer's match is available on the Baltimore Ravens web site.
View more coverage of match in Baltimore Sun article.
1812 display comes to I-70 welcome center
A traveling exhibit, titled Defense of the Nation: Maryland in the War of 1812, is on display this month at the South Mountain East Welcome Center, located on I-70, east of Hagerstown. Developed by Baltimore National Heritage Area, the exhibit has two serpentine “wave” panels – each 10-feet-long and 8-feet-wide. Rack-card holders are attached to the panels. The exhibit also incorporates video that shows 1812 re-enactors at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. For information about bringing the display to museums, historical sites or libraries, call or e-mail Ernie Dinsomore, 410-683-0645.
Cecil salutes state tourism office for 'ongoing support'
Cecil County Tourism named the Maryland Office of Tourism Development as the county's Tourism Partner of the Year for 2011 at the annual Cecil County Partner Appreciation Breakfast, held March 30 at the Wellwood Club Restaurant in Charlestown.
Sandy Turner, tourism coordinator for Cecil County, said the cooperative-advertising program offered by the state tourism office “allows us to afford quality advertising that we could never afford on our own.” She also cited grants from the Maryland Tourism Development Board “that help with enhancing our ad purchases” and the state's role during 2010 and 2011 as a key member of the team that produced the State Park Impact and Visitor Study.
Rockfish season starts this month on Chesapeake
Maryland's striped bass (rockfish) season opens on the Chesapeake Bay, Saturday, April 21. During the trophy season, which runs through May 15, anglers are limited to catching one striped bass each day. A fish must be at least 28 inches in length. After May 16, anglers are allowed to catch two rockfish on any one fishing day and each fish must measure at least 18 inches. In 1965, the striped bass was named Maryland's official state fish.
To locate names of charter boats for sportfishing, view these online sites: Maryland Charter Boat Association, Upper Bay Charter Captains Association and Calvert County charter boats.
Free audio tour available for 9/11 memorial in Baltimore
Visitors to the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland – located on the plaza of the World Trade Center in Baltimore's Inner Harbor – can now access a free, five-minute audio tour of the memorial through their cell phones by calling 410-767-7911. The tour explains the history and design of the memorial, and also describes a related exhibit on the World Trade Center's top level. WYPR-radio's Aaron Henkin narrates the tour. The memorial was unveiled last Sept. 11 on the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. View a YouTube video about the tour.
The African American Travel Conference comes to the Baltimore Convention Center, April 18-20. This conference allows several hundred travel planners who serve African-American communities to meet with travel suppliers and destination representatives. At the conference, the Maryland Office of Tourism will release its new African-American Heritage Travel Guide, a 32-page brochure that has descriptions of African-American attractions and destinations across the state and information about the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.
Local chefs discuss local products in MPT show
Maryland Public Television airs Maryland Harvest, Tuesday, April 17 at 9 p.m. This hour-long broadcast spotlights Maryland farms that provide locally-grown food products and four Maryland chefs who use those products. The chefs are: Cindy Wolf, Charleston (Baltimore); Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen (Baltimore); David McCallum, Tilghman Island Inn (Talbot County); and Rob Plant, Blue Wind Gourmet (St. Mary's County). Al Spoler, co-host of WYPR-radio's Cellar Notes and Radio Kitchen, hosts the gastronomic tour.
Spring boat show runs in Stevensville
The 30th annual Bay Bridge Boat Show is April 19-22 at the Bay Bridge Marina on the eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Presented by United States Yacht Shows, the event features more than 200 boats and numerous marine-related exhibitors. It also includes seminars, fishing pier, door prizes, food court, live music and an exhibition of antique and classic boats and cars. Take Rt. 50 to Kent Island, exit 37, and follow signs to the marina. Ticket information available online, or call 410-268-8828.
Festival at Pimlico celebrates wine and racing
Maryland wine merges with Maryland horse racing at Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course, April 21-22, for the second annual Decanter Wine Festival. Event features wine samples from 21 Maryland wineries and an eye-level view of the day's racing card on Pimlico's infield. Guests have access to betting. Food and arts and crafts items will also be available under the white tents. View more details and ticket information online.
Frederick wineries stage annual festival
A Toast to Frederick Wine Festival launches a new season for wine festivals along the Frederick Wine Trail. This annual event will be held indoors at the E-ventplex at the Frederick fairgrounds, April 21-22. Eight area wineries are participating. Festival also offers live music each day, along with food and arts vendors. More details and ticket information are available online.
Wildfowl art show spotlights world's best carvers
Ocean City's Roland E. Powell Convention Center hosts the 42nd annual Ward World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition and Art Festival, April 27- 29. This mega wildfowl-carving event – presented by the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University – brings carvers from around the world to compete for nearly $70,000 in prize money in 39 divisions of competition (youth to world champions). More than 1,200 carvings will be on display and 100-plus exhibitors offer paintings, photography, pottery, sculptures, jewelry for sale.
ABA plans free networking session at Gaylord
The American Bus Association (ABA) hosts a regional networking and educational program, ABA on the Road, Wednesday, May 9, 8:30 -10:30 a.m., at Gaylord National in National Harbor in Prince George's County. ABA invites both members and non-members. This free event is designed for bus operators, tour operators, members of the travel industry, and product and service suppliers. Light refreshments served. E-mail ABA to RSVP by May 4.