NEWS IN BRIEF
New Trails Opened for 150th Commemoration of Civil War
Maryland Office of Tourism, National Park Service, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Tourism Council of Frederick, and Frederick County Department of Recreation and Parks officials gathered today at Gambrill Mill on the banks of the Monocacy River in Frederick to celebrate the opening of the Attack on Washington: The Last Invasion Civil War Trail and to officially cut the ribbon for the Monocacy Water Trail.
The opening of the trail was timed to coincide with the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Monocacy, also known as “The Battle that Saved Washington.” Events commemorating the last invasion of the Confederate army into Union Territory are scheduled to occur July 5-14 at the national battlefield site.
"We are very excited about this additional opportunity to interpret and share these special Maryland Civil War stories,” said Hannah L. Byron, assistant secretary, Maryland Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, a unit of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. “Since opening Maryland’s first Civil War Trail, Antietam Campaign: Lee Invades Maryland in September 2002, our research has demonstrated the traveling public’s continued interest in experiencing this period in Maryland’s history.”
Pictured above left to right: Randy McClement, mayor, Frederick; Walt Stull, councilman, Brunswick; Rick Slade, superintendent, Monocacy National Battlefield; Hannah Byron, assistant secretary, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts; Lisa Gutierrez, program director - water trails, Department of Natural Resources; Kelly Schulz, delegate, District 4A; Billy Shreve, commissioner, Frederick County; and John Fieseler, executive director, Tourism Council of Frederick County.
Maryland Marketing Messages Invade D.C.
The Maryland Office of Tourism launched an out-of-home marketing campaign to promote Star-Spangled Spectacular, the Chesapeake Campaign summer events leading up to it and the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail.
The campaign’s objective was to leverage the Smithsonian “union” of the Star-Spangled Banner (flag) and the original manuscript of the National Anthem to remind Washington residents and visitors of the role Maryland played in saving the nation 200 years ago – and to invite them to visit Maryland during this Star-Spangled Summer. The target audience includes Maryland’s number one feeder market – Washington, D.C. – as well as Smithsonian visitors who may be coming to view the “union.”
The campaign dominated Union Station’s Metro Station with a total of 46 escalator banners, floor banners, station wall units and four-sided kiosks. Other Washington, D.C. locations included the Smithsonian Metro Station and bus shelters surrounding the National Museum of American History.
“This messaging of the campaign was designed to put a fun perspective on Maryland’s historic and important role of saving a young America during the War of 1812,” said Margot Amelia, executive director, Maryland Office of Tourism. “The campaign invites people to visit Maryland during its Star-Spangled Summer.”
Maryland Tourism Development Board Welcomes Two New Members
Two tourism industry professionals representing attractions and transportation attended their first tourism development board meeting at the Maryland Science Center recently.
Rick Howarth, representing attractions, is the park president of Six Flags America, the 131-acre theme and water park located in Bowie, just outside of Washington, D.C. A native of Largo, Howarth began his career in the theme park industry in 1992 as a finance intern at Wild World while studying at the University of Maryland in College Park. Wild World later became known as Adventure World before being rebranded as Six Flags America in 1999.
Judy Bixler, representing transportation, along with her husband owns and operates the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry, the oldest privately operated ferry service in the United States. The ferry service, founded in 1683, will commemorate its 331st anniversary of operation in November of this year.
“It is great to have these two new members join the Maryland Tourism Development Board,” said Margot Amelia, executive director, Maryland Tourism Development Board. “Their expertise, along with that of the current members of the board, will help guide policy development and management to ensure Maryland enjoys greater economic benefits from travel and tourism spending.”
Tourism Tax Revenues Continue to Grow in FY2014
The latest issue of the Maryland Tourism Monitor – the Office of Tourism’s monthly report on metrics for marketing, tourism-related sales taxes, lodging and transportation trends, and leisure and hospitality jobs – is now available online. Among its findings: sales tax revenue from tourism tax codes grew 1.2 percent the first nine months of the fiscal year; the addition of table games and the opening of Rocky Gap led to an increase in gaming revenue of 48 percent; and Amtrak and BWI Airport both saw gains in travelers – up 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
Sanz wins National Anthem Singing Contest
The Maryland State Arts Council and Star-Spangled 200 have announced the winners of the Star-Spangled Sing-Off, one of many activities in the lead up to the 200th Anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” written in Baltimore during the War of 1812.
The contest asked Marylanders to record their solo, a capella rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” post it to YouTube and enter the contest by submitting a link to their performance. After a panel of judges selected eight finalists, the public was asked to vote for their favorite performance of the National Anthem.
Rolando Sanz, a Bethesda-based opera singer who has twice performed the Anthem at Camden Yards’ for the Opening Day Ceremony received the most votes in the online contest. He will win the top prize of $1,814 and the opportunity to perform at a public event during Star-Spangled Spectacular, Sept. 10-16 in Baltimore.
“Many thousands of votes were cast and we are thrilled to present three high-caliber Maryland vocalists that were chosen by Marylanders. We thank those who entered the contest, and the many who voted as well,” said Hannah Byron, assistant secretary, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.
The public will be able to hear all three of the winners perform The National Anthem at Star-Spangled Spectacular. The free, family-friendly event, Sept. 10-16 in and around Baltimore city, will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore and the Star-Spangled Banner with re-enactments, fireworks, parades, and a maritime festival that will include a televised event at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. View each winner’s YouTube submissions at www.msac.org/singoff.
Historical Marker Unveiled to Commemorate Passage of the 19th Amendment
The Commission on the Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Passage of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution revealed its new historical marker in Overlea. Among those in attendance: Gloria Lawlah, chair, commission, secretary, Department of Aging; Senator Katherine Klausmeier; Delegate Susan McComas; and Hannah Byron, assistant secretary, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts.
Frederick Film festival to screen this weekend
The 6th annual Fredrick Film Festival will be held this weekend. The festival will highlight two films by directors from Frederick County. Opening the fest will be “Ping Pong Summer”. The film, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and stars Susan Sarandon is a coming of age comedy set during a summer vacation in Ocean City. On Saturday night, Ed Sanchez (“The Blair Witch Project”) screens a special sneak preview of his latest film, “Exists”. To buy tickets and to see the list of other films at the festival, go to: www.frederickfilmfest.com/2014/
Capital Region USA Goes Global
The 2015 International Marketing Summit is a great opportunity to learn about international marketing trends and opportunities, emerging markets and grant programs that can extend your budget. The summit will be at National Harbor on August 20. Registration is open and the fee includes program handouts, lunch, networking opportunities, a prize drawing and a coupon booklet for Tanger Outlets to enjoy after the summit is over!