BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Just a few days to go until Baltimore celebrates the Star-Spangled Spectacular. It’s a week-long celebration of Maryland’s contribution to the War of 1812 and the 200th birthday of our national anthem.

Derek Valcourt has more on what visitors can expect.

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If you had fun at Sailabration two years ago, then you will not want to miss this. It’s promising to be a great time. But like any major event, there will be some disruptions to business as usual in the area around all the fun. There are some changes this year you will want to be aware of.

Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem as he witnessed the 1814 British attack on Fort McHenry. What followed became Baltimore and Maryland’s most important national heritage story.

“Miraculously, the people of Baltimore rallied and successfully defended the city. It was a pivotal moment in our nation’s history and these two great icons–the anthem and the flag–were products of Marylanders and became the nation’s symbols as a result,” said Bill Pencek, executive director.

Now, 200 years later, comes a super-sized bicentennial celebration that will include concerts, a huge fireworks show, the Wednesday arrival of the tall ships and Naval ships from around the world to the harbor.

Amazing aerial acrobatics will also be performed next weekend by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels.

Organizers expect the week-long party will bring more than 1 million people to the area around the harbor beginning Wednesday.

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Those crowds will affect everything from traffic on the roads to traffic on the water. Drivers will be urged to take public transportation downtown. Some streets near Fort McHenry will be closed.

“Attendees will see law enforcement widespread and visible,” Melissa Hyatt, Baltimore Police Department.

Police are also warning visitors to secured areas will only be allowed one large gallon size freezer bags and a small clutch bag. Strollers blankets and sunscreen are OK.

But there’s a long list of things you can’t bring, including food and beverages, ice and coolers, chairs and even pets.

On the water, the Coast Guard is warning private boaters to avoid certain areas during Thursday through Sunday as the Blue Angels practice and then perform.

Lots of parking restrictions will be in effect, with road closures and alternate routes. You will need to plan ahead to save yourself some headaches, especially come next weekend when the activities will be in full swing.

Fore more information on the Star-Spangled Spectacular, click here.

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