By Joel Furches

Memorial Day is a holiday for honoring the women and men who have given their lives or livelihoods to serve and defend the United States. While most folks spend Memorial Day flipping burgers and watching television, maybe you want to consider a more appropriate way to focus on the meaning of this day. The following are activities which both honor the armed forces, and entertain those who attend them. Have a fun and meaningful Memorial Day!

Washington Monument
699 Washington Place
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 332-9992

On this day, celebrating the men and women who have fallen in American warfare, what could be more suitable than touring the history surrounding one of Maryland’s most famous war memorials: the Washington Monument? This tour starts by exploring the history of the monument, a dedication to the Revolutionary War hero John Edgar Howard, then moves on to review the famous Maryland families who have lived in this area and contributed to the growth and development of some of the most beneficial public organizations in Baltimore. From war buffs, history buffs and patriots, this tour hits the spot for everyone who takes it.

Fort McHenry
2400 E. Fort Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 962-4290

Possibly one of the best known memorials in all of Maryland, Fort McHenry is a matter of state pride. One can always count on the fort to provide a patriotic display at every opportunity, and this Memorial Day is no exception. Come out to this national monument on Tuesday, May 30th and participate in the grand event which includes several engaging talks on wartime events and the origin of Memorial Day. Rangers will raise a Civil War era flag proudly over the bastion and lay the traditional wreath. Hear the bugle play taps and see a recreation of the historic 1880 Memorial Day observance. You can’t get much more historic than that.

Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens
200 E Padonia Road
Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093
(410) 666-0490

Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens is a tranquil cemetery for the men and women who have died in service to the nation. Much like a park, the cemetery makes for a peaceful stroll through the green yard and the well-kept memorial graves of these brave warriors. Of especial beauty is the park’s lake, which features a fountain and trumpeter swans floating peacefully about. Find your way to the gardens on Memorial Day between 10 a.m. till noon, and watch the 21 gun salute as well as laying of the memorial wreath.

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SoWeBo Arts Festival
1100 Hollins St.
Baltimore, MD 21223
(443) 416-7719

SoWeBo Arts Inc. is an organization dedicated to the support and funding of local artists. To that end, they put on an annual no holds barred Memorial Day festival. This year’s will take place on Hollins Street on Sunday, May 28th. Come down, or bring the kids and enjoy the wide range of entertainment that the festival provides. For the art-inclined, the festival will feature sculptors, fashion designers, jewelry craftsmen and painters. The art is both unique and affordable. For the kids, the festival includes face painting, arts and crafts, puppet shows, carnival acts, games, skateboard competitions and sports. Also hear dozens of local bands play.

Chesterton Tea Party Festival
122 N. Cross St.
Chestertown, MD 21620
(410) 778-9737

Just across the bay from Baltimore lies Chestertown. This year, no one is blowing out Memorial Day more than Chestertown is. In its three day Tea Party Festival, Chestertown will be featuring races, street parties, award ceremonies, plays, parades, rafting, and a ton of further activities making the visit well worth the time. The Tea Party Festival commemorates Chestertown’s key role in the 1774 boycott of British imports in protest of the British Parliament’s closing of the port in Boston. The citizens of Chestertown are clearly proud of this historic event, and they show it with the biggest Memorial Day party in Maryland.

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