BALTIMORE (WJZ) — This weekend is a celebration of Baltimore’s oldest holiday, Defenders Day.

It commemorates the successful defense of the city from the British during the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

“It’s really remembering this time when the citizens of Baltimore came together against this threat that, you know, we’re about 30 years after the revolution, and here come the British again,” Fort McHenry Chief of Operations Abbi Wicklein-Bayne said.

Defenders Day commemorates an important part in the nation’s history when the British tried to bombard Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814.

But the Americans successfully defended the fort and it inspired Francis Scott Key to write what became the National Anthem.

“This was where they wrote the Star-Spangled Banner. This is where Francis Scott Key was in a ship, right out there.”

To celebrate, Fort McHenry hosted a parade on Friday, and on Saturday and Sunday, it will come alive with fireworks, music, children’s games, and live reenactments.

Sydney Rosenswag said she enjoys going to the celebration every year.

“We get to spend time with our families, sometimes we’ll bring a blanket and we’ll sit on it and watch the fireworks,” she said. “I think it just brings you back in the past.”

The fun continues Saturday at 9 a.m. and will run through Sunday. It’s $15 to enter, but the concert a 5 p.m. along with the fireworks is free.

Stetson Miller

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