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Parade Today for Michael Phelps

American FlagJoin the Salute to Maryland Olympians Michael Phelps, Katie Hoff, Jessica Long and others who will be honored with a parade in Towson today, culminating in a giant celebration at none other than Fort McHenry.  Yes, THAT Fort McHenry – inspiration for our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

It begins at the intersection of York Road and Burke Avenue in Towson at 3:00 p.m. – about an hour from the Crofton area.  If you’re thinking of going, you may want to download a map of parking garages in Towson, where parking will be free from 1–6 p.m.  It might even be a good idea to make parking arrangements in advance (for a small processing fee) by clicking here.  If you like, you may also download a map of the parade route to help you pick the “best” place for viewing the parade.

In addition to Michael Phelps and the other Maryland Olympians, Special Olympians and Paralympians will honored in this parade.  And, of course, no politician ever missed a chance to be in a local parade, so look for Governor Martin O’Malley and Baltimore City Mayor Sheila Dixon. You’ll also see Ravens cheerleaders and mascot Poe, the Orioles Bird, antique cars, marching bands from Milford Mill Academy, Loch Raven, Parkville, Towson, and Dulaney High Schools, fire engines and probably a few surprises.

Baltimore - Fort McHenryThe celebration at Fort McHenry begins at 7 p.m., but the park gates will open at 3 p.m.  Billy Bush, from NBC’s Access Hollywood and radio’s The Billy Bush Show, will host the evening’s program.  There will be performances by local bands Copteeth (3 p.m.), Reverb (4:15 p.m.), The Players (5:30 p.m.), the Morgan University Choir and the U.S. Naval Academy Concert Band.  And of course there will be fireworks!

Guest are permitted to bring small coolers, picnic baskets, blankets and lawn chairs, but wagons, and large coolers on wheels will NOT permitted.  Everything will be subject to a search, for security purposes.

Organizers recommend using the free shuttle bus operating from Russell Street at M&T Bank Stadium and Camden yards and returning after the event, from 8–11 p.m.  Another option is the Light Rail Train (via Hamburg Street Station) at the usual Saturday fee.  No private vehicles will be permitted at Fort McHenry or in the Locust Point community, and the water taxi will not be operating. 

Crofton area residents have the opportunity to attend inaugural parades in Washington, D.C. every four years, but I don’t remember there ever being an event quite like this in Baltimore.  Why not take your kids to the parade or spend the evening at Fort McHenry.  It’s one of those “once in a lifetime” opportunities that Crofton residents can enjoy.

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