The Star Spangled Sailabration, a festival marking the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the birth of the Star Spangled Banner, went off without a hitch in Baltimore, MD from June 13 to June 19 – and drew huge crowds of boaters, spectators, and tourists. The Blue Angels, naval warships, fireworks displays, concerts, and tours of the 40-plus tall ships in attendance kept swarming crowds of both land-based and waterborne tourists entertained, and by all reports, was a resounding success.
“The harbor was an absolute mad house,” said Steve Rudow, who ran his 20’ Nautico powerboat over 15 miles us the Chesapeake Bay to see the Sailabration. “We knew traffic in the city would be a mess so we came in by water instead of by car, and there were boats everywhere. When the air show was over and everyone started cruising out of the harbor it became incredibly rough. But it was worth every minute of it – the Blue Angels were amazing.”
Despite the huge crowds (thousands of boats and hundreds of thousands of people came to Baltimore for the event) no major issues were reported and the Sailabration was recognized as a smashing success by both the media and attendees. According to the Baltimore Sun, City Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said “It’s been very safe and enjoyable. We couldn’t be happier.” And Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said “The logistics were seamless, and everyone noticed. Whoever I talked to, one of the first things they wanted me to know was how well this was done.”
The Star Spangled Sailabration was one of several events planned to celebrate the War of 1812 by a coalition of organizations (including among others the US Navy, OP Sail, and local governments). Next up is is the Boston Harborfest, which runs from June 28 through July 4 and like the events in Baltimore, features fireworks, tall ships, a free concert, and more.