The Blue Angels fly over Fort McHenry as part of the Star Spangled Spectacular.
Fireworks over Fort McHenry, one of four fireworks displays Sept. 13.
The party’s over but the memories of the Star Spangled Spectacular linger on. The Battle of Baltimore and our national anthem’s bicentennial has been properly feted with fireworks, music, Tall Ships, Blue Angels and naval ships. More than a million party-goers stopped by, joining in the celebration that stretched from the Inner Harbor to Fells Point to Locust Point to Fort McHenry.
I live for this stuff and spent long hours at the celebrations, including two shifts as a volunteer. I met all kinds of people from all around the country, even a in a beautifully tailored green and black uniform of the Glengarry Light Infantry. As a lifelong Baltimorean, I was thrilled to see Charm City looking so beautiful at such a proud moment.
It was a great party. I hope everybody comes back soon. In the meantime, a look back at some wonderful moments during the Star Spangled Spectacular held Sept. 10-16, 2014.
There were tall ships and the gray hulls of American, British, Canadian and Turkish navies —
The Eagle lands in Baltimore.
Sails unfurled, the Pride of Baltimore in the Inner Harbor
The Pride of Baltimore at the end of the Constellation’s pier.
The British Navy was represented, too.
Not all of the visiting ships were tall.
The Kalmar Nyckel from Delaware.
Kids raise the sails on the Lady Maryland.
The captain’s quarters of El Galeon Andalusia, of Spain.
Baltimore’s Harbor frm the deck of the USCG’s Eagle.
The Eagle’s figurehead gleams in the early morning sun.
Flags were waving everywhere.
Tall ships at the Inner Harbor.
Appropriate reading material for sailors, the novels of Patrick O’Brian on a bookshelf in the Eagle’s ward room.
The wardroom on the Eagle. Officers relax here. Down the hall was the flag officer’s quarters — where Adolf Hitler used to hang out, back when this was a German ship. I was so stunned to be there, I forgot to take pictures.
Fort McHenry was the center of much of the celebrations — the U.S. Navy’s precision jets, the Blue Angels, flag ceremonies, a grand concert and fireworks.
This time, the bombs bursting in air were celebratory.
Jordin Sparks, co-host with John Lithgow at the concert at Pier Six, took a boat ride over to Fort McHenry to sing the national anthem after Vice President Joe Biden’s speech Sept. 14.
Bagpipes of the Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland also performed.
The president’s own, the United States Marine Band and Morgan State University’s choir were among the performers Saturday night.
Nancy Pelosi may represent the 12th District in California, but she’s a Baltimore native and her brother Thomas D’Alesandro III served as Baltimore’s mayor in the late 1960s.
Fifes and drums played by the Fort McHenry Guard.
Reenactors kept up with the action and with each other.
Reenactors’ tents surrounded the fort during the festivities.
An awesome moment, raising the Star Spangled Banner 200 years after the Battle of Baltimore.
© Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman
with photos of fireworks over Fort McHenry
and ships sailing into the harbor by Ray Truitt