Defenders Day to go to three days, add fireworks show
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:34

Celebration of Battle of North Point bicentennial scheduled for September

by Ben Boehl

    The bicentennial of the Battle of North Point in the War of 1812 is almost here, and Defenders Day Chairman Harry Young is looking to cap off this year’s event with a new wrinkle — fireworks.
    The  local Defenders Day observance moved from its traditional Labor Day Weekend slot to the first weekend in September last year and was expanded to a two-day event.
    Young explained that the move was made after the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission asked Defenders Day to push it back a week so it could serve as the kick-off for a 27-day statewide celebration.
    The plan is the same this year, with events at Fort McHenry and Patterson Park planned to follow the local event.
    This year, Defenders Day will be further expanded to a three-day event, with re-enactments to be held on Saturday, Sept. 6 and Sunday, Sept. 7 at Fort Howard Park. Young said he is planning a fireworks show at Sparrows Point High School for the evening of Sept. 8.
    “We don’t have 100 percent clearance yet,” Young explained. “I’ve talked to the [Sparrows Point High School] principal and the fire marshal, [and] the permit has gone out to the Board of Education.”

The gates at Fort Howard are scheduled to open at 10 a.m. on Sept. 6 and 9:15 a.m. on Sept. 7.
    Three re-enactments are scheduled over the two-day period. Young said he is expecting over 30 re-enactors from Canada, up from 17 in 2013.
    “It is official, because the Canadians said they are bringing their wives,” Young said with a laugh. “We are going to beef it up, because it is the 200th [anniversary] celebration.”
    Both days’ schedules will include performances of  the play “Women’s Voices,” which will be performed by the Sky is The Limit Theater, with music by David Hilde-brand.
    “We will produce a good family event, as we have in the past. We have plenty of children’s activities,” Young said “We will have a variety of exhibits from the state.”
    The Monday event will start at 7 p.m. with military drills and activities, followed by a musical performance by the Chorus of the Chesapeake.
    The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9 p.m.
    Young emphasized that all the re-enactments, plays and vendors will be located at Fort Howard, and none of those activities will be at the high school.
    “I’m not doing anything at Sparrows Point that I’m doing at Fort Howard,” Young said.
    The three-day event is part of a partnership between the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society and Museum, the North Point-Edgemere Volunteer Fire Department  and the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.    
    Young said there was a request to have the fireworks on the Friday night of the Defenders Day weekend, but he thought it would be a conflict with the school’s sports activities.
    Besides, he wanted to end the weekend with a fireworks show.
    “This is the climax to the Bicentennial Celebration of the Battle of North Point,” he noted.