Explore the culture, food and stories about life on the Eastern Shore side of the Chesapeake Bay without driving across the bridge during the Eastern Shore Folklife Festival March 19.

Praying and Singing Band of Maryland and DelawareThe festival at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore focuses on African American history and life on the Eastern Shore. Activities and presentations start at 1 p.m.

“The Eastern Shore is the origin point for African American history in Maryland, and therefore an area rich with significance, not just for the state, but for the nation. We welcome all to join us in celebrating its influence and place in our state’s heritage and culture with this special event,” says Director of Marketing Helen Yuen.

A highlight of the festival is a food tasting and presentation about Chesapeake regional cooking by Chef John Shields, food writer and owner of Gertrude’s Restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art. His talk will look at Chesapeake cuisine from a historical perspective and reflect on the state of the cuisine now.

Families will enjoy storytelling and a reading from a Caldecott Honor book that focuses on Harriet Tubman as well as a performance by The Singing and Praying Band of Maryland and Delaware.

A panel discussion follows a showing of “Voices of Indiantown,” a documentary that tells the history of the African American families who sharecropped in the Indiantown area in Dorchester County, Md.

The festival schedule follows:

Chef John Shields1 p.m. – Film screening of “Voices of Indiantown” and discussion with Eastern Shore descendants of sharecroppers.
1:30 p.m. – Storytelling with children’s author Carol Boston Weatherford of “Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom.”
2 p.m. – Food conversation and tasting with chef and author John Shields.
3:30 p.m. – Musical presentation by the Singing and Praying Band of Maryland and Delaware.

The festival is in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibition, Ruth Starr Rose (1887-1965): Revelations of African American Life in Maryland and the World. Rose’s art offers a glimpse into African American life at the turn of the century on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, offering a historical record of daily African American life on the Eastern Shore during that time.

The festival is free with museum admission. Admission is $6 for ages 7-17, students with ID and senior citizens. General admission is $8.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum is a Smithsonian affiliate located at 830 E. Pratt St., Baltimore. For more information and a link for free festival tickets, visit the museum website.

Find more fun things to do in our calendar of daily events.