Take in two celebrations in one on July 4th in Baltimore.
Celebrate Independence Day while also marking the 200th birthday of America’s first Washington Monument in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. The day will also be the official reopening of the restored monument and will be followed by an old fashioned country fair.
The day will start at 8:30 a.m. with a naturalization ceremony during which 40 people will become American citizens. At 10:45 a.m., the restored Washington Monument will reopen with an official rededication ceremony and ribbon cutting. The Maryland Defense Force Band and Fort McHenry Guard Fife & Drum Band will perform during the ceremony.
The Old-fashioned Country Fair will feature entertainment, historic re-enactors, baking contests and Colonial-style food and beverages. There will also be a farmer’s market and petting zoo with animals on site. The “Colonial Kids” area will feature family-friendly activities like hands-on crafts, colonial period demonstrations and games, a pixelated photo booth, blacksmith, live entertainment, story telling and more.
The event is centered on the 600 block of N. Charles Street with festivities taking place throughout the four surrounding park squares. It will run until 5 p.m.
In 1829, the main column of the monument was completed when the statue of Washington, sculpted by the Italian artist Henrico Causici, was raised to its top. The statue depicts George Washington submitting his resignation as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in Annapolis in 1783, an act symbolic of his belief in the new American form of democratic government and the world’s most famous peaceful transfer of power. Decades later, Mills designed the more well-known monument in the nation’s capital whose cornerstone was not laid until 1848. This larger monument was not completed and dedicated until 1885.
The Mount Vernon Place Conservancy was formed in October 2008 with leadership from the Mount Vernon Belvedere Association and Friends of Mount Vernon Place. Their first action commissioned a restoration and management plan to renovate the Washington Monument and surrounding park squares. The Conservancy, led by its Board of Directors chaired by Henry H. Hopkins, launched a $14.5 million capital campaign to create an enduring public space. The first project, restoration of the Washington Monument, began in January 2014 and cost $5.5 million. The monutement has been closed since 2010.
For more information on the event visit the Monumental Bicentennial webpage.
Photos courtesy of the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy.