Defenders Day festivities celebrate local history
On Saturday, Sept. 2, Fort Howard Park will be buzzing with Defenders Day celebrations.
In 1814, the successful defense of Baltimore by the local militia during the war of 1812 was a turning point in in American history.
According to Rose Benton of the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society, “three weeks earlier, the British had taken
Washington D.C. and burned most of it” leaving Baltimore as the closest port city to the capital.
American forces stationed locally were a last stand against the Redcoats, but the Americans managed to kill the invading commander and demoralize the force. Just days after this failed attack, the British bombarded Fort McHenry and again failed, a battle which Francis Scott Key was inspired to immortalize by writing the Star-Spangled Banner.
The 1814 battle is memorialized in the region as “Defenders Day.”
To celebrate this splendid feat, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2, Fort Howard Park will step back in time as it becomes host to reenactments of the events as well as of the period, in addition to some more modern amenities such as food trucks.
Battle reenactments and period entertainment will be scattered throughout the day’s celebration.
As in years past, the day will culminate with the folding of a replica of an 1812 flag. Audience members are asked to participate in the ceremony, since it takes about 100 volunteers to fold the 43-foot flag. The flag-folding generally is followed by the sounds of cannons bombarding the area.
There are plenty of other demonstrations including blacksmiths and magicians, by volunteers in period costumes,
Defenders Day 2016 will be celebrated at Fort Howard Park on Sept. 2.
Defenders Day, an annual commemoration of the Battle of North Point, draws massive crowds, who attend battle reenactments and other activities at Fort Howard Park.