Grab your back­pack and books — it’s back to school time! Opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the writer and do not rep­re­sent the opin­ion of The Dun­dalk Ea­gle or Adams Pub­lish­ing Group.

The Dundalk Eagle - - NEWS - By NI­COLE RODMAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com

You may have no­ticed the ab­sence of this col­umn for the past few weeks. Or maybe your event or an­nounce­ment didn’t make it into last week’s pa­per. What­ever the case may be, I would like to take this chance to apol­o­gize. I have been out sick for the past week or so. But I am back at my desk and ready to take your news tips, calls, emails and pho­tos. Send them all to nrod­man@ ches­pub.com.

And now that I am back at my desk, I am al­ready get­ting ex­cited for all of the fun that the im­pend­ing au­tumn has in store.

I know, I know. It doesn’t feel like fall. But the start of school is just days away (whether that is a good thing or not de­pends largely on whether you are a kid or a par­ent) and, around the area, sched­ules are al­ready fill­ing up.

My house­hold has been a flurry of ac­tiv­ity as we pre­pare to send our daugh­ter to kinder­garten on Sept. 4. It feels like just yes­ter­day that my pre­de­ces­sor, Steve Ma­trazzo, was an­nounc­ing Ella’s birth in his own Talk of the Town col­umn, but she is al­ready five and more than ready to hit the books.

What about you? Are your kids get­ting ready to go back to school? If so, snap a pic­ture of them on the first day and send it to us here at the Ea­gle. Please in­clude the child’s name, school and grade. Se­lect pho­tos will ap­pear in an up­com­ing is­sue; all pho­tos will ap­pear on our web­site at www. dun­dalkea­gle.com. Pho­tos may be sub­mit­ted via email to nrod­man@ches­pub.com.

But there is more than just the start of school to look for­ward to. As usual, La­bor Day week­end brings with it De­fend­ers Day at Fort Howard Park. This year’s fes­tiv­i­ties will be held on Sun­day, Sept. 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Our cov­er­age of the fun can be found start­ing on the front of this is­sue.

I en­cour­age ev­ery­one to make a point of stop­ping by for an im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence that brings a (too of­ten lit­tle­known) era of Amer­i­can his­tory to life. Ev­ery­one knows about Fort McHenry and the Bat­tle of Baltimore, but our town’s place in Amer­i­can his­tory, through the Bat­tle of North Point, is no less im­por­tant.

De­fend­ers Day will fea­ture reen­act­ments, a liv­ing his­tory en­camp­ment, his­tor­i­cal games and crafts, per­for­mances and much more.

There will also be tours of Fort Howard Park, which is it­self wor­thy of a visit — whether it is De­fend­ers Day or any other day of the year.

But the fun doesn’t end there. Next week­end marks the re­turn of the an­nual Watersedge Fall Fes­ti­val at Watersedge Water­front Park, 8820 Bull­neck Road. The three-day event, held from 6 to 10 p.m. on Sept. 7, 2 to 10 p.m. on Sept. 8 and 2 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 9, raises funds for a va­ri­ety of Watersedge Recre­ation Coun­cil pro­grams.

As al­ways, the fes­ti­val will in­clude food and craft ven­dors, games, rides, an ar­ray of de­li­cious car­ni­val foods and a jam-packed sched­ule of live mu­sic through­out the week­end.

Ride wrist­bands are on sale now.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Todd Smith at 443695-5022 or Scott Smith 410978-3529.

You can check out our cov­er­age of the fun on page five of this week’s is­sue.

Bri­tish troops fire at Amer­i­can mili­ti­a­men at the Bat­tle of North Point re-en­act­ment. Due to a short­age of Bri­tish re-en­ac­tors at De­fend­ers Day, Amer­i­can units were con­scripted into the Bri­tish lines for the bat­tle.

Mem­bers of Ch­e­sa­peake Flotilla Ar­tillery drill in prepa­ra­tion for the bat­tle.

Young vis­i­tors en­joyed rides at the Watersedge Fall Fes­ti­val.

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