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HdG lost out on Preakness when The Graw closed [Havre de Grace]

It's Armed Forces weekend, dear readers,

May 18 is Armed Forces Day, a tribute to those who have served or are serving in any of our military branches. We salute them for their courage and dedication.

Saturday is also the running of the 138th Preakness, part of the Triple Crown. After the Kentucky Derby, now Maryland gets to shine. Lots of hoopla and black-eyed Susans will be the fare at the Pimlico Race Track. Regretfully, Havre de Grace lost out of this and many other races, when the famous Havre de Grace Race Track, nicknamed "The Graw" on Old Bay Lane, closed in 1950 and its races were transferred to Pimlico. Much of our old racetrack still stands as the grounds of the Maryland National Guard.

May 18 is National Rooster Day so wake with the rooster crow for the Havre de Grace Farmers Market on Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon, at 450 Pennington Ave. Contact Main Street, 410-939-1811.

On May 20, our neighbor to the north, Canada, will celebrate Victoria Day. The re-enactment of our War of 1812 attack by the British May 3, 1813 went extremely well. Estimates for visitors to Havre de Grace total 20,000 for the May 3 to 5 weekend. Many visitors were impressed that Havre de Grace threw a great 200th anniversary for such an infamous event.

The Havre de Grace Historic Preservation Commission has a quiz for students in kindergarten through fifth grades and sixth through 12 grades to win an oval sticker "I walked the Lafayette Trail." Quiz copies are available at the Havre de Grace Visitor Center. T-shirts, $10, are also available at the Spencer-Silver Mansion B&B, 410-939-1485. A great family fun project!

Take a guided historical walking tour every first weekend through November, Saturdays 10 a.m. and Sundays 2 p.m. or schedule a tour by appointment. Enjoy a 1 1/2 hour walking tour through tree-lined streets. Tickets are available at, 410-459-3840 or 410-939-0565 or

A historic/nature walk on the North Park Trail will start Saturday at 10 a.m. Meet for the free, one hour tour at the Susquehanna Museum at the Lock House, 410-939-5780 or email or visit

The Havre de Grace Museum will host the Havre de Grace Secret Garden Tour Saturday noon to 5 p.m. Visit lovely gardens both large and small in historic Havre de Grace. For tickets, contact 410-939-4800,,, 410-652-9757 or

Ellen Eltgroth explained to me that in conjunction with the garden tour, a garden mart of plants, herbs, artisans, tools and exhibitors will be held at the maritime museum, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., rain or shine, sponsored by the Gardens de Grace Club of Havre de Grace.

The Havre de Grace Arts Commission suggests tickets ($20/children under 12-$12) to "An American Salute: Music of Our Nation" Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Havre de Grace High School auditorium. Featured singer Carolyn Black-Sotir, Washington National Opera Baritone Thomas Beard and the Greenspring Valley Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Robert Suggs, will perform "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and other patriotic songs of the 19th century America. Tickets are available at the Havre de Grace Visitor Center, 410-939-2100.

Grace Place Serving Center will serve a free, hot meal at St. John's Episcopal Church, 114 N. Union Ave. in Havre de Grace, May 21 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Phone 410-939-2107 for details. Volunteers will serve the luncheon to anyone in need who enters.

May is National Electrical Safety Month. BGE told me so.

The Havre de Grace Senior Activity Center on Lewis Lane, 410-939-5121 celebrates May as Older American's Month with: Lighthouse cafe, continental breakfast and coffee (May 20, 9:30 a.m.); osteoporosis presentation with Dr. DeMuth (May 20, 10 a.m.); screenings (May 20, 9 to 10 a.m., 11-noon); white elephant sale (May 20 to 22); blood pressure screenings (May 22, 10 a.m. to noon); AARP driving class (May 23, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., fee); movie and popcorn "Lincoln" (May 24) 1 p.m.

Prepare early for the Independence Day Parade July 6. Buy your 4th of July T-shirt now at the Havre de Grace Visitor Center for $7 to benefit the Havre de Grace Independence celebration.

May birthday wishes go to Elra Carter (May 3); Nathan Brown (May 5); Larry Dobson (May 6); Bud Webb (May 8); Dawn Hebding (May 10); Mike Smith (May 11); Heather Willoughby (May 15); Bryan Hebding (May 16); Rebecca McClaskey and Cody Parks (May 17); and Ryan Andreen and Mike Tarbert (May 19). Happy anniversary wishes to Matthew and Shannon Taylor (May 9); Michael and Tracy Transparenti (May 15); and Adam Datesman and Julie Ducharme (May 18). Congratulations Bob and Millie (Mildred) Kuehn Sloan, who celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary May 12. A celebratory cruise is planned.

Today (Friday) is Syttende Mai, Norway's Fourth of July. On this date in 1814, the Kingdom of Norway declared its independence from Danish rule. Ever since, Norwegians celebrate with parades, music and lute fisk, a special aged seafood delicacy.

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Let's play ball!

Look for a Norway maple and a rarer Franklinia Tree in Tydings Park in Havre de Grace. Carol Andrews showed me the new "Trees of Tydings Park" publication by the Havre de Grace Municipal Tree Commission, available at city hall and the Havre de Grace Visitor Center.

Check Mate Cancer Tournament to benefit the Saacks family will be held Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. at St. Patrick Hall, 650 Pennington Ave.; contact 410-258-5675 or Funds benefit third-grader Thomas Saacks, diagnosed in December with liver cancer.

Troop 967 Wants You. This is the time of year when boys who are finishing fifth grade, or who have earned the Arrow of Light Award in Cub Scouts, or who are at least 11 years old, are eligible to join Boy Scout troops. Locally, Troop 967, sponsored by the Havre de Grace United Methodist Church, is seeking new members who are interested in what Scouting can offer. The Scouting program has been in operation for more than 100 years and has offered boys an opportunity to have fun, enjoy special activities, learn skills which are useful throughout life, experience the challenges and responsibilities of leadership, make lasting friendships and advance through the ranks of Scouting. Troop 967 in its more than 50 years' existence has produced more than 50 Eagle Scouts, but, more importantly, has provided a varied learning program for more than 1,000 boys. Some of the activities planned for the remainder of the year include weekend camping trips at the Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation, a bicycle trip, hiking weekend at Calvert Cliffs and the Solomons Island Navy Recreation Area, week-long summer camp at Hawk Mountain, Pa., sailing on the Delaware Bay, attending the World Brotherhood Camporee in Canada, rock climbing and camping at Antietam Battlefield. The troop meets weekly on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the church at 101 S. Union Ave. (Congress Avenue entrance). Boys up to 17 years of age are welcome and need not have been in a Cub Scout program nor need to have any previous Scouting experience. For further information, please contact Scoutmaster Clark Old, 410-939-6488.

Please keep me informed at 410-939-6562 or 226 N. Union Ave. See ya!

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