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Praise Fido and Whiskers, dear readers,

Sue North wrote me about the Havre de Grace United Methodist Church's 4th annual blessing of the animals and pet expo Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. in Tydings Park in Havre de Grace. Free admission; pets must be leashed; other activities. Phone Tammy, 410-939-6105, for details or vendor spaces.

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Saturday morning rise and shine for the Havre de Grace Farmer's Market, 450 Pennington Ave., 9 a.m. to noon.

Catch the last of summer leaves on the historic nature walk of the North Park Trail Saturday. Assemble at the Susquehanna Lockhouse Museum at 10 a.m. for the free, hour tour, 410-939-5780, lockhousemuseum@gmail.com or http://www.lockhousemsueum.org.

Happy birthday with bouquets of asters and sapphire birthstones: Peyton Kirkendall (Sept. 2); Nettie Owens (Sept. 4); Keya Ridgeley (Sept. 6); Peyton Hartsfield (Sept. 9); Renee Stratton (Sept. 12); Laurel Mathias (Sept. 15); Carolyn Mathias (Sept. 16); and Mabel Winter (Sept. 17).

Happy anniversary wishes to Jason and Nettie Owens (Sept. 2); and Bill and Susie Atkinson (Sept. 9).

The Grace Place Serving Center will host a free, hot meal luncheon Tuesday from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church, 114 N. Union Ave., 410-939-2107, to anyone in need who enters.

Heads up! The Havre de Grace Community-wide Yard Sale is coming 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 20 (raindate Sept. 21). This is #13. Let us know if you wish to participate at 410-939-6562 or 410-939-2100 and we will help advertise the event for free. Spaces are available in a central location downtown at 226 N. Union Ave. for $10. Other participants include St. John's Episcopal Church, 114 N. Union Ave. featuring a Christmas shop; 558 S. Adams St. and 3605 Greenspring Road; 314 Bourbon St.; 401 S. Union Ave.; 353 Girard St.; 934 Chesapeake Drive; 120 Bloomsbury Ave.; 105 McSpadden Drive off Tydings Road; 409 Heather Way in Bayview Estates; 1418 Bayview Drive in Havre de Grace Heights; and Simplicity Antique Boutique at 454 Franklin St.

The American Legion Post 47 will sponsor second and third Saturdays (of the month) horseshoe tournaments; 3 p.m. $5 entry fee, monetary prizes. Contact post47events@yahoo.com or Charlie Beasley, 410-939-0234.

The Arts Commission is sponsoring "Lunch with Rosalie Calvert" Sept. 26, noon to 2:30 p.m. at the Vandiver Inn; $35 per person. Rosalie (actress Mary Ann Jung) recounts the War of 1812 and activity around her "Riversdale Plantation" at Bladensburg and Washington, D.C. Tickets 410-939-2100.

Saturday is Fortune Cookie Day. Celebrate your lucky fortune with a Chinese meal at our local eateries: China Kitchen, 1020 Pulaski Highway, 410-939-9026; or China Palace, 800 Pulaski Highway, 410-939-9398.

Hugs, kisses and chocolates! Saturday is National Chocolate Day. Does this mean a trip to Bomboy's Home Made Candies, 322 Market St., 410-939-2924 to celebrate? You bet!

Sept. 16 is National Play-Doh Day! Have fun with the kids.

Sip, paint and create with Carole Huber, Friday, Sept. 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. Sponsored by Arts by the Bay Gallery and Havre de Grace Main Street, the session will be held at Chipparelli's Restaurant, 400 N. Union Ave., Havre de Grace, 410-409-1336. Fee $30, all materials included. Pre-registration required by Sept. 13.

Today (Friday) marks the Maryland holiday of Defender's Day. Though the holiday has a little to do with the burning of Havre de Grace on May 3, 1813 by the British Navy under Admiral George Cockburn during his Chesapeake Bay campaign in the War of 1812, it does not recognize those brave local defenders, specifically.

The defense of Baltimore City is commemorated Sept. 12, when British Adm. Alexander Cochrane and Gen. Robert Ross planned their attack upon Maryland's largest city and seaport with the landing of British troops at Fort Howard and the resulting Battle at North Point.

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The British fury was not quelled when they were repulsed at present day Patterson Park and regrouped for naval assault upon Baltimore. The resulting bombardment of Fort McHenry and its heroic stand and defense are from what national anthems are made.

Though we do a great job every May reenacting the British aggression upon our town, the date did not gain national or state holiday status. Nor did Francis Scott Key compose any poetic verse about our potato battery defense at Concord Point.

Nonetheless, every American should be proud of Baltimore's defense, which provided a turning point in the War of 1812, often nicknamed by historians as America's Second War of Independence. Those historians who love to play "if" would interject that if the British had destroyed Baltimore in September, 1814, after their successful burning and seizure of Washington, D.C., in August, 1814, it is doubtful the United States of America as we know it would exist. We may have even returned to British colonial status. God Save the Queen!

On Sept. 19, Good Cause hosts 31 bags bingo at 7 p.m. at the Havre de Grace American Legion. Tickets $12; email: info@serveagoodcause.org.

Sept. 17 was the anniversary (2003) of the infamous tropical storm Isabel that severely damaged our beloved Promenade.

Sept. 18 is National Cheeseburger Day. Guess what we are having for dinner.

Take a historical walking tour of Havre de Grace every first weekend through November, Saturdays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. or schedule a tour by appointment. Enjoy a leisurely 1 1/2 hour walking tour through tree-lined streets. Tickets are available at http://www.mainstreethdg.com, 410-459-3840 or 410-939-0565 or hdgmainstreet@verizon.net.

Buenos dias! Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month. This observance honors the histories, cultures and contributions of citizens who share the common language and ancestry of Spanish. For more information, go to http://www.nea.org/readacross/hispanic.html.

Sept. 15 and 16 mark Mexican Independence Days celebrating the start in 1810 of Mexico's struggle for independence from Spain. Despite common belief, that is not Cinco de Mayo (May 5). Other Hispanic neighbors will be celebrating independence days for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua (Sept. 15) and Chile (Sept. 18). Ole!

An introduction to Rosemaling, a Norwegian decorative art, will be taught by Lise Lorentzen at Arts by the Bay Gallery, 500B Warren St., Havre de Grace, 410-939-1818 on Sept. 20 and 21, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost $100. The class is taught in oils with a class project. Contact Lise 917-853-6118, artoflise@gmail.com or http://www.artoflise.com.

Have a good week. Contact me at 410-939-6562 or 226 N. Union Ave., see ya!

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