TALL SHIPS X 2This is the last...



This is the last weekend to see the Italian tall ship Amerigo Vespucci at the Inner Harbor's West Wall. If you missed the Amerigo Vespucci back in 1986, this ship is one to see -- and it's open for visits from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. today, and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow and Monday. Departure time is 9 a.m. Tuesday. Just when you learned to say "benvenuti," it'll be time to utter a hearty "willkommen."

Because at noon Tuesday, the German tall ship Gorch Fock II arrives -- same place -- for its first visit to Baltimore since the city's first tall-ship extravaganza introduced area residents to the then-new Inner Harbor; that was the bicentennial year of 1976. The Gorch Fock created many memories that summer by, among other things, sailing right into the Inner Harbor.

The Gorch Fock (pronounced GOR-ke FO-ke) is a 293-foot barque with steel masts and hull that was built in 1958 in Hamburg. The German navy operates it as a training vessel with a crew of 12 and 160 cadets.

The ship is named after Johann Kinau, a German sea-story writer whose pen name was Gorch Foch. Special events slated during the ship's stay include a wreath-laying ceremony at the War Memorial Plaza at noon Wednesday; next Saturday, you'll find an afternoon of German music and dance nearby (details next Saturday).

Gorch Fock will be open for public tours from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 29 through Aug. 31. The ship is staying in Baltimore until mid-September, but will be open only on weekends then because of training.


Get psyched for the NFL preseason New Orleans Saints vs. Miami Dolphins game Thursday. A week of activities planned by "Give Baltimore the Ball," a community effort to bring the NFL back to Charm City, includes a sand castle building competition and a pep rally, both at the Inner Harbor.

Today, architect-design teams will compete to build the best sand sculpture to the theme "Footbawlmer, Hon" from noon to 4 p.m.

At noon Wednesday, the Baltimore Colts marching band kicks off a pep rally at the Harborplace amphitheater. Information: 333-1560.


The Baltimore American Indian Center is holding its 18th annual Pow-Wow this weekend at Festival Hall, Pratt and Sharp streets.

View traditional as well as contemporary American Indian fashions at a fashion show, taste tribal specialties such as venison, buffalo stew and Navajo tacos and hear the sounds of Blackstone, a world-known drum group from Saskatchewan.

The festival, which opened yesterday, includes dance and song competitions.

More than 200 dancers will compete for $10,000 in prize money. Visitors are asked to bring one non-perishable food item for the center's food pantry. Festival Hall hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow. Admission: $5 for adults, $3 for seniors/kids.


The soca and reggae sounds of Dexter Keane's Solar System Band come to the free La Provence Thursday Night Concert Series at Hopkins Plaza, between Baltimore Street, Chase Street and Hopkins Place Aug. 27 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. This group of musicians from the West Indies blends jazz, funk, rhythm and blues, and Latin forms.

Concert-goers may bring lawn chairs as cafe seating is limited. And remember, glass containers are prohibited in Hopkins Plaza.

* Martial music can be heard at Fort McHenry's last tattoo ceremony, 6:30 p.m. tomorrow. The Fort McHenry Guard (volunteers who are uniformed as the men who defended Baltimore against the British in the War of 1812) and a U.S. Navy unit join forces in this program of music and special military drill routines.


Pizza and cannoli are two delicacies you'll be able to savor at the city's annual Italian festival next weekend at Festival Hall. Things start at 11 a.m. Friday and continue through the weekend. More information next Saturday.

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