In October, all eyes turn to the bay

"Baltimore on the Bay," a celebration of the city's waterfront communities, maritime heritage and seafood tradition, will run through Oct. 24. The Baltimore Office of Promotion and members of the local business community sponsor the events, which include:

* The 27th annual Fell's Point Fun Festival. This celebration of the famous seaport will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and tomorrow and is presented by the Fells Point Preservation Society. The festival will feature food, crafts, live music, street performers and a children's area.


* Old Bay Crab Soup Stakes. The mouth-watering competition will be Wednesday at noon at the Harborplace amphitheater. Chefs from 12 area restaurants will offer their favorite crab soup concoctions to a panel of judges. Awards will be given for the best cream and the best vegetable soups, and the public will get to choose a "People's Choice" winner. The event is sponsored by the Old Bay Co., Harborplace and the Gallery.

* Hands on the Harbor. On Oct. 9, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., citizens and organizations will come to clean up the harbor. The event, sponsored by the Baltimore Harbor Endowment, will take place at Canton Waterfront and Harris Creek Parks.


* Columbus Parade. The Columbus Day Parade will begin Oct. 10 at 1 p.m. in downtown Baltimore and will feature floats and live music.

* Columbus Cup. The yacht race will take place in Annapolis Oct. 11 through 13, and will move to Baltimore Oct. 14 through 16. The race will bring some of the world's finest sailors to the area.

* Kids on the Bay. This festival, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 16, will give children a chance to participate in the month's &r; festivities. The event will feature arts and crafts activities, a wildlife study, educational booths and entertainment, including storytellers, costumed characters and musicians.

* Market Center Seafood Jamboree. Showcasing the city's Market Center district, this festival will offer seafood connoisseurs a wide variety of menu options. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 23 in the parking lot adjacent to Lexington Market on Eutaw Street. The Baltimore Office of Promotion, Downtown Partnership, Market Center Merchants Association and V-103 Radio are sponsoring the event.

* Portfest. New to Baltimore on the Bay this year, Portfest will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the Port of Baltimore. As part of the event, the Pride of Baltimore II will be opened for tours. Portfest will be held Oct. 21 through 24, and is produced by Baltimore Operation Sail and the Maryland Port Authority.

* Bounty on the Bay. The grand finale of the month's events will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. The festivities will include food, wine-tasting, demonstrations and door prizes. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children under 12. Children under 6 admitted free.

For more information on Baltimore on the Bay, call (410) 837-4636 or 1 (800) 282-6632.