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'Star-Spangled Banner Weekend'


It's a commemoration of the 1814 Battle of Baltimore all this weekend at Fort McHenry, the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, aboard the USS Constellation and USCGC Taney.

Events tomorrow: The Constellation sails past Fort McHenry at 11 a.m., War of 1812 re-enactors pick up a replica of the flag from the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House at 5 p.m. and parade it down to Fort McHenry at 6 p.m., fife and drum concert and ceremony at the fort, then troops board boats headed to Locust Point.

Events Saturday and Sunday: Military encampment with drills and cooking demonstrations, a dress parade, artillery firing and raising of the grand flag, author talks and presentations, children's events, more, at Fort McHenry. Behind-the-scenes tours, living history presentations and hands-on fun for kids, aboard the Constellation and Taney.

Events Saturday evening: At 6, a musket-firing tactical demonstration, a concert by the U.S. Army Field Band, a "ship-to-shore bombardment" with pyrotechnic "bombs" over the fort and cannon firings, singing of the national anthem, moment of silence for the victims of 9/11 and fireworks display, at Fort McHenry. "Baltimore Bash" with music, tours, food and kids' activities, 4 p.m.-8 p.m. at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House.

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is at 2400 E. Fort Ave. The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House is at 844 E. Pratt St. The USS "Constellation" is docked at Pier 1 at the Inner Harbor. The US Coast Guard Cutter "Taney" is docked at Pier 5 at the Inner Harbor. Fort McHenry events are $5; free for ages 16 and under; Saturday evening program is free at the fort. "Baltimore Bash" at the Flag House is $40; $15 children; free for ages under 6. Call 410-962-4290 or 410-396-3453 or 410-837-1793.

School for the Blind presents 'BrailleFest'

Ever seen a game of "Beep Ball"? Ever wondered how to read Braille? If you'd like to learn or experience what the blind experience, stop by "BrailleFest" at the Maryland School for the Blind Saturday.

Through hands-on activities, folks can watch an exhibition of "Beep Ball" (softball for the blind), learn all about reading Braille and learn about the technologies that assist the blind, visually impaired and disabled at the school.

There'll also be small carnival rides, a Porsche car show, a petting zoo, temporary tattoos for the kids, a moon bounce, kids' mascots, kids' games, music and lots of food.

"BrailleFest" runs 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Maryland School for the Blind, 3501 Taylor Ave. Free. Call 410-319-5728.

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