Sunday was a beautiful day for enjoying the Star-Spangled Spectacular anniversary of our national anthem and the great battle waged against the British at Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 ("A spectacular weekend for Baltimore," Sept. 15).

Tall ships, the Blue Angels, live music and more. Who could resist a trip to the Inner Harbor? We couldn't.


We remembered well our enjoyment seeing and visiting the "tall ships" during the Sailabration in 2012 at the Inner Harbor and Fells Point, and we looked forward to a repeat of that moving experience.

The city and the media promoted the Star-Spangled Spectacular celebration with talk of some 30-plus tall ships. But where were they? There were only three "tall ships" in the Inner Harbor besides the U.S.S. Constellation. At Fells Point there was the H.M.S. Argyll, a frigate, not a "tall ship." Where were the other vessels so glowingly promoted to ensure a crowd at the Inner Harbor?

And the Blue Angles? We joined hundreds on the slopes of Federal Hill, prepared to be awed by the aerial display over the harbor. It never happened, at least not for us on the hill and the throngs lining the Inner Harbor.

The jets in a tight formation circled wide around the office buildings of the city but never came close to the harbor. From the distant roar we assumed they were displaying their aerobatics over the fort, far from those of us drawn to the Inner Harbor for more than funnel cakes, lemonade and live music. Many expectant viewers abandoned Federal Hill after waiting an hour or more.

I'm sure the Star-Spangled Spectacular was a financial success for the city and the numerous vendors of street fair delicacies. Successful, too, for those fortunate enough to have been at Fort McHenry. They experienced all that was promised. But not those thousands milling about the Inner Harbor. A tad disappointing, but at least the weather was nice.

Robert M. Friday, Owings Mills


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