Thursday, June 17, 2010

An Independence Day Celebration Concert at Sotterley Plantation

For a traditional and quaint 4th of July celebration, visit Sotterley Plantation for their annual Independence Day Celebration Concert on Sunday, July 4th from 1:00 p.m. - 4 p.m. Come and enjoy an afternoon of music on the Portico, while taking in the breathtaking view of the Patuxent River! Pack your picnic baskets, bring along your lawn chairs and blankets, and listen to the patriotic music renditions of the Chesapeake Orchestra Brass Quintet led by Maestro Jeffrey Silberschlag of St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

To cool things down, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, with tasty ice cream, will offer a selection of their standard favorite flavors. “On A Roll” will sell hot dogs, the great American food, with a variety of favorite fixings. And since no event is complete without kettle corn, Sir Pops A Lots will be on the hill popping away. Beer, wine, and cold drinks will also be available for purchase. Take a chance at winning prizes at the Brown Bag Raffle and Silent Auction, including toys large and small, wine for the discerning taste, original artwork and prints, and the gastronomic delights from local restaurants. Fun activities for children, too!

As a special and sincere thanks, all those with a Military ID are invited to celebrate this event free of charge. General Admission is $10 per vehicle.

For more information on Sotterley Plantation events, visit

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Patuxent River Sojourn Kayaking Trip

Enjoy a multi-day canoeing and kayaking expedition on the Patuxent River from June 24 - 28!  The Patuxent River Sojourn takes paddlers on a journey along the Patuxent that includes educational programming, riverside camping, festive meals, live music, and more.

Both novice and experienced paddlers will enjoy this unique on-the-water experience that builds a strong environmental ethic.  Paddlers have the option of signing up for as many (or as few) days of paddling as they like, from one day to the full trip.  The trip itinerary is as follows:
  • Thursday, June 24: Kickoff at Greenwell State Park
  • Friday, June 25: Restoration Activities and Creek Paddles around Greenwell
  • Saturday, June 26: Paddle to Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum
  • Sunday, June 27: Restoration Activities and Creek Paddles around Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum
  • Monday, June 28: Creek Paddles around Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum
The cost is $65 per day for adults and $35 per day for youth.  The price includes meals, camp sites, commemorative t-shirts, daily or weeklong shuttles, safety outfitter, and interpretive education (canoe/kayak not included).  Participants must be at least 8 years of age.  (The cost is $55 per day for Patuxent Riverkeeper members.)

For more information and to register, visit the Patuxent Riverkeeper website,, or contact Lauren Webster at 301-249-8200 or

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

7th Annual Juneteenth Celebration and 5K Run/Walk

The 7th Annual Juneteenth Celebration will be held on Saturday, June 19 at Freedom Park in Lexington Park from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m.!  The festival is produced by the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions (UCAC) and celebrates African American heritage in St. Mary's County.

The festivities this year include gospel singing by the legendary Winfield Parker, African dance and drumming, exhibits, the Minority Outreach Coalition Mini Health Fair, games, vendors, food and more.  Plus, there will also be an evening jazz concert featuring saxophonist Jaared!  To see the complete festival program, click here.

For fitness enthusiasts, there is also a Juneteenth/USCT Memorial Festival 5K Run/Walk to support the mission of the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions.  The 5K race will run through the old Lexington Manor neighborhood and on the paved path in adjacent Lancaster Park.  Both runners and walkers are invited to participate in the 5K.  Awards will be given to the top male and female overall, as well as to the top three males and females in each age group.  The entry fee for the 5K is $20 for pre-registrants or $25 on race day.  Register online at or by mail.  Register on race day from 7:45 a.m. until 8:45 a.m.  The race begins at 9 a.m.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, two months after the surrender of General Lee and more than two years after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, General Granger of the Union Army landed in Galveston, Texas and issued General Order No. 3 - All slaves are free.

For more information about the Juneteenth Celebration or the 5K Run/Walk, contact the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions at 301-862-4868 or visit

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Half Price Admission for Dad

Sotterley Plantation is offering a special gift for all fathers on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 20, 2010. From Noon - 4 p.m., fathers will receive a Guided Tour of the Plantation House at HALF PRICE.

You and your father are welcome to stroll the exquisite blooming gardens, walk the plantation grounds and nature trails, see the historic outbuildings including the original 1830’s Slave Cabin, or picnic out on the lawn while enjoying the breathtaking views of the Patuxent River at Sotterley Plantation. Top off the day with buying a memorable gift at the Museum Shop, now located in the NEW Visitors Center. It will be a day he will never forget!

For more information on upcoming Sotterley Plantation events, visit

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Mid-Summer Faire at Historic St. Mary's City on June 20

On Sunday, June 20, Historic St. Mary’s City will host a Mid-Summer Faire. Commoners and gentry are invited to spend the day enjoying merriment, games, music, entertainment, and competitions inspired by the colonial past. Sawing contests, wooden-horse jousting, pig races, juggling, and more! Food will be available from vendors throughout the day. Festivities will take place from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at each of Historic St. Mary's City’s living history sites. Admission is $10 for adults, $3.50 for children ages 6 to 12 years, and free for those ages 5 and younger.

For more information, visit or call the museum at 240-895-4990 or 800-SMC-1634.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

River Concert Series Music Festival Starts June 18

The 2010 St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) River Concert Series concert season kicks off Friday, June 18, when accomplished jazz and classical pianist Jeffrey Chappell joins the Chesapeake Orchestra and music director Jeffrey Silberschlag to perform American composer Samuel Barber’s “Piano Concerto.” The concert also includes Robert Schumann’s No. 1 “Spring.” The weekly celebrations on the college’s Townhouse Green continue every Friday through July 30 with world-class music and a variety of food from local vendors. Gates open at 5 p.m. and concerts start at 7 p.m. These outdoor concerts are free and open to the public, and picnic baskets are welcome.

The first evening concert celebrates the special birthdays of Barber’s 100th and Schumann’s 200th. Pennsylvania-born Barber won the Pulitzer Prize twice, in 1958 for his first opera “Vanessa” and in 1963 for his “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.” Critics call Schumann’s “Spring,” written in 1841, “exuberant and lyrical” and “melodic.”

Pianist Chappell has performed throughout the United States and abroad in recitals and at chamber music events. He has been a soloist with the symphony orchestras of Philadelphia, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Houston, and Denver, among others, as well as with the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque, the Missouri Symphony, and the Mississippi Symphony. His many appearances with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra include concerts at Carnegie Hall and Wolf Trap Park. Chappell is on the faculties of Goucher College in Baltimore and the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C.

Silberschlag, music director and conductor of the River Concert Series, Chesapeake Orchestra, and the Italian Alba Music Festival, has recorded with the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, and Czech Radio Orchestra. His performances have been hailed by European critics as thrilling, compelling, and outstanding. Silberschlag has collaborated with such artists as Hilary Hahn, Lara St. John, Terence Blanchard, the Ahn Trio, and Jane Monheit.

For more information, visit the River Concert Series web site at or call 240-895-3038.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Free At Last! Black History Celebration

Rescheduled from the Blizzard of February 2010! At Last, indeed! On June 26, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Sotterley Plantation is partnering with The Boeing Company to offer this important all day, free to the public event, as part of the 2010 Speaker Series: FREE at Last! ~ Black History Celebration!

As time passes, life changes. Learning from the tragic mistakes of the past, we come together as a community of FREE people. One of the ways to honor the past is to recognize: It should not be forgotten. Our reflection upon the past helps us to measure our progress and strive for improvement in the future. In the 1790’s, Sotterley held nearly 100 enslaved people, who were largely responsible for the prosperity of this once over 4,000 acre plantation. Today we honor the sacrifices, struggles, and survival of those who have been lifted.

For a full day, there will be character presentations, tours of the original 1830’s Slave Cabin, hands-on learning, children’s activities, and the soulful praising performances by the St. Peter Claver Choir at 11 a.m. and the Southern Maryland Gospel Choir at 2:00 p.m.

Sandi English will revive her performance of “Mammy Reminiscence” at 11 a.m. in the Customs Warehouse. Having mastered the art of African-American storytelling, she and her daughter Liana will transport guests back in time to when slaves risked all to make their way to freedom. At 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Ms. English will take on the persona of “Grandma Wisdom,” who recounts the significance of the more modern-day revolution for equality to her questioning granddaughter.

Sotterley Plantation Education Director Carolyn Hoey will give Slave Cabin Tours featuring slave inventories, new findings from the 2009 restoration project of this important structure, and a hands-on exhibit of day to day tools and household items used by the slaves.

Because of the generous grant and continued support from The Boeing Company, Sotterley Plantation is able to offer this important community outreach, fulfilling its mission of serving as an educational resource and cultural venue while it seeks to preserve, interpret and research the plantation’s diverse cultures and environments through its history.

This event is free to the public.  For more information, visit or call 301-373-2280.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fourth of July in St. Mary’s County

The Fourth of July weekend is always a special one in St. Mary’s County for residents and visitors.

The holiday weekend in 2010 will start for many on Friday, July 2 at the River Concert Series at St. Mary’s College. The July 2 concert will showcase the Chesapeake Orchestra and conclude with fireworks. On Saturday, July 3, the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department has an event-filled day planned and will launch fireworks after dusk. The Annual Independence Day Celebration and Concert will be held on Sunday, July 4 at Sotterley Plantation from 1-4.

The holiday weekend in St. Mary’s County will begin by “Summoning the Heroes” at the Lawn of St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Jeffrey Silberschlag and the Chesapeake Orchestra welcome the 4th of July weekend with music of John Williams, George Gershwin and Sousa Marches, featuring Brian Ganz, piano, the Sax Quartet from the “President’s Own Marine Band” in P. Goldstein’s “Abundant Air” and Ian Chaava, Young Artist Concerto Competition runner-up PLUS Fireworks!! Additional information about the River Concert Series can be found at

An old-fashioned Independence Day Celebration on July 3 is being staged at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department with live music by No Green Jelly Beenz from 7-11, carnival food and games in the evening and a car, truck and bike show during the day. A fireworks display is planned for dusk. For more information, call 240-925-7863 or visit

The Independence Day Concert at Sotterley on July 4 will feature the Concert on the Lawn. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Members of Sotterley and military families are free; other visitors will be charged one fee per car. For more information on membership and Sotterley, log on to

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Potomac River Maritime Exhibit Building and Kayak Launch Opens at Piney Point Historic Park

The Potomac River Maritime Exhibit Building and Kayak Launch at Piney Point Historic Park both open to the public on Friday, June 18 at 3 p.m. All are invited to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour the new exhibits.

Located at 44701 Lighthouse Road in Piney Point, Maryland, the county park and indoor exhibits are open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through September. The grounds are open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.
The Potomac River Maritime Exhibit Building houses the collection of four historic wooden vessels on loan from the Paul Hall School of Maritime Training and Education. The collection is comprised of a 67-foot skipjack (Joy Parks), an 84-foot bugeye (Dorothy A. Parsons), a log canoe, and Potomac River dory boat. The new exhibits include the “Working Boats of Yesteryear.” This exhibit is anchored by the immense 81-foot bugeye. Adjacent to the Potomac River log canoe is the “Harvest and Hauls” exhibit.

Also new is the “Waterways of Southern Maryland’ exhibit that gives visitors an orientation to their location in our region and to the Chesapeake Bay. Two additional exhibits continue the story: “Watermen and Their Life” and “Seasonal Cycles.” A new exterior sign for the Exhibit Building will also be debuted. These exhibits focus on the life of the watermen who make their livelihoods working the waters of the Potomac for crabs, fish and oysters.

A new recreational resource – a kayak launch – has been installed on the creek side of the park grounds. The launch will accommodate kayaks and canoes and will be available during museum operational hours.

The Park also contains the Piney Point Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on the Potomac River. The 35-foot lighthouse tower is open for climbing. The Piney Point Lighthouse, Museum and Historic Park is also accessible by boat, offering a sturdy handicap accessible pier with accompanying step down platform. The pier connects to the wooden boardwalk that surrounds the lighthouse grounds. The scenic riverside venue of the lighthouse park offers guests not only an aesthetic panorama and serene escape but comfortable benches and picnic tables to accommodate an extended visit.

This park and its exhibits are part of the county’s Department of Recreation and Parks Museum Division. For more information on joining the Friends of St. Clement’s Island and Piney Point Museums, a membership organization committed to supporting the county’s museums, contact Carol Cribbs at 301-769-2222. For more information on the museums, including directions and special events, call 301-769-2222 or log on to

Photos are available upon request.