Thursday, June 23, 2011

4th of July Festivities in St. Mary's County

St. Mary's County has a number of events over the 4th of July weekend where you can enjoy live music, fireworks, and time with family and friends.

Independence Day Weekend: Thomas Jefferson in his own words - River Concert Series

The Chesapeake Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Jeffrey Silberschlag will offer readings from Thomas Jefferson set to music and lots of festive, patriotic music, plus a salute to Naval Aviation's 100th Anniversary during the River Concert Series on July 1!  There will also be fireworks at the end of the concert.  The concert begins at 7 p.m. at St. Mary's College of Maryland on the lawn of the Townhouse Green.  Food and beverages will be available for purchase.  For more information, call 240-895-4107 or visit  

Independence Day Celebration - Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department

On July 2, the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department will be holding it's Independence Day Celebration from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.!  There will be a variety of food vendors; a car, truck and bike show; kids games; live music by The Craze and HydraFX; and fireworks.  The cost is $5 per vehicle for spectators parking all day.  For more information, call 301-373-2900 or click here to view the flyer.

An Independence Day Celebration Concert - Sotterley Plantation

Sotterley Plantation is holding its annual Independence Day Celebration Concert on July 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.!  The event features the patriotic music renditions of the Chesapeake Orchestra Brass Quintet led by Maestro Jeffrey Silberschlag of St. Mary's College of Maryland.  Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch, lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy a wonderful afternoon of music on the Portico amidst the breathtaking view of the Patuxent River.  Bruster's Real Ice Cream, "On A Roll," and Sir Pops A Lots will be selling concessions.  There will also be a brown bag raffle, silent auction, and childrens activities.  All those with Military ID and their families are invited to celebrate this event free of charge.  General admission is $10 per vehicle.  For more information, call 301-373-2280 or visit

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Experience Military Life at a Confederate Encampment at Cecil's Old Mill

Historian John Griffin wrote, "It is said that the first casualty of war is truth and that the victors write and perpetuate the history. There are two sides to every story, two sides to a conflict, and while it would seem simple to record and report history, it has always been open to different interpretations. Somewhere along the line the Southern perspective has been obscured." The Sons of Confederate Veterans is an organization dedicated preserving and presenting the Southern perspective to the War Between The States.

On Saturday, June 18th at the Cecil's Historic District in Great Mills, Maryland, the life of the Southern soldier in 1861 will be recreated during the SCV Camp #1359, Captain Vincent Camalier Encampment. Members of SCV Camp #1359 will faithfully recreate an encampment of 10 canvas tents, authentically furnished in 19th century military style. Using their historically accurate uniforms, weapons, and equipment, camp members will educate visitors on the history of the war as experienced by the Southern soldier.

The day will begin with the Striking of the Colors by the SCV Honor Guard. Throughout the day there will be black powder firing demonstrations, campfire cooking exhibits, and tours of the soldiers sleeping quarters. There will also be an opportunity for kids to play some of the popular children's games from that time. Folksinger Bob Simmons will perform many of his original songs about the history of St. Mary's. There will be live bluegrass music from 1-3 p.m. on the front porch of Cecil's Country Store, and storyteller/historian, J.B. Couch will be on hand to delight visitors with his talents. Tasty food and cool drinks will be available for sale by the Optimist Club, with ice cream across the street at the Old Mill.
While at the encampment, visitors can also tour Cecil's Old Mill. Located in one of Maryland’s first Industrial Districts, Cecil's Mill was originally built as a cotton/ textile factory in the 1800's. It was later transformed into a grist mill and saw mill. After restoration in the late 70's, Cecil's Old Mill became a National Landmark in Historic St. Mary's County. Today, the mill exhibits artifacts including its working water wheel, and is home to some of the finest local arts and handmade crafts for sale. The historic district also includes Cecil’s Country Store and Post Office.

Cecil's Old Mill is located at 20854 Indian Bridge Road, Great Mills, MD. The encampment will be open to the public between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 18th, 2011. For more information on Cecil's Old Mill, call 301-994-1510 or visit their Facebook page.

For additional information, contact Dawna Wible at 301-994-9622. Questions may be e-mailed to Dawna at

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Family Fun with St. Clement's Island Heritage

St. Clement’s Island Heritage Day is this Saturday, June 11, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.! Take a free boat ride on the St. Clement’s Island Museum’s water taxi or the Mildred Belle, an historic oyster buy boat used by the Living Classrooms of the National Capital region.

Discover St. Clement’s Island State Park and its history as the site of Maryland’s first colonial landing in 1634. Kids will enjoy playing heritage games and listening to the folk tunes of Joe Norris from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Other participants include Frank Maio with information and gear of the colonial militia, Cathy Gallagher from Historic St. Mary’s City with hands-on learning about the Native Americans, and reenactors portraying the island’s first colonial owner Dr. Thomas Gerard and his little daughter, Elizabeth.

Enjoy the scenic and natural beauty of the island, Potomac River, and waterfowl with a walk along the hiking trail with Greg Kerns from Patuxent River Park in Upper Marlboro, an Osprey expert. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at the pavilion or any of the tables dotting the island shore. The recreated Blackistone Lighthouse will be open and available for tours. Wear comfortable walking shoes, sun screen, and bring the camera, binoculars and plenty of water (available for sale on the island and in the museum store). Children may enjoy making sandcastles on the beach area, but no swimming is allowed.

In addition, the St. Clement's Island Museum will be open with free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is handicap accessible (the island is not handicap accessible). A 13-minute orientation film gives the visitor a comprehensive history of the island and the building of the Blackistone Lighthouse replica. Local photographer Bill Conway will offer an exhibit of St. Clement’s Island photos. The Crab Claw Museum Store will be open with an array of unique gifts, souvenirs, home decor, clothing, jewelry, books, and so much more.

Located on the museum grounds will be the St. Mary’s County Master Gardeners with free Black-eyed Susan seed packets and abundant information about how to raise and maintain Maryland’s official state flower.

The St. Clement’s Island Museum is located at 38370 Point Breeze Road in Colton’s Point, MD. For more information please call the St. Mary's County Museum Division at 301-769-2222 or visit In the event of rain or high wind boat service will be canceled and exhibitors and elements of the program will be moved inside the museum.