Sailors, mayor kickoff Star-Spangled Sailabration

Baltimore Business Journal

June 14, 2012,

Editorial Intern- Baltimore Business Journal

From taking in Baltimore Orioles    games to visiting local neighborhoods, sailors from across the world are touring Charm City this week as part of the ongoing Star-Spangled Sailabration to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

Some crew members from tall ships and navy vessels visited Oriole Park for Wednesday night’s game, while others spent Thursday morning volunteering across town. Nearly 80 U.S. sailors, for example, helped plant a community garden at the Howard Peter Rawlings Conservatory and Botanical Garden in Druid Hill Park. Another 40 on Thursday morning volunteered with Meals on Wheels.

“I do not have to ask if the crew members are having a good time because I saw them out all over the place,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Thursday morning. “I know they’re not going to get into too much trouble in Baltimore, but they are having a good time. I did see a few of them down in Fells Point, so I don’t know if I can say [they are] not getting into too much trouble.”

The Star-Spangled Sailabration officially kicked off Thursday morning with the USS Constellation firing a commemorative cannon, the Navy’s Blue Angels zipping over the Inner Harbor and many of the more than 40 tall ships and vessels opening to the public for tours. In all, hundreds of thousands of tourists are expected to take in the events that run through June 19. On Saturday and Sunday, the Blue Angels will perform an air show over Baltimore.

U.S. Navy Capt. Brian O. Walden said Thursday the event is a chance to showcase the ships to the general public.

“This is a great opportunity for the public to see these ships — many of them are historic ships — because it gives them an idea of what the sailors do on board, what the life is like,” he said.

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