What an Incredible Week to Live in South Baltimore

| September 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

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On Tuesday night the Orioles clinched their first American League East Division Title since 1997. It was their first time doing so at home since 1969 and it was AMAZING, but only part of what was an unbelievable last seven days around South Baltimore.

‘Let’s Go O’s’ chants, the roar of the Blue Angels, the chopping of presidential helicopters, the bangs from six sets of fireworks bursting in air at once, wind rippling through sails of ships from all over the world, celebrities and service members belting out the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner (“O”),  ‘Move Those Chains’ cheers from the upper and lower decks of M&T Bank Stadium, and chants from Battle of Baltimore reenactments were just some of the sounds heard around South Baltimore this past week.

photo 2Baltimore celebrated the 200 year anniversary of the end of the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner with the Star-Spangled Spectacular from September 10th-16th. During that time the Ravens hosted their archrival the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Orioles welcomed in the Yankees as well as the second place Toronto Blue Jays. It is safe to say Baltimore came out on top on all of these events.

The Star-Spangled Spectacular lived up to its name as hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of people took in the festivities. Some of the most beautiful ships from the United States and around the world sailed into Charm City and docked at the Inner Harbor, with visitors lining up to take tours. What a sight to see.

photo 5The sounds of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels roared over the city for four straight days and seemingly everyone stopped to watch. I personally will never forget seeing the formations fly over Camden Yards on Friday in the middle of the Orioles game, as players, fans and umpires alike stopped what they were doing to take a look. The roar of the jets was later followed by the roar of the crowd (almost as loud) as the O’s had a walk-off win that day.

The fireworks show was billed as the biggest in the history of Maryland and it sure was special. I was lucky enough to sit on a boat on the Patapsco River with sight lines of all six barges. It was an incredible show that featured fireworks in the shape of the U.S. flag, as well as the spelling out of 1814 and USA.

The week was also filled with events featuring reenactments, cooking demonstrations, concerts, beer gardens, the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs, films, plays, and more. I had a chance to watch “Star-Spangled Banner: Anthem of Liberty” on the IMAX screen at the Maryland Science Center and thoroughly enjoyed it.

photoIf anyone was keeping track (I was), Baltimore sports teams went 7-1 during the Star-Spangled Spectacular. The Ravens put on a great show on Thursday Night Football as first responders were honored on the anniversary of 9/11, a U.S. Navy choir sang the Star-Spangled Banner, the Blue Angels were announced, purple and gold fireworks bursted in the air, and the Ravens topped their opponent by a score of 26-6.

The Orioles went 6-1 during the Spectacular in the midst of a streak where the O’s have won 10 out of their last 11 games. Home games at Camden Yards included taking three of four games against the Yankees, a series which included the Blue Angels flying over on Saturday and Sunday as well as the team wearing Star-Spangled Banner-inspired uniforms on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, a game that featured jumps from the U.S. Navy Leapfrogs and another walk-off victory.

photo 1The Orioles then took their next two games from Toronto on Monday and Tuesday, clinching the O’s first division title in 17 years. It was a playoff atmosphere that featured numerous “Let’s Go O’s” chants, the fans singing “O’Day, O’Day, O’Day,” and an inning and a half straight of standing before the O’s recorded the final out. The place was electric.

The team celebrated on the field, in the clubhouse, and then back on the field – the fans celebrated the whole time. The celebrations lasted for more than an hour after the game ended as Adam Jones did a lap around the stadium shaking hands and giving hugs, before coming back later to throw pies in the face of some lucky fans leading to ear-to-ear smiles. The champagne and beer showers were endless. It was truly a night to remember for any O’s fan, bringing such joy to a fan base that has recently endured a streak of 14 straight losing seasons and 17 years with out a division championship.

photo 4If any week featured just the Ravens topping the Steelers, or the O’s winning the American League East, or shows by the Blue Angels, or a huge tourism event in the Inner Harbor, it would be considered a great week. For all of that to happen in one week: SPECTACULAR.

What an amazing week to live in South Baltimore!

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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.