Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum CBMM hosts Community Block Party

(ST. MICHAELS, MD) On Sunday, May 22, 2016, the 18-acre waterfront campus of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will transform into festival grounds as the museum hosts its Community Block Party. Underwritten by a large number of generous community sponsors, the Block Party is offered free of charge and open to the general public. It will feature several performance stages, free boat rides, live music, regional foods and libations, Chesapeake-related family activities, and more.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., as seen here from the Miles River.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., as seen here from the Miles River.

“Our local and regional communities have been so supportive of the museum over its first 50 years,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “We wanted to host a celebration to say “thank you,” and to open our entire campus and exhibitions to the public-free of charge-so that everyone in our community can experience CBMM, whether it may be your first time coming to the museum, or you’re a regular. And with our sponsors’ support, we are able to host this very special day.”

Greenaway further commented that the museum’s Friends Board-comprised of community leaders who help guide the museum-fully supports the event as a way to help make the museum more accessible to everyone.

The Block Party’s presenting sponsors include CBMM’s Friends Board, Choptank Community Health Services, Phyllis and Marc Castelli and the Carla Massoni Gallery, the Miles River Yacht Club Foundation’s Sink or Swim Program (SOS), and media sponsors What’s Up Magazine and 96.7 WCEI, which will be broadcasting live throughout the event. In-kind event sponsors include Eastern Shore Tents & Events, Bay Hundred Covenant Churches, Rommel’s Ace Hardware, and Peach Blossom Events.

“The focus of the event is to celebrate community, and to give back to those we serve with an authentic Chesapeake festival experience,” said CBMM Friends Board and Block Party committee member Martha Austin. “So you’ll find lots of local talent and tastes to entertain and satisfy guests from all ages and interests, from near and far.”

The day’s events kick off at 9:00 a.m. with the Bay Hundred Covenant Churches’ tent service, which the public is invited to attend. The service includes leaders and congregations from area churches, with participants engaging in gospel singing and prayer. Covenant Churches works to unite the Town of St. Michaels and surrounding Bay Hundred community by connecting African-American and Anglo-American churches from throughout the area. Block Party activities officially start at 10:00 a.m., on both sides of CBMM’s Miles River waterfront campus.

Block Party-goers can plan on getting out on the water on a wide variety of vessels throughout the day. Guests can take a scenic river cruise on the museum’s 1920 buyboat Winnie Estelle, or explore St. Michaels harbor on a selection of historic boats in CBMM’s floating fleet. Kayaks and paddleboards and many of CBMM’s rowing and sailing small craft will also be available.

“These on-the-water activities are generously underwritten by the event’s sponsors, so we’re very pleased to be offering them free of charge,” said Greenaway. “The sponsor support and community engagement around this event warms our hearts, and really hits a high note in helping to further our mission.”

With three performance stages, CBMM will be highlighting the arts and numerous local talent at the May 22 Block Party. Live music from area bands will begin at 10:00 a.m. from the historic Tolchester Beach Bandstand, with local youth talent featured on an under-18 performance stage, as well as on an “unplugged” youth sound stage. Stage sponsors include The Talbot Bank, Mid-Shore Dance Academy, Sherwood Auto of Salisbury, Ben Franklin Crafts, Kiln Born Creations, The SRVP Group – A Baird Financial Company, and Hair O’ the Dog Wine & Spirits. The program is sponsored in part by the Talbot County Arts Council, with funding from Talbot County and the Towns of Easton, Oxford, and St. Michaels.

In celebration of the arts, Ouvert Gallery of St. Michaels will present an “Out of the Box” art exposé, with Block Party-goers participating in workshops featuring artists using varying mediums throughout the day. St. Michaels Art League’s plein-air artists will capture the day in paint and provide demonstrations throughout the day.

Family activities include an inflatable playground, pottery-painting, and a putting green sponsored by Hog Neck Golf Course. Health screenings will also be offered by presenting sponsor Choptank Community Health. Activity sponsors include Beat the Rush Delivery, BJ’s Wholesale Club of Easton, Blackwater Paddle and Pedal Adventures, McHale Landscape Design, Ouvert Gallery, and Rising Tide Partners.

A variety of regional foods will be available for purchase, including healthy choice options and a selection of sweets and coffee, offered at the Steamboat decks and hosted by San Domingo Fair Trade Coffee & Goods, and Sinful Desserts. Edna’s Lounge will be set up on the deck of Oystering on the Chesapeake, offering seating with waterfront views and kid-friendly drinks, along with cold beer, Rum Rosie’s, and other libations.

While at the museum, guests can take in several special exhibitions, including the Hollyday photo exhibition featuring iconic Eastern Shore images in the Van Lennep Auditorium, and the special Chesapeake Ammo, Camo and Calls exhibition in the Waterfowling Building. Boatyard demonstrations will take place throughout the event, with guests seeing progress on the build of a 25′ Hooper Island draketail, which completes this summer.

Entry to the Block Party, its boat rides and CBMM activities is free for all museum guests, with event hours from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Food, beverages, and some activities will be additional.

Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. Serving more than 70,000 guests each year, the museum’s campus includes a floating fleet of historic boats and 12 exhibition buildings, situated on 18 waterfront acres along the Miles River and St. Michaels’ harbor. For more information, visit