Celebrate Chesapeake holiday traditions at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

On Thursday, December 8 from 4 to 7:00 p.m., the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is inviting the public to celebrate the holidays with a ceremony that includes caroling, the lighting of a tree atop the mast of a traditional Chesapeake workboat, children’s story time and holiday crafts, store discounts, and the lighting of the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse.

cbmm-1879-hooper-strait-lighthouseEach year, CBMM’s campus is decorated in holiday greenery—created by CBMM volunteers and staff—and can be seen among the museum’s historic structures, exhibitions buildings, and boats along the St. Michaels Harbor and Miles River.

Free children’s craft activities will be offered in the Welcome Center throughout the event, with CBMM volunteers and staff helping to create holiday and bird seed ornaments, candles, and popcorn stringing.

Three children’s story times will be hosted in the Welcome Center. Santa Claws, The Christmas Crab by Priscilla Cummings will be read at 4:30 p.m.; Santa and the Skipjack by Janie Meneely at 5:00 p.m.; and Lighthouse Christmas by Toni Buzzeo at 5:30 p.m. All books relate to the Chesapeake Bay and are available at the Museum Store, with proceeds supporting CBMM.

While children enjoy these activities, parents, grandparents and all adults are invited to shop in the Museum Store, enjoy a wine bar, and free gift wrapping. During the event, CBMM members will receive a one-day-only, 25% total member discount on their total Museum Store purchases. Half-priced gift memberships to the museum will also be available for purchase. The evening concludes with a drawing for three lighted crab pot spheres, generously donated by the LumberYard of St. Michaels, Md., with tickets sold at the Museum Store before and during the event.

Beginning at 5:00 p.m., Maureen Curtin and Company will greet participants inside the Museum Store with traditional holiday caroling. At 6:00 p.m., participants will gather near the Crab Claw for the lighting of the tree atop the mast of Old Point, followed by a procession to the lighting of the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse. Caroling will continue in the Museum Store.

The historic lighthouse once lit the way for boats passing through the shallow, dangerous shoals of Hooper Strait, a thoroughfare for boats bound from the Chesapeake Bay across Tangier Sound to Deals Island or places along the Nanticoke and Wicomico Rivers.

Old Point is a 1909 seven-log crab dredger built in Poquoson, Va. From the 1910s through the 1960s, she was part of Hampton, Va.’s crab dredging fleet. Old Point’s hull was built the old-fashioned way, hewn from seven pine logs.

CBMM is currently restoring another historic log-bottomed boat, the 1889 bugeye Edna E. Lockwood, with all work now being done in full public view through 2018. Updates and more about the project are at ednalockwood.org.

The December 8 event is free and open to the public, with ample parking and no need for reservations. For more information, visit cbmm.org or call 410-745-2916.