BALTIMORE Predicted to be the largest event in Maryland's history, the Star-Spangled Spectacular, a weeklong celebration of the bicentennial of the United States national anthem, concluded September 13 with simultaneous celebrations at the city's Inner Harbor and the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.
The Fort McHenry event, which drew Vice President Joe Biden and dozens of other officials, featured performances by the United States Marine Band, singer Jordin Sparks, and others, and included the raising of a 30- by 42-foot American flag. At the same time, actor John Lithgow hosted a concert at Pier Six Pavilion in the Inner Harbor that included patriotic songs performed by Melissa Etheridge, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Little Big Town, and others. It was broadcast on PBS.
The buildup to the finale included numerous activities expected to draw more than 1.5 million visitors to the state. They included air shows featuring the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels, historical re-enactments, parades, cooking demonstrations, and a massive fireworks demonstration—all to mark the commemoration of Francis Scott Key's musical tribute to the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.
“It's such a monumental event in the nation's history and deserves to be celebrated,” said Sam Rogers, chief marketing officer of Visiting Baltimore, in a preview with reporters.
An event this big has some impressive figures backing it up. Here's a by-the-numbers look behind the event's production.
More than 98,000 pyrotechnic effects in the fireworks program from Fireworks by Grucci
10,160 miles of event fencing and scrim
Four concert and entertainment stages
66 live concerts
Two air shows featuring the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels, along with 50 Blue Angels crew and support personnel
364 portable toilets
2,500 crew members
7,000 Maryland school children forming a living bicentennial flag
500 Maryland National Guard members recreating the March of the Defenders
6,875 credentials for staff, volunteers, media, and vendors
2,550 touring visitors arriving in 51 motor coaches
533 signs and banners
55 food stalls and Papa John’s pizza stands
182 planning meetings and 16 planning committees