Safety Zone Set for War of 1812 Bicentennial Bash

Dozens of tall ships and U.S. Navy vessels, as well as an expected large spectator fleet, will sail up the Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore beginning June 12.

The U.S. Coast Guard has defined the safety zone it will enforce June 12-20 when dozens of tall ships and U.S. Navy vessels, as well as an expected large spectator fleet, sail up the Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore for activities celebrating the bicentennial of the War of 1812. The state of Maryland begins a three-year commemoration of the war with these events, with nearby Fort McHenry being a focal point.

Francis Scott Key wrote the American national anthem while watching British ships bombard the fort in September 1814 during the Battle of Baltimore.

The Coast Guard's temporary rule outlining the moving safety zone says some normal operations at the Port of Baltimore will be curtailed, but the agency promised to minimize interference with the port as much as possible. The zone is all waters within 500 yards of any War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemorations vessel longer than 100 feet while it is operating in the navigable waters of the bay or its tributaries.

Besides the maritime activities, an air show featuring the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels aerobatic team will take place June 16-17 above the Baltimore harbor and Fort McHenry, with large crowds expected.

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