Star-Spangled Spectacular Begins in Baltimore - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Star-Spangled Spectacular Begins in Baltimore

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BALTIMORE, Md. (WBOC/AP) The Star-Spangled Spectacular, begins Wednesday and runs through the weekend, marking the 200th anniversary of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

On Tuesday, Fort McHenry welcomed thousands to form the Human Flag in 1914 - 100 years after the British bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

More than 6,600 schoolchildren, teachers and others from across Maryland to form the Star-Spangled Banner Living Flag, a visual kickoff for the seven-day Star-Spangled Spectacular festival commemorating the national anthem's bicentennial.

The National Park Service, Friends of Fort McHenry and Living Classrooms Foundation hosted Tuesday's event at the fort known as the birthplace of the anthem written by Francis Scott Key as Baltimore defended itself from a British naval attack in September 1814.

Students in grades four through eight wore shiny red, white and blue ponchos and took about two hours to form a 15-star, 13-stripe flag that Fort McHenry curator Gregory Weidman mapped out using GPS technology.

Lisa Hansen, director of Friends of Fort McHenry, said it took more than 130 buses to transport students from every school district in Maryland except Dorchester, Kent, St. Mary's and Talbot counties. Each stripe, she said, was made up of hundreds of students. It took 20 youngsters to make each star.

More than 1 million visitors are predicted to come to the harbor. Organizers said it will be a great opportunity to bring in money, promote the city and celebrate the national anthem.

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