Orioles Opening Day – April 5, 2013

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Opening Day is this Friday April 5th at 3pm. Are you going to be at Camden Yards to watch the Orioles begin their 60th baseball season in Baltimore? If you hadn’t planned on it, you should. The Orioles are eager to continue where they left off last year – making the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. And so far they have done just that with a winning Spring Training season and breaking attendance records at their home stadium in Sarasota. Opening Day will be filled with excitement, hot dogs, beer, good friends, sunshine (hopefully) and of course baseball. The game is sold out, but you never know who may have an extra. So even if you don’t have a ticket, go downtown at lunchtime and party with the rest of Baltimore at the Pickles block party across from Camden Yards. Click here for Opening Day plans. See you at The Yard!

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Maryland 2012, year in review

2012 was a stormy year in Maryland filled with great achievements and unthinkable tragedies. Here are a few moments that we will never forget.

Derecho summer storm

Derecho summer storm

On June 29th a derecho storm blew through Maryland causing hundreds of thousands to lose power. A derecho storm is a series of  severe thunderstorms with hurricane-force winds. This summer storm brought winds as high as 70 mph. Besides power outages, Maryland’s derecho storm caused downed trees, crushed cars, and roofs blown off houses. Six months later on October 29th, Hurricane Sandy ripped through the Atlantic Coast. Although Maryland was not hit as hard as New Jersey, Sandy did cause damage – especially in Ocean City. This storm caused downed trees and flooding throughout Maryland and almost 200,000 people were without power. The fishing pier at the inlet in Ocean City was severely damaged, as was some of the boardwalk.

Maryland Live Casino

Maryland Live Casino

Maryland Live Casino, the third largest commercial casino in the U.S., opened on June 6th with long lines and causing terrible traffic. Maryland Live is a $500 million casino located at Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, MD. Along with 4,750 slot machines, Maryland Live is also home to great restaurants such as Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace, The Cheesecake Factory, Phillips Seaford and The Prime Rib and concert venue Rams Head Center Stage. The casino just began 24-hour operation this week and has plans for table games in 2013. Maryland Live Casino has generated more than $1 million a day for five of the past six months that it has been open. Almost half of its revenues goes to the state’s Education Trust Fund, which is used for health, education, public safety and environmental programs.

Ellicott City train derailment

Ellicott City train derailment

Two unthinkable tragedies occurred in the same week in August. On August 21st, 21 cars of an 80-car freight train derailed in historic Ellicott City killing two young women who were sitting along the train tracks. Elizabeth Conway Nass and Rose Mayr, both 19, were from Ellicott City and were scheduled to return to college the following week. The train derailment also caused damage to many parked cars in nearby lots as well loss of business to many restaurants and shops while Main Street was closed. Just six days later on the first day of school, there was a shooting at Perry Hall High School. One student opened fire in the cafeteria, shooting and seriously injuring another student, Daniel Borowy. Luckily no one was killed thanks to the heroics of one of the teachers.

Cal Ripken and his statue

Cal Ripken and his statue

2012 was a great year in Maryland sports. It was the year Orioles Magic returned to Baltimore, and we proudly admitted that we were Orioles fans! For the first time in 15 years, the Baltimore Orioles made it into the playoffs. Throughout the season, the Orioles unveiled statues of its Hall of Famers. September 6th marked the 17th anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr.’s 2131 record-breaking game (for most consecutive games played). Cal’s statue was unveiled with much fanfare and a pregame ceremony that had fans arriving hours before the first pitch. Another team in Baltimore also made the playoffs in 2012. For the fifth consecutive year, the Ravens made the playoffs winning the AFC North division. And Baltimore native Michael Phelps broke the record for winning the most Olympic medals on July 31st when he won his 19th, a gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

Orioles Magic

Orioles Magic

What will you remember about 2012? Hopefully next year’s review will have more achievements and less tragedies. Have a safe and happy new year – 2013!

5 Things to Do this Last Weekend Before School Starts

Next weekend is Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of Summer. But this weekend is the last weekend before schools start in Baltimore and Howard Counties – and there are a lot of great activities going on. We have picked five great events going on in our communities this weekend.

Ellicott City

  • In the wake of the tragedy of the train derailment in Ellicott City, residents are coming together to support the businesses on Main Street in an event called Main Street Appreciation Weekend. They are asking everyone to come to Main Street in Historic Ellicott City this weekend to shop, eat and drink.
  • The Party on the Plaza Concert Series continues this weekend at The Avenue at White Marsh. Junkyard Saints play tonight and S.T.O.R.M Reggae Band play Saturday. Music starts at 7pm and the beer garden opens at 6:30pm.
  • Frederick Road Fridays continues tonight in Catonsville on Egges Lane with Jay Cleaver & the Love Leaders. Music starts at 6:30pm, and there is a beer garden at Jennings.
  • The Maryland State Fair starts today in Timonium and runs through September 3rd. There is great food, fun rides, crafts and lots of animals – fun for the whole family!
  • This weekend the Orioles are back in town, and today is Cal Ripken Jr’s 52nd birthday. If you can’t make it tonight, the Orioles are also playing the Blue Jays Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Get to the Yard and support our team who is going to the playoffs for the first time in over 10 years! Go O’s!

Go Orioles!