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Heritage Days Plans Announced

May 25th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

In a city loaded with history beginning long before the American Revolution, creating a festival to celebrate its heritage made sense in 1968.  Forty-eight years later, Cumberland’s official street festival, Heritage Days is still going strong and offers something for everyone from children to history buffs to arts and crafts collectors and those who just love festival food. This year’s festival is on schedule for Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12. Filled with arts and crafts, music and other street entertainment, a children’s carnival and plenty of festival food, Heritage Days is located on historic Washington Street, known for its magnificent Victorian homes and Downtown Cumberland.


History buffs will enjoy visiting the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, the original site of Fort Cumberland and the festival’s base for the mini-encampment of the Maryland Forces from Fort Frederick who will be practicing military drills and offering questions and answer periods.  The Army of Potomac, 3rd MD Co. B, Vincent's Brigade will also have a living encampment of Civil War soldiers on the church's grounds. Also located at Emmanuel Episcopal Church will be the Band of Merry Gamesters demonstrating a variety of 18th century toys and games.


New this year, artist John Paul Strain and his paintings will be available for sale in the Parish Hall. For over 30 years American artist John Paul Strain has been amazing art collectors with his unique talent of capturing moments in time from the early days of the American Frontier, the glory and pageantry of the American Civil War, to contemporary scenic and romantic locations across the world.


Tours of the tunnels under Emmanuel Episcopal Church will also be available.  The tunnels were part of the original Fort Cumberland and date from the late 1700s. Later they served as part of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War.  Church members will host one of the festival’s most popular dining opportunities – Strawberry Shortcake and Salad Luncheon. The congregation will also be hosting a rummage sale on the back parking lot benefiting Children’s Miracle Network.


Heritage Days Festival is host to over 125 artisans and food vendors who fill up the sidewalks on Washington and Baltimore Streets presenting their handmade items and tasty treats. Several of the vendors come back every year and consider Heritage Days as one of their favorite summer festivals. Heritage Days is also an important fundraising opportunity for many local organizations such as Alhambra, Allegany County Animal Shelter, several churches and other non-profit organizations.


Both festival days feature a variety of musical entertainment with a mix of Americana styles. Street entertainers will be also be performing at crowd level during the festival. The Channel Cats and Pan Jammin’ Steel Band are among the musical groups performing during Heritage Days.

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