Today marks the official opening of “museum season” in nearby Frederick County, and to celebrate several participating museums and historic sites across the community are ringing in the season with Frederick County Bell and History Days. This community-wide event will entail numerous special events, living history programs, tours, hands-on activities, music, food and much more.
Frederick County Bell and History Day will officially kickoff today, April 5, at 10 a.m. with the ringing of the Frederick County History Bell at the Frederick County Visitor Center on S. East Street. Visitors are invited to step up and take turns at ringing the bell. Following the official bell ringing, the Visitor Center will be open for visitors to see the various exhibits and enjoy a visitor orientation film to be shown.
The Passport to History program will then commence. For this, visitors will pick up passports from the Visitor Center and then visit the various participating museums throughout the day, getting stamps along the way with each museum visit. Everyone who participates will be awarded a souvenir bell and will also have a chance at the grand prize.
Bell and History Days will be on-going throughout the day with museum visits and specials. Be sure to stay around or come back tomorrow, April, 6 for the Handbell Festival in Emmitsburg. At the Basilica of the National Shrine of Elizabeth Ann Seton, hundreds of bells will be ringing in a grand finale to the weekend festivities that includes a special concert titled Let Freedom Ring.
Starting at 5 p.m., this year’s concert theme commemorates the 150th anniversary of emancipation in the State of Maryland as well as the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream,” speech. This concert is free and open to the public. It lasts approximately one hour.
The concert will be made up of six bell ensembles, from various churches, each playing special solo selections. Handbell choirs will be included in each. Selections will include well-known favorites such as Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” and “Feel the Spirit,” by Lloyd Larson. Both secular and sacred musical selections will be performed from St. Peter’s Church Handbell Choir, Evangelical Bells from Evangelical Lutheran Church, Grace-notes Handbell Choir from Mt. Airy Presbyterian, Glade Tower Handbell Choir from Glade United Church of Christ, Grace Moravian Church Handbell Choir and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Handbell Choir.
Come be a part of Frederick County’s community celebration to welcome in the start of museum season and enjoy all the weekend happenings to be had. For more information, visit