Skip Navigation

The War of 1812 in Baltimore County

The Defenders Day – Battle of North Point

Image of soldiers marchingSeptember 6, 7 and 8

Baltimore County’s Battle of North Point is a prominent part of American history. The Defenders Day event, marking the battle, takes place annually at Fort Howard in Baltimore County on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

This commemorative event and reenactment exhibits the part Baltimore County played in the War of 1812. Sponsors of this event, the Dundalk Patapsco Neck Historical Society and Baltimore County Tourism and Promotion, are holding the two-day demonstration on September 6 and 7. On Monday, September 8, a fireworks display will be held on the grounds of Sparrows Point High School.  

Learn more about this year's Defenders Day event.

Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society and Museum Receives Grant for Star-Spangled 200

Image of governor presenting grantOn March 25, Governor Martin O’Malley presented the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society and Museum with a $35,000 matching grant in support of the Defenders Day at North Point event to be held on September 6, 7 and 8.

The Dundalk Patapsco Neck Historical Society and Museum and Baltimore County Tourism and Promotion joined 14 other non-profit and government organizations across Maryland which together received $765,000 in grant awards for this round. Defenders Day at North Point interprets and commemorates military actions that happened on Monday, September 12, 1814 – better known as the Battle of North Point.

Chesapeake Campaign 

Various Sites along the Chesapeake - April 2013 to September 2014

Image of Maryland Chesapeake Campaign logoDozens of Maryland Communities around the Bay share a national story of triumph, which began April 1813, when the British began their assault at the head of the Bay and climaxed September, 1814, shortly after the burning of the nation's Capital with the dramatic, successful defense of Baltimore. The story of Maryland's fight for the nation will be celebrated through the Chesapeake Campaign, a traveling festival featuring re-enactors, hands-on educational activities, performances, food, drink and interactive fun along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail.

Learn more about the Chesapeake Campaign

The 200th March of the Defenders

Image of March of the Defenders logoThis year is not only the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner and the Battles of North Point and Baltimore, it is also the 200th anniversary of the 1-175th Infantry Regiment of the Maryland National Guard (MDNG). To commemorate this occasion, the Guard will participate in the 200th March for Defenders. On Thursday, September 11, beginning at 10 a.m., 500 uniformed men and women of the Maryland National Guard will march the six-mile route along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail that Maryland’s Defenders – the Maryland Militia – marched 200 years ago to defend Baltimore and the nation from the British invasion.

The six-mile march begins in Baltimore City’s Patterson Park, proceeds east along Eastern Avenue crossing into Baltimore County and turning south at North Point Road to Battle Acre Park. Governor Martin O’Malley and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will send-off the troops in the City and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz will greet them at Battle Acre. A special wreath-laying ceremony featuring representatives from the British Embassy will conclude events at 1:30 p.m. The six-mile segment of American history, now connecting neighborhoods of diverse patriotic Americans, will be decorated with red, white and blue gardens and 15 star/15 stripe flags.

The Star-Spangled Festival at Martin State Airport

Saturday, September 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, September 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Martin State Airport
701 Wilson Point Road
Baltimore, MD 21220

Image of blue angels airplanesThe Blue Angels’ air show will not be seen at the Martin State Airport Festival – the show will be performed over Fort McHenry in Baltimore City. Visitors to the Festival at Martin State can see the Blue Angels take-off and land only on Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14 – take-off: approximately 1:30 p.m., land: approximately 4 p.m.   

Martin State Airport is opening its doors for two full days of festivities. Visit the Airport between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14. Parking is free with shuttles running from parking areas to the festival all day. Handicapped accessible shuttles are part of the fleet.

The Festival Village

Once at the Airport, there is a lot to do! The Festival Village offers local Maryland foods and crafts, Blue Angels souvenirs, music, and the Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum. History booths and demos tell the story of the U.S. Navy, aviation, and the War of 1812. Approach the ramp to see interesting aircraft on display. Talk to the actual pilots (plane side) about their aircraft and aviation.

Visiting the Aircraft

Image of plane in take-offAll ramp visitors will be screened by U.S. Navy personnel using metal detectors and other security devices so please pay attention to the “What Should I Bring?” section. For the safety and enjoyment of visitors, Star-Spangled Spectacular has adopted a bag policy.

Once approved to visit the ramp, visitors can see certain “static” aircraft along with flight personnel alongside the plane. Some will line up in formation and become airborne. 

The featured take-off and landing demonstration will be performed by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. Beginning at approximately 1:30 p.m., the six planes will prepare for take-off to perform the air show over Fort Mc Henry in Baltimore City (2 to 4 p.m.). 

While awaiting the Blue Angels return at approximately 4 p.m., visitors can see the Maryland Air National Guard’s own iconic aircraft, the A-10, normally stationed at Martin State. Visit historic and lovingly restored aircraft collected and “revived” by the Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum staff. Other static displays include Marine Corps aircraft, Coast Guard SAR, Leap Frogs C-130, DV’s 53s, Canada 2 helos.

Blue Angels Autographs

Once the Blue Angels Jet Team returns to Martin State and engines shut down, some lucky visitors can shake hands with the Blue Angels and get their autographs. 

Maryland’s Aviation Firsts

Take in the Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum in Hangar five. (You do not go through screening if only visiting the Festival Area or Glenn L. Martin Museum.) Learn about Maryland’s legendary aviation industry. Did you know Maryland is home to the world's oldest airport, three major aircraft manufacturers, the first commuter airline, and countless other aviation innovations? The Museum is full of aviation stories and owns thousands of reels of motion picture film, building plans, documents, research models, aircraft tools, and a gigantic collection of over 200,000 aviation and company photographs. They also possess more than a dozen historic aircraft in various states of rehabilitation. The entrance to the Museum is handicapped accessible.

What Should I Bring?

Pack lightly but include photo ID, sunscreen, hat, and, if you are sound sensitive, earplugs. If you are hoping for a Blue Angels’ autograph, bring your autograph book or paper and pen. Comfortable shoes are highly recommended. Prohibited items include: Backpacks, ice chests/coolers.

Special Notes

The festival area (including food vendors, souvenir vendors, musical entertainment, demonstrations, spot-a-pots, etc.) is located on the cement parking lot in front of hangars. Aircraft on display are accessed through the security checkpoint and up a slight incline. The ramp is also where the Blue Angels take-off, land, and meet the public at day’s end. Most visitors will find the level ground of the festival area comfortable. There is a shaded grassy area with a few picnic tables. The Museum is indoors. 


Get driving directions to Martin State Airport.

Francis Scott Key Memorial Buoy Commissioning

Image of young children on drumsBaltimore County Office of Tourism and Promotion participated in the Francis Scott Key Memorial Buoy Commissioning on June 5. The U.S. Coast Guard, dignitaries, Star-Spangled Spectacular representatives, and members of the Fort McHenry fife and drum corps were on hand to set the buoy in the Baltimore Harbor commemorating the position where Key observed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British in 1814. Baltimore County was honored to be part of the celebration!

Enhancements Underway at North Point Sites

Baltimore County and the State of Maryland are working in partnership to dramatically enhance the visitor experience at Battle Acre Park and North Point State Battlefield. Both sites preserve portions of the ground upon which the Battle of North Point was fought on September 12, 1814, in southeastern Baltimore County.

Image of soldiers with cannonThe Battle of North Point was a significant ground engagement in which approximately 3,200 Maryland militiamen stood up against an invading British force of approximately 4,200 experienced infantrymen and royal marines. The battle slowed the British land advance against Baltimore and resulted in the death of the British land commander. The battle preceded by one day the bombardment of Fort McHenry, the better-known action that inspired our national anthem. The Battle of North Point and the defense of Fort McHenry comprise the Battle of Baltimore, which took place in September of 1814 during the War of 1812.  

Baltimore County is leading restoration and improvement of Battle Acre Park, a one-acre parcel that was dedicated to the public in 1839 as a means of commemorating the battle and ensuring it would not be forgotten. The county’s goal is to restore components of the site’s historic architecture, including the granite pillars, the wrought iron fence and gates, the center monument stone and the cannon atop the stone. Also, the project will greatly enhance visitor access and public safety by installing a new 20-foot wide pedestrian plaza along the full length of the park’s North Point Road frontage (some 200’). The site has never benefited from a sidewalk along the road. The front fence has been relocated 10 feet further back from the road to accommodate the sidewalk and enhance public safety. The construction phase of the project got under way in early April 2014, and is ongoing. Major components of the project are expected to be complete by September 1.  

To complement the Battle Acre project, a local artist has been commissioned to paint a mural adjacent to the site. The mural, spanning some 100 feet, will depict a battle scene, the colorful 1839 dedication ceremony and the historically significant homestead known as Todd’s Inheritance.

Image of soldiers with musketsThe State of Maryland is implementing improvements to North Point State Battlefield. This nine-acre parcel was purchased by the State in 2006. Improvements at this more spacious site will help visitors envision the battle. The site will feature walking trails, a representation of the American battle line, a bust of American Brigadier General John Stricker, interpretive signs and parking that also serves Battle Acre. 
Battle Acre Park and nearby North Point State Battlefield are both designated destinations on the recently authorized Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. Grant funding support has been given to the Battle Acre restoration project by the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and the Maryland General Assembly.

Promote Your Business 

Promote your business.
Get your business noticed! 

Do you have a restaurant, hotel, or event in Baltimore County that you would like featured on this website? Get started now by selecting the link below.


View Your Itinerary 

View your itinerary.
 Plan Your Trip to Baltimore County

Use the "Add to My Itinerary" button to add restaurants, hotels, and attractions to your itinerary. Your trip to Baltimore County is just one click away!