In spite of weather that we did not appreciate, there was no slowing of crowds at this year’s Patuxent River Appreciation Days. Though I take my family to almost all the festivals that the Calvert Marine Museum hosts, this is one that I hadn’t been to before and so we were happy to see that although there are some similarities, there are also a few special things that stand out.
This is another one of those fantastic “free family fun” events that I love. The museum is free, many activities are free, and even boat rides are free. Kids will love trying their skills at canoeing, and all will enjoy free rides on the Wm. B. Tennison, the Dee of St. Mary’s, and the Nathan of Dorchester skipjacks.
I missed the wine tasting and llamas on Saturday, but Sunday was fun as well. Unlike many other festivals here, this one has a good sized arts fair with a wide variety of arts and crafts including jewelry, cedar furniture, photography, and fabric arts. The casual atmosphere meant that the artists were very happy to talk even to my inquisitive girls.
Though Solomons has some great restaurants, there are some delicious options at the festival too including cajun, burgers, and my favorite tamales from Abuelitas. Though most artists take credit cards, you will need cash for food.
Bring extra cash for the children’s activities as well and some of the farm booths. Kids painted pottery lighthouses for a fee and picked out pumpkins at a miniature pumpkin patch.
The annual parade is the highlight on Sunday. Crowds lined the street to see many of their family members. Girl and boy scout troops marched by, a high school band and ROTC group performed, and the Boumi Shriners stole the show with tiny “toy” vehicles that sped along the route.
A great day out with the family, the Patuxent River Appreciation Days provide free fun and educational activities that truly honor and appreciate our local businesses, artists, and culture. It’s a great way to spend the day.