The Canal Towns that border the C&O Canal National Historical Park are home to some of the area’s most unique and exciting annual events. If you haven’t attended these shindigs in the past, make sure to add them to your calendar this year!
Flip Flop Festival: April 22-23 in Harpers Ferry/Bolivar
The “Flip Flop” festival celebrates thru-hikers that are looking to begin their journey along the Appalachian Trail here in Harpers Ferry and Bolivar. This year the festival is being expanded to showcase the outdoor opportunities available in the area, including cycling, water sports, and more. There are plenty of other activities to enjoy including food, music, and fun for all ages. Learn more by visiting the website at https://www.appalachiantrail.org/promo/75th-anniversary/upcoming-celebrations/2017/04/22/default-calendar/flip-flop-festival.
Hancock in Motion: June 10 in Hancock
In our Canal Town of Hancock you will find the “Kick off the Summer Festival”. This event offers a great atmosphere to get out and explore an amazing town. At the festival you will find crafts, food vendors, face painters, demonstrations, henna tattoos and more. The event takes place from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and all are welcome to attend! Learn more about this event and others by visiting the Hancock in Motion Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Hancock-In-Motion-177191184742/
Independence Day at Canal Place: July 4 in Cumberland
If you are looking for a fun way to spend July 4th this year, look no further than Canal Place in Cumberland. In years past journeys along the C&O Canal began and ended here in Canal Place. An abundance of activities, expanded for the July 4th holiday, are now available for visitors to enjoy. The Potomac Concert Band will be giving a special free performance at 8 p.m. with the city’s fireworks display following the concert. What better way to spend your Independence Day than with a concert and fireworks display? For more upcoming information on this event please visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/canalplacemaryland/
C&O Canal Days: August 26-27 in Williamsport
C&O Canal Days in Williamsport is a great way to enjoy family friendly activities and entertainment. Not only is this event a celebration of the Canal Town of Williamsport, but it is a celebration of the C&O Canal as well. Featuring Canal Boat tours, nature walks, and presentations, as well as food and craft vendors and demonstrations, you can get a feel for how the C&O Canal helped to shape this town. Learn more about this event by visiting the town’s website at http://williamsportmd.gov/canel_days.html.
Heritage Festival: September 16 in Sharpsburg
The Sharpsburg Heritage Festival celebrates the past, present and future of this historic Canal Town This festival features many activities such as live period music, ghost tours, horse and wagon rides, cook-offs, and dancing. The last event of the festival is the Antietam Remembrance Walk from Sharpsburg to Shepherdstown to commemorate those who fought in the Battle of Antietam. For more upcoming information on this event please visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Sharpsburg-Heritage-Festival-125894664145857/
Park After Dark: September 16 in Great Falls
Save the date for the C&O Canal Trust’s 7th annual Park After Dark gala! This fundraiser helps to support the C&O Canal National Historical Park and is held under the stars in the Park at the beautiful Historic Great Falls Tavern. Here you will be able to enjoy live music, dancing, great food, libations, unique auction items, a campfire, and much more! Tickets will go on sale in June – watch the Trust’s website for more information!
Art at the Point Festival: September 30 in Point of Rocks
The Point of Rocks Ruritan Club’s 8th annual “Art at the Point” festival is a celebration of local musicians and artists alike. There are opportunities for children to express their artistic side by heading over to “The Young Artist Tent” where they can enjoy making puppets. BBQ and hotdogs will be served so bring your appetite. Art of all mediums will be available for viewing and purchase during the festival. For more information on this event please visit the website at http://pointofrocks.org/art/.
Railroad Days: October 7-8 in Brunswick
The B&O Railroad helped to shape the Canal Town of Brunswick and, as such, the railroad is deeply ingrained in its heritage. Along with food, vendors, children’s activities and much more, there will be round-trip train rides offered both days in honor of the railroad. This popular event draws 4,000-6,000 people each year. For more information about this event please visit their website at http://brunswickmd.gov/railroad_days.
American Conservation Film Festival: October 13-15 and 20-22 in Shepherdstown
In the Canal Town of Shepherdstown the American Conservation Film Festival takes place on the weekends of October 13-15 and 22-23. During this festival over 30 films will be shown from around the world. The focus of these films ranges from climate change to wildlife. This festival helps to provide a venue for films that are not generally seen by the public, celebrate conservation films and support young filmmakers. The goal of this festival is to engage, inform, and inspire people with these conservation films. Learn more about this event by visiting the website at http://conservationfilm.org/.