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What's Up Magazine

Get Into the Holiday Spirit

Nov 20, 2014 04:00PM ● By Lisa Lewis
By Lisa A. Lewis

It’s that time of the year again. One of the most beloved holiday traditions returns to Annapolis this weekend. That’s right: Anne Arundel Medical Center’s (AAMC) 20th Annual Lights on the Bay opens Saturday at Sandy Point State Park—officially ushering in the magic of the holiday season.

The popular holiday light show, which is open every night from 5-10 p.m., features a two-mile scenic drive along the Chesapeake Bay and includes approximately 70 animated and stationary displays. As you travel along the route, marvel at the beauty of the lights, and watch your child’s eyes “light” up with delight as he or she experiences the show—perhaps for the first time.

In addition to the favorites you’ve grown to love throughout the years, including a colonial village inspired by historic Annapolis and the United States Naval Academy midshipmen tossing their hats into the air, look for displays that depict two new themes: North Pole Village and Enchanted Fairy Tales.

Too excited to wait for opening day? Well, you don’t have to. Get a sneak preview before the event officially opens by participating in the annual 5K Fun Run, “Dashing Through the Show.” Hosted by AAMC and the Annapolis Striders, the 3.1-mile race takes place Friday at 6:15 p.m.

Make sure you arrive at the gate one hour before the run to complete the registration/waiver. The cost is $14 per person.

Admission to Lights on the Bay is $14 per car, $28 for large passenger vans, mini buses, and trolleys, and $50 for buses. The show runs through January 1. Proceeds from the event benefit AAMC.

Don’t miss this popular holiday tradition that celebrates the joy of the season.


*Lights on the Bay Q & A

Q: How many lights are used?

A: Thousands! In fact, no one knows the exact number.

Q: How many days does it take to set up the show?

A: Approximately 30 days. Storage trailers arrive at Sandy Point State Park in early October to begin the tasks of installing and connecting miles of light strings and displays.

Q: What is one of the show’s most popular attractions?

A: Teddy, a giant red teddy bear. Due to this display’s enormous size—more than 16 feet high and over 24 feet wide—it takes eight men and more than three hours to assemble.

Q: Why is it important for you to visit Lights on the Bay?

A: AAMC remains dedicated to hosting one of the region’s premier holiday attractions. You are treated to a unique family holiday event while supporting a very worthy cause.

Source: Katherine Mele, AAMC Lights on the Bay Coordinator


Celebrate Thanksgiving early this year by participating in the Turkey Trail Trot for Character 5K Run/Walk on Saturday at Crow Farm & Vineyard in Kennedyville.

Enjoy a scenic run or walk along a course that takes you through the vineyard, past pastures of grazing cows, and over trails throughout fields of crops. Due to the course’s unique location, be prepared to experience uneven ground and other cross-country conditions.

Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the run starts at 10 a.m. The cost is $35. The overall male and female winners and the first and second place winners in each age group receive awards.

An added bonus? The Tasting Room opens early for this special event. Home-cooked chili and vegetable soup are available for purchase as well as Crow Vineyard wines and Crow Farm beef.

Proceeds benefit the Character Counts Kent County character education program. To learn more about the program, visit


*Did You Know?

Americans eat 46 million turkeys at Thanksgiving. That’s a lot of turkey!

Source: National Turkey Federation


Like holiday lights, model train displays also symbolize the magic of the holiday season. So don’t miss B&O’s Magical Holiday Express The Giving Train, a special holiday celebration at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore.

This extravaganza, which opens Saturday, features model train layouts, holiday decorations and festivities, live entertainment, train rides, appearances by Santa, Mrs. Claus, Frosty, opportunities to support local charities, and much more.

A different holiday theme is featured each weekend. The celebration kicks off this Saturday and Sunday with a LEGO Block Party, featuring a LEGO layout by the Washington, D.C. LEGO Train Club, LEGO Man appearances, a LEGO Building Zone, LEGO contests for children, and other exciting activities.

B&O’s Magical Holiday Express The Giving Train is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $18 for adults, $16 for seniors (60+), $12 for children (ages 2-12), and free for B&O members. The show runs through January 4.

To learn more about the special themes planned for the upcoming weekends, visit

This magical holiday celebration offers something for everyone and fun for all ages. Don’t miss it.


*A Brief History of Model Trains

  • The very first model trains were called “carpet railways.” These small models were typically made of brass and powered by a small steam engine. As the name suggests, the trains simply drove across the carpet.
  • Model trains changed very little until the 20th century when electric model trains were introduced—creating a fascination with model trains that thrived from the 1930s to the 1950s.
  • During this time, manufacturers produced increasingly realistic-looking models, and model trains became a popular hobby—one that still captivates and entertains many people today.

Source: Model Train Builders


Check out some other exciting events taking place this weekend:

Annapolis/Anne Arundel County:

Eastern Shore:


To view more events taking place this weekend, please browse our online calendar. And be sure to follow What’s Up? on Twitter and like us on Facebook.