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What's Up Magazine

Signature Holiday Events + Celebrate Art!

Dec 10, 2015 04:15PM ● By Melissa Lauren

Photo courtesy of Chesapeake Ballet Company

Signature Holiday Events celebrate this special season in Annapolis, the Eastern Shore, and around the region. Midnight Madness II is tonight in Downtown Annapolis. Spa Creek will sparkle and shine this Saturday during the Parade of Lights. During the Lights Parade participate in the ‘Queen of All Food Drives’ as Watermark’s Harbor Queen serves as a drop off location for the Anne Arundel County Food Bank. On the Shore, the Santas will Swim and Christmas in St. Michaels Weekend festivities will raise funds. Illuminated London Town at Historic London Town and Gardens celebrates the holidays and history. Plus, celebrate art this season as Photographer, Jay Fleming and Visual Artist and Muralist, Jeff Huntington display art for all.

Photo courtesy of 
All Children’s Chorus of Annapolis

Midnight Madness II

Thursday, December 10th, 5 p.m.-12 a.m.
Don’t miss downtown Annapolis’ annual tradition of shopping and socializing into the night during Midnight Madness! The entertainment lineup includes: Menorah Lighting, Bay Area Community Church, Cousin Eddie, The Salvation Army Band, St. Anne’s Middle School Chorus, All Children’s Chorus of Annapolis, HoHo with the PoPo, Wiley H Bates Performing Arts Chorus, Arundelair Chorus, Joliana from Chasing Verity, Sons of the Severn Chorus, Freedom Choir, and The Chesapeake Revelers.

Parade of Lights

Presented by the Eastport Yacht Club, Spa Creek, Saturday, December 12th, 6-8 p.m.
Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade, an Annapolis tradition, is a parade of illuminated boats along Spa Creek. It is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season.

Plus, during the Parade of Lights you can participate in the in the ‘Queen of All Food Drives’ as Watermark’s Harbor Queen serves as a drop off location for the Anne Arundel County Food Bank.

Climb aboard ‘The Queen’ from 5:30-8:30 p.m. For a donation of non-perishable food items, pet food or monetary donation guests can watch the Lights Parade from Harbor Queen at the end of City Dock, a prime viewing location for this Annapolis holiday tradition. Harbor Queen will be decorated in holiday lights and décor for the event by Watermark’s crew and staff members. The boat will stay dockside for the evening. A suggested donation value is $10. The event is “open house” style with guests free to come and go throughout the evening. On-leash pets are welcome on board. Representatives from the Food Bank will be in attendance. Reservations are not required; guests should walk up to Harbor Queen’s slip at the end of City Dock for the festivities.

The food drive will benefit our area’s neediest citizens. The Food Bank is the only free, multi-purpose Agency in Maryland that provides food, nutritional supplements, medical equipment, furniture, vehicles, appliances, and more to those in need, free of charge. One in 16 residents in Anne Arundel County are below the poverty line; over 1/3 are children and the Anne Arundel County Food Bank serves these citizens. 43,730 people in Anne Arundel County are food insecure, unsure where they will get their next meal. (Feeding America, 2011).

Ballet Theatre of Maryland

Ballet Theatre of Maryland Presents The Nutcracker

Saturday, December 12th, 7 p.m., Sunday, December 13th, 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Ballet Theatre of Maryland invites you to the most famous Holiday Party of all time—The Nutcracker. Battle the Rat Queen and her minions and help Clara rescue her beloved Nutcracker from the Rat Queen’s spell as you share in her enchanted adventure through the Land of the Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets. *Free Sugar Plum Parties one hour prior to each Sunday performance.

Eastern Shore:

Photo courtesy of Dorchester County Tourism

Santa Swim

Saturday, December 12th, 10 a.m.
This event is so cool! Volunteers take a dip in the chilly waters of the Choptank River to raise money for local families in need through the Care & Share Fund. Join in the fun or just come to watch.

Breakfast with Santa

Saturday, December 12th, 9 a.m.
The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort hosts Breakfast with Santa. Parents can take photos with their own cameras. There is no cost for this event unless you dine for breakfast. No reservations needed. They will host another breakfast on the 19th!

Photo courtesy of Christmas in St. Michaels

Christmas in St. Michaels Weekend

Friday December 11th through Sunday, December 13th, Times and locations vary.
Events include the Holiday Gala, Breakfast with Santa, the Talbot Street Parade, Santa’s Wonderland and more. For 27 years, this annual fundraising weekend event has raised more than $1,000,000 for local, non-profit organizations, funds raised have benefited local citizens, of all ages. The mission of Christmas in St. Michaels is to provide resources to help local non-profit groups enhance the quality of life for the residents of the Bay Hundred community.


Photo courtesy of London Town and Gardens

Illuminated London Town

Historic London Town and Gardens, Friday, December 11th, 6 p.m.
Experience the magic of a winter evening at Illuminated London Town! Roast s’mores in the gardens, illuminated with festive holiday lights and enjoy special performances. Celebrate wintertime and the holidays at Illuminated London Town!

Photo courtesy of Chesapeake Ballet Company 
-- Chesapeake Ballet presents The Nutcracker 
this weekend on the Children’s Theatre of 
Annapolis stage!

Chesapeake Ballet Presents The Nutcracker

Saturday, December 12th and Sunday, December 13th, 1 p.m.
When a group of conniving pests steal Clara’s nutcracker, she follows a Prince on a journey through a magical land of dance and wonder. With dazzling costumes and lots and lots of snow, regional youth dancers bring this holiday Ballet to life on The Children’s Theatre of Annapolis stage.

Events Celebrating Local Artists

Jay Fleming’s Photography

Jay Fleming’s Photography will be featured during Art, Drinks & Oysters at Factors Row restaurant, Friday, December 11th, 5-9 p.m.
You may know Jay Fleming from the parting shot of a beautiful swimmer, a Maryland Crab that What’s Up? Media included in the 2015 July Sourcebook. “Jay has a knack for capturing the Bay’s natural critters, by land and sea. He often takes the dive or perches high to get the shot." His iconic images of Chesapeake life are visually stunning. His photography celebrates art in the natural environment around us. He is a local treasure as all of our artists are.

For more information and to view Jay Fleming’s portfolio visit

Jeff Huntington – Community

Annapolis City Art Gallery in City Hall on display now through January 21st, 2016.
Known locally for the buzz created by the mural he painted on West Street Tsunami Restaurant, Jeff Huntington is an internationally known artist whose work has been exhibited in galleries in the Unites States, Europe, South America and Panama. Community is a show that features paintings from Huntington’s 49@49 Show, which was part of a show at 49 West, Coffeehouse, Winebar & Gallery and a published book featuring the local artists in Annapolis. The book featured photographs by David Hartcorn, which were the portraits Jeff used as his references while creating his paintings. These portraits were all painted in the style of the Old Masters. “I’ve come to realize that 49 artists is too limited a selection to accurately convey the diversity and vitality of the current art scene in Annapolis. …by no means a definitive selection of local artists… It is a conversation with and homage to the artists, musicians, painters, poets, playwrights, filmmakers, photographers, designers, sculptors, dealers, curators, collectors, philosophizers, baristas, bartenders, bakers, dancers, crochet artists, stuntmen, flamethrowers, ink slingers … who make life more about possibilities than victory or defeat, and who reinforce the positive and creative energy of the Annapolis art community.” – Jeff Huntington
Image courtesy of Jeff Huntington. Left to Right: Darin McFadden Gilliam as Darin (17th century Western European reference), 16x16, oil on wood, 2014. Charles Lawrance The Desperate Man, after Courbet, 16x20, oil on wood, 2014. Jimi Haha as Haha, 16x16, oil and collage on wood, 2014.
His new mural Poe can be seen off of West Street Circle at 47 Spa Road and was made possible by the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County. He recently painted a mural of Nelson Mandela in Brooklyn, New York and Jimi Hendrix in Brazil. Huntington has a BFA from The Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. and MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has shown work at the Porter Contemporary in New York City and Reyes+Davis in Washington, D.C., among many other places. His work is also part of a permanent collection at the U.S. Embassy in Panama City, Panama.

For more information and to view Jeff Huntington’s portfolio visit

Letter from the Editor, Melissa Lauren, Community Events Editor

As Community Events Editor at What’s Up? Media it is my job to promote local culture; music, charity events, and events that celebrate history and art. I have done the research over my first year here at What’s Up? Media and can say without a doubt, Annapolis offers a diverse sampling of events. These various offerings are representative of Annapolis culture and we can’t take that for granted. The diversity is what makes Annapolis such a great place to live!

I am an Annapolis Native born in 1980 who benefited from arts programs at the Annapolis Recreation Center, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, and Art Trek Camp at Arlington Echo. Growing up, my parents took us to visit museums that celebrated science, the arts, and history. I was also exposed to music and theater as a child. All of those experiences were a luxury that expanded my vocabulary and imagination.

I am proud to be born in Annapolis and celebrate the various types of art displayed. Art is all around us; in coffee shops, restaurants, galleries, museums, and on our streets at every corner. Annapolis is a ‘gallery without walls’ as the Art in Public Places Commission proudly proclaims.

Public art informs the public and exposes the public to experience art they may not have the luxury of viewing, otherwise. Public art expands the vocabulary and imagination for all. All art is inherently provocative by its very nature. ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. Art is defined as any creation that one deems beautiful containing aesthetic value. We all have different tastes. We all have freedom of speech and we should be allowed to display works of art freely.

History tells us that so-called ‘guardians of public morality’ in the mid-16th century insisted upon covering ‘the world’s most famous sculpture’ with a loincloth made of fig leaves. Michelangelo’s David is one of history’s landmarks. In 1504 it created much controversy. People even threw stones at the masterpiece.

We are lucky to have artists in residence here that are commissioned to create masterpieces all over the world. Let’s embrace them and allow them to inform future generations of artists – expanding their creative vocabulary and imagination. Someday their creations may be world renowned historical landmarks celebrating the rich and vibrant culture of the City of Annapolis and the community at large.

I have fun in my role here serving as ‘cruise director’ for the town of Annapolis and surrounding areas. I’ve also had fun highlighting Eastern Shore events and regional events. Thanks as always for reading the Events Blog and E-Newsletter as well as Out and About in print and the other print and digital features. I love writing and enjoy keeping you informed so you can enjoy these wonderful events, make memories, and always know What’s Up!

Melissa Lauren

To view more events subscribe to the Events E-Newsletter at And remember, tons of fun events are always on our Online Calendar at Melissa Lauren, Community Events Editor and former WRNR and WTMD DJ, writes the weekly What’s Up? Events Blog and E-Newsletter every Thursday. For coverage of your community event, please send press releases to Be sure to Follow What’s Up? on Twitter and Like Us on Facebook.