South River Federation to Hold Annual South River Days Celebration
A look at what the celebration is all about and what you can expect at each event.
Summer has arrived on the South River and there are plenty of ways to get out and enjoy it. This month the South River Federation will be hosting a week-long celebration of all things that make the river great.
The South River Days Celebration will run from June 7-12 and feature a variety of events including live music and plenty of opportunities to learn about what you can do to help the South River. The celebrations will also include a kayak trip on Glebe Bay and barbecue lunch afterwards with special guest retired Maryland state Sen. Bernie Fowler.
SRF events coordinator, Sarah Boynton has been a key element in ensuring this years celebration is a success and she shared a few details from this year’s events. The celebration will kick off with a meeting at Londontown Community Center at 7 p.m. on June 7.
At the meeting guests will discuss the many ways we can all have a positive impact on the watershed. Whether that’s becoming a riverwatcher with SRF or simply volunteering for a clean up event. “There’s different ways that you can have a positive impact on the river,” said Boynton.
The week is also when area residents who are participating in the Marylander’s Grow Oysters (MGO) program are invited to come down to deposit them on the sanctuary reef in Glebe Bay. The ‘oyster flotilla’ events will be hosted by Riverkeeper Diana Muller and volunteer coordinator Jennifer Carr.
If you are an oyster grower participating in the MGO program, email Jennifer Carr to find out where to distribute your oysters.
Boynton said the idea behind these events was to give the growers a chance to give their oysters a proper Bon Voyage before they are distributed on the sanctuary.
“You’ve taken all this time this season to watch the baby oysters grow and we thought it would be cool if people could give them a send off,” she said. “It really comes full circle they started out with these little oysters and they [growers] get to see and know that they’re going on the sanctuary.”
The celebrations will also feature live music courtesy of Annapolis Maritime Museum. Teresa Whitaker and Frank Schwartz will be playing folk music inspired by the Chesapeake Bay including songs by the late Tom Wisner. Wisner was known as ‘the bard of the Chesapeake.’ He won several awards for writing music that brought a lot of attention to the issues facing the Chesapeake Bay region and it’s people.
Wrapping up the week is the kayak trip and “that one really embodies the celebration of the South River,” said Boynton. The trip will meet at Glebe Bay (Shore Drive and Grange Road) at 9 a.m. (participants should arrive by 8:30 a.m.) for a two hour trip with the SRF staff and executive director Eric Michelson will be talking about some of the challenges that face the South River watershed.
“We’ll launch and explore Glebe Bay a little bit and we’ll work our way up to Almhouse Creek,” said Boynton.“I think getting people out there to kayak and to experience it just gives them a more personal connection to it [the river].”
Boynton also explained that Annapolis Canoe and Kayak will be offering great discounts on rentals for kayaks, PFD’s and paddles to those attending the trip. If you are interested in attending this event you will need to send an RSVP email to Sarah Boynton.
After landing in Almhouse Creek, near Londontown, the group will be treated to a barbeque lunch provided by Mike Smollen, owner of My Butcher and More in Annapolis. He will be cooking up plenty of hamburgers, brats and hot dogs for everyone attending.
Retired Maryland State Sen. Bernie Fowler will also be attending the barbeque and ‘wade-in’ event that will follow. For over 20 years, the senator has continued this popular tradition around the state. The idea is to walk into the water wearing white sneakers until you can no longer see your feet. A measurement is taken, which is refered to as the ‘sneaker index.’
While it’s not a scientific water quality reading, it encourages people to think about the issues affecting water quality said Boynton.
“It gets people aware, they wade into the water and it makes them more aware of their watershed,” she said. “It’s a way for them to see it what the water quality is doing, and then they can ask questions.”
All of these events are designed to highlight some of the best aspects of the river said Boynton. “Our [SRF] mission is to protect, preserve, restore and celebrate the South River.” This event is all about celebrating the South river watershed.
For more information visit the SRF website.
Schedule of Events
Tuesday, June 7
- 7 p.m.: ‘What Can You do for the River Meeting’ at Londontown Community Center
Thursday June 9
- Late afternoon to dusk: Oyster Flotilla Send Off. Oyster Sanctuary Reef, Glebe Bay (Shoreline Drive and Grange Road)
- 9:00 p.m.: Annapolis Maritime Museum Presents, (Editor's Note: This event has been cancelled due to a family emergency).
Friday June 10
- Late afternoon to dusk: Oyster Flotilla Send Off, Oyster Sanctuary Reef, Glebe Bay (Shoreline Drive and Grange Road)
Saturday June 11
- 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: Grand Finale Kayak trip, Glebe Bay, Glebe Bay, Shoreline Drive and Grange Road, Cookout at Almhouse Creek (Londontown), Bernie Fowler Wade In
Sunday June 12
- 10 a.m.-12 p.m.: Final Oyster Flotilla Send Off, Oyster Sanctuary Reef, Glebe Bay, Shoreline Drive and Grange Road