ST. MICHAELS — For the eighth consecutive year, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels is participating in the national Blue Star Museums program to offer free, general admission to all active-duty military personnel and their immediate families from Memorial Day weekend, May 26, through Labor Day, Sept. 3.
Blue Star Museums represents a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The list of 2018 participating museums will be available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums in May.
Located on the Chesapeake Bay’s Eastern Shore, CBMM’s 18-acre waterfront campus offers 12 exhibition buildings to explore in a few hours or during multiple visits. Highlights of the experience include climbing and exploring the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse, interacting with shipwrights restoring authentic, wooden Chesapeake boats, renting a small craft to paddle the Miles River on your own, taking a river cruise on the 1920 buyboat Winnie Estelle and engaging in numerous hands-on exhibitions, family-oriented activities, and other programming and events.
This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts and maritime museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers and dozens of children’s museums.
While at CBMM, guests can see progress on the log-hull restoration of the 1889 bugeye Edna E. Lockwood, now underway in the shipyard through its re-launch at OysterFest on Oct. 27. Special exhibitions include “Kent’s Carvers and Clubs: Guides, Gunners and Co-Ops;” “Exploring the Chesapeake: Mapping the Bay;” and “Lines of the Floating Fleet.”
The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States military — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as active duty, reservists, National Guardsman, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps — and their family members.
Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum. Free admission is extended to up to five family members.
The program excludes festival admission, with CBMM offering free, year-round general admission to all active military individuals.
Free, on-site parking is available, with more information at www.cbmm.org or by calling 410-745-2916.