2014 Labor Day Events in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C.

Labor Day Events in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington DC

 

Labor Day is an annual celebration of workers and the American Labor movement dedicated to the achievements of the work force. It is celebrated on the first Monday in September as a day off for all American workers. The holiday has its origins in the turmoil of the industrial revolution during the late 1880s. Extreme working conditions caused the labor force to unite to improve working conditions for workers of all ages. Labor Day was established as an official holiday in 1887 and the first Monday in September was declared a national holiday by Congress in 1894. Today, Labor Day is celebrated as the “unofficial last day of summer” with picnics, parades and fireworks displays.

There are many things to do over Labor Day weekend in the Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. areas from free concerts to book fairs to state fairs. You can also take in a Baltimore Orioles game at Camden Yards.  Here is a list of just a few of the Labor Day events going on in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and Washington D.C. areas over the long weekend:

Maryland Labor Day Weekend Events

Old Towne Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade

The 76th Annual Old Towne Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade is one of the oldest Labor Day parades in the area. The parade kicks off at 1pm, rain or shine, in downtown Gaithersburg. The parade features ethnic dance groups, antique cars, fire trucks, high school marching bands, equestrian units, community groups and much more.

Maryland State Fair

The Maryland State Fair concludes its run on Monday, September 1st. But, there is plenty still to see and do over the holiday weekend. Don’t miss out on the great entertainment on multiple stages, thoroughbred horse racing, pig racing, carnival rides and fair food! The fair takes place at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

Fort! Flag! Fire! At Fort McHenry

Celebrations for the 200th Anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner continue with special daily events taking place at Fort McHenry. There will be living history displays, cannon firing, storytelling and much more. The anniversary events will culminate in the Star Spangled Spectacular in a few weeks (stay tuned for more information on these events in a future blog post).

Northern Virginia Labor Day Weekend Events

Virginia Scottish Games and Festival

The Virginia Scottish Games and Festival takes place August 30th and 31st at The Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia. The Festival features Highland Games Athletic events, dancing, sheep-herding, a fiddling competition, an antique car show, whiskey tasting, children’s’ activities and lots of men in kilts!

War of 1812 Signature Event in Alexandria, Virginia

The city of Alexandria, Virginia played an important role during the War of 1812 and commemorates its involvement with the War of 1812 Signature Event on August 30th and 31st. The event takes place along the Potomac River with interactive historical exhibits, boating, food trucks and a good-will competition in a tug-of-war with the British Embassy.

Herndon Labor Day Festival

Herndon, Virginia hosts the Herndon Labor Day Festival on Monday, September 1st from noon to 6pm in downtown Herndon. There will be entertainment, a craft show, food, a microbrew, wine and culinary demonstrations and much more.

 

Labor Day Events in Washington D.C.

Labor Day Concert at the U.S. Capitol

The National Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 2014-2015 season with the annual Labor Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building on Sunday, August 31st at 8pm.  The free concert starring Nicole Parker and Christopher Johnstone, will feature a program of American music selections from TV shows, movies and Broadway musicals.

National Book Festival

The Library of Congress is sponsoring the National Book Festival from 10am to 10pm on August 30th at the Washington D.C. Convention Center. There will be 100+ award-winning authors, illustrators and poets in attendance for the event. Visitors can get books signed by their favorite author, attend readings as well as attend special entertainment, poetry and film programs.

D.C. Blues Festival

The 26th Annual D.C. Blues Festival  will take place on Saturday August 30th from noon to 7:30pm at the Carter Barron Amphitheater in Washington D.C. There will be live blues performances by local, regional and national acts, blues music workshops, and family and children friendly activities.

 

There is so much to see and do this Labor Day weekend in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and Washington D.C. areas. The ezStorage self storage locations will be open to serve all of your storage needs. ezStorage wishes everyone a safe and fun Labor Day weekend!

 

Maryland State Fair

Maryland State FairAlong with all of the county fairs in Maryland it is also the time of year for the Maryland State Fair. We are now right in the middle of the 11 day run for the Maryland State Fair! The fair opened on August 22nd and will run through Labor Day, Monday, September 1st.  The Maryland State Fair is held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. There are concerts, entertainment, agricultural exhibitions, thoroughbred horse racing, carnival rides and much more throughout the fair. The original mission of the fair continues to this day: “encourage the educational growth of youth (via FFA and 4-H Clubs) by providing an avenue where they can showcase their skills and educate the general public about agriculture, its related fields and its importance to the future.”

History of the Maryland State Fair

The Maryland State Fair can be traced back to 1831, when Amon Bosley constructed a one mile horse racing track in the Lutherville/Timonium area. Various fairs and gatherings were held for the next 45 years until a committee, called the Agricultural Society of Baltimore County, purchased a 37 acre plot of land in Timonium to specifically hold a fair. The first fair opened in 1879. There was a competing state fair called the Pimlico Fair. In 1906, the Agricultural Society of Baltimore County fair and the Pimlico Fair combined to form the Maryland State Fair. The fair continued annually until 1942, when it paused for the duration of World War II. During the war, the Maryland State Fairgrounds were leased to the US Army for a storage depot and vehicle repair center. The fair resumed in 1946. Today, the Maryland State Fairgrounds has increased to 100 acres and the fair went from running 10 days to 11 days.

Maryland State Fair Concerts and Events

The Maryland State Fair has multiple stages throughout the fairgrounds for entertainment. Most of the entertainment is free with admission and includes local and regional bands and cover bands, however a few of the Maryland State Fair concerts require an additional fee. This includes Grand Funk Railroad on August 28th and Phil Vassar with Lindsey Highlander on August 30th.  Aside from the concerts, there will be chainsaw carving demonstrations, bull riding and barrel racing, an arm wrestling competition, a Latino Celebration, and of course agricultural demonstrations and exhibits. There are daily pig races and don’t miss a visit to goat mountain to see goats in their natural habitat! The Maryland State Fair has carnival rides and fair food to make any fair goer happy!

Agricultural events are the basis of the Maryland State Fair and the mission statement is still followed today. The fair offers two types of livestock events: 4-H Club competition and an open class livestock competition, which is opened to any participant in the state. These competitions involve everything from home arts (baking, floral arrangements, quilting) to farm and garden to horses, cows and other livestock. You can find out the daily events via the daily calendar on the Maryland State Fair’s website.

ezStorage is very proud to have our business in Maryland! Stop by any of our Maryland storage unit facilities to find out how we can help you with all of your storage needs! Until then, have fun at the Maryland State Fair!

 

 

 

Red Cross of Baltimore and Chesapeake Area

Red Cross of Baltimore and Chesapeake Area

ezStorage is proud to be able to help organizations in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area. We are launching a monthly spotlight on some of these community organizations in our blog. This month, we are focusing our attention on Red Cross of Chesapeake. This Red Cross organization primarily covers the area west of Chesapeake Bay. ezStorage donates the use of 8 storage units at different facilities across the coverage area.

Red Cross of Chesapeake is an affiliate of the National Red Cross. The National Red Cross was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton, who had started the basis for the organization during the Civil War. In fact, you can see the home where she launched the program in Antietam National Military Park! The mission of the organization since that time has always been to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and generosity of donors. The fundamental principles of the organization are simple words: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. There are currently over 1 million volunteers across the country who work with the Red Cross. The Baltimore chapter of the Red Cross was founded in 1905 with the specific mission of providing relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare and respond to emergencies.

Red Cross of Baltimore

The Red Cross Baltimore chapter offers emergency assistance to an average of 3 families per day. They distribute more than $2,500 per day to residents in communities who have been displaced by disasters such as floods, fire, and other national disasters. The Baltimore Red Cross runs many community programs including a hurricane awareness program. There are 5 locations in the region that offer classes in lifeguarding, babysitting training and CPR training to just name a few. You can also take a tour of the locations once a month to learn more about the volunteers and hear their stories. The Red Cross has developed a mobile app that you can download on iPhones that can alert you to when and where shelters have been opened during times of emergencies. You can also find out information about shelters via the Red Cross of Chesapeake’s Twitter Page.

There are many ways that you can give to the Red Cross. The most well-known way is to volunteer to be of assistance during a national disaster. The second best way to help the Red Cross is by donating blood during Red Cross blood drives. There is always a need for blood donations, but never more so than during national disasters. Red Cross of Baltimore sponsors a Young Professionals group who lead many fundraising events throughout the year. Businesses can also help the Red Cross in Baltimore via the “Save the Day” program, which allows area businesses to directly support the essential Red Cross disaster relief services.

You never know when you might need the services that the Baltimore Red Cross provides. Disaster can strike at any moment. Thankfully, the Red Cross will be there to help!

10 Going Back to School Tips for Elementary to High School Students

Going back to school Tips for Elementary to High School Students

Monday, August 25th, is the first day of school for the Baltimore city schools and Howard County Schools. This week, however, kids from elementary school to high school are getting ready for back to school. Whether you are a parent with a child going to school for the first time or you are a veteran of “first days”, it is important to be properly prepared for the beginning of the school year. ezStorage created the “Ultimate Back to School Guide for Parents” to help parents of “first timers” as well as parents of older children heading back to school.

Going Back to School Tips for Kids

Here are some important tips to practice for going back to school from elementary age to high school seniors:

  1. Get a good night’s sleep! Start going to bed 10 minutes early now, so you will be adjusted before the first day of school.
  2. Designate a homework only area in the home. This area could be anywhere in the home, but it must not have any disruptions (TV, computer games or other even other family members)!
  3. Prepare for the first day of school the night before. For younger children, pick out your first day outfit and have it sitting out ready for the next morning. Make sure that all of the school supplies that you need to have are packed in your backpack. Also, include any forms that need to be returned to the school administration.
  4. Pack lunches the night before. Make sure that the lunches are healthy. Don’t forget to include a mid-day snack with the lunch for the mid-day “lulls”.
  5. Eat a healthy breakfast. Do not skip breakfast, as it is very important to get a healthy start to get your energy for the day.
  6. Create a family calendar of all events, play dates, and big homework assignments that are due in the first quarter of the school year. Post this calendar in a place where the entire family can see it.
  7. Start school with a positive attitude. This is important with both children and parents. If parents reflect a positive attitude to their children, then that will help their children be positive on their first days.
  8. Start the year off with good study and work habits. Older students should write down work assignments and be able to keep track and finish all homework on time.
  9. For middle school and high school students, know how the school day is arranged. Do you go to homeroom first or do you go to a class first? If you are new to the school, take a tour of the school, so you will know where everything is before the first day.
  10. Be involved in school. Join activities, sports and groups in school. This will help new students acclimate better to the new school.

Retail Inventory and Self Storage

Retail inventory and self storage

 

Self storage is a great solution for business storage from medical supply sales representatives to contractors to retail store owners. Self storage can assist retail store owners in running a successful and efficient business. Having a self storage unit for excess inventory and equipment will help streamline a business’s processes as well as keep the store’s inventory more organized.

Holiday Inventory for Retail Stores

The busy holiday season is fast approaching and now is the time to start preparing for the surplus inventory that will soon be arriving.  Fixtures, signage and seasonal decorations can take up vital sales floor space during the holiday months.  Mall kiosks will be popping up for the holiday season. These kiosks will need to have a place to store excess inventory. Self storage is an affordable and convenient way to store inventory, supplies, seasonal decorations, and fixtures during the holiday season as well as throughout the year. Self storage can cost less per square foot than traditional warehouse space. Instead of moving to a larger location for additional storage, consider renting a storage unit.

Storage facilities have access hours before and after retail stores close, so inventory can be moved quickly and efficiently.  Self storage security is also an important factor in choosing where to store your retail inventory. Most facilities have gated and building access keypads, alarms on storage units and video surveillance cameras for added security providing the business the peace of mind that their inventory is in a secure space. Most storage facilities can also accept deliveries for the businesses.

 6 Tips for Retail Inventory Storage

1. Use a local self storage facility that is close to your retail location, so you will have quick and convenient access when you need to restock your retail inventory.

2. Choose the self storage unit that fits your surplus inventory needs. Make sure that there is enough room to walk-through your storage unit to retrieve, rotate and move items.

3. Depending upon the nature of the items being stored the best storage option to protect your inventory may be a climate controlled storage unit. This is especially true if you are storing inventory long-term.

4. Create an inventory list of the items that you have placed in storage. If you are keeping items in boxes, make sure to label the boxes with their content.  Add storage shelving to keep your inventory organized and off of the ground.

5. For retail clothing storage, do not store the clothing in plastic bags. The plastic traps moisture inside the bag, which can damage clothing. If retail inventory is shipped in plastic coverings, remove right away and store in unbleached muslin or between sheets of acid-free tissue paper. Also, do not hang clothes on wooden or wire hangers. These hangers tend to stretch out the neck of the item. Instead, hang the clothing on plastic hangers.

6. Keep fabric items away from light and heat sources. This is true for furniture and clothing as both can fade with exposure to direct light.

Stop into one of the 46 convenient ezStorage self storage locations in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. areas to see how we can create a great storage solution for your retail business.

 

 

14 Tips for Packing Dishes

packing dishes for moving or storage

 

Summer is the busiest season for moving companies and self storage facilities! Preparation for moving starts in the spring, so people can be ready for their move during the summer months. After you’ve established a move date, it’s time to start the packing process. Start gathering packing supplies such as boxes, packaging materials, packing tape and markers to label boxes. As you prepare to move, make sure to protect your items while on the moving truck or in storage. Making sure you properly pack your breakables for moving or storage is very important. Broken or shattered glasses or dishes are not something that you want to deal with on your moving day! The first and most important part to your packing process it to have sturdy, cardboard boxes for your kitchen items. The boxes must be strong enough to hold multiple items; however it is recommended not to use large boxes to hold glassware or dishes. Large boxes could get very heavy and easily break when stacked with other boxes. The best idea is to get smaller boxes or boxes specifically designed with dividers for glassware. ezStorage has a variety of moving boxes and supplies, such as sturdy boxes, newsprint and bubble wrap as well as packaging tape. Once you have gathered all of these supplies, then you can follow the steps below to learn how to pack your everyday dishes and special occasion plates and bowls.

How to Pack Dishes and Bowls for Moving

  1. When packing dishes for moving or storage, start off by lining a box with packing material such as bubble wrap or newsprint. Make sure that the entire bottom and sides of the box are covered.
  2. Use newspaper, newsprint or bubble wrap to pack your plates and bowls. Use bubble wrap to wrap more delicate dishes. Once you get to your new home, wash the plates and bowls before putting them in their prospective cabinets or before your first use.
  3. There are specially made packing boxes with cardboard dividers that are excellent for packing and protecting dishes and bowls for moving.
  4. Place pieces of newsprint or packing material on a table. The pieces should be large enough to properly wrap the plates or bowls.
  5. Place the first plate in the center of the packing material and then fold one corner of the sheet over the plate until it is completely covered.
  6. Place the next plate on top of the first plate and do the same folding process and then secure with packaging tape.
  7. Do not place the plates flat in a box. Place them on their sides and add filler material to keep the plates in place. Adding cardboard dividers, in the box, will help keep the plates steady and protected.
  8. Packing bowls for moving is exactly the same process as for plates: Wrap one bowl first and then adding a second or third bowl on top and secure with more packing material and tape.
  9. As with plates, place bowls on their edges in the boxes and fill the box with cushioning material such as crushed paper, linens or towels.
  10. Do not over-pack the dish boxes. Dishes can get very heavy and can easily cause boxes to break. Remember to stack the heavier boxes at the bottom of the stack and the lighter boxes on top.
  11. Leave at least one inch of space from the last layer to the top of the box for added packing material.
  12. For delicate plates and bowls, do not wrap too tightly as they could break when you remove the wrapping.
  13. Store boxes with more delicate dishes on top of heavier boxes to prevent breakage. Also, make sure to stack like-size boxes together.
  14. Label each box with the contents and create an overall inventory list, so you know where to look for the items if you need them.

If you follow these simple packing dishes for moving tips, you can protect your glasses, plates and dishes while moving and storing! Have fun wrapping and packing!

 

 

Maryland County Fairs Time

Maryland County Fairs Time

 

There are many great events in Maryland throughout the year from cultural events to sporting events, but nothing is quite like the experience of a good county fair! August and September are county fair time in Maryland! The counties surrounding the Baltimore area will be hosting their local fairs chock full of agriculture shows, carnival rides, musical entertainment, arts and craft exhibits and food and fun for the entire family.

List of Baltimore Area County Fairs

Howard County Fair-August 2nd to August 9th

The Howard County Fair launched the local county fair season on August 2nd. The first Howard County Fair was held for two days in August 1946. In 1947, a fair board was organized and has sponsored the fair ever since. The fair is held at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, Maryland. The fair has everything from amusement rides to pig races!  There are still great events to occur through this weekend at the fair, including musical entertainment, daily magic shows, pony rides, a float parade, baby contest, horse pulls, and family entertainment.  There are also agriculture presentations and competitions for 4-H and members of Future Farmers of America (FFA).  Discover the complete schedule of events on the Howard County Fair website.

Montgomery County Agricultural Fair-August 8th to August 16th

The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair is the largest county fair in Maryland. The fair is held at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  The fair idea was launched in 1945 when the Montgomery County Agricultural Center Inc. was created.  The first fair took place in 1949.  The fair will feature carnival rides, agricultural competitions and events, great fair food, entertainment and much more. The grandstand will feature a pro wrestling event, demolition derby, monster truck competition and draft and mull pulling exhibitions.  There will be daily pig races, magic and illusion shows, puppet shows, musical entertainment, and events for the entire family. Children have their own special “KidZone”, where there will be art and crafts, games, a DJ, and a chance to be on a game show. Old MacDonald’s Barn will give the entire family a hands-on experience with farm animals such as cows, goats, chickens, ducks and pigs. Find out more information about the events and schedule on the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair website.

Prince George’s County Fair-September 4th to September 7th

The Prince George’s County Fair is Maryland’s oldest fair dating back to 1842! The fair’s original focus was on livestock and field crops. Today, it still offers livestock and agriculture competitions and events, but there is so much more for the fair-goer to experience from competitions for the best baked goods, fine-arts, woodworking and flower arranging to beautiful baby contests and entertainment for the entire family. The fair is located at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center and Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  The fair hasn’t released its 2014 schedule yet, but you can see some of the daily events, including a beautiful baby competition, NASCAR Simulator and a chair saw artist.

Anne Arundel County Fair September 10th to September 14th

The Anne Arundel County Fair was originated in 1952 and is celebrating its 52nd year this September. The fair takes place at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds in Crownsville, Maryland. The fair will have a wide variety of family entertainment including carnival rides and games, livestock exhibits, pony rides, pie eating contests, a talent show and much more. There will be 4-H livestock competitions and exhibitions throughout the fair. You can get a complete list of events and the schedules via the Anne Arundel County Fair website. You can also follow the fair on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest fair information.

Charles County Fair-September 11th to 14th

The Charles County Fair takes place at the Charles County Fairgrounds in La Plata, Maryland. The fair has over 800 exhibitors showcasing livestock, agricultural crops, arts and crafts, quilts and flower arrangements. The fair celebrates Charles County’s rich agricultural heritage dating back over 350 years. The fair will feature entertainment, games and shows for the entire family at four stages. There will be pig races, a beautiful baby competition, pony rides, lawnmower racing, and of course carnival rides and fair food.  The 2014 schedule of events has not been updated yet, but keep checking back to the Charles County Fair website for information. The fair is run by the Charles County Fair, Inc., a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that is run by volunteers.

Great Frederick Fair-September 12th to September 20th

The Frederick County Fair  is one of the oldest agricultural fairs in Maryland, dating back to 1822. The fair is held at the Frederick Fairgrounds in Frederick, Maryland.  As with any county fair, the Great Frederick Fair has musical entertainment, carnival rides, great fair food, tractor pulls, agricultural exhibits, and much more.  The foundation of the fair is agriculture. There are 4-H and FFA competitions and exhibitions throughout the fair.  The fair just released the featured events for this year’s fair, which includes concerts by Brantley Gilbert, Kenny Rogers, Kip Moore, Styx, and Chris Young and Cassadee Pope, a demolition derby, tractor pull and FMX motorcycle show.  As the fair gets closer, specific entertainment and daily schedules will be released.  The Great Frederick Fair a mobile app for iPhone and Android, so you can stay up to date with all the fair information.

Calvert County Fair-September 24th to September 28th

The last of the Maryland county fairs for the season is the Calvert County Fair. The Calvert County Fair is held at the Calvert County Fairgrounds in Prince Frederick, Maryland. The fair is run by the Calvert Count Fair Board, a volunteer, non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization that was established in 1940. The actual first fair was held in 1886 on a privately owned farm. The modern fair was organized in 1940 and has been going strong ever since. The fair has family activities, live entertainment, livestock and crop competitions, carnival rides, a 4-H auction and much more. There is also a Calvert County “Idol” talent contest for local performers on September 24th. This year, Aussie Kingdom, a fast action NASCAR racing event will take place throughout the fair. There are also puppet shows, a chainsaw wood carver and musical performances. To find out the schedule of events, which are subject to change, head to the fair website.

ezStorage is very proud to be located in communities that host the various Maryland county fairs. Stop by any of our storage units in Maryland  to find out how we can help you with all of your storage needs.