Baltimore Seafood Festival

Baltimore Seafood Festival

 

Baltimore is a working class, multi-cultural city with many traditions that date back hundreds of years.  The diverse cultures are celebrated every year with ethnic festivals in Baltimore that run throughout the year.  Baltimore is also known for its great seafood. Located near the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore is rich in seafood resources which are a staple of the area’s dinner tables and restaurants. The city can boast the finest seafood in the Mid-Atlantic region. There are hundreds of restaurants in the city with different types of specialties. Travel sites from around the globe offer their favorite restaurants in the city. Travel Channel  limited their choice to just 5 restaurants not to miss restaurants in Baltimore. There are many districts in the city that have great restaurants and dining experiences including Fell’s Point, Little Italy, Downtown, Inner Harbor and more reaching out to the suburbs.

Baltimore Seafood Traditions

The Baltimore area is known for its seafood dishes, especially the steamed blue crab and crab cakes. However, there are other dishes and treats that are very popular including soft crab sandwiches, pit beef, bull & oyster roasts, Berger cookies, Polock Johnny Sausages and Rheb’s Homemade Cookies to just name a few.  There are many Maryland food festivals throughout the year celebrating the different types of food native to the area, especially the blue crab. Maryland is also a great wine-producing state with many local wineries that you can visit throughout the year.

Baltimore Seafood Festival

Adding to the list of seafood festivals, the first annual Baltimore Seafood Festival will take place at Canton Waterfront Park on Saturday, September 20th from noon to 6pm. The seafood festival will feature local restaurants showcasing their signature seafood dishes. Participating restaurants will serve a variety of seafood delights from octopus to crab cakes to squid, crab soup, and much more. The Baltimore Seafood Festival is fun for the entire family with cooking demonstrations, music, wine tastings, yoga demonstrations, a family area with toys, games, face painting and much more. The seafood festival is sponsored by B Scene Events and Promotions and Smirnoff.   A portion of the proceeds for the event will benefit the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance. There are many ticket options for the event depending on what type of culinary experience you wish to have. Be sure to buy tickets  in advance as they will be selling out quickly since there is only a limited amount of tickets that can be sold.

ezStorage is very proud to be a part of Baltimore’s diverse, culturally rich and fantastic food communities! Stop in to one of our 15 Baltimore storage facilities to see how we can help with any of your storage needs.

Moving Out of Your Storage Unit

Storage Unit Size GuideRenting a self storage unit is a great storage solution for many of life’s transitional events. There are many reasons to store belongings or business items at a self storage facility from moving to needing more storage space to storing business equipment. Self storage is a perfect option to store furniture and belongings if you are renovating or remodeling a home or storing excess business items. Storing in self storage is a flexible solution as you can store for just one months or stay for as long as you need the unit.  At some point, you may need to move your belongings out of your storage unit.

Cleaning Out your Storage Unit

Every storage facility will have different move-out procedures, so make sure that you know about them before you begin vacating your storage unit.  Some facilities can ask for up to a month’s written notice before you move your items, while other facilities, such as ezStorage, do not require  any notice. Before vacating your storage unit, check your rental agreement for any vacate instructions.  Here are some things you should consider before you vacate the storage unit.

  1. Make sure to remove all items from the storage unit when you are vacating. Do not leave any items behind.
  2. Sweep out the storage unit and remove any stains or spills to the best of your ability.
  3. The storage unit should be in the same condition as when you moved in.
  4. Remove the lock from the storage unit and take it with you.
  5. Stop by the storage facility office and inform the management that you are vacating your storage unit. Confirming your vacate is the easiest way to help avoid any misunderstanding that you are vacating.
  6. When you are vacating at the end of the month, you should move out no later than the close of business of the last day of the month.

If you have any questions about the self storage process, consider reading ezStorage’s answers to frequently asked questions or contact us at 1-877-GO-STORE. We hope to be able to help you with any future storage needs.

Empty Nesters and Self Storage

Empty Nesters and Self Storage

Photo by everythingzoomer.com

 

There are many transitional events throughout our lives when we might have to re-assess our belongings from marriage, to a child being born, to a child leaving home for college or a career, to later in life when it is time to downsize your home. As the children grow up and go to college leaving the home very quiet and empty, parents may start to go through a period of grief and loneliness that is commonly called “empty nest syndrome”. This time can be a challenge for some parents, but it can also be a great time to learn new things, create new spaces and explore new places. Doing all of these things will help parents start a new chapter in their lives.

Empty Nesters House Plans

One of the very first things that empty nesters need to do is decide what they want to do with their homes. Do they want to stay in the larger home or should they downsize to a smaller home, condominium or apartment? The next step is to assess the items in a child’s bedroom. This is a rite-of-passage for both the parent and the child. In fact, it is a good idea for the parent and the child heading off to college to work together to decide what to do with items in the room before the child leaves. Once the house is quiet, the parent can then delve into the de-cluttering project. Another good reason to have the child help with this process is because there are certain items that a parent might hold an emotional attachment to, but the child might not care.

Once you have organized the child’s “stuff”, it is time to decide what to do with the empty bedroom space. The room can be turned into an office, craft room, exercise room, TV room, or it can serve many other purposes. It’s best to not turn the room into a “dumping ground” for stuff from the rest of the house. After the discussion with the child, move all of the items out of the room and sort them into boxes like you would for any other re-organization project: keep in room, place in storage, throw away, donate or sell. Renting a self storage unit is a great solution to store the items from your child’s bedroom. There might not be enough room in the home to store extra furniture and all of the smaller boxes of projects, trophies, stuffed animals and toys that the child has accumulated over the years.  You might want to keep the larger items in the room, such as furniture, in storage for use after the child graduates from college and moves back home before starting their new life. If the child didn’t get a chance to go through their items before the re-organization project, then the empty nester can box them up and place them in storage and leave it to the child to decide what to do with the items. Storing the items in a self storage unit is especially important if the empty nesters decide to sell the larger family home for a condo or apartment!

The reorganizing project can be a daunting one for empty nesters, so you don’t need to rush the process. Give the project a few hours a day until it is complete and you are satisfied with your new room. It could actually be fun to pick out new accessories and items for the room! ezStorage has 46 Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and Washington D.C. storage locations that have storage unit sizes perfect for any type of household storage needs. Stop in to one of our locations and see how we can help with storage options for empty nesters that are going through this transitional time in their lives.

 

 

Star Spangled Spectacular

Star Spangled Spectacular

 

Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the National Anthem starting September 10th to September 16th in Baltimore at the Star Spangled Spectacular!  The free celebration is being held in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Fort McHenry and Martin State Airport with great events to celebrate the writing of the “Star Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key after the Battle of Baltimore. There will be many events and activities over the 6 day festival from the arrival of tall ships to patriotic concerts to performances by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels. Plus, there are Festival Villages at the Inner Harbor, Fort McHenry and Martin State Airport with special events and family activities, food, historical reenactments and demonstrations and much more.

Star Spangled Banner History

200 years ago, the young United States was in the midst of the War of 1812 with Britain. British forces had just burnt down major government buildings in Washington D.C., including the White House and they were on their way to Baltimore. Maryland and Baltimore citizens with the Maryland militia and U.S. Army banded together to protect the city and harbor. After 25 hours of bombardment by the British Army and Navy, Fort McHenry and Baltimore still stood and the British were defeated.  Francis Scott Key, a lawyer who was on a diplomatic mission to release British prisoners of war in the Baltimore Harbor was held on a British prisoner ship during the bombardment. After the bombardment ended, he saw the U.S. still flying over the fort and was inspired to write a poem, which he called “Defense of Fort McHenry”.  The lyrics were soon set to a popular British tune written by John Statford Smith called the “Anacreontic Society”, which was named for a London’s men social club. The song was later renamed “The Star Spangled Banner” and began being played public events. The song officially became the National Anthem of the United States by an act of Congress in 1931.

There were actually two flags that were commissioned by Major George Armistead to fly over Fort McHenry. He asked local seamstress Mary Pickersgill to sew the flag. Mary and family and friends made two flags. The first one was the 30×42 garrison flag and the second was a smaller 17×25 storm flag that was flown during bad weather. The flag had 15 stripes and 15 stars for the 15 states of the United States, including the two newest states of Kentucky and Vermont.  The larger garrison flag is on display at the National Museum of American History. 

Star Spangled Spectacular Celebrations

There are many events that will be taking place from September 10th to 16th in and around Baltimore Harbor. Every day of the Star Spangled Celebration, Fort McHenry, the fort that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to the “Star Spangled Banner”, will be hosting special events commemorating the anniversary. Each day there will be ranger talks, cannon firings and living history events.  The actual handwritten manuscript of the “Star Spangled Banner” will be on display at the Fort as well as pieces from the original flag. The Star Spangled Banner fort, as some people call it, will fire off salutes as the tall ships and naval ships enter Baltimore Harbor on September 10th.  On September 11th, the American flag found in the ruins of the World Trade Center will be on a special display honoring those that gave their lives on 9/11/2001. Fort McHenry is also a great place to watch the air show performed by the United States Navy’s Blue Angels on both Saturday and Sunday. Fort McHenry will host a concert by the U.S. Marine Band, “President’s Own” on Saturday evening and lead off the flag raising ceremony and huge fireworks display.

To celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore, 35 tall and naval ships will be on display in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The ships will be from countries all over the world including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, Spain and Turkey. The ships arrive in the harbor on 9/10 and will be available for touring from 9/11 to 9/15 from noon to 5pm. The ships will depart on 9/16. Seeing the ships coming in or leaving the harbor is definitely a site to see.

There will also be an air show put on by precision flight team, The Blue Angels on Saturday and Sunday. You will able to see the show from the Inner Harbor and Fort McHenry. Martin State Airport is one of the Star Spangled Spectacular Festival Village sites. The airport festival will have food, family entertainment and interactive activities, a chance to get autographs from the Blue Angels pilots and a display on U. S. Navy aviation history.

Star Spangled Spectacular Concerts

There will be two concerts held Saturday, September 13th to commemorate the bicentennial of the “Star Spangled Banner”. The first one starts at 6pm at Fort McHenry and features the U.S. Marine Band (mentioned earlier). The second concert takes place at Pier Six Pavilion and will be broadcast live for PBS’s Great Performances. The concert will be hosted by John Lithgow and feature performances from the pop, rock, country, R&B and Broadway worlds paying tribute to America’s ideals through song. Performers include: Kristen Chenoweth, Melissa Etheridge, Little Big Town, Smokey Robinson, Train, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The show will be capped off with a spectacular fireworks display, choreographed to music, over Baltimore Harbor.

There are so many great activities celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner. It is one of our nation’s treasures and has been an important symbol to our country since its very early years. Maryland and Baltimore citizens fought very hard to protect their city and fort from the British army and we celebrate this hard-fought victory with the Star Spangled Spectacular! ezStorage is very proud to be part of the resilient Maryland community! Stop in to see how our 46 Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area locations can help you with your storage needs. We offer a variety of self storage units to help with any storage need from business to personal, vehicle to RV, medical supply to holiday decoration storage.

Tips for Appliance Storage

Tips for Appliance Moving and Storage

Photo courtesy of angieslist.com.

 

 

The hardest items in the home to prepare for storage or moving are appliances such as washers and dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, or microwaves. If you are moving appliances to a new home or to a storage unit, it is very important to follow the proper steps in order to prepare the appliances, so they can be easily set-up and used in a new home. We will delve further into the specifics on washer and dryer storage in a future blog post. Today, we will focus on tips for preparing and moving refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers and microwaves. Check manufacturer’s instructions for specific storage/moving information for each appliance before you start the moving process. Some of the preparation needed will be specific for a particular appliance, while others can follow general preparation tips. For any appliance, the most important thing to do before moving is a thorough cleaning, which includes removing all food and cleaning the appliance inside and out.  When moving appliances, place them last on the truck, so they will be the removed first at the new home or storage facility.

Tips for Storing a Refrigerator

  • Defrost refrigerator at least 3 days before moving.
  • Drain icemakers and water supplies and allow them to thoroughly dry.
  • Remove the trays and drawers from the refrigerator and clean with a mild detergent. Wash down the inside of the refrigerator with a mild detergent.
  • Dust or vacuum the coils on the outside of the refrigerator.
  • When moving the refrigerator, transport upright. Placing the refrigerator on its side could damage some of the refrigeration coils.
  • Tape the doors shut while in transit. When it is placed in a storage unit, remove the tape and leave the door slightly ajar to prevent moisture build-up.

Tips for Moving and Storing a Stove

  • Before cleaning, remove any pans (broiler pan) from the inside of the stove.
  • Clean the stove inside and out.
  • If it is a gas stove, have a professional turn off the gas and disengage the piping. Place the piping inside the stove for safe keeping.
  • If it is an electric stove, it can just be unplugged when you are moving.
  • Tape down the knobs on the stove to prevent them from becoming loose in transit.
  • Tape the plug to the side of the appliance for transport.

 Tips for Moving and Storing a Dishwasher

  • Unplug and thoroughly clean the dishwasher. Let the dishwasher air dry for at least 24 hours before packing it for moving.
  • Disconnect and clean the hoses. Once these are dry, wrap them in towels or newsprint for protection. Place the hoses inside the dishwasher for easy access.
  • Leave the dishwasher door open for a little bit of time before moving.
  • Tape the cord onto the side of the dishwasher for transport.

 Tips for Moving and Storing a Microwave

  • Remove the glass turntable inside the microwave and thoroughly clean the microwave inside and out.
  • If possible, place the microwave back in its original packaging.
  • If the original packaging is not available, the microwave can be stored in a very sturdy cardboard box. Make sure to add lots of filler material (newsprint, bubble wrap, or linens) to give extra protection.
  • Tape the glass door shut during transport with the cords on taped on the side of the appliance.

Self Storage is a great home storage solution for short-term and long-term storage for appliances. By properly preparing them for moving or storage, you will be able to keep the items in good working order when you need them. Stop by any of the 46 Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and Washington D.C. area ezStorage locations to see how we can help with your storage needs!  We have a variety of storage unit sizes to fit household goods, clothing, appliances and furniture.

 

The Maryland Renaissance Festival

Maryland Renaissance Festival

 

The Maryland Renaissance Festival, which opened August 23rd and is open every weekend through October 19th is located in Anne Arundel County at 1821 Crownsville Road, just outside of Annapolis. This is the 37th season for the Maryland Renaissance Fair, which offers a unique outdoor experience of food, entertainment, skills and demonstrations, all in a day’s trip back to the 1520’s court of King Henry VIII’s.

Step Back in Time at the Maryland Renaissance Festival

As you enter the Maryland Renaissance Festival, you are transported back in time to the fictional village of Revel Grove. You will see actors portraying members of the royal court including King Henry VIII and his first wife, Katherine of Aragon. These performers take part in daily parades throughout the fair; oversee jousting tournaments and other daily entertainment activities and interaction with the fairgoers. There are also magicians, jugglers and other performers that you can see throughout the fairgrounds.

The Maryland Renaissance Fair offers special event weekends throughout the run of the show. September 6th and 7th is “Pirate Adventure Weekend” with special pirate theme and shows. There is a Scottish Celebration on September 20th and 21st with special Scottish performances, Scottish endurance games, such as caber tossing and much more. The Renaissance Festival in Maryland closes out with a special jousting competition on October 18th and 19th, where knights across the country can compete to see who is the best knight in the land!

Things to Do and See at the Maryland Renaissance Fair

There is quite a lot to see and do at the Maryland Renaissance Fair from entertainment on 8 different stages to watching daily jousting exhibitions. There are performers and artisans from all over the world displaying their skills and crafts. Children can enjoy puppet shows, magicians, storytellers and a special designated play area, which includes a pirate ship! For the adults, there are comedy shows, acrobatic performances, sword swallowers, jesters, musicians, madrigals, living history demonstrations and much more. You can also test your strength and ability at special games of skill. Craftsmen will be demonstrating and selling their wares including handcrafted clothing, leather goods, jewelry, stained glass and blown glass. There are many different food outlets from turkey legs, to deep-fried vegetables to ice cream and other fair food throughout the different areas of the Maryland Renaissance Festival.

The Maryland Renaissance Fair is a great way to escape from the modern world and learn a little bit about the culture and history from hundreds of years ago. Plus, the fair is always a great place to people watch! You can find out more up-to-date information on shows and events at the Fair’s Facebook and Twitter Pages.

ezStorage is proud to have our locations in the Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. areas! Stop by any of our local storage unit facilities to see how we can help you with all of your storage needs!

 

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!