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The annual Mt. Harmon Lotus Blossom Art & Nature Festival is scheduled for Saturday, August 6th, from 10AM to 4PM. The historic Tidewater Plantation near Earleville, Maryland, offers docking for cruisers visiting the 200-acre nature preserve. Arriving by boat on Back Creek, a branch of the Sassafras River, is a much more pleasant ride than trying to navigate the long, winding, unpaved, single lane road leading to the property. The festival showcases the rare American Lotus, which is usually in full bloom along the shallows bordering the plantation. Artisans and vendors display nature-inspired fine arts and crafts, and historic reenactors entertain visitors with old-time cooking and homesteading. For a full list of exhibitors and activities, email info@mountharmon.org; mountharmon.org
Gone fishing!
This year’s Dare County Boat Builders Foundation fishing tournament will honor Sonny Briggs, one of the most experienced boatbuilders on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Proceeds from the offshore fishing tournament promote awareness of the historical and cultural heritage of boatbuilding in Dare County, North Carolina, and support educational opportunities for students. This year’s 30 deserving students received a total of $27,250 to help fund the cost of their education. Lines can go into the water beginning at 8:30AM on Thursday, July 28th, and will be pulled out by 2:30PM on Saturday, July 30th. Sign up during registration night at the Pirate’s Cove Marina Tournament Pavilion in Manteo on Wednesday, July 27th, from 5-8PM, mingle with fellow anglers while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres beginning at 6:30PM, and attend the captain’s meeting at 7:30PM. An advance registration form can also be downloaded from the event’s website. The tournament is open to all boats—custom and production. An awards banquet caps the tournament on Saturday night from 6-8PM. Complete rules and entry information can be found on the official tournament website. dcbbf.org

City purchases tall ship

Mariners get to see the schooner Virginia sailing along the Elizabeth River for many years to come as the Norfolk City Council approved a plan for the Nauticus Foundation to buy the tall ship. Docking for the 122-foot vessel is planned to be near the battleship USS Wisconsin, and the public may tour it for free. The foundation received $1 million in state funding—rebated money from a city roads project—to buy the ship. They plan to use it to teach underprivileged children how to sail. Launched in 2005, Virginia is a reproduction of a ship that first set sail in 1917. nauticus.org

Funding for the Hall

The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) announced that the Merrill Family Foundation donated $250,000 to match a state grant for the planning, design and permitting of a new facility at the site of its current location at the Annapolis City Dock adjacent to the Naval Academy. The new facility intends to boost the educational and public programming of NSHOF, which includes curricula for middle/high school students, a free public sailing program, boat exhibitions, regattas for injured veterans, and public access to Spa Creek. nationalsailinghalloffame.org