Harriet Tubman was a pioneer for freedom 100 years ago; a humanitarian and American hero who fought selflessly to ensure freedom for all. To commemorate her momentous accomplishments, Maryland’s eastern shore is playing host to a centennial weekend filled with special events, historic markers, and a look into the life of this brave woman.
The Centennial Celebration begins on Friday, March 8 with the opening of artist Mark Priest’s exhibit at the Museum of Rural Life in Denton, Maryland featuring drawings and paintings inspired by Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.
Priest will be at the museum for the opening reception at 7 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are $20. The exhibit will run through August.
The centennial weekend continues on Saturday, March 9, with a groundbreaking at the new state park and the Harriet Tubman Banquet.
The day will also include a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway (a self-guided driving tour). The groundbreaking and ribbon cutting will take place at 10 a.m., with shuttle service from Dorchester High School in Cambridge beginning at 9 a.m. The event is free but registration is required at undergroundrailroad.eventbrite.com.
Hosted at the Governor’s Hall in Sailwinds Park in Cambridge, Maryland, the buffet-style banquet starts at 4 p.m. and includes musical entertainment from acclaimed jazz musician Marcus Shelby.
Guest speaker Clara Small, an Underground Railroad historian, will enlighten guests on the Railroad’s history and significance. Tickets are $50.
The centennial weekend concludes on Sunday, March 10 with a moving musical tribute by Shelby and his quartet. Artist Faye Carol will also pay homage to Tubman, her history and story, through original compositions, re-imagined and re-orchestrated spirituals, freedom songs, and blues music.
Held at the Choptank Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Chespeake Bay Resort in Cambridge, Maryland, the concert starts at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20.
The Harriet Tubman Centennial Celebration is sure to kick off what is bound to be a heartening and illuminating year. This is one centennial not to miss.
For more information, call 800-522-8687 or visit The Harriet Tubman Byways website.
Hafsa Siddiqi is an editorial intern at Maryland Life.