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Articles by Madeline Hughes

Help fill a backpack for kids in need

    The best part of summer’s winding down is the acquisition of new school supplies.
    Opening the full bag is as thrilling as opening a treasure chest. Abundant new and fresh, here is everything you need to make this the best year ever. Then comes the rush as you sharpen new pencils, use an unmarred eraser and crack open a pristine notebook to write on the very first page.

Many local chefs and restaurants are on the bandwagon

     Farm-fresh fruit and vegetables plus fin and shellfish straight from the Bay abound in midsummer Maryland. Farmers markets, roadside stands and grocery stores all sell local produce.
    But will you fare so well when you go out to eat?
    Yes — if you know where to look.

Magical flight beyond Neverland

     Peter Pan is an ageless adventure in a magical realm of opportunity and imagination. It’s impossible to stay earthbound when Peter Pan (Sam Ellis), Wendy (Lucy O’Brien), Michael (Tad Clifton) and John (Connor McCarty) lift off from the stage to fly to Neverland.

Sailing into your ken

    If you’re looking, you, like John O. Rogers, of Churchton, might find Pride of Baltimore II sailing into your Chesapeake viewshed. On Monday July 7, Pride set sail south, leaving Baltimore for Piscataway Park on the Potomac in Prince Georges County. She arrives Thursday, July 10, to join in Celebrating the Potomac on Saturday July 12. Deck tours are free from 11am to 5pm, with a $65 special sail (w/age discounts) later that evening (

Talent Machine’s young actors are rehearsing for life

     Talent Machine is a gifted crew of kids and volunteers who make magic for audiences of every age. This year, the seven- to 14-year-old troupe is working on Peter Pan; the kids have learned lines, choreography and music to captivate audiences. From this experience, they’ll take away more than memories and new friends.

In its 4th year, the Annapolis Irish Festival draws an ever-larger crowd seeking Celtic music and heritage

Tap and dance along with 12 Celtic bands and five schools of Irish dance at the Annapolis Irish Festival. The music starts on Friday, July 11, at 4pm on three stages and continues through Saturday night.
    Festival organizer Eddie McGowan loves “the whole community feel of the festival. It is not just a beer-drinking festival. It is a family event with all ages coming out. The Irish heritage in Annapolis is strong.”

Visiting friends and family gets you go-go-going

I lived on the verge of our nation’s capital my whole life until I moved to Vermont to go to college. Only when a friend from Sweden came home with me for spring break did I understand the treasure I’d taken for granted.

Crossettes, Chrysanthemums and Cakes light up the Chesapeake


Unity Gardens spreads the green

Anne Arundel County blooms with the help of Unity Gardens twice a year. This non-profit organization raises money to helps community groups with twice-yearly grants to green their spaces. The new cycle to apply for grants up to $1,000 runs from July 1 through August 31. So act now or wait until January.

Professional choreography does the trick

Even the biggest Fourth of July fire-works shows are over in minutes.

Planning lasts much longer.

Choreographing the shows is a job for professionals. The bigger the budget, the bigger the display — in length and drama.