March 11, 2015

Contact: Kari Saavedra, Frederick Historic Sites Consortium, 301-600-2743,

Frederick County Welcomes Museum Season with Bell & History Day, April 11

Frederick, MD -- Saturday, April 11, 2015, is Bell & History Day, marking the official opening of Frederick County’s museum season.  Across the county, more than 20 participating museums and historic sites offer complimentary entry along with special programs. Enjoy period demonstrations, living history vignettes, hands-on crafts, refreshments, tours, music, and various bell-themed activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

During Bell & History Day, the Passport to History program encourages event-goers to collect passport stamps at each location visited. Participants receive a souvenir bell and a chance to win a grand prize. Passports are available at the Frederick Visitor Center, 151 S. East Street in Frederick.

Bell & History Day will kick off with the ringing of the Frederick County History Bell at the Frederick Visitor Center, 151 S. East Street. Everyone present is invited to ring the bell, starting at 10 a.m.  Afterwards, stay to see the exhibits and the visitor orientation film.

At 7 p.m. the day concludes with the Bell & History Handbell Festival at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Hundreds of bells and chimes will perform with the theme “Gladness of Heart,” recalling President Abraham Lincoln’s last public address of which his opening statement was, “We meet this evening, not in sorrow, but in gladness of heart.” The concert falls on the same day as Lincoln’s last address, 150 years ago. There is no charge, no reservations are necessary, and the public is invited. The concert will last approximately one hour. 

In lieu of the traditional, collective Bell & History Day bell ringing throughout Frederick, bells throughout Frederick County will ring on April 9 at 3:15 p.m. as part of Bells Across the Land: A Nation Remembers Appomattox. The National Park Service has invited partners across the country to ring bells for four minutes – one minute for each year of the war – to commemorate Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Bells will ring throughout the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area – at churches, fire halls, and public buildings.

Bell and History Day is hosted by the Frederick Historic Sites Consortium with support from Plamondon Hospitality Partners. Detailed program information, participating sites, and activities can be found on the Bell & History page.