Star-Spangled Spectacular, Bicentennial pumped $333M into Maryland

01/13/2015| Emily Kimball

Star-Spangled Spectacular, Bicentennial pumped $333M into Maryland

01/13/2015 | Emily Kimball

When it comes to celebrating our national anthem, Maryland certainly knows how to throw a party.

Between 2012 and 2014, more than 3 million people attended events commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. The two-year patriotic festival had an economic impact of $333 million on Maryland's economy, according to a report by theMaryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and Star- Spangled 200, Inc., within theMaryland Department of Business and Economic Development(DBED).

The economic impact report was prepared byForward Analyticsand released Tuesday. It reveals a detailed breakdown of how visitors participated in the celebration:

Star-Spangled Spectacular

  • The Star-Spangled Spectacular, between Sept. 10 and Sept. 16, 2014, drew 1.43 million attendees; 15 percent were from outside Maryland and more than 75 percent were from outside Baltimore City.
  • Spectacular included a parade of more than 33 international tall ships and navy vessels, an air show featuring the Blue Angels, a live, two-hour national television simulcast from the Inner Harbor and Fort McHenry on PBS stations, and a world record-setting fireworks display.
  • More than 2,000 crew members from seven nations participated in free ship tours, community service, and toured the area as goodwill ambassadors.
  • More than 1,570 volunteers contributed a total of 5,992 volunteer hours and provided guest services, served as ship liaisons, and assisted in landside activities.
  • Spectacular's direct impact of $96.53 million includes $93.53 million generated by non-local visitors, $1.24 million by vendors and sponsors, and $1.75 million in event host spending.
  • Visitors spent an estimated $86 per person at local restaurants, retailers, museums, attractions, hotels, parking, and transportation.
  • Spectacular generated significant tax revenues for the local and state economy$1.51 million in tax revenues to the City of Baltimore and $6.42 million in sales tax revenues to the State of Maryland. In addition, 3,974 full-time equivalent jobs were created.


  • Sailabration, between June 13 and June 19, 2012, drew an estimated 1.54 million attendees; more than 28 percent were from outside Maryland and more than 76 percent were from outside Baltimore City.

Chesapeake Campaign

  • Eight Chesapeake Campaign eventsin Havre de Grace, St. Michaels, Leonardtown, St. Leonard, Bladensburg, Fairlee, Brookeville and North Point between May 2013 and September 2014drew an estimated 78,100 attendees, with 13 percent visiting from outside Maryland.

Total impact of events

  • In total, all of the events drew more than 3 million in attendance with an economic impact of $333 million, with $196 million in direct impact and $137 million in indirect impact.
  • A coordinated Spectacular marketing campaign by Visit Baltimore and the Maryland Office of Tourism reached more than 125 million people in important tourism markets. The results show more than 2,025 news stories with $33 million in value and more than 2.2 billion circulation impressions that included positive messages about Baltimore and Maryland in outlets including World News Tonight, ABC This Week, Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, Sunday Night Football, Fox Football Sunday, CBS Saturday Morning, and the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, among others.
  • Omnibus surveys conducted before the commemoration in 2009 and after the commemoration in 2014 show that the number of Americans who can correctly identify the Star-Spangled Banner with Baltimore grew from 25 percent to 39 percent.

Find the full report here.

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