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Baltimore gears up for the Star-Spangled Spectacular, a weeklong city-wide celebration

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BALTIMORE — Tall ships, a Blue Angels air show and musical performances will be among the highlights of a weeklong celebration of the 200th anniversary of writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Star-Spangled Spectacular will begin in Baltimore on Sept. 10. Festivities will include stage performances, fireworks, tours of naval ships and tall ships in the harbor, a Blue Angels air show and performances by Smokey Robinson, Kristen Chenoweth and Gov. Martin O'Malley's Irish rock band, O'Malley's March.

The celebration will commemorate the writing of America's national anthem. After watching American troops withstand a 25-hour land and sea attack to maintain control over Baltimore in September 1814, lawyer Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner.

A piece of the original flag and manuscript will be on display at Fort McHenry.

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