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Still dazzling after 35 years

A lot of ego sparks the famous boat parade on Ego Alley

The Messiah can’t be sung just once

They’re the decorations on Riverdale Baptist Church’s Living Christmas Tree

Create your holiday kingdom for the Greater Annapolis Lego Open

New loggerhead hatchling joins National Aquarium

A boy learns the power of a good story in this exceptional animated film

If you must blink, do it now.           So begins the story of young Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson: Game of Thrones), a troubadour in ancient Japan. Each day in the square he tells fantastical tales of the Moon King and the brave warrior Hanzo who fights him. As he weaves his tale, Kubo plays his shamisen as origami to come to life to act out his story. Villagers gather to watch and shower Kubo with coins.     The most fantastical thing about Kubo...

How some of the world’s most famous art found safe refuge in early-America’s Annapolis

You’d want to know if you were neighbor to a secret treasure of masterpieces.     So I’m telling you.     Sixty-three paintings by great Northern European masters — Jan Breughel, Rubens and Van Dyck among them — lived quietly in Annapolis for two years, and Prince George’s County for 16 more years.     “There was no collection of old master paintings remotely like it in this country,” says Arthur Wheelock...

That’s Charles Baker, streetside entertainer

On the corner of Ego Alley and City Dock at weekends when the weather is at its best, The Balloon Man pumps and twists latex into masterpieces to tickle kids and tease the stiffness out of adults.     On an average sunny Saturday, Charles Baker makes up to 100 balloons from Elmos to penguins, flowers to swords.     “My grandson thinks he is grandpa,” says a customer. “I am sure it’s the grey hair.” The grandson brandishes an inflated...

Chesapeake Curiosities: Battle Creek Cypress Swamp is the northernmost of its kind

A habitat unique in Maryland flourishes just south of Prince Frederick. Battle Creek Cypress Swamp is one of the nation’s northernmost naturally occurring stands of bald cypress trees.     “It’s actually a bit of a mystery why the swamp is here, as we don’t see similar stands of trees in other low-lying swampy areas of the county,” says Shannon Steele, Calvert County naturalist.     In 1957, the Nature Conservancy purchased 100 acres...

Summer sends these insects singing

Heat wave temperatures may not have us humans singing for the joy of life, but that’s not the case for several insect species that voice their appreciation of the heat this time of year.     Late summer’s exceptionally warm days drive the cicadas (also called harvest flies) to start their singing early. The buzzing is the quintessential sound of summer and how this cicada earned its name. The hot and humid days of late July and August draw the males into the treetops...

Solving problems, finding solutions

If Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Claro and Ray ‘Ray Ray’ Werwie Jr. had not stepped up to help, Enzo Tannozzini would have been in long-term rehab.     Instead, through a series of happenstances, Tannozzini’s happily back home.     The World War II veteran had fallen and broken his hip. Now he could come home … if their Franklin Manor home had wheelchair access. With little hope and less money, wife Juanita Tannozzini didn’t...

I’m inspissated. How about you?

Too hot to move. Too hot to cook. Too hot to exercise (except water aerobics). Too hot to sleep.     Just how hot is it?     Hotter than it’s ever been — relatively speaking.     “July 2016 was absolutely the hottest month since the instrumental records began,” the Baltimore Sun reminds me, sourcing NASA.     July 2002 felt plenty miserable to then Bay Weekly contributor April Falcon Doss. Heat, she reminded...

There may be a fungus in your soil

Every year, a number of readers complain that their garden did not produce as much as last year’s.     If your garden is on poorly drained soil, you can blame some of the problem on wet feet. All vegetable-producing plants demand well-drained soils. Soils that tend to remain wet for several days after a hefty rain can cause roots to rot, thus reducing crop yields.     Or your problem could be a fungus.     If your garden is small and you are...

Plan B might be your score

I lifted my rod tip to strike and felt a solid resistance. The small rod bowed. About 30 feet from the boat, I saw the swirl of a fish breaching just under the surface. Then my drag started to sing. We were in the skinny water just off of a rocky Bay shoreline and throwing Capt. Bert’s Perch Pounders.     There was either a really big white perch at the end of my line — or a lurking rockfish had fallen victim to my black-and-orange spinner bait. After about 50 yards...

This stunning Disney remake features a ­charming dragon and a good moral

Forest Ranger Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard: Jurassic World) has found many strange things in the wood. The oddest of all might be Pete (Oakes Fegley: Person of Interest), a bedraggled 10-year-old who’s lived for five years in the forest after his parents’ death.     Pete had help surviving the wolves and cold. He credits his friend Elliot, who he describes as a giant green dragon.     Perhaps Pete’s story is the product of a traumatized...