The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, MD, invites the community to its CBMM Welcome Center Grand Opening on Saturday, December 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CBMM general admission will be free for all guests that day.

cbmm welcome center
Jazz saxophonist and St. Michaels native Anthony “Turk” Cannon, whose father Wilson “Turk” Cannon was a waterman (featured in the oystering exhibit), will perform at the event. Photo courtesy of CBMM

Following a formal ribbon cutting at 10:30 a.m., the festivities will continue with a festival-style celebration highlighting the theme of “Winter on the Chesapeake” that features authentic Chesapeake Bay experiences, including food demonstrations, hands-on activities, campus tours, and live music. 

The entertainment includes a performance by renowned smooth jazz saxophonist and St. Michaels native Anthony “Turk” Cannon, whose father Wilson “Turk” Cannon was an iconic waterman who is featured in CBMM’s Oystering on the Chesapeake exhibition. 

“This is a truly exciting day in CBMM’s history that has been many years in the making,” president and CEO Kristen Greenaway said. “Our wonderful new Welcome Center is integral to CBMM’s mission and takes the guest experience to the next level.” 

CBMM’s new Welcome Center is a 12,000-square-foot, fully ADA-accessible building constructed overlooking Fogg’s Cove, housing three exhibition spaces, a reception desk, restrooms, and the Museum Store. Its construction marks the start of Phase II of CBMM’s ongoing Master Plan campus upgrades. 

Guests will find a new orientation exhibition, “Navigating the Chesapeake’s Maritime Culture,” constructed on a wall adjacent to the entrance that uses photos and artifacts to set up the themes found across campus. 

“Water Lines: Chesapeake Watercraft Traditions” is an exhibition showcasing CBMM’s small craft collection, some of which have been in storage and will be shared with guests for the first time. The forthcoming “Stories from the Shoreline” exhibition will present an expansion of the storytelling in the current “Waterfowling” exhibition to include info about the ecology of the Bay and the experiences of the people who have called the region home over time. 

During the Welcome Center Grand Opening, guests may explore the new building while also experiencing special programming led by CBMM staff and community partners. A variety of food items and beverages, including beer and cocktails, will be available for purchase. 

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