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Harriet Tubman Byway Partner

Once the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center opens to the public on March 11, it is expected to draw visitors from all over the country – and the world. While here, visitors will be looking for lodging, dining, shopping, and other things to do in the area. Learn how your business can become a certified Harriet Tubman Byway partner and engage visitors during a free workshop on Feb. 21. The workshop runs from 5pm to 7:30pm at Chesapeake College Cambridge Center. The Tubman Business Initiative is a joint effort of Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce, Dorchester County Tourism, Dorchester County Economic Development, and the Maryland Office of Tourism.

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Ironman Races add $5.5M to Local Economy

SPECIAL by ANDREA VERNOT: IRONClub Maryland, the non-profit organization formed to support large-scale, high-impact endurance events in Dorchester County, today released the results of an economic impact report revealing that the 2015 IRONMAN races attracted 3,500 participants and generated almost $5.5 million for the region. The findings were announced at the Dorchester Visitors Center during a morning reception recognizing new sponsors and board members including an unveiling of a locally fabricated metal IRONMAN sculpture. Cambridge International President and CEO Tracy L. Tyler joined area business and government leaders to applaud the economic benefits and reveal the large, three-dimensional IRONMAN sculpture with a new, Maryland design. “On behalf of Dorchester County and IRONClub Maryland, thank you for rallying behind IRONMAN and enthusiastically supporting our local booster club,” said Tourism Director and board member Amanda Fenstermaker. “Over the past two years, more than 300 members raised over $100,000 in private contributions toward licensing fees and leveraged that support with donations, in-kind services and volunteerism. Together, we’ve increased our investment 100-fold, generating $10 million for our economy in only two short years.” Produced by Salisbury University’s BEACON Center under the direction of Memo Diriker “IRONMAN Races in Dorchester County: 2015 Economic Impact” reveals …

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Dorchester Hosts IRONMAN Maryland

One of the world’s most grueling athletic events is returning to Dorchester County on October 3, 2015. IRONMAN Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic’s only full-length IRONMAN triathlon will bring thousands of athletes—and the attention of the world—to Cambridge, Maryland. IRONMAN is known worldwide as the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit for athletes. Director of Dorchester County Tourism Amanda Fenstermaker said, “I’m happy to see that many of the triathletes have been coming to Dorchester in the months before the race to train.  We’ve been gearing up to welcome them—improving the course and coming up with ways to enhance their experience here. Last year was the triathlon’s first year, and the event generated an economic impact of about $3.4 million for the region. This year promises to be even bigger, with more athletes and more visitors expected. We can’t wait.” Approximately, 2500 athletes along with their family and friends will arrive on the Eastern Shore to compete in a 140.6 mile race, comprised of a 2.4 mile swim on the Choptank River, a 112 mile bike through Southern Dorchester County and 26.2 mile run through downtown Cambridge.  IRONMAN Maryland is one of only 38 IRONMAN Triathlons held in the world, with Dorchester …

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Creation of Local Scenic Railroad

By SUSAN BAUTZ, Special to the Dorchester County Department of Economic Development “People love trains,” according to David Owens, vice president of the Eastern Shore Scenic Railroad (ESSR) volunteer group. If the numbers riding the train at the Hurlock Fall Festival are any indication, he is right. Once a year an engine and two restored passenger cars make six round trips between Hurlock and Federalsburg. The trips are sold out. About a thousand excited children, parents, and grandparents wait eagerly for a ride. Older folks remember train travel fondly; but for most children riding the rails means watching Thomas the Tank Engine. The success of the one day event and the popularity of scenic railroads in Western Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania encouraged the ESSR volunteers to pursue the creation of a scenic railroad on 6.4 miles of Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) owned track between Hurlock and Preston. For the past nine years the group has worked with MDOT’s railroad division to obtain rights to the short, unused and deteriorating track through leasing or ownership. The project promises to be an incredible boost to heritage tourism and translate into tens of thousands of dollars in terms of economic impact not …

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Crab Cook-Off Celebrates 11th Year

July 11, 2015, marks the 11th annual Taste of Cambridge.  The Taste of Cambridge is held each year to honor Dorchester County watermen and the products they bring to market every day. The Maryland Blue Crab represents the hard-working heritage of the Eastern Shore.  It will be the featured ingredient in categories like Best Cream of Crab Soup, Best Vegetable Crab Soup, Best Crab Dip, Best Crab Cake, and Best Crab Specialty. “Taste of Cambridge has begun to get regional attention as a food competition, but also because travelers are starting to see Cambridge as a fun destination,” said Cambridge Main Street Executive Director Brandon Hesson.  “In some cases, the competing restaurants are bringing a lifetime of experience cooking with the best-tasting crab on the planet, which makes it a can’t-miss-event for fans of world-class food.” Restaurants like Jimmie & Sook’s Raw Bar and Grill, Ocean Odyssey, The High Spot, and Craniums at the Beach will be competing to hold onto their titles.  The Judges’ Choice Winner will qualify to compete in the World Food Championships held this year in Kissimmee, FL in November. For more information on Cambridge Main Street or volunteering opportunities at their events, please visit www.cambridgemainstreet.com. …

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MD House & Garden Pilgrimage Visits Dorchester

The 2015 Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage (MHGP) is planned for this Saturday, May 9. The tour will include stops in East New Market and Cambridge. The Chicone Village Longhouse and Garden at Handsell, Huntington Residence, Choptank River Lighthouse, Haller Garden, and Summer Inn are just a few of the named stops on the tour. The Dorches­ter Visitor Center is serving as the information headquarters with tickets, tour information, and available restrooms. Dorchester County Tourism Director Amanda Fenstermaker said, “We are pleased to wel­come the Maryland House and Pilgrimage Tour to Dorchester County.  This is truly a unique opportunity to showcase the his­toric treasures of Dorchester County while generating eco­nomic impact through heritage tourism.” By advanced reservation only, a box lunch is available for $15 the day of the tour by calling the Dorchester Center for the Arts at 410.228.7782. The 2015 MHGP benefits Dorchester County’s Handsell, an 18th-century plan­tation house located on Indian­town Road just north of historic Vienna. Other 2015 tours will be in St. Mary’s, Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, and Washington counties. For tour schedules, additional information, or reservations, visit mhgp.org or call 410.821.6933.

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Some Events in a Packed September

Saturday, September 20: The inaugural IRONMAN Maryland triathlon will be held in Cambridge. Join the fun as downtown Cambridge also celebrates with their annual Summer Send-Off event. The Summer Send-Off and its Blues, Brews, & BBQ is from 5-10 p.m. on the 300 and 400 blocks of Race Street. Visit the shops, dine out, and be a spectator as the athletes run by. For more information, please visit www.cambridgemainstreet.com. Friday, September 26: The 24th Annual Chamber Challenge Golf Tournament will be held at the River Marsh Golf Course. The tournament includes18 holes of golf, use of cart, skeet shoot, and lunch. Proceeds will benefit education programs and other initiatives that support Dorchester County’s business community. To register or learn more, contact the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce at 410.228.3575 or by emailing info@dorchesterchamber.org. Saturday, September 27: Come downtown and enjoy Crabtoberfest. The Oktoberfest-style event will take place from 4:00-10:00 p.m. on the corners of Race and Gay streets. American and German beer will be available as well as a plentiful variety of German and crab fare. Enjoy German folk dancing and carnival-style games. To learn more, contact the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce at 410.228.3575 or by emailing info@dorchesterchamber.org. Sunday, September 28: The …

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Dorchester Hosts Inaugural IRONMAN Maryland

One of the world’s most grueling athletic events is coming to the Eastern Shore on September 20, 2014. IRONMAN Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic’s first and only full-length IRONMAN triathlon, will bring thousands of athletes—and the attention of the world—to Cambridge, Maryland. IRONMAN is known worldwide as the ultimate test of body, mind, and spirit for athletes. This past spring, the World Triathlon Corporation announced Cambridge would be the 12th North American City to host a full triathlon. Approximately 1,700 athletes will arrive on the Eastern Shore to compete in a 140.6-mile race comprised of a 2.4-mile swim on the Choptank River, a 112-mile bike through Southern Dorchester County, and a 26.2-mile run through downtown Cambridge. IRONMAN Maryland is one of only 38 IRONMAN triathlons held in the world with Dorchester County joining elite destinations such as Boulder, CO; Lake Tahoe, CA; and Tempe, AZ.  Triathletes competing in the Maryland race can be eligible for one of the qualifying slots to the 2015 IRONMAN World Championship on October 10, 2015, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. An advisory committee of business owners, community leaders, and government officials formed a non-profit booster organization, IRONClub Maryland, to support World Triathlon Corporation’s newest IRONMAN event. The non-profit booster …

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New Business Features Fitness on the Water

Certified by the World Paddle Association, co-owners Kathy Yorton and Angela Thomas started Over Board Paddle and Fitness in June 2014. Yorton and Thomas combine recreational paddling with fitness to provide a great workout on the water. Over Board Paddle and Fitness offers a variety of classes that include Open Level, Core & Oar, Yoga Paddle, and Fit Paddle. The board, paddle and lifejackets are provided, but you are welcome to bring your own gear. “As certified Group Fitness Instructors and certified PaddleFit Level 1 & 2 Instructors, we feel we have the experience to assist people in our area to get healthy while enjoying the beauty our county has to offer,” said Yorton. “Angela and I were born and raised in Dorchester County and honestly couldn’t imagine starting a business anywhere but here. Our goal is to merge our love of fitness with our love of stand-up paddle boarding and share it with our community.” Showcasing their community support, Over Board Paddle will be attending the Chesapeake Paddle Festival on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The festival supports Special Olympics Maryland. To learn more about classes offered and events, please visit www.overboardpaddleandfitness.com. Call 410.463.4350 or email overboardpaddleandfitness@gmail.com to reserve your spot.

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Taste of Cambridge Crab Cook-Off

Saturday, July 12 was Cambridge Main Street’s 10th Annual Taste of Cambridge. Jimmie & Sooks, Leaky Pete’s, Elliott’s Bakery, RAR Brewing, Ocean Odyssey, Blue Point Provision Company, Water’s Edge, Bistro Poplar, Madison Bay, Stoked, High Spot, Squoze, and the Cambridge Yacht Club are just a few of the restaurants who participated in the crab cook-off. This year’s celebrity judges were Chef Max Hardy, personal chef to Amar’e Stoudemire from the New York Knicks, and Kim Cooper, dining editor from What’s Up? magazine. Chef Hardy was available to sign his recently published Cooking with Amar’e – 100 Easy Recipes for Pros and Rookies in the Kitchen. Competition categories and judges’ choice winners included Best Cream of Crab Soup: Jimmie & Sook’s Raw Bar and Grill; Best Maryland Vegetable Crab Soup: Stoked Wood-Fired Eatery; Best Crab Cake/Ball: Cambridge Yacht Club; Best Crab Dip: High Spot Gastropub; Best Crab Specialty: Jimmie & Sook’s Raw Bar and Grill for crab salad; Best Crab Specialty Newcomer: Elliott’s Baking Company for crab-stuffed pretzel. Entertainment included live music, crab picking, contests and games for kids, food, drinks, and much more. Take time to stop and shop in Cambridge’s downtown businesses. The Taste of Cambridge is held each year to …

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