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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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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Lively Arts Scene Draws Visitors & Residents

When Mickey Love arrived in Cambridge in 2007 to run the Dorchester Center for the Arts (DCA), she saw firsthand how the beauty of the environment inspired people to create amazing art. As she rolled up her sleeves to join the board and staff to plan DCA’s expansion and relocation to the historic Nathan building, she quickly discovered that the arts would be a key player in growing Dorchester County’s creative economy. “I used to say when I first moved here that you couldn’t throw a rock in Dorchester without hitting an artist,” she laughs, adding, “The arts have quietly and quickly become an economic and employment force in the county, creating artistic enterprises, supporting restaurants and retailers, and attracting tourists.” Since August 2008, the landmark Art Deco Building at 321 High Street has been home to the Dorchester Center for the Arts. With approximately 500 members, a world-class artisans’ shop, more than 100 classes and workshops, a dozen performances, and over 5,000 visitors each year, it is the anchor of the county’s arts industry. The 14,000-square-foot former Nathan’s Furniture Store was renovated in two stages. The recently completed second-floor performance and rental space will increase visitors and visibility. Love …

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Michener Murals Paint County History

Visitors crossing Cambridge Creek on Maryland Avenue will now be welcomed to town by two magnificent murals created by local artist Michael Rosato. Commissioned in honor of James Michener’s Chesapeake, the second of four public art installations planned for Dorchester entitled “The Watermen,” was unveiled December 6 at the J.M. Clayton Company. “Dorchester’s rich history, unique Chesapeake culture and expansive landscapes are known by people around the world thanks in part to Michener’s seminal work,” said County Tourism Director Amanda Fenstermaker. “These inspiring works of art help tell our many stories to visitors and residents.” Fenstermaker and Rosato were joined by community leaders to officially unveil the 25’ wide by 15’ high mural depicting a great blue heron with a soft crab in its beak over an underwater scene of the Chesapeake teeming with marine life. Fenstermaker believes the murals’ Chesapeake landscapes inspire visitors and promote further exploration. Her office has two more Chesapeake Country corridor artworks planned in 2014 for Church Creek and East New Market. The Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway weaves together the multifaceted layers of nationally significant maritime and agricultural heritage to reflect the distinct sense of time and place Michener captured in his novel Chesapeake. The …

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