J. Millard Tawes Museum Open House 2019 Find the news of happenings and upcoming events concerning the Crisfield Heritage Foundation.


Grandparents and Grand- Kids “Summer Camp” Adventure on the Chesapeake Bay

“Summer Camp” adventure on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay awaits grandparents and grand kids for outdoor and artistic explorations.

Two 4 Day “Summer Camps” for Grandparents and Grand Kids will be offered in Crisfield, MD. and sponsored by the
Crisfield Heritage Foundation (aka J Millard Tawes Museum).

Our Welcome Session kicks of this “Summer Camp” for Grandparents and Grand Kids with a Pool Party and Cook-out with some getting-to-know-everyone games.
July is the perfect time for this Inter-generational “Summer Camp” !!

Beginning your visit we will have a session on Journalism. You will receive your own journals to collect all of your memories from this week as well as the rest of the adventures you will take together.

Crabbing – the ultimate fun past-time for kids of all ages. I won’t say how old I am …. but I can still picture my Daddy and I tying chicken necks to a string and luring the crabs into our pail to take home to Mom to steam for lunch. Crabbing off of the shores of the famous Chesapeake Bay is an all-time favorite activity. That’s just for starters, though.

There’s Sand-Castle building instruction from a pro, right here on our very own Wellington Beach!
Which team will build the tallest? Whose will be the longest?
Who is going to build the fanciest? We are eager to see them all!
There are prizes in each category to be awarded.

Our local Master Gardener and Horticulturist will talk to us about the
Bees and Butterflies, and why it is important to attract them to our local gardens everywhere we live. We will create a local garden to attract the Bees and Butterflies. You can track the progress of the plants via our Facebook feed for months after you go back home.
After all, you want to be sure your garden thrives – and watch the bees buzz and the butterflies fly around and enjoy the flower bed you created for them. Then take the plan home and re-create it in your hometown.

During the Bonfire, you will roast hot dogs and make s’mores, and enjoy some local treats. We are looking forward to the Grandparent/Grandchild Dance-Off – or – Story Telling Night during each session.

What’s a Dance-Off, you ask? Your Grandparents have their favorite dances from their teenage years… and you have your current favorite.
Sooooo – who can teach their dance to the other? hmmmmmm….
Dancing will make for a fun time around the Bonfire.

OR – a local Storyteller will join us for the evening to regale us of some of the exploits that kids throughout time have been known to get into around here! Our very own Huck Finns and Tom Sawyers ……

Painting on Crab Shells and Oyster Shells
Awesome! What could be more fun, or more of a memory than creating your own ornaments and memories with paint, your creativity and Crab shells and oyster shells form right here in Crisfield, Maryland.

Does learning Stand-Up Paddle-boarding interest you?
Launching off our very own beach in the calm shallow waters of the Bay, you will have lots of tries to get it right. No worries about falling off into deep water. Then when you have it mastered, the Instructor will take the group for an SUP excursion. Bring that sun protection !

Of course we have to take a trip to the Discovery Center and check out all of the local marine life that thrives in our area. You will want to be able to recognize it when you come across different marine species in your waterways travels during the week.

Kayaking will be on the schedule for one of the two sessions as well. What could be more enjoyable than kayaking through the waterways, and learning about the Eco-system, and bird-watching the many species that live here in the forests and trees especially around Janes Island State Park.

A true gift to take home, is a carving that you each will create during instruction from our local World Class award-winning carver,
Rich Smoker. Carving is an ancient art form, and Rich has updated techniques that anyone can follow as you create your own carving.

One of our local Chefs will open her Pizza Shoppe to the group and will give each person dough to work with, and instruct us all how to make the perfect pizza, and how to top it to perfection with our favorites.
Then into the huge pizza oven to bubble up so we can EAT OUR PIZZAS !

After pizzas – There will be a dessert stop! Our local Sweets Shop boasts hand made donuts, cakes, ice cream, brownies and cookies… among other delights. We MUST stop in to taste test!

A few days after you return home, you will receive a photo book, capturing the adventures you enjoyed here together. We want you to have these memories to treasure forever, of the time you spent with us here on our Eastern Shore.

Two 4 Day “Summer Camps” for Grandparents and Grand Kids will be happening in Crisfield, MD. in July and sponsored by the
Crisfield Heritage Foundation (aka J Millard Tawes Museum).

Our local Museum is named after John Millard Tawes. He was the 54th Governor of Maryland in the United States from 1959 to 1967. He remains the only Marylander to be elected to the three positions of State Treasurer, Comptroller, and Governor. We are proud that he is from our tiny town of Crisfield. His family still lives here and carries on his traditions of caring about this community.
We are very proud to open up our shores to Welcome two generations of your Family to learn and have fun as you enjoy our artistic and outdoors activities combined in each session’s adventures.
All you have to decide is – WHICH 4 Day Session is for YOU !!

July 18th – July 22nd
July 22nd – July 26th

For More Information and to be added to the Waiting list….
Send an email to:

We are looking forward to Hosting you here in Crisfield, MD.

What IS There To Do in Crisfield ???

2019 Arts & Entertainment District Calendar Highlighted events – 
click here for additional events   OR – click the calendar button on the events page

Valentines Ham & Oyster Dinner – Immanuel UMCFeb 16 – 4:30 to 7 pm – Immanuel UMC 206 W Main Street

1st Annual Crisfield Yard Sale & yART Sale March 30 – 9 am – 3 pm – Community Wide Contact to donate items to support Crisfield Community Radio WBYC 107.3

Spring Delmarva Birding Weekend April 25-28, 2019 Bird watching trips
on the Eastern Shore, including Smith Island. Check out places to stay here! And great places to eat here!
Sign up at

Hangin’ Out Art Show May 17 & 18 Calling all artists! Everyone is invited to hang one piece of work at this show. More information coming soon! To be the first to learn more details, email to join the event mailing list.​Hosted by the Crisfield Arts & Entertainment District Project.

Plein Air Crisfield May 22 – 26, 2019 Plein Air Crisfield will take place May 24-26. Artists participate in three days of painting in authentic, beautiful Crisfield and the surrounding areas. This is a casual, non-competitive painting event, featuring a Welcome cocktail party at a private historic home, and a group nocturne. ​Contact Debra Howard, to register.
​Sales of the paintings will take place at the May 25 4th Saturday Bay Stroll.

Smith Island Arts Festival May 25 – 11 am to 4 pm The annual Smith Island Arts Festival! Make an art day of it! Catch a boat from Crisfield and meet us back here for the evening for the 4th Saturday Bay Stroll.
The festival will take place at the Smith Island Cultural Center with outdoor artist tables, music, food, and a photo contest.  Click here for a photo contest prospectus.

4th Saturday Bay Stroll – Welcome Summer & Plein AirMay 25, 2019 – 4 to 7 pm – City Dock Break out the flip-flops and welcome the summer in the best possible location, on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Skip the beach crowds but get all the benefit of warm bay breezes and the Bay sunsets. Bring your lawn chair & relax to live music. Seafood, festival food, whole pig roast. Wet-paint sales from Crisfield Plein Air.
Follow 4th Saturdays on FACEBOOK!
Soft Crab Festival  Sunday May 26, 2019 – 12 pm to 4 pm – City Dock 
Don’t miss an original Eastern Shore event, the Soft Crab Festival in Crisfield, sponsored by the Crisfield Lionesses. This is a great chance to make a weekend of it – especially for foodies!

Golf Cart Derby  June 8 – Somers Cove Marina.
More information coming soon!

4th Saturday Bay StrollJune 22, 4 – 7 pm, Location TBD
Artists & vendors, save your space! Register for free here.

2nd Annual Marina Mac Fest,June 29 – 4 pm to 7 pm – Somers Cove Marina Charlie “Mac” McClenahan was a former mayor of Crisfield, state delegate, founding member of the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce and the Somers Cove Yacht Club. We are hosting a celebration featuring Front Page News, vendors and food!

J. Millard Tawes Crab & Clam Bake July 17 – Somers Cove Marina
The J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake is a Maryland must-attend, see-and-be-seen political institution, equal parts seafood and schmooze.
The annual celebration is named in honor of Crisfield native, J. Millard Tawes, the 54th Governor of the State of Maryland.
It is described in Frommers Travel Guides as “an outdoor all-you-can-eat affair featuring crabs, clams, fish, corn on the cob, and watermelon, and in election years, lots of politicians.”​Sponsored by the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce. More information here.

Dust & Bones ConcertJuly 20 – Somers Cove Marina
4th Saturday Bay StrollJuly 27 – 4 pm to 7 pmArtists & vendors, save your space! Register for free here.4th Saturday Bay StrollAugust 24 – 4 to 7 pm – City DockArtists & vendors, save your space! Register for free here.

National Hard Crab DerbyAug 26 – Aug 31 – Labor Day Week – Somers Cove MarinaCrisfield’s National Hard Crab Derby is an annual Labor Day weekend event. The unique crab themed festival features crab races, crab cooking and picking contests, carnival rides, arts and crafts, vendors, live entertainment, beauty pageants, a parade, fireworks and more.Sponsored by the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce
For a detailed schedule see

Shakespeake’s Measure for Measure Sept. 13 – Somers Cove Marina – FREE 7:30 – 9:30 pm. Brown Box Theatre Project’s 9th Annual Free Outdoor Shakespeare Tour, Measure for Measure will be performed under the stars in idyllic outdoor venues All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Measure for Measure It is performed outdoors and seating is on the lawn. For your comfort, feel free to bring a blanket or lawn chair. For more information, including weather updates and rain locations, please visit the Brown Box website.

A Taste of Smith IslandSept. 14 – Smith Island Cultural CenterFor the cost of $55, guests receive transportation from Crisfield to Smith Island and back via the Chelsea Lane Tyler, and a menu consisting of Smith Island favorites, including the cake of course! The boat departs Crisfield at 3 pm. Proceeds benefit the Smith Island Cultural Center. To purchase tickets, call 410-425-3351. Sponsored by The Crisfield & Smith Island Cultural Alliance
4th Saturday Bay StrollSept. 28 – 4 to 7 pm – City DockArtists & vendors, save your space! Register for free here.  

Halloween Parade & PartyOct 26 – 12 pm – FREEMeet at City Hall parking lot, 319 W Main Street at noon for the paradeThen walk to Somers Cove Marina, 715 Broadway for the party & trunk or treat.

4th Saturday Bay Stroll Eat Drink & Be ScaryOct. 26 – 4 to 7 pm – Location TBDCome in costume to compete for a first-place prize for both children and adults.

Smithsonian Water/Ways Exhibit at Tawes MuseumDec 7, 2019 through Jan 18, 2020 – 3 9th St, Crisfield, MD 21817 The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibition dives into water–an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically. Save the date! More information coming soon at

CHF_OtterbeinClaire2_2017(CRISFIELD, MD – June 6, 2017)  Claire Otterbein named CHF Executive Director


(CRISFIELD, MD – May 1, 2017) Battles of the Bay opens at Tawes Museum May 20

Become a MemberBECOME A CHF MEMBER – and receive reciprocal free admission to the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury, Md.


(CRISFIELD, MD – March 13, 2017) New Ward Brothers sign installed in Crisfield


(CRISFIELD, MD — March 8, 2017) Crisfield Heritage Foundation recognizes Board Members


(CRISFIELD, MD – November 19, 2016) Howard retires from Crisfield Heritage Foundation


(CRISFIELD, MD – October 1, 2016) Foundation hosts dinner for UMES students


(CRISFIELD, MD – September 2, 2016) Crab & Oyster Feast set at Crisfield’s Tawes Museum for October 1, 2016