Named after "The Star Spangled Banner" songwriter and Frederick County resident Francis Scott Key, the Frederick Keys have represented the Baltimore Orioles as their Class-A affiliate since 1989. In the decades since, they've claimed the Carolina League championship four times, most recently in 2011. During the seventh inning stretch, up to 5,400 fans rise inside Harry Grove Stadium for a rendition of "We're the Frederick Keys," a song that encourages fans to shake their car keys, house keys, or any Keys player that needs a stern pep talk.
GFour Productions' theatrical achievements are in its numbers: 37 Tony Awards glistening in their trophy cases, 46 Drama Desk Awards, and more than 200 cities visited. Yet what allowed those numbers to reach such staggering heights is far from formulaic and much more complex than ballot-stuffing. Since the company burst onto the theatre scene in 1981, it has produced Broadway masterpieces starring Liza Minelli, Anthony Quinn, and Twiggy, as well as shows written by David Mamet, Arthur Miller, and Dolly Parton. Recently it has continued its trend-setting ways by staging the Tony-winning The Book of Mormon and the Off-West End I Love You Because.
When Dan and Alyce Weinberg purchased the Tivoli in the late 1950s, they imagined its ornate chandeliers and sweeping ceilings watching over concerts and performances that would keep the auditorium as full as it was in the theater's 1920s heyday. After a devastating flood in 1976 almost decimated the space, the Weinbergs and other community members restored the historic theater, which now flourishes as a home for live entertainment, films, and the performing arts.
Tomato plants are imperfect, yielding just as many inedible fruits as the healthy, tasty ones. The organizers of The Tomato Bash devised an alternative employment for the unworthy bounty, transforming the leftover tomatoes into ammunition for a massive ketchup making party. Participants are encouraged to sport silly costumes for the big event, as they are inevitably going to get utterly filthy.
To kick off the festivities, revelers are entertained with a cadre of food trucks, beverage vendors, and DJ playing tunes, including rebellious anthems encouraging the tomatoes to throw themselves. At 3 p.m., the tomato foam machine outside of the tomato arena powers up, pumping the stage area full of bubbly, pink fruit foam. Then the hordes of goggle-clad contestants descend upon a large arena and lose themselves in a sea of red goo.
At Cirque Italia, aerialists and acrobats look down to see a very unusual set: a 35,000-gallon water tank. As the high-energy acts swing from ropes and flip over trapezes, fountain jets below crisscross in mesmerizing patterns. Among them, the bicycle of death-defying Capitolino Mitrovich navigates a high wire strung precariously across the tent.
On the ground, the strongmen of Duo A&A put their muscle-bound physiques to work, pulling feats of strength such as balancing from each other's heads on one hand and unloading a clown car full of groceries. In a nod to the aquatic setting, Corissa Wilson does a mermaid act in midair. And between acts, Coco the Clown?who once set a Guinness World Record for riding a 5-inch bicycle?keeps the crowd's spirits high as the human pyramid. Other world record holders, The Juggling Fusco Twins, put their club-juggling abilities on display alongside a hula hooper who prances alongside a ring of water and an Italian singing act that performs while upside down. Many of the acts come from around the world, whether they're twisting and flipping atop a towering coat rack or manipulating beams of laser light in the Laserman 260 show in the towering 70-foot tall big-top tent.