Many guests who come to the Inn think the area is only interesting because of the Civil War. They are pleasantly surprised to learn of the dozens of museums, theaters and galleries hosting art shows and musical performances on a regular basis, all within minutes of the Inn. This year celebrate the art and culture of Washington County during your stay. Here are some local favorites.
The Maryland Theatre
For over 100 years the Maryland Theatre has been the anchor to the Arts & Entertainment district in Hagerstown. This 1,300-seat theatre regularly hosts performances of country artists, comedians, orchestra concerts, children’s shows, musicians, recitals, and plays. It serves as the home of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, City Ballet School and the Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant.
Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Located in beautiful City Park in Hagerstown, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts was founded over 85 years ago by Mr. and Mrs. William Singer, Jr. Visitors can browse more than 7,000 works of art which include 19th & early 20th Century American Art, Old Masters, and Decorative art. The Museum is a vibrant center and offers a variety of exhibitions, art classes, lectures, concerts & special events throughout the year.
Jonathan Hager House & Mansion House Art Center
While you’re at the Museum of Fine Arts, two other attractions also in City Park, are the Jonathan Hager House & Museum and the Mansion House Arts Center. The Jonathan Hager House and Museum is the refurbished home of Hagerstown’s founder, Jonathan Hager, built circa 1739. Visitors can take guided tours of the restored three-story limestone homestead staged with eighteenth-century furniture and artifacts. Built by John Heyer in 1846, the Mansion House is run by The Valley Art Association. They have a very impressive collection of works by area artists and guests can purchase artwork including lithographs, silk screens, etchings, wood block prints and collages.
Hagerstown Cultural Trail
If you want to get outdoors to experience the art, you can take a stroll along the Hagerstown Cultural Trail to the downtown Arts and Entertainment District. Along the trail you’ll see sculptures like the “Fishing Lesson”, steel frame structures representing the city-scape and the Fantastical Garden, an interactive play area. The path leads you through beautiful gardens of the Railroad Switch, steel fences reminding us of the rail system that once ran through the city; you’ll see photos of the Faces of Hagerstown and the Mural of Unusual Size – the latest addition to the trail.
Washington County Playhouse, Dinner Theater and Children’s Theater
All year-round you can experience a Broadway-style show or musical comedy with a buffet dinner at the Playhouse. Watch as your servers transform into glamorous, talented performers as they present award winning performances on stage. Shows for young audiences are performed on select Saturdays. The Washington County Playhouse is a great night out for the whole family to enjoy or the perfect place for ‘Date Night’.
These are just a few of the outstanding places to go to celebrate the art and culture of Washington County. There are almost forty other museums throughout the county to visit. Take in one on farming, or railroads, one the local community museums or culture exhibits; there is something here in Washington County for every type of art lover.
Looking for an excuse to extend your stay? No matter what the season, we’ve got you covered! From Sharpsburg to Shepherdstown, Boonsboro to Hagerstown, there are plenty of things to do, featuring everything from theater arts to festivals to the awe-inspiring luminaries at Antietam. This Top 10 list of “Must-See” events is a great starting point for planning your ‘Bucket List’ of activities during your stay at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn.
The Washington County Playhouse is a wonderful gem in downtown Hagerstown offering intimate dinner theater featuring various plays & musicals, plus shows for children. The productions are vibrant and well produced and the actors are also your waitstaff. Dinner includes a full buffet and salad bar and the drinks are fun and have theater themes. A little piece of Broadway, right here in Hagerstown! Definitely a MUST-SEE!
This year’s lineup includes:
Mel Brooks’ The Producers January 21 – February 25
Steel Magnolias March 17 – April 22
Dial M For Murder May 5 – June 10
Lerner And Loewe’s Gigi – The Broadway Musical June 30 – August 5
The Addams Family – A New Musical Comedy September 9 – October 29
A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story Of Christmas November 17 – December 16
Held every April at Fort Frederick State Park, Big Pool MD.
Come to historic Fort Frederick, an original stone fort built in 1756 during the French and Indian War, and travel back in time to an authentic 18th century market fair. A whiff of campfires fills the air and colorful entertainers are found strolling about the fair. Visit sutlers (period vendors) selling 18th century wares: pottery, tin and copper ware, clothing, material and patterns, books, fireplace and cooking hardware, muskets and accoutrements, paintings and prints, lanterns and other camp gear, etc. See hundreds of fair-goers of all ages dressed in colonial clothing: artisans, soldiers, ladies & gentlemen, Native Americans, longhunters, traders, servants, etc. With free entertainment for all this fair is a MUST-SEE!
Held the first weekend after Memorial Day in Hagerstown, MD.
The Western Maryland Blues Fest serves up an annual community celebration centered around one of America’s most enduring musical forms – “The Blues.” Set amidst raw-boned guitar riffs and emotionally charged vocals, Blues Fest represents a unique partnership between City government, event volunteers and local business sponsors as they team together to present four incredible days of musical entertainment and family fun. A very musical MUST-SEE!
Held the first Saturday of July near Sharpsburg, MD.
Since 1986 the Maryland Symphony Orchestra has presented a free “Salute to Independence” Concert at Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, MD. The evening concert attracts nearly 30,000 people from all over and is capped off by a spectacular fireworks display, one of the largest in the region. The “Salute” has been billed as “Maryland’s Most Patriotic Event” and “One of the top 100 Events in North America”. Absolutely a MUST-SEE!
Held during the month of July in Shepherdstown, WV.
Founded in 1991, the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) is a professional, nonprofit theater company hosted on the campus of Shepherd University. It focuses on new works by American playwrights, most often premiers, or second and third productions. Each July, it presents five new plays in a rotating repertory, accompanied by free workshops, talks and discussions. In 2015, The New York Times recognized CATF as one of “50 Essential Summer Festivals.”
Several plays which originated at the Festival (like Stickfly, Uncanny Valley, H20, The Insurgents, and Dead and Breathing) have been staged on or Off-Broadway. Farragut North–by Beau Willimon, the mastermind behind House of Cards–was produced by CATF in 2009 and later adapted for the silver screen as The Ides of March. Clearly a MUST-SEE!
Held the second weekend in November – Shepherdstown & Jefferson County, WV.
Start your Christmas Shopping during the annual Over the Mountain Studio Tour. Visit 10 different studios showcasing the works of 25 juried artisans. The show includes Stained Glass, Silver Art Jewelry, Blacksmithing, Woodcarving, Heirloom Baskets, Pottery, and Wooden Toys and more. Including live demonstrations, snacks, and wares for sale this tour is completely free! Unmistakably a MUST-SEE!
Held late August in Hagerstown, MD.
The annual Augustoberfest pays tribute to the area’s rich German heritage and supports scholarships for exchange students to Hagerstown’s Sister City—Wesel, Germany. This exciting event is run by the nonprofit organization, the Augustoberfest Charitable Foundation. Augustoberfest is a two-day festival that boasts festivities found at traditional Oktoberfest celebrations in Bavaria. The attendance of this event has doubled in size over the last few years and is becoming one of the most anticipated festivals in Washington County. Clearly a MUST-SEE!
Held the second weekend of September in Boonsboro, MD.
Sponsored by the Boonsboro Historical Society, Boonesborough Days is a festival devoted to showcasing handmade crafts by more then 150 venders. Browse through historic and picturesque Shafer Park and shop for traditional and Early American handmade crafts, paintings and unique gifts. Experience demonstrations of colonial candle making as well as age old skills of blacksmithing, chair caning, basket weaving, broom, soap and pottery making. The festival also features a Civil War display with artifacts, the Tri State Astronomers, horse-drawn wagon rides, great food and a classic and antique car show on Sunday. A really fun MUST-SEE!
Held the end of September in Shenandoah Junction (Harpers Ferry), WV
The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce invites you to come and enjoy the Mountain Heritage Arts & Craft Festival in the rolling countryside of Jefferson County, WV. Leisurely stroll among the tents as you admire the many crafts, fine arts, and wine. Meet approximately 200 artisans and craftspersons carefully selected and prejudged, demonstrating and showcasing their work at this nationally acclaimed festival. Enjoy listening to the best live bluegrass music, taste wines from the area’s foremost wineries and enjoy the many varieties of food that are available. Clearly a MUST-SEE!
Held the first Saturday of December at Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, MD.
On the first Saturday of December for over 25 years volunteers spend the day placing luminaries along the park roads and the rolling hills of the Antietam National Battlefield. By twilight, 23,110 luminaries will be lit, one for each soldier who was killed, wounded or missing during the bloodiest day in the American Civil War. The free 5 mile driving tour is the largest memorial illumination in North America. The first Illumination was held in 1988. Antietam National Battlefield, in cooperation with the American Business Women’s Association and the Washington County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, will host the Annual Antietam National Battlefield Memorial Illumination in honor of those soldiers who fell during the Battle of Antietam. A very touching MUST-SEE!
Check your calendar and make your reservations now so that you can be sure to include one of these MUST-SEE events during you stay at the Inn!