Havre de Grace Tourism: 'Places Fill Up,' Official Says

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The Havre de Grace Youth Sailing Program has more campers enrolled than ever, according to the Havre de Grace Tourism Advisory Board's outdoor recreation liaison. (Elizabeth Janney/Patch)

HAVRE DE GRACE, MD — Tourism In Havre de Grace is booming, according to the members of the Havre de Grace Tourism Advisory Board.

“If you want to stay in Havre de Grace, you better make your reservations early, because — especially on the weekends — places fill up,” Tourism Advisory Board Chair Jim Nemeth said at the group’s most recent meeting.

"Weddings are back big-time at the Vandiver," Nemeth said. 

The July First Friday was a hit, with 100 vendors attending and 50 on the wait list, Nemeth said.

Merchants had successful sales throughout the Fourth of July weekend, according to Jolene Forrester, who owns JoRetro on North Washington Street and is the tourism board's retail liaison. She said that some merchants had better sales on Sunday versus Friday; Sunday was when the city held its Independence Day parade.

Water Tourism Is A Boon

Downtown is not the only place attracting visitors around Havre de Grace.

Boaters are resurfacing after high fuel prices kept them off the water.

“We’re starting to see some more activity,” Jeff Andrews of Tidewater Marina said. “Our fuel sales are starting to come up as prices are coming down.”

In addition, he said the Havre de Grace Youth Sailing Program is a soaring success.

This summer the program has enrolled 223 children, which is “40 more than I’ve ever reported for a high number of kids,” Andrews said. Paid staff at the camp is also up to 14 people from the previously employed nine, he added. After the tent blew down at Hutchins Park in the storms in July, he said Tidewater Marina donated three tents to supplement the camp’s three popup tents.

The sailing program is attracting mainly college and high school kids from around Harford County, Andrews said. In earlier years, there were a fair number of people coming from Pennsylvania. 

“We’re still seeing kids visiting grandparents for the week out of state,” Andrews said, but “the bulk of it is kids from Harford County.”

This article has been corrected to reflect that Jeff Andrews presented the outdoor recreation report.

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