Every year, a wintery flotilla sails through the solstice on Frederick's Carroll Creek. This year, nine boats, ranging from a viking boat to other brightly lit ketches, yawls, and even a three mast schooner silent sail along the creek, raising money for five charities through your votes!
Whether by daylight or at night, the boats are enjoyable. Located in the Carroll Creek Linear Park, just off of Market Street, it's easy to walk along the boats and then head over to nearby Market and Patrick Streets for some holiday shopping or to visit one of the many restaurants.
Carroll Creek Linear Park began as a flood control project in late 1970s, an effort to remove downtown Frederick from the 100-year floodplain and restore economic vitality to the historic commercial district. Recent heavy rains have proven the concept and success of the plan.
Downtown Frederick was devastated by Carroll Creek flooding in both 1972 and the historic flood of 1976. With millions in property losses, several dozen buildings were left vacant or underused.
Now, the Carroll Creek Linear Park helps anchor the historic district, providing a venue for outdoor entertainment and festivals throughout the year. The area that used to be blighted and abandoned has been replaced by restaurants and shopping, apartments and condos, and office space. In fact, downtown Frederick boasts a walkable retail area filled with independently owned shops, many housed in historic buildings.
We were lucky enough to visit Frederick on its Frosty Friday celebration on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which encourages holiday shoppers to shop local and shop small businesses. Frederick has many cool boutiques and restaurants, within a few blocks of each other. Stores stayed open until 9 p.m., parking was free, and in several places, fire pits were roaring where you could make s'mores!
Know before you go: Parking in Frederick doesn't have to be challenging -- there are several parking garages adjacent to the historic district. Check out https://www.parkfrederick.org/ for more information.
Getting there: Carroll Creek Linear Park (if you punch that into googlemaps, it'll get you there).
Websites: http://www.coloronthecreek.com/ and https://downtownfrederick.org/event-pro/frosty-friday/