Baltimost is a Baltimore Fishbowl feature series that asks locals what they love about their city. The idea is to celebrate Baltimore and the people who make it so unique.
So what makes Baltimore the Baltimost to you? It could be a favorite place, a great meal, a memorable interaction or something else entirely. Email suggestions to Karen at Knitkin@baltimorefishbowl.com.
April Smith is a local tour guide. In her words: “I love showing people my city. I give tours like I’m talking to a new friend.
I started in 1994, at Mount Clare Museum House. I created a show for kids, the Children’s Colonial Trunk. I fill a trunk with reproduction artifacts, and take them out one by one to show what life was like for children in Colonial times.
I love wearing period outfits, which I get to do at the Robert Long House as well.
By far, my favorite tours were for Pimlico Race Course, which I did from 2006 to 2015. They are only given in the four days leading up to the Preakness, but I often thought there was a market for more, especially for school tours.
Each year, we would have an entire elementary school visit. The students would watch a blacksmith, stand in the winner’s circle, talk to a jockey and feed a horse. It’s a fantastic experience for everyone, but magical to a kid.
When people visit Pimlico, I see their pride. It’s the second oldest race course in the U.S., built in 1870. It was just five years after the Civil War, when Baltimore needed something new and wonderful.
Baltimore still needs the wonderful lift that the Preakness brings every May. It’s the only annual international event we have. For that one day, all eyes are on Baltimore.
I think horse racing will be rediscovered and the Preakness needs to stay at its historic home to help achieve that. We should not lose it. We cannot lose it.
I love that Baltimore has so many wonderful little museums. One favorite is the Irish Railroad Workers Museum. It’s two little houses next to each other. One has Irish artifacts and the other is a re-creation of what an Irish railroad worker’s house was like in the 1850s.
My twin sister won’t let me share how old I am, but suffice to say I am well over the hill. I try not to let it slow me down. I have a soft spot for places that aren’t exactly lost causes, but they need someone in their corner.”