The Virtual Osprey Festival of the Potomac/Chesapeake Watershed
Message from Mayor Edward (Eddie) Blunt
On behalf of the Town of Colonial Beach, I welcome you to the Virtual Osprey Festival of the Potomac/Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Colonial Beach is home to an abundant number of these amazing birds, with dozens of nests visible throughout the town. This virtual festival is an alternative way to celebrate and learn more about our ospreys, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to cancel our “traditional” festival scheduled for early May.
I want to recognize Downtown Colonial Beach, a terrific group of volunteers focused on improving our downtown commercial area, for its significant efforts in organizing this virtual festival. After seeing and learning about our ospreys, our beach, and the many other things to enjoy in in our community, you will want to visit and enjoy Colonial Beach in person. Whether you visit in the upcoming weeks, as we maintain COVID-19-related precautions to protect the health of our residents and visitors, or in the future, we look forward to welcoming you to our wonderful community.
2019 DCB Osprey Festival Organizers
from left to right, Jim Bell, Joyce Reimherr, Edward Hart, Carl Thor
Welcome from the Board of Downtown Colonial Beach Inc.
2020 Board Members: Jim Bell, Jackie Cooksey, Jeff Crook, Betty Felton, Edward Hart, Dennis Ryan, Carl Thor, Joyce Reimherr, President.
Welcome to the “Virtual” Osprey Festival of the Potomac/Chesapeake Watershed so named to celebrate the abundance of ospreys in Colonial Beach and the town’s location within the watershed that is the largest osprey breeding ground in the world.
Sponsored by Downtown Colonial Beach Inc., it is part of an effort to revitalize the community’s historic downtown through preservation-based development.
This section focuses on what was the core of last year’s festival and would have been again this year: presentations, videos and other material about the ospreys, other interesting birdlife characteristic of the Colonial Beach area, and enjoying the pastime of birdwatching.
Bird-watching is an activity that can enrich any outdoor experience, be it walking, hiking, kayaking, canoeing or boating. If you’ve been trodding the same path day after day due to the Covid-19 virus, and it’s getting a little stale, you’ll especially appreciate the way bird watching can freshen the experience. You might try starting a Master Bird List of the birds you spot, identifying more and more every time you go out as your eye becomes alert to movement and color.
So let the bird learning begin!
Preserving the Past for Future Prosperity
Colonial Beach, an old town incorporated in 1892, has had its ups and downs. When automobiles replaced steamboats, the large tourist trade arriving by boat from Washington and Baltimore disappeared by 1930. A change in Maryland and Virginia’s gambling laws ended the town’s robust gambling era that had revived the town mid-century.
Occasional powerful storms, fires, and neglect destroyed many historic structures ranging from Edwardian era hotels and rooming houses to the flamboyant casinos (although one still remains, the Riverboat, which juts out from the beach over the Potomac River which is legally Maryland territory).
A number of the remaining historic structures are now at risk due to deterioration, and the prospect of their being replaced by haphazard development insensitive to the value of preserving the past. But enough buildings remain in the historic resort district forming the core of the downtown to recall those heady times.
Before the visible heritage of Colonial Beach is lost forever, Downtown Colonial Beach Inc., the town’s Main Street Affiliate, is striving to protect and use the town’s historic character to beautify and restore economic vitality in its downtown and the rest of the community.
The Osprey Festivals are the chief fundraiser for Downtown Colonial Beach, Inc. to accomplish these goals. Donations, sponsorships, and advertising are needed to replace the funds we hoped to generate from this year’s live festival and the possible loss of state grants submitted to support the community’s Historic District designation, downtown design and marketing.
Historic buildings awaiting restoration in Colonial Beach: The Westmoreland Bank Building and
Doc's Motor Court.