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Fun blitz begins in Baltimore Saturday

Looking for a good time? Carnival Cruise Lines, which launches officially on Monday (and yes, we’ll be covering it), is bringing the fun in a big way to downtown Baltimore this weekend.

The event will raise funds for the Maryland Special Olympics and features a ton of free events and activities like a world record giant beach ball, sand sculptures, hip-hop dance performance, 3-D chalk art, an interactive aquarium, kid zone, and about a zillion other things to entertain folks on the cheap.

For more details and a map of activities, click here.

I have to say the marketing folks at Sandy Hillman Communications have certainly done their job in making a big splash with the arrival of Baltimore’s first year-round cruise service. The marketing blitz began about a month ago with weekly mail outs that included a beach ball, a foldable Frisbee, a beach bag and other info items about the cruise line. And taking hostage of the Inner Harbor for a day is no small feat with events spread between the ESPN Zone and Oriole Park.

Now the only question is, will the cruise line live up to the hype? How will the tourism industry be affected by the recession this summer and will Carnival’s big splash here be met with subdued interest?