How to Celebrate Local

Many businesses and non-profit organizations have been hit very hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move into the holiday season, it will be more important than ever to support these businesses and organizations if you want to see them survive to 2021 and beyond. Below are some of the ways we can support local groups this year.
Farmer’s Markets and Holiday Markets: 
These are a great way to support local farmers, producers, and craftspeople. Many markets are held outside and require masks, so you can shop relatively safely while shopping local. Even though our local St. Michael’s Farmers Market ended on Saturday, November 21st, the Easton market will continue through December 19th. If you live elsewhere in Maryland, click here find farmer’s markets in your area.
A number of areas are also hosting Holiday Markets, in addition to regular Farmers Markets.
  • On Kent Island, visit the Everything Market at the American Legion on December 13th from 10 am to 3 pm. For more information, visit the event Facebook page. 
  • Emily’s Produce in Cambridge, MD has numerous days where vendors will be set up in and around the market so that you can get some holiday shopping done and support local producers. Visit their Facebook page for more information on what will be available on which dates .
  • Also in Cambridge is the Holiday Night Market on December 12th from 3 pm to 8 pm. For more information on this event, including which businesses and vendors are participating, click here.
Online shopping: 
Many online shopping options are available and while you can shop almost anywhere, we recommend looking to see if your favorite local vendors are selling their products online.
In addition, many events have gone virtual this year, which includes the shopping and fundraiser portion of the event.
  • Christmas in St. Michaels has made their Holiday Marketplace and Auction available online, with the auction preview currently underway; you can start bidding on items on Friday, November 27th. The mission of Christmas in St. Michaels is to provide resources to help local non-profit groups, including the Phillips Wharf Environmental Center. With their support, we are able to bring the Fishmobile to local events such as Tilghman Day at Waterman's Appreciation Day at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.
  • The Waterfowl Festival has gone virtual this year and artwork is available through their website. This organization provides grants to groups such as Phillips Wharf in order to support conservation efforts and education, in addition to supporting the economic success of businesses throughout Talbot county.
In person events and activities:
If you are comfortable shopping in person, make sure to include your favorite local businesses when you are gift shopping. There are a variety of shopping opportunities available on the Eastern Shore, just be sure to check the store hours as some may have changed. And while some events have moved online, others are still in person but have adjusted their format to accommodate the safety concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • On Saturday, November 28th, the Festival of Trees, benefiting Talbot Hospice, will take place behind the Tidewater Inn from 10 am to 5 pm. Trees decorated by local artists will be available to view and purchase to get you in the holiday spirit.
  • St. Michaels will still be hosting the yearly Midnight Madness event with some adjustments. Tickets to enter the raffle will only be available from retailers during the event, from December 3rd through December 5th and the raffle will be virtual.
  • Christmas in St. Michaels will still be holding their lighted boat parade on Saturday, December 12th at 6 pm. Afterwards, they are encouraging visitors to drive around to view the Christmas lights on buildings throughout the town.

Dear Phillips Wharf Environmental Center Supporter,

I want to share with you how Phillips Wharf Environmental Center is pivoting towards new horizons that strengthen our longevity into the future and make our educational programs much more accessible to diverse audiences.

In Phillips Wharf’s 14-year history – two challenges have remained constant—the rising costs of maintaining a waterfront campus and old buildings, and addressing the inaccessibility of Tilghman Island to many school systems and others unable to afford the cost or the time for the long trip from more urban areas like Easton.

With this in mind, Phillips Wharf’s Board of Directors have made a bold decision to ensure the sustainability of our future and educational programs by liquidating our assets on Tilghman Island—including the real estate and property—and re-focus the expected gains from the sale to re-open a location in Easton that the Board will determine.

Be assured—Phillips Wharf will always bring our students to meaningful interactions with the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem and inhabitants. We know technology and our FishMobile, for example, can bring experiences and education to more students when we can focus our operations more on education, and less on maintaining an underutilized campus with mounting deferred maintenance costs and more.

Phillips Wharf will continue to carry the essence of encouraging, educating, and engaging Chesapeake Bay stewards from a new location soon. In addition, we’ll be sure to share this exciting news when it comes to fruition with you.

In the meantime, thank you for caring about our students and the Chesapeake Bay as a natural resource and source of healthy seafood and productive jobs for the Shore’s residents. We are excited to bring the Chesapeake Bay closer to our students and the public in ways that are more meaningful. This is a bold step forward not only in Phillips Wharf’s survivability, but also in our thrivability.

Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have. You can reach me at [email protected] or 410-886-9200.

Warmest regards,


Matthew Albers

Board President, Phillips Wharf Environmental Center