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Passers-by watched municipality workers place a giant sticker Wednesday on the sidewalk of the Pont de l’Archeveche in Paris. The city is hoping to persuade visiting couples to end the recent and unwelcome tradition of fixing padlocks to the Pont de l’Archeveche.

Anthem’s bicentennial to be hailed

BALTIMORE »Tall ships, a Blue Angels air show and musical performances will be among the highlights of a weeklong celebration of the 200th anniversary of writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Star-Spangled Spectacular will begin in Baltimore on Sept. 10. Festivities will include stage performances, fireworks, tours of naval ships and tall ships in the harbor, a Blue Angels air show and performances by Smokey Robinson, Kristen Chenoweth and Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Irish rock band, O’Malley’s March.

The celebration will commemorate the writing of America’s national anthem. After watching American troops withstand a 25-hour land and sea attack to maintain control over Baltimore in September 1814, lawyer Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics.

A piece of the original flag and manuscript will be on display at Fort McHenry.

Broadway offers 2-for-1 specials

NEW YORK » Two-for-one tickets are on sale for Broadway Week, with performances of participating shows taking place Sept. 1-14.

Shows taking part in the promotion range from hits like "The Lion King" and "Wicked" to the 2014 Tony Award winner for best musical, "A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder."

The list includes shows that will be in previews or are just opening: "The Country House," with Blythe Danner, "You Can’t Take It With You," with James Earl Jones, and "This Is Our Youth," with Michael Cera.

Details at www.nycgo.com/broadwayweek.

Paris urges selfies in lieu of locks

PARIS » Paris hopes to persuade couples to end the unwelcome recent tradition of fixing padlocks to the Seine River’s aging bridges, and instead upload hashtagged selfies to a website dedicated to enduring love.

With giant stickers in French, English and Spanish on the Pont de l’Arche­veche, behind Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris began its #lovewithoutlocks campaign Wednesday, saying the city’s famed bridges "can’t resist your love."

The locks craze dates back about decade, but the weight is pulling bridge railings down.

Attaching a lock is a "symbol of togetherness," said Lawrence Phillips of Wales, at the bridge with his Australian girlfriend.

Dutch tourist Bob Te Booy agreed. "I think (a selfie) isn’t a good replacement."

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