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Busy weekend for Havre de Grace

With First Fridays, Decoy Festival, Farmers Market, War of 1812 re-enactment and a concert, plenty to see and do

BY MARISSA GALLO, mgallo@theaegis.com

7:10 PM EDT, May 2, 2012

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Don't have any plans for this weekend? You must not live in Havre de Grace.

Highlighted by the annual Decoy & Wildlife Festival, the city will be bustling with events Friday, Saturday and Sunday, enough to keep the entire family entertained.

It all begins Friday evening with the popular First Fridays event in Downtown Havre de Grace.

Running from May until December, First Fridays has become a local favorite with everything from musical performances, activities for kids and art exhibits.

From 5 to 9 p.m. this Friday Jeff Teate will be doing magic tricks, Distinctive Décor will feature music by Chris Monaghan, Duke Thompson and the Drum Circle will perform at the Havre de Grace water plant, the Corvette Club will be showing off more than 22 cars on Franklin Street and music will be provided by Painted Ladies, Just for Fun and Flickerscents also along Franklin Street.

Havre de Grace Main Street is promising even more music variety, merchant specials and other fun surprises for this season of First Fridays.

Decoy festival

Friday also marks the beginning of the 31st Annual Decoy and Wildlife Art Festival, which will run all weekend.

The event, which has grown exponentially over the past three decades, features more than 100 decoy carvers, artists, commercial outfitters, guide services, live and silent auctions and retriever dog demonstrations.

It all begins 6 p.m. Friday and continues 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, then 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Three locations will host the event's many activities and vendors — the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum, 215 Giles St., Havre de Grace Middle School, 401 Lewis Lane, and Havre de Grace Activity Center, 351 Lewis Lane.

The Decoy Museum will showcase art exhibits, artists and carvers will be at the middle school and an outdoor hunting show will be at the activity center.

Farmers market

The Havre de Grace Farmers' Market, sponsored by Havre de Grace Main Street, Inc., also re-opens this Saturday.

Local farmers, bakers and artisans will have their goods for sale Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon on Pennington Avenue and Washington Street through the end of October.

A few of this year's vendors include Brickhouse Bakers, Deer Meadow Farm, Level Beef, Richbed Gardens and Susquehanna Knitting.

For history buffs, Saturday's War of 1812 re-enactment surely won't disappoint.

The Lock House Museum will take guests back in time as re-enactors on both American and British sides conduct demonstrations, exhibitions and drills from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the museum, 817 Conesteo St.

Historians will also give their take on the war that involved much of the U.S. 200 years ago, as well as the bicentennial of the attack on Havre de Grace coming up in 2013.

According to the museum's website, http://www.thelockhousemuseum.org, visitors won't want to miss the 1812 Star Spangled Banner unfurling ceremony led by a Fort McHenry park ranger.

Other activities

For its eighth year, Washington Street Books will participate in Free Comic Book Day Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A great way to get into the world of comic books or add to your collection, everyone who comes in to Washington Street Books, 131 North Washington Street, that day will walk away with a free comic.

Authors and artists will be at the store 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to the store's website, http://www.washingtonstreetbooksandmusic.com.

Rounding out the weekend will be a concert hosted by the Havre de Grace Arts Commission Sunday at the Havre de Grace United Methodist Church, at 101 South Union Ave, featuring musicians from the Lyric Opera in Baltimore and Washington National Opera.

A fundraiser for the Arts Commission, Suzanne Chadwick, a Havre de Grace resident, James Harp, Natalie Conti, Kevin Wetzel and Luke Grooms will perform pieces from Mozart, Gounod, Puccini and Broadway musicals, such as "Phantom of the Opera" and "West Side Story."

A reception will follow the concert at Laurrapin Grille.

Tickets for the concert are $15, and tickets for the concert and the reception are $45. Tickets can be purchased at the Havre de Grace Visitors Center, Bulle Rock Residence Club and at the Methodist church before the performance.

In an e-mail about the event, Arts Commission member M. Helen Cayer wrote, "This is truly an amazing experience and opportunity to enjoy these cultured voices in a live performance right here in Harford County."