A pleasant way to enjoy the last days of August is a visit to a "real" country fair. You'll find one next weekend in the community of Lucketts, Va., four miles south of Point of Rocks on U.S. Route 15.
The fair will be held, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday on the grounds of the Lucketts Community Center, a restored early 1900s schoolhouse. There you'll find activities for all ages, from pony rides to pie judging contests.
Two separate stages of continuous entertainment feature cloggers, bluegrass musicians, a barbershop quartet, gospel singers and several other groups. A children's stage offers puppets, musicians, clowns, magicians and a theatrical presentation.
Antique lovers will find a field of antiques and curios, and 100 of the region's best craftspeople will demonstrate and sell their wares. There's more: a back roads log cabin tour, old-fashioned games, exhibits, a petting zoo, hay wagon and firetruck rides, an authentic German organ grinder and plenty of country food.
Admission is $3, free for children under 6. For information, call (703) 777-8881.
Jousting, the official state sport, will be in the spotlight this week with two big tournaments.
Three hundred years ago the first recorded jousting tournament in America took place at All Hallows' Episcopal Church in Davidsonville, which also observes its 300th anniversary this year. To celebrate the two events, Bay Jousting Association will present a tournament today at the Davidsonville Ruritan Athletic Field on state Route 424. The festivities begin at 1 p.m. with a parade of costumed knights and maids. A pageant will tell the story of jousting from medieval times, when it was a combat between two knights, to the present-day joust, in which contestants on horseback attempt to spear rings with a lance. The pageant also includes a short program of madrigals by the church choir. The main event consists of four classes of jousting and concludes with an awards ceremony. Food and beverages will be available.
Admission is $5. Proceeds will benefit the church's rectory fund. From the Baltimore Beltway take Interstate 97 to U.S. Route 50 west. Then take the first exit, state Route 424 (Davidsonville Road), to the site. For information, call (410) 798-6480.
The Calvert County Jousting Tournament, the state's oldest continuing tournament, will be held Saturday on the grounds of Christ Church in Port Republic.
The tournament begins at 1 p.m. with a parade of knights and ladies, which will be followed by a medieval joust and the contest. The annual church bazaar opens at noon with activities for children, and a crab, chicken and ham supper will be available in the parish house beginning at 3 p.m. Tickets for the supper cost $10 for adults, $5 for children. An afternoon organ recital features a different organist every half hour between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Admission to the tournament is $1. The church is at 3100 Broomes Island Road (state Route 264) in Port Republic. For information, call (301) 586-0565.
C&O; Canal Days
C&O; Canal Days head the list of activities this weekend in Western Maryland. Each year on the third weekend of August, Williamsport pays tribute to its canal heritage with programs by the Park Service and food and entertainment at Byron Memorial Park.
Today the arts and crafts market opens at 11 a.m. Music, dancing and a vaudeville and magic show are part of the entertainment at the park band shell from noon to 4 p.m. You can visit the Park Service Contact Station in the Cushwa Building and hear about the history of the canal, or join a one-hour walk conducted by a park ranger along the canal towpath.
This is the 16th annual event, and most activities are free. Take U.S. Route 11 south from Hagerstown to Williamsport. For information, call (301) 223-8800.
The Sternwheeler Regatta Festival in Charleston, W.Va., is reported to be the largest river festival east of the Mississippi, with 10 days of entertainment, sports events, cruises, boat races, parades, children's activities and fireworks Friday through Sept. 7.
Among the first week's highlights are the grand feature parade on Saturday, "A Taste of Charleston," a hot air balloon race and an antique auto show. During the second week you'll find an arts and crafts fair, a funeral parade complete with a jazz band from New Orleans, a street fair and a concert by the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra with fireworks.
Concerts are scheduled each evening throughout the week with performers like Jefferson Starship, Aaron Tippin, the Pointer Sisters and Three Dog Night. The main event is the 22nd annual Sternwheel Regatta at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 6, preceded by a parade of boats from the Levee to Magic Island and a baby sternwheel race.
All events are free. For information, call (304) 348-6419.
Montgomery County fair
County fairs are a popular attraction in late August. The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair is the largest in Maryland and is currently running at the fairgrounds in Gaithersburg through Saturday.
You'll find activities for all ages -- animal shows; home arts contests and demonstrations; a fashion show; fun events like racing pigs, ducks and goats; a pretty cow contest; and a new attraction, the world's largest stir fry.
Children can enjoy a variety of activities at the 4-H Building, including face painting, games, demonstrations, science experiments, crafts and other programs. There is nightly grandstand entertainment and midway rides.
Hours are 8 a.m. to midnight. Admission is $4 for adults, free for ages 12 and younger. Free parking is available at nearby Lakeforest Mall with free shuttle service to the fairgrounds, or you can park at the fairgrounds for $3 per car. For information, call (301) 926-3100.
Philadelphia Folk Festival
The 31st annual Philadelphia Folk Festival is scheduled next weekend at Old Pool Farm near Schwenksville, Pa., with three days of traditional and contemporary folk music, dance, crafts, food, workshops and children's events.
Festivities open Friday with three concerts: one that features new talents, a children's concert and an evening concert with well-known folk musicians.
Tickets range in price from $13 to $80; free for children under 12. For information, call (800) 556-FOLK or (215) 242-0150.
Riverwalk Arts Festival
A big event in York, Pa., is the 13th annual Riverwalk Arts Festival and Exhibition Saturday and next Sunday. Events will be held in the downtown area at the York County Colonial Courthouse courtyard and along the Codorus Bike Path.
A juried exhibition of two- and three-dimensional art brings entries from around the world. A festival marketplace will showcase the work of some 100 regional artists along with a small group of juried craftspeople. There will also be four mini-stages with continuous music and dance both days and a Culinary Arts Food Court. Admission is free. For information, call (717) 854-1587.