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Charles Carroll House in Annapolis reopens Saturday


After nine years of historical and architectural research and more than two years of interior restoration, the Charles Carroll House in Annapolis will open to the public Saturday. The house, at 107 Duke of Gloucester St., is the birthplace of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. It is the sole surviving birthplace of a Maryland signer.

As part of the opening ceremonies from noon to 4 p.m., the 6th Maryland Regiment will offer musket salutes while an actor playing Charles Carroll disembarks from the tall ship Providence. The ship is a reproduction of the Continental Navy ship that was the first command of John Paul Jones. It will be docked at the water side of Carroll Gardens and open to the public.

Interpreters will play the role of Carroll, his family and indentured servants. Others taking part in the event are the Newark Fife and Drum Corps; the 18th-century Maryland Militia Maritime Guard; John Durant, a strolling balladeer; and David and Ginger Hildebrand, who will perform music of Colonial times. Crafts workers will demonstrate blacksmithing, wool spinning, candle making, cooking, basket making and other crafts of the period, and there will be tours of the wine cellar and wine tastings. Admission is free.

The following day, there will be a house blessing at 12:30 p.m., and the house will again be open to the public free of charge from noon to 4 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

Thereafter the house and gardens will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $4 for adults, $3.50 for seniors, $2 for students. For information, call (410) 269-1737.

Winterthur Point-to-Point

The Winterthur Point-to-Point celebrates its 15th anniversary today on the grounds of Winterthur Museum and Gardens near Wilmington, Del.

Gates open at 9:30 a.m., and events begin with a tailgate picnic competition at 11 a.m. This year, contestants have created festive picnic fare relating to the theme of Broadway musicals. Those without picnics may buy lunch at the food tents. Also part of the pre-race activities are pony races for junior riders under age 17, and a parade of antique carriages. Nearly 50 carriages, including four-in-hand coaches, traps, phaetons, surreys, runabouts, gigs, carts and wagons, will cross the Brandywine Valley from Chadds Ford, Pa., and arrive at Winterthur at 1 p.m.

Post time for the first of four races is 2 p.m. Racing concludes at 5 p.m. General admission is $15; free for children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult. The entrance is south of the museum's main gate on Route 52. For information, call (302) 888-4600.

Tour of country gardens

Looking for something to do on Mother's Day? A tour of country gardens will be held May 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the area around Middleburg and Aldie, Va., as a benefit for Oatlands Plantation, a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Leesburg. The plantation's famous 4-acre English-style garden, the Anne Eustis Emmett Memorial Garden and the new North Garden will be featured on the tour, along with five private gardens owned by patrons of Oatlands.

Among the private gardens is a late 18th-century farm featuring a swan pond, a rock garden with a grotto used for swimming, and a lilac-lined vegetable garden. Another property contains a 5-acre lake surrounded by flowers and water plants. There's also a 200-year-old farmstead with a walled garden and pool, an in-town garden and boxwood terraced gardens.

Tickets cost $15 for the complete tour or $5 for a single garden. Tickets will be sold at Oatlands on U.S. Route 15, six miles south of Leesburg. For information, call (703) 777-3174.

Capitol Hill house tour

Another Mother's Day event is the 36th Annual Capitol Hill House and Garden Tour in Washington, which offers a candlelight tour Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and an afternoon tour next Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. A reception (limited to 400 ticket holders) will be held in one of the homes on the Saturday tour. The reception features "A Taste of Capitol Hill," a sampling from some of the area's multicultural restaurants.

Sunday's tour ends with a traditional afternoon tea and musical entertainment at St. James' Church, noted for its beautiful garden and baroque Reiger organ. Both tours include nine private homes of different architectural styles, ranging from Federal to late Victorian models. The interiors reflect the diverse tastes and interest of their owners, such as artifacts from around the world, elaborate stencil work, an unusual collection of three-dimensional "cut-out" sculpture, and a high-tech entertainment system.

Tickets cost $15 and are available with tour books at Eastern Market, North Carolina and 7th Street, Southeast. A free shuttle bus will operate for the Sunday tour. For information, call (202) 543-8000.

Carroll County events

Next weekend will be a busy one in Carroll County, with three events scheduled. The Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster will be the site for a Civil War encampment Saturday and next Sunday. Re-enactors are members of the 19th Georgia Regiment, who will engage in drilling and firing demonstrations, signaling demonstrations and a small battle re-enactment. The camp will open both days at 10 a.m., and visitors are encouraged to participate as camp volunteers. Other activities include period music, a ladies' tea, period fashion show and an evening dance Saturday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The dance is open to the public.

Guides dressed in period attire will conduct tours of the farmhouse, and crafts workers will demonstrate blacksmithing, tinsmithing, broom making, quilting, spinning and weaving.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for ages 12 to 18, and free for children under 12. The museum is at 500 S. Center St. in Westminster. Call (410) 876-2667.

A flower and jazz festival will take place Saturday in downtown Westminster from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Six county nurseries will offer plants and flowers for sale, and there will be 80 craft vendors, food and Mother's Day gifts, as well as continuous musical entertainment. Call (410) 876-1313.

Also on Saturday is the Herb Festival at Piney Run Park in Sykesville. Activities include herb cooking and craft demonstrations, plant sales, music, a Maypole dance, talks, hikes and other family entertainment from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 per car for Carroll County residents, $4 for others. The park is at 30 Martz Road in Sykesville. Call (410) 795-3274.

Montpelier Spring Festival

The 23rd annual Montpelier Spring Festival offers an afternoon of free family activities today from noon to 6 p.m. on the grounds of Montpelier Mansion in Laurel. Four stages of continuous

entertainment, 90 artists and crafts workers, a children's parade, fTC pony rides, a 4-H petting farm, face painting, and roving clowns and animal characters are among the many attractions. The Ben & Jerry Traveling Circus Show Bus will present two variety shows on the east lawn at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Additional entertainment will be provided by the Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus, Shoney Bear, the All Natural African Dancers and Drummers, "Pinocchio," a group that performs Brazilian dances and music, and other musical groups.

The mansion is at Route 197 and Montpelier Drive in South Laurel. Limited parking is available. Visitors are encouraged to park at Montpelier Plaza, Towne Centre Shopping Center or the James Harrison Elementary School. Free shuttle buses will operate continuously between the mansion and parking sites. Call (301) 776-2805.

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