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Festival surrounds Sheep Dog Trials at OatlandsA...


Festival surrounds Sheep Dog Trials at Oatlands

A visit to the Sheep Dog Trials at Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, Va., next weekend is a good choice for a family outing.

The trials are part of the nationally sanctioned Virginia Triple Crown, attracting top handlers from all over the country. Using only whistles and hand signals, the shepherds are able to direct their dogs to herd sheep and in some cases, ducks. The dogs will also participate in a "Top Fly Ball" competition, racing each other in relay teams. At the same time, other attractions vie for attention -- a craft fair, musical entertainment, a falconry exhibition, a canine search-and-rescue demonstration and an assortment of food. For children, there are pony rides, face painting and a petting zoo, and on Saturday the Loudoun County Day School will put on a children's fair featuring old-fashioned games at 25 cents a game.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission, which includes tours of the house and grounds, is $5 for adults; $3 for ages 7 to 12; free for ages 6 and under. Oatlands is on U.S. 15, six miles south of Leesburg. Call (703) 777-3174.

National Pike Festival

Wagon trains will roll across Washington and Allegany counties next weekend during the National Pike Festival, a salute to the road that opened the western frontier.

Known as "the world's longest festival," it stretches more than 300 miles from Pennsylvania through parts of Maryland, West Virginia and eastern Ohio. Celebrations are held in towns along the route on weekends throughout May.

In Maryland, events begin with a wagon train encampment in Clear Spring on Friday night and continue the following day with a parade, jousting, a car show, crafts, music and food. A Civil War living history program will be presented at the Jonathan Hager House in Hagerstown, and crafts, food and entertainment are planned in Funkstown. Activities are also scheduled in Huyett's Crossroads, Boonsboro and at the mall in Cumberland. Call (800) 228-STAY.

New Market bicentennial

New Market is a town that sprang to life with the opening of the National Road, and this year the town celebrates its bicentennial. A year of festivities kicks off today, rain or shine, with a tour of its houses, gardens and churches. Eight private homes, two gardens and two inns will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; three churches will be open for visits from 1

p.m. to 5 p.m.

One of the oldest homes on the tour was completed in 1795. It served as an inn during the Federal period, a jail during the Civil War, and later as a butcher shop, ice cream parlor and thrift shop. Guided walking tours of the town will be conducted at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and demonstrations of open-hearth cooking and weaving will be presented at Rossig's Log House.

Tickets cost $12 and are available at the Town Hall. Proceeds will benefit the New Market Bicentennial. New Market is off

Interstate 70 at Exit 62. Call (301) 865-3702.

Wine and food festival

"Wine in the Woods" will attract crowds to Howard County for the area's first wine and food festival Saturday and next Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Symphony Woods in Columbia. Over 60 varieties of wine from 10 Maryland wineries will be featured; 10 samples are included in the $10 admission.

A continuous round of blues, Latin jazz, reggae, pop, folk and bluegrass will be heard throughout the weekend, with jazz guitarist Ken Navarro heading the list. There will also be roving entertainers and 80 craftspeople will display their work. A wide variety of food will be offered, and you'll see demonstrations of wine tasting and wine making. Admission is $10 for ages 21 (identification required) and up; $5 for ages 3 to 20 and for designated drivers (who will receive non-alcoholic beverages). Call (410) 313-2762.

William Paca House, Garden

Historic Annapolis Foundation celebrates the 20th anniversary the William Paca Garden Restoration with tours of the house and garden and a sale of rare plants Saturday and next Sunday.

Guided tours of the gardens will be conducted every hour on the hour between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday.

The William Paca House will be decorated by local garden clubs, and guests can view the exhibit, "Rubble to Roses," that tells the story of the garden's rebirth after being buried for many long years under Carvel Hall Hotel.

Admission on Saturday and Sunday is $6. The plant sale will be held in the Visitors Center. If you wish to attend only the plant sale, you can enter at 1 Martin Street without charge. Call (410) 269-0432.

New Castle tour

If you enjoy the sights and sounds of a Colonial town, spend "A Day In Old New Castle" on Saturday. New Castle was Delaware's Colonial capital. Its cobbled streets and well-preserved old homes, dating from the 17th century, make this one of the area's most charming towns.

On Saturday, 17 private homes and 28 gardens, along with some of the town's churches and public buildings, will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Many of its inhabitants will be in Colonial costume, and on the green you'll see Colonial crafts demonstrations, children taking part in a Maypole dance, and music by a fife-and-drum corps. There will also be Colonial re-enactments, horse and buggy rides and musical programs.

Food will be available at the Presbyterian Church and at other locations. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for ages 12 and under. Proceeds benefit Immanuel Episcopal Church-on-the-Green. Call (302) 328-2413.

Highland pageant

The Colonial Highland Gathering at Fair Hill always attracts a crowd. The 31st annual event will take place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A full day of pageantry includes the traditional athletic games, Highland dancers, bagpipe-band competitions, sheep-dog demonstrations, Scottish crafts and food. Highlight of the event is the stirring spectacle of the massed bands of pipes and drums.

Admission is $8 for adults; $2 for ages 6 to 12; free for ages 6 and under. Fair Hill is four miles west of Newark, Del., on Route 273. Call (302) 475-8499.

Civil War re-enactment

"Civil War Life" returns to Historic Sully Plantation in Chantilly, Va., as Federal and Confederate re-enactment troops take over the grounds next weekend.

The soldiers will set up camp, participate in drills, play a game of 19th-century baseball and engage in battle. Civilian life will also be depicted through parlor games, dancing, music, teas and a box-lunch social; sutler tents will offer period crafts for sale. During house tours, you learn that during the war the women of Sully saved it from destruction. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults; $2 for children. Sully is on Route 28, three-quarters of a mile north of U.S. 50 and four miles south of the Dulles Access Road. Call (703) 437-1794.

Oak Ridge Railroad Festival

Oak Ridge Railroad Festival Saturday and next Sunday is an event that railroad buffs will not want to miss. The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Oak Ridge, the former estate of Wall Street magnate Thomas Fortune Ryan in Arrington, Va.

Ryan's railroad connections make this estate an appropriate setting for the festival. Ryan helped form the Southern Railroad in the 1890s. He owned two private Pullman cars and erected a private railroad station and freight station at Oak Ridge.

Festival attractions include historic and contemporary railroad exhibits, model railroads, crafts, railroad music, demonstrations, food and tours of the mansion and grounds.

Oak Ridge is in Central Virginia, midway between Charlottesville

and Lynchburg. Call (804) 263-4168.

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