Bagpipes skirl and tartans swirl at Scottish Games


Bagpipes and tartans will be the order of the day in Alexandria, Va., on Saturday and next Sunday as the town

celebrates its Scottish heritage during the 20th annual Virginia Scottish Games.

The grounds of Episcopal High School at 3901 W. Braddock Road will take on the appearance of a Scottish country fair crowded with musicians, dancers, pipers, athletes, clan societies and craft and food vendors.

The main event is the U.S. National Highland Heptathlon, a seven-event invitational competition that traces its origins back to the ancient Highland games of Northern Scotland. There are also a number of other competitive events, such as the National Scottish Harp Competition, Potomac Valley Fiddling Competition, the Highland dance competition, individual piping and drumming competitions, and pipe band competitions.

Other events are a Celtic craft fair, a grand parade of Scottish clans, British antique car show, Scottish breed dog events, and a Scottish country dance party on Saturday evening.

Gates open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for a one-day ticket; $17 for both days; free for children under 15 with a paying adult, or $1 if unaccompanied. Take Exit 5 from Interstate 395 east to Quaker Lane, turn right to Braddock Road. There will be free parking at T. C. Williams High School, and shuttle service will be available from the King Street Metro Station and the high school lot for $1. For information, call (703) 838-5005.

Nonstop blues in Pa.

Blues fans will head for Philadelphia for the sixth annual RiverBlues Festival at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing on Saturday and Sunday.

Twenty bands will be playing non-stop music on four stages. It is considered the biggest and best blues festival on the East Coast. Top-name talent includes Al Green, Buddy Guy, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Taj Mahal, Albert Collins and the Icebreakers, Odetta, Tinsley Ellis, Terrance Simien and the Mallet Playboys, and the Dukes of Destiny.

In addition there will be jam sessions, a photography exhibit of legendary blues musicians, a cruise on the Delaware River and summertime food.

Hours are 12:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets at the gate cost $15; $1 for children ages 2 to 12. There is ample parking on both sides of the Delaware River with a freeshuttle operating between several parking areas. Call (215) 636-1666 or (800) 537-7676.

Symphonic evenings

The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival in Orkney Springs, Va., ++ begins its 31st season next weekend with two evenings of symphonic music by the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and a puppet show for children.

The music of Broadway and Hollywood will be featured in Friday's pops concert, and classical works by Beethoven and Brahms will be performed on Saturday. Gates open at 6 p.m., and concerts start at 8 p.m.

On Saturday afternoon, "Carnival of the Animals" will be performed by the Bob Brown Puppets at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; free for children. Other attractions are the juried shows by crafts people from the mid-Atlantic region Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. The shows will also be held July 30 and 31. Admission is free.

The festival is held on the grounds of the historic Orkney Springs Hotel, a restored turn-of-the-century spa and mineral springs resort in the small mountain village of Orkney Springs. Old-fashioned ice cream socials are held before every concert, and buffet dinners are served in the hotel. You can also take

your own food and picnic on the lawn.

The season continues through Sept. 5 with a symphony pops concert on July 30; a classical masterworks concert on July 31 (both by the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra); country and folk music by the Smith Sisters on Aug. 13, and big band music by the Tom Cunningham Orchestra on Sept. 5. Two other musical events are scheduled -- a jazz mini-festival Aug. 4, and a folk mini-festival Sept. 4. Each mini-festival features four different groups, who will perform from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Concert tickets range in price from $9 to $15 depending on seating. Take Exit 273 off Interstate 81 at Mount Jackson, Va. Call (703) 459-3396.

Military Field Days

The 15th annual Military Field Days will take place Saturday and next Sunday at Fort Frederick State Park in Big Pool, in Washington County.

Some 500 re-enactors will represent military units of the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War and Civil War. Camps will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. At the opening ceremony on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. there will be a trooping of the colors with a commentator introducing the various units. At the camps, soldiers will engage in military tactics and demonstrations of cooking, mending, blacksmithing, candle making and other period skills. Sutlers will sell wares from each of the three periods, and food will be for sale.

Admission is $2. The park is on state Route 56, one mile east of Interstate 70, Exit 12. Call (301) 842-2155.

Chambersburg weekend

Chambersfest '93 commemorates the 129th anniversary of the burning of Chambersburg, Pa., by Confederate troops on July 30, 1864, with seven days of activities.

Opening ceremonies are on Friday at noon with historical tributes and patriotic music at Courthouse Plaza. Four days of Civil War seminars, tours and receptions will be presented at Wilson College, Thursday through next Sunday. There is an admission charge, and reservations are required.

Saturday is "Celebrate the Arts at Old Market Day," a time to enjoy music, dance, theater, art and magic. Main Street will be lined with food-and-craft vendors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 11 performance stages will be set up throughout the area, offering everything from silent films to dance and music. There will be storytelling, puppet shows, poetry readings and participatory theater for all ages. All performances are free with the exception of the Barbeque Brass Quintet at the Capitol Theatre Stage. (Admission is $3 for adults; $1 for students.)

Another weekend event is Airfest '93 at the Chambersburg Municipal Airport Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to dusk. Attractions include airplane rides, sky diving, a radio-controlled model-airplane show and a fly-in of classic aircraft. Admission is free.

For festival information, call Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, (717) 264-7101.

Watermen's Folklife Festival

Somers Cove Marina will be the site of the annual Watermen's Folklife Festival on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sponsored by the Governor J. Millard Tawes Historical Museum, the festival focuses on the life of the Chesapeake Bay waterman. You can see demonstrations of crab-pot making and net making, oyster shucking, crab picking, basket weaving and decoy carving. Davy Crockett will sing original songs of the Chesapeake Bay, and a country band and gospel group from Smith Island will perform. Arts and crafts, Eastern Shore foods, face painting, a silent auction and boat rides around the harbor are other attractions. Admission is free.

After the festival there will be a cruise to Smith Island aboard a paddle wheel boat. The $25 ticket includes dinner on Smith Island. The cruise leaves Somers Cove at 6:30 p.m. and returns about 9:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased that day. Call (410) 968-2501.

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