Head for Carroll County and a weekend of wine, music and delectable foods as the Maryland Wine Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary at the Carroll County Farm Museum Saturday and next Sunday.
Fans return year after year to sample the wines produced by the state's 10 commercial wineries -- and to enjoy the food, everything from tasty morsels to gourmet dinners from the area's finest eateries. The continuous round of on-stage entertainment begins each day at noon. Saturday's lineup includes folk rock by Jane and Julia, classical music by Prevailing Winds, country pop by Laurel Canyon, the Maryland Pacesetters Steel Band, electric jazz by Carl Filipiak, mainstream jazz by Bob Fields and Dixieland by the Bourbon Street Ramblers.
On Sunday you'll hear jazz by Eastern Standard Time and Hot Clave Bop, the Peabody Ragtime Ensemble, Swing Central and the Monumental Brass Quintet, and a repeat performance by the Bourbon Street Ramblers. Strolling entertainers include violinists Leroy Heine & Friend and vaudeville by Mike Kushla.
The event is sponsored by the Association of Maryland Wineries, the Maryland Grape Growers Association, the American Wine Society and the Carroll County Farm Museum. In addition to the wine tasting there will be wine seminars with experts on hand to explain the art of wine tasting. The third annual Governor's Cup Trophy will be awarded to the state's best wine.
For the third year in a row the American Lung Association of Maryland will sponsor a Maryland Wine Festival Bike Tour, a 10-, 25- or 50-mile tour through Carroll County on Saturday. For a $20 registration fee and a $60 pledge minimum (a benefit for the Lung Association), participants will receive free admission to the festival, preferred parking, a commemorative wine glass, T-shirt and wine coupons. Participants can register in advance or on the morning of the ride at the museum between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. Call (410) 560-2120.
Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults of legal drinking age; free for those under 21 if accompanied by paying adult. Admission includes a commemorative 10th anniversary wine glass, 10 wine tastings, admission to wine-tasting seminar, guided tours of the museum farmhouse and entertainment. The museum is at 500 S. Center St. in Westminster. For information, call (410) 876-2667.
During the 18th century, Chestertown was the busiest port on Maryland's Eastern Shore, and many merchants and ship owners built fine homes there. The town still contains a large number of restored and preserved buildings. Some can be seen on the 24th annual Candlelight Walking Tour, which will be held ** on Saturday, rain or shine, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sponsored by the Historical Society of Kent County, the tour features 16 historic homes and properties. Many of the homes were built in the 18th century, such as the Hynson-Ringgold House, now the residence of the president of Washington College; the White Swan Tavern; and a rare Federal period house at 117 High St., where 18th-century music will be performed. Fort Belvedere, an imposing 19th-century home with a magnificent river view, is another tour stop.
In addition to the tour, Lucy Coggin, director of the William Paca Garden, will lecture on "Native American Plantings in 18th-Century Gardens" at 2 p.m. at the Royal Prince Theater in Chestertown. Tour tickets cost $15, and a ticket to the lecture is $5. Tickets can be bought on tour day at ticket booths in town and at the Butterfly Bush on Cross Street. Call (410) 778-3499.
The 20th annual Neptune Festival opened yesterday in Virginia Beach and continues for two weeks of non-stop fun through Sept. 26. Last year's event drew more than 500,000 people.
From the air show by the Blue Angels on opening weekend to the final Boardwalk Celebration Sept. 24-26, the festival is packed with activities for the whole family, including sporting events, a Grand Parade, arts and crafts show, musical entertainment, carnival rides, a sand-sculpture contest, food and fireworks.
L Most events are free. Call (800) VA BEACH or (804) 498-0215.
Apples on the canal
Apple festivals are an enjoyable part of the fall scene, and one of the first of the season is the Canal Apple Festival Saturday and next Sunday at Widmeyer Park in Hancock.
Bushels of apples will be for sale as well as favorite apple foods like apple dumplings, apple cakes and apple pie. Activities in the park include more than 60 crafts, children's activities, and musical entertainment and food. A parade of floats, bands and antique cars will move through town on Saturday at 11 a.m., and the annual baby contest is scheduled at 1 p.m.
The festival also focuses attention on Hancock's canal heritage. One of the preliminary events is the Old Canalers Banquet Wednesday evening at the American Legion Hall, honoring men who worked on the C&O; Canal. During the festival you can stop by the C&O; Canal Visitor Center, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to learn about the canal's history.
@4 Festival admission is free. Call (301) 678-5325.
On the waterfront
"September on the Susquehanna" provides a historic look at Port Deposit today from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by Tomes Landing to celebrate the reopening of the town's waterfront to pedestrians and for pleasure boats.
The Maryland Pacesetters Steel Band will entertain along the new waterfront promenade, and free boat rides will be available along the river. A local historian will be on hand to discuss Port Deposit's past and future. There will also be numerous food booths at the site, and Wilmington Radio Station WJBR-FM (MIX 99.5) will be broadcasting live with free giveaways.
Call (410) 378-3900.
Cars at Gunston Hall
Gunston Hall, home of Colonial patriot George Mason in Lorton, Va., will be the site of the 27th annual Gunston Hall Car Show today from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Over 200 antique cars will be parked on the lawns, and trophies for the best in show and other awards will be presented at 3 p.m. Only models built before 1971 will be featured. The Lazy River Jazz Band will entertain between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and a variety of ethnic-food vendors will be on the grounds.
Admission, which includes a self-guided tour of the house and grounds, is $5 for adults; $1.50 for students through grade 12. Call (703) 550-9220.
The 28th annual Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival will be held Thursday through next Sunday at the Granite Hill Family Campground near Gettysburg, Pa.
Among the many performers scheduled to appear are John Hartford, Lonesome Standard Time, the Bass Mountain Boys, the Seldom Scene, the Country Gentlemen, the Lewis Family and the Gary Ferguson Band. A separate stage for children's entertainment will be available Saturday between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Crafts, contests and workshops are featured throughout the festival, which is open to both campers and non-campers.
Hours are 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Thursday; 3 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range in price from $10 for a single Thursday performance to $38 for all festival performances.
6* Call (800) 642-TENT or (717) 642-8749.