Crafts, homes and history are highlights in Waterford
Another big weekend is in store for daytrippers as fall events crowd the calendar. Early October brings scores of visitors to the 260-year-old village of Waterford, Va., for the annual Homes Tour and Crafts Exhibit Friday through next Sunday. This year marks the event's 50th anniversary, making it the oldest juried crafts fair in Virginia.
Several private homes will be open for tour in this National Historic Landmark Village, along with two Civil War cemeteries. The streets of the village will come alive with strolling musicians, troubadours, string bands, costumed dancers, a fife-and-drum corps and Civil War soldiers. Here, too, you will find one of the largest gatherings of heritage crafts people on the East Coast -- 140 nationally acclaimed artisans will be on hand to demonstrate craft skills of the 18th and 19th centuries. Shoppers can choose from thousands of handcrafted items on sale in the old mill, and in addition there's a barn filled with dried flowers, an art exhibit and food ranging from Brunswick stew to homemade cakes and pies.
The weekend also marks the 50th anniversary of the Waterford Foundation, which has been effective in protecting the surrounding farmland from development. In observation of the anniversary, a six-panel display of local farming history will be on view, along with demonstrations of past farming methods on field plots planted expressly for this exhibit. The Waterford Weavers will show the process of linen making, beginning with the flax plant and ending with a finished garment.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $12; $10 for pTC seniors; free for children 12 and under. Take Route 7 west past Leesburg, Va. Turn right onto Route 9 for one-quarter mile and turn right on Route 662 (Clarks Gap Road) and drive three miles to the village. For information, call (703) 882-3085. To show how important the apple was to early Pennsylvania settlers, the Hans Herr House in Lancaster, Pa., will present its sixth annual Snitz Fest on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Snitzing was a means of preserving the apple by carving it into thin slices and allowing it to dry.
the Snitz Fest you can tour the museum's apple orchard by Conestoga wagon. The orchard has one of the finest selections of historic apples in Pennsylvania. A Herr diary written in 1821 mentioned the planting of an apple orchard and the many varieties of apples that were planted -- and many are still found in the orchard today. About 40 varieties will be available for visitors to sample. Demonstrations using Colonial apple recipes for apple-butter making, cider pressing, apple snitzing and apple cooking will take place on the raised hearth in the 1719 Hans Herr House and in the outdoor beehive bake-oven.
The festival will feature other early harvest activities, such as processing flax into linen, sauerkraut making, soap making, butchering and corn husking. There will be 18th-century games for children.
Admission is $4 for adults; $1 for children 7 to 12. The house is five miles south of Lancaster near the village of Willow Street, just south of U.S. 222 and Route 741. Call (717) 464-4438.
Blessing of the Fleet
Relive history at St. Clement's Island State Park as the 26th Historical Pageant and Blessing of the Fleet is held there Saturday and next Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. A re-enactment of the landing of Maryland's first colonist will be held both days, and on Saturday you can witness the celebration of the original Mass at 12:15 p.m. Visitors can take free boat rides to the island from Colton's Point and find a continuous round of entertainment, live music, arts and crafts, Maryland seafood, a boat parade, educational exhibits and kiddie rides. There will also be an auction of fine arts and crafts, including a locally built 18-foot boat.
The event is sponsored by the Optimist Club of the 7th District. A donation of $7 will be requested. Children under 12 will be
admitted free. Call (301) 769-2222.
Brunswick's Railroad Days
Railroad Days on Saturday and next Sunday celebrate Brunswick's railroad heritage. The town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the Victorian houses built by the railroad are still standing, along with a vintage passenger station and the 1910 roundhouse.
Festival activities include train displays, live music, folk dancing, strolling musicians, craft displays, antiques, railroad art, boat rides, pony rides and children's games both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A new addition this year is the model-train show, featuring over 80 exhibitors at the Brunswick Fire Hall. Plan to visit the Brunswick Museum, where three floors are filled with railroad memorabilia and one of the largest model train layouts in the East. Train rides will be available to take passengers from Brunswick to Martinsburg, W.Va., along the Potomac River through a tunnel and over an old truss bridge at Harpers Ferry. Trains depart each day at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The fare is $7 for adults; $5 for seniors; $4 for children under 12; free for children under 4 not occupying a seat.
Festival admission is free, but there is a charge for the model train show and admission to the Brunswick Museum. Call (301) )) 834-7100 or (301) 834-8400.
Frederick hits the street
Head west and you will find more events in the Frederick area next weekend. "In the Street" is a day-long celebration on Saturday along Frederick's main thoroughfare. Eight blocks of Market Street are cordoned off from traffic so that crowds can enjoy six stages of entertainment, numerous food vendors and a variety of events, including a parade, hot air balloon rides, a petting zoo and treasure hunt. Two blocks will be set up for children's fun with stage presentations as well as educational and art activities. In the other blocks the focus will be on crafts and Frederick's heritage. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free. Call (301) 663-8687.
A little west of Frederick you'll find the Middletown Heritage Weekend, with military re-enactments, music, an arts and crafts festival, exhibits, tours and entertainment. A Civil War re-enactment scheduled on Sunday focuses on the 1864 ransom of Middletown. There'll be apple-butter making in the town park along with all kinds of food, crafts and music. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Middletown is eight miles west of Frederick on Alternate U.S. Route 40. Call (301) 371-6171.
Myersville's harvest festival
In nearby Myersville the Byrd Winery will hold a Harvest Festival Saturday and next Sunday. Activities include wine-making demonstrations, a slide presentation, grape stomping, wine tasting, a winery tour, music, and arts and crafts. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults. Take Exit 42 off Interstate 70 west. Turn right for one mile to Church Hill Road. Take another right to the winery. Call (301) 293-1110.