It's the season for apple butter and harvest festivals

Harvest festivals, apples and fall foliage top the list of weekend attractions. The Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster holds its annual Fall Harvest Days Saturday and next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors will be greeted by the scent of apple butter bubbling in large copper pots. Thirty food stands will offer a variety of good things to eat, and you can buy freshly butchered meat, homemade bread and fall produce, then browse among the more than 60 craft booths.

Several different country, folk and bluegrass bands will be on hand to provide stage entertainment both days, along with a strolling vaudeville performer. Old steam engines will demonstrate threshing and shingle sawing, and children ages 4 to 8 may participate in a Kiddies' Pedal Pull. A scarecrow workshop (fee is $8), wagon rides, tours of the farmhouse and craft demonstrations are other weekend attractions.


Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for seniors and ages 12 to 18; free for those under 12. Call (410) 876-2667.

Landis Valley Harvest Days


Harvest Days at Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster, Pa., takes a look at harvest activities of the early Pennsylvania Dutch Saturday and next Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Landis Valley is the largest museum of Pennsylvania Dutch rural life, and next weekend you can see more than 75 living history presentations from 1750 to 1900, covering everything from cigar making to clock repair. Butchering, sauerkraut making, corn shelling and wagon making are some of the many activities taking place in and around the museum's 20 historical buildings.

Children may participate in a pumpkin-coloring contest, learn about an early schoolhouse and listen to a storyteller. Music will be provided by the Lancaster County Folk Music and Fiddlers Society, and there will be lots of country-style food for sale.

Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for ages 6 to 17. The museum is 2 1/2 miles northeast of Lancaster on state Route 272. Call (717) 569-0401.

Apple Dumpling Festival

In nearby Ephrata, Pa., apple dumplings are the big attraction at the 13th annual Apple Dumpling Festival, sponsored by the Ephrata Cloister Associates on Saturday. The event is held at the Ephrata Cloister, one of America's earliest communal societies. The festival opens at 10 a.m. Be sure to arrive early because the large supply of dumplings is usually gone by lunchtime. Besides dumplings, hot dogs, soups, coffee, cider and other food will be offered for sale. Proceeds are used to purchase artifacts pertaining to Cloister history.

The cloister, at routes 322 and 272 in Ephrata, is open for touring from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for youths; free for those under 6. Call (717) 733-4811.

Kent County house tour


Houses spanning three centuries will be open for tour Saturday during the annual Historic House Tour in Kent County from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tour is sponsored by the Kent County Historical Trust as part of the county's 350th anniversary celebration this year.

The tour of 14 sites includes several 18th-century houses, three 19th-century frame houses, the county's last one-room schoolhouse and a 20th-century waterfront home. Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased on tour day at the White Swan Tavern or the Corsica Book Shop, both on High Street in Chestertown. Call (410) 778-0924 (evenings).

Patuxent River days

It will be a big weekend at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, as Patuxent River Appreciation Days celebrates Maryland's largest intrastate river Saturday and next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Museum grounds will be filled with 80 arts and crafts vendors, and members of various state agencies will be on hand to discuss soil conservation, wetlands use, commercial harvesting and Southern Maryland aquaculture. Touch tanks filled with sea creatures will be set up in three festival tents.

Visitors may take boat rides, listen to storytelling and ballads in the museum auditorium, attend seafood cooking classes and visit the 1883 Drum Point Lighthouse and the museum's newly renovated research library.


There will also be children's activities, model boat races, antique engines, piping and dancing demonstrations by the Celtic Society, Southern Maryland seafood and a traditional parade next Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission is free. Call (410) 326-2042.

Berkeley Springs festival

For 20 years, West Virginia's annual Apple Butter Festival has attracted fall travelers to Berkeley Springs. This year's festival is scheduled Saturday and next Sunday.

A traditional hometown parade launches the weekend festivities Saturday morning. In the center of town, apple butter bubbles in huge copper kettles, and the park is filled with dozens of booths offering crafts, antiques, fresh produce and mountain cooking. There are old-fashioned games and contests, music by the Critton Hollow String Band, dixieland and a Saturday night square dance. Admission is free. Call (800) 447-8797.

Somerset County home tour

Homes in Somerset County will welcome the public Saturday and next Sunday during Olde Princess Anne Days.


The tour of 29 sites includes plantation homes, historic churches, the Washington Hotel and old Teackle Mansion. Lunch will be available Saturday at the Princess Anne Volunteer Fire Company, and that evening a candlelight reception will be held at the Teackle Mansion from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Wicomico Hunt will give a demonstration there next Sunday at 2 p.m. In addition, there will be blacksmithing demonstrations at the Teackle Dairy and a display of works by local artists in one of the homes.

Tour admission is $12 for adults; free for those under 12. Tickets can be bought on tour day at the courthouse or the Teackle Mansion. Call (410) 651-3020 or (410) 651-0553.

Craft shopping in Thurmont

During the second weekend in October, the mountain town of Thurmont is a mecca for craft shoppers out to capture a little fall color. Catoctin Colorfest celebrates its 30th anniversary Saturday and next Sunday and, as usual, large crowds are expected.

Colorfest brings more than 350 crafts people from Maryland and surrounding states to Thurmont to sell their handiwork under the giant trees of the Community Park, at the Firemen's Carnival Grounds and the Thurmont Middle School. The craft areas are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Parking is available at several locations. The parking fee -- $2 per person with a maximum of $5 per carload -- fee includes free shuttle service to the festival. Call (301) 271-4432.