Looking for a mid-summer outing? What could be better than an old-fashioned ice-cream festival? It's one of the popular events of the year at Rockwood Museum in Wilmington. This year's 12th annual event is scheduled Saturday and next Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Rockwood is a mid-19th-century manor house of rural Gothic design, set on 72 wooded acres. Next weekend the grounds will take on the appearance of a Victorian fair with hot-air balloons, high-wheel bicycles, brass bands and people in period costume.
The Living History Society of Delaware will present first-person re-enactments of life during the Civil War period, portraying civilians and soldiers of the 2nd Delaware Volunteer Infantry Regiment. For entertainment there's Dr. Bumstead's Traveling Medicine Show, magician Chris Capehart and music by the Atlantic Brass Band.
You can pose in Victorian dress for a tintype photo taken by a photographer using a 19th-century camera, attend a Victorian fashion show, and watch glassblowers from Wheaton Village demonstrate their skill. A large juried crafts show, antiques, music by a strolling bagpiper, and the Brandywine Zoo's Traveling Zoo are other attractions. Fried chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs and other picnic fare will be for sale along with 25 flavors of homemade ice cream.
A tour of the mansion's first floor is included in the admission of $5 for adults; $4 for seniors; $1 for ages 5 to 16; free for 5 and under. Visitors should park at Merchants Square on Gov. Printz Boulevard and Edgemoor Road (Exit 9 off Interstate 95). There's free parking and free shuttle bus service to the festival. For information, call (302) 761-4340.
Canal Boat Festival
The 18th annual Canal Boat Festival will take place Saturday and next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Lock 75 in the north branch of the C&O; Canal Park near Cumberland.
A 93-foot canal boat replica, complete with captain's cabin and mule stable, will be the centerpiece for the festival. Volunteers will conduct tours of the boat and the lock house, and park rangers will give interpretive talks about the canal's history.
Two re-enactment groups will participate in the event. The 7th Pennsylvania Reserve Corps will re-enact the Civil War defense of the canal by Federal troops, and the Wills Mountain Renegades will depict life at an 1800s frontier campsite. Frontier families and Native Americans living in tepees will demonstrate cooking over an open fire and the use of weapons, including hatchets and muzzleloaders. Two roving interpreters will play the parts of Benjamin Franklin and a frontier trader.
Arts and crafts, stagecoach and pony rides, country and bluegrass music are some of the other attractions. Food will be for sale, including the famous canal boat bean soup.
Admission is $1; free for children under 6. The park is four miles south of Cumberland on state Route 51. Call (301) 729-3136.
The 130th anniversary of the Battle of Monocacy will be commemorated Saturday and next Sunday at Monocacy National Battlefield on Route 355, about 3 1/2 miles south of Frederick. Interpretive programs are planned both days and include a Civil War encampment and demonstrations by the artillery, infantry and cavalry. On Sunday morning a non-denominational camp church service in the style of the Civil War era will take place at 9 a.m.
The Worthington Farm property, normally closed to the public, will be open during this event. The farm was the scene of some of the heaviest fighting during the battle. Activities will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. The battlefield is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. Call (301) 662-3515.
A time for lotus blossoms
The lotus should be in bloom at Lilypons Water Garden in Buckeystown. The lovely blossoms create a perfect backdrop for the garden's 14th annual Lotus Blossom Festival Saturday and next Sunday.
While strolling through the acres of lily ponds, visitors will be entertained by Demitri & the Flashbacks playing music of the '50s and '60s, the Frederick Regional Youth Orchestra, and singer-songwriter Frank Mabry performing original and popular country-folk music. Magician John Swomley will give magic shows and make balloon sculptures. Artisans from the mid-Atlantic region will be on hand to sell their wares, and a wide assortment of food will be for sale.
A lecture series on water gardening will be presented both days, with a demonstration of pond installations. Paddle boats and canoes will be available on the ponds.
Admission is free, but a parking donation is requested for the benefit of the Frederick Regional Youth Orchestra. The gardens are at 6800 Lilypons Road, three miles south of Buckeystown. Call (301) 874-5133.
Playing the games of the past
Children can learn to play the games their parents and grandparents played at the Old-Fashioned Games Day next Sunday at Steppingstone Museum near Havre de Grace. There will be games like roll-the-hoop, tip the cat, marbles and jacks, along with a turtle race and frog-jumping contests. Other activities include storytelling, kite-making, an ice-cream-eating contest, hayrides, pony rides and a petting zoo.
Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Admission, which includes a tour of the museum, is $4 for adults; free for children 12 and under. The museum is at 461 Quaker Bottom Road in Susquehanna State Park. Call (410) 939-2299.
To celebrate its 21st anniversary, the Piedmont Environmental Council is sponsoring the third annual Family Fair today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Airlie Conference Center just north of Warrenton, Va.
The agenda is filled with guest speakers and displays on major environmental issues, as well as "Wildfest 1994," international award-winning nature films.
But there's much more. It will be a day filled with events and fun for every member of the family, with vintage airplanes, antique cars and tractors, sheep-dog demonstrations, blacksmithing, miniature horses, hay rides and tractor rides, a petting zoo of exotic and domestic animals, jugglers, clowns, a beagle demonstration, nature walks, craft booths, puppet shows and continuous music. Food and beverages will be sold on the grounds.
The center is situated on a 3,000-acre tract filled with gardens, lakes and fields that are home to endangered swans and other wildlife. All events are held under tents or indoors and will be held rain or shine. Admission is $8 per car. Take Route 15 south or Interstate 66 to Route 29 south. Then take Route 605 marked Airlie and drive approximately 2 1/2 miles to North Gate Entrance. Call (703) 347-2334.
The 1790s re-created
Old Bedford Village near Bedford, Pa., will present Settler's Days Saturday and next Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The village is a re-creation of a pioneer settlement of the 1790s, in which visitors can experience lifestyles and crafts of the period.
Next weekend Native Americans will be on hand to sing and perform traditional dances in traditional costume, and visitors can take part in the square dancing or learn country line dancing. Children can enjoy covered-wagon rides and storytelling, and there will be hearth-cooking demonstrations, crafts and authentic Native-American food.
Admission is $6.95 for adults; $4.45 for ages 6 to 12; free for 6 and under. The village is on old Business Route 220, one mile past the Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange, Exit 11 at Bedford. Call (800) 238-4347.