Kilted Scotsmen will crowd the streets of Alexandria, Va., next weekend as clans gather for the 21st annual Virginia Scottish Games, one of the largest exhibitions of Scottish culture in the nation.
The stirring sounds of massed pipes and drums will open the ceremonies at noon Saturday. The two-day event at Episcopal High School re-creates the atmosphere of a Scottish country fair, with athletes, pipers, dancers, clan societies, crafts and food. Gates open at 8 a.m., and closing ceremonies are at 5 p.m.
The primary attraction is the U.S. National Highland Heptathlon, in which world-class athletes take part in a seven-event contest with origins in the ancient Highland games of Northern Scotland, where chieftains demonstrated their strength at annual gatherings. One of the events is the caber toss, in which athletes flip a log the size of a telephone pole end over end. Other contests include the Highland Dance Competitions, involving hundreds of competitors of all ages, the National Scottish Harp Competition, a fiddling competition and individual and bagpipe band competitions.
Other attractions are a Celtic crafts fair, Scottish-breed dog events, a British antique automobile show, the grand parade of Scottish clans, clan tents and a pub tent, where you can relax and listen to Scottish folk singer Alex Beaton.
A ceilidh (a party with entertainment) is scheduled Saturday evening at the Best Western Old Colony Inn, 625 First St. in Old Town. That same evening the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society will hold a Scottish country-dance party.
Admission is $10 for a one-day ticket; $17 for both days; free for children under 15 when accompanied by a paying adult. Unaccompanied children pay $1. Episcopal High School is at 3901 W. Braddock Road. Take Exit 5 from Virginia's Interstate 395. Go east on King Street and turn right onto Quaker Lane, then right again on Braddock Road. You can park free at T.C. Williams High School; shuttle service will be available from the King Street Metro Station and the high-school parking lot. Call (703) 838-5005.
Sully's 200th anniversary
A grand celebration will be held Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Historic Sully, home of Northern Virginia's first congressman, Richard Bland Lee, in Chantilly, Va.
This will be an opportunity to visit one of the great houses of Northern Virginia free of charge and look in on re-creations of some scenes that occurred there 200 years ago.
At 1 p.m. the re-created First Virginia Regiment, representing local militia, will demonstrate drills and musket fire. Next you will see a re-enactment of Lee arriving at Sully by carriage with his bride, Elizabeth Collins, whom he met while serving in the First Federal Congress in Philadelphia. Neighbors, in 18th-century finery, will be on hand to greet the couple.
Dancing to fiddle music will follow on the south lawn, and throughout the afternoon there will be period games for children, Colonial craft demonstrations and an encampment by the First Virginia Regiment. House tours begin at 1:45 p.m.
Built by Lee in 1794, the manor house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site includes a stone dairy, a smokehouse, gardens and one of the very few original kitchen-laundries still in use. Sully is on Route 28 (Sully Road), three-quarters of a mile north of U.S. 50 and four miles south of the Dulles Access Road. Call (703) 437-1794.
Chambersfest '94 commemorates the 130th anniversary of the burning of Chambersburg, Pa., by Confederate troops on July 30, 1864, with 10 days of activities from Friday through July 31.
The event features a Civil War seminar, tours, exhibits, concerts and other activities. Opening ceremonies are scheduled at noon Friday at Courthouse Plaza. The movie "Gettysburg" will be shown at the Capitol Theatre Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, the busiest day of the festival, is designated Old Market Day, a celebration of the arts. Streets will be closed to traffic and filled with craft and food vendors and entertainers. Stages on Main Street will offer continuous performances -- puppet shows, magicians, children's theater and film, music, dance, poetry readings and demonstrations -- from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. All performances are free except for the one by the Barbeque Brass Quintet at the Capital Theatre at noon. Tickets cost $5 for adults; $3 for senior citizens and children under 12.
Children's activities are featured at a family area at Kerrstown Square. And cast members from the movie "Gettysburg," will participate in a Civil War encampment on the grounds of United Towers.
Another weekend event is AirFest '94 at the Chambersburg Municipal Airport Saturday and July 24 from 9 a.m. until sunset. Attractions include airplane rides, sky diving, radio-controlled model airplane shows at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., antique aircraft and food. Admission is free. Call (800) 526-3497.
For other festival information, call the Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, (717) 264-7101.
Crab and clam bake
A popular event on the lower Eastern Shore is the annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake on Wednesday at Somers Cove Marina in Crisfield from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sponsored by the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce, it features a menu of steamed crabs and clams, fried fish, a clam raw bar, fried clam strips, corn on the cob, watermelon and other summer food. Tickets must be bought in advance. A $25 ticket allows you to eat as much as you wish. Call (410) 968-2500.
Music in Orkney Springs
An outdoor music series is offered by the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival on the grounds of the old Orkney Springs Hotel, a 19th-century mineral-springs resort in the village of Orkney Springs, Va.
The next two weekends will be filled with concerts by the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, performances for children and an arts and FTC crafts show. Pops concerts are scheduled Friday and July 29, and classical masterworks will be performed Saturday and July 30 at 8 p.m. Children can see the Creative Opera Ensemble's production of "Little Red Riding Hood" Saturday and a performance of West African music and dance by Elegba July 30. Both performances are at 2 p.m. The same two weekends, a juried arts and crafts show will be held Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m.
Old-fashioned ice-cream socials precede the concerts, and buffet dinners are served in the hotel on concert evenings. Gates open two hours before the concert, and if you prefer, you can take your own picnic.
Concert tickets range in price from $9 to $15; a student lawn ticket is $6; children's tickets are $3. Take Exit 273 off Interstate .. 81 at Mount Jackson, Va. Call (800) 459-3396.