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European riders will compete in Winterthur races

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The Winterthur Point-to-Point Races in Winterthur, Del., May 7 is an opportunity to see areas of the Winterthur estate not often seen by the public. This year's race-goer will find many new attractions, too.

An international race will bring some of Europe's best riders to compete in a 3 1/8 -mile flat race. Race-goers can also enter their pets in a canine jumping event similar to equestrian jumping events with competitions for small, medium and large dogs. There's a new family tent with activities for children and a marketplace with area shops and crafts people.

Also new are skyboxes, elevated tents with fine views of the races, and the first annual Paddock Party Friday evening, featuring hayrides through the garden, a barbecue dinner and dancing to the music of Sin City Band. Admission to the Paddock Party is $45 in advance. A limited number of tickets may be available at the door for $50.

There are six feature races May 7, beginning with the international race at 2 p.m. The other five are run over post-and-rail fences. Gates and marketplace open at 9:30 a.m. Canine events are scheduled at 10:30 a.m. The tailgate picnic competition is at 11 a.m. In keeping with its theme, many competitors will come dressed as "Famous Families." Other prerace activities include pony races, an antique carriage parade and 25 bagpipers dressed in full ceremonial regalia who will play during opening ceremonies at 1:45 p.m.

Advance tickets to the races cost $15 through Saturday; $20 on race day. Children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Winterthur is on Route 52, six miles northwest of Wilmington. For information, call (302) 888-4600 or (800) 448-3883.

For the birds

The Delmarva Birding Festival is a great way to learn more about our feathered friends. It is slated for Friday through May 7 during peak migration season (March through mid-May). Forty-one trips and programs are scheduled in Wicomico, Worcester, Dorchester and Somerset counties.

Nesting pelicans might be seen by bird-watchers from a pontoon boat ride on Assawoman Bay, or rare piping plovers from a van safari through Assateague Island National Seashore, or a variety of warblers during a canoe trip through the cypress swamps of the Pocomoke River. At Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, where bald eagles and many species of waterfowl can be found, participants may choose either a long or short bike trip, a bus trip, a Birding for Beginners program, a children's marsh-trail walk and other programs. There are also children's craft programs, nature presentations by park rangers and programs on plant care. Headquarters for the weekend's activities will be the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury. Space for trips and programs is limited, so early registration is advised. Call (410) 742-4988.

Water music

If you're on the lower shore next weekend, you may wish to look in on Springfest '95 in Ocean City, four days of free musical entertainment, arts and crafts and food, under the big-top tents at the Inlet from Thursday through May 7. There will also be vintage autos and trucks, sky diving, a stunt kite competition and a boat show. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Call (410) 289-2800 or (800) OC-OCEAN.

Salisbury celebration

A third big attraction is the Salisbury Dogwood Festival. The fun begins Friday evening with a block party at Riverwalk Park from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday's events expand into the downtown area and include an international marketplace, arts and craft show, an Eastern Shore Showcase and Folklife Festival, dance performances and other entertainment. There's a dance Saturday night at the Civic Center. The final day, designated "Sunday in the Park," is an opportunity to relax and enjoy music and food. Admission is free. Call (410) 749-0144.

'Old Dover Days'

"Old Dover Days" will bring visitors to Delaware's capital next weekend for three days of history and family fun.

It begins with a country dance and block party on Legislative Mall Friday evening. Saturday's festivities kick off with the traditional parade at 9:30 a.m., followed by opening ceremonies on the Green. The day continues with Maypole dancing, two stages of continuous entertainment, 14 Colonial crafts demonstrations, presentations by Colonial characters, a pancake breakfast, an art show, a craft fair and an international food festival. One of Saturday's highlights is a walking tour of 10 private homes and six private offices from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. All sites are in Dover within walking distance. Tickets cost $6. Some other featured attractions are a 19th-century baseball game, a Victorian ice cream parlor, a Civil War encampment and Renaissance camp. The day concludes with a pops concert by the Dover Symphony.

Sunday's agenda includes the Wesley College International Festival featuring food, clothing and entertainment from seven different countries, a baroque concert, and, new this year, a museum safari that shuttles visitors to nine museums in Greater Dover. Admission is free, but there is a $2 shuttle bus charge for adults. There are some admissions charged for weekend events, but most are free. Call (302) 734-1736.

Local wool

Billed as "the largest event of its kind," the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival attracts more than 40,000 visitors each year to the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship. The 22nd annual event on Saturday and May 7 features a wide variety of contests, demonstrations, displays and activities.

Some of the sights include a shearing competition, working sheep-dog demonstrations, a "sheep to shawl" contest, a parade of sheep featuring more than 30 breeds, the Maryland Grand Lamb Cook-off, a shepherd's auction and a Saturday evening "spin-in" for spinners who bring their spinning wheels.

There are also free seminars on knitting, hooked rugs and other topics, a sheep show and more than 200 vendors selling everything from woolen apparel to jewelry and paintings.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission and parking is free. Call (410) 531-3647.

Apple-blossom time

Adams County celebrates with its 40th annual Apple Blossom Festival Saturday and May 7 at South Mountain Fairgrounds, 10 miles northwest of Gettysburg, Pa.

Festival gates open each day at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Admission is $2 for adults; free for under 12. Parking costs $1. The fairgrounds are on Route 234 near Arendtsville, Pa. Call (717) 677-7444.

Antiques and flowers

Wagonloads of flowers, herbs, vegetable plants and shrubs will decorate the grounds of the Union Mills Homestead Museum Saturday and May 7 during the 26th annual Flower and Plant Market and fifth Antiques Show and Sale. Inside, three floors of the Homestead's restored brick grist mill will be filled with a variety of antiques, including American country furniture and Baltimore silver pieces.

Breakfast and lunch can be bought on the grounds or you can bring your own picnic and use the picnic tables set up in the 14-acre park. There will also be tours of the main house.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, rain or shine. Admission to the grounds is free, but there is an admission charge of $2 each for the house tour and the antiques show. The Homestead is on Route 97, seven miles north of Westminster. Call (410) 848-2288.

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