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Waterfront festival presents weekend of family fun


The Alexandria Red Cross Waterfront Festival has become one of Virginia's biggest summer festivals, rated among the top events in the Southeast and attracting crowds of more than 100,000. This year's 14th edition will be held Friday through June 11 at Oronoco Bay Park in Old Town Alexandria. Visitors can count on a full weekend of events for the whole family, with continuous entertainment, arts and crafts, tall ships, international food and fireworks.

Friday's entertainment kicks off with a performance by country music star Collin Raye. On Saturday five local bands, provided by the Hard Rock Cafe, will play through the afternoon, and that night visitors can attend a concert by Eddie Money. Festival goers can browse through the booths of more than 80 vendors from all over the country.

An area just for children features clowns, strolling entertainers, face painters, story time with characters reading from popular children's books, and children's rides.

Since the festival is a celebration of Alexandria's maritime heritage, one of the weekend highlights will be the commissioning of the new Navy coastal patrol boat, the Firebolt, scheduled Saturday at 10 a.m. There will also be maritime exhibits, canoe rentals and free tours of visiting ships, including the Dory and Schooner Alexandria.

Hours are 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 on Friday; $5 on Saturday (before 6 p.m.) and Sunday; and $8 Saturday evening. Children ages 6 to 12 will be admitted all three days for $1. All proceeds benefit the Alexandria Chapter of the American Red Cross. Call (703) 549-8300.

Fiddlers' convention

Traditional old-time and bluegrass musicians will gather on the grounds of the Carroll Country Farm Museum in Westminster June 11 for the Deer Creek Fiddlers' Convention from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The public is invited to take lawn chairs or a blanket and spend a relaxing day listening to the music. Participants will be tuning up their fiddles, banjos, mandolins, guitars and other instruments to compete for cash prizes. For the second year there will be a category for young performers, age 14 and under. The program will open with the Sacred Heart Singers, and later in the day the Cub Hill Cloggers will perform between breaks. Food and crafts will be for sale, and wagon rides will be available.

Admission is $7 for adults; free for under 18 accompanied by a paying adult. Call (410) 876-2667.

Jubilee in Richmond

June Jubilee launches the summer season in Richmond with a lively weekend of events for all ages. The Family Jubilee offers hands-on activities and live entertainment Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Valentine Riverside.

Five stages will be set up throughout the site, featuring music that ranges from classical to funk, as well as dance performances, including ballet and Latin American. There will also be visual art exhibits and demonstrations by artisans.

The Richmond Children's Museum will teach children how to make wacky hats, and other museums and institutions will help them paint and decorate automobiles, plant flowers, make masks, play history games and make animal prints and ancestral dolls. There will also be clowns, jugglers and roving mimes throughout the festival site.

The weekend kicks off with Friday Cheers in Nina F. Abady Festival Park at 5:30 p.m. Local bands will entertain, and food, beer and other beverages will be for sale.

The River City Real Beer Fest is scheduled Saturday and Sunday at the Farmers' Market in Shockoe Bottom. Festival goers can sample more than 35 specialty beers by regional microbreweries (6-ounce samples cost $1 with a required $3 mug), and food will be sold by Richmond restaurants. The festival stage on East Franklin Street will provide musical entertainment. Hours are noon to 9 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

On Saturday, a Jubilee trolley will run continuously between Valentine Riverside and the Farmers' Market between noon and 9 p.m. Call (804) 643-2826.

Colonial trades

The waterfront grounds of the Carroll House in Annapolis will be the setting for an 18th-century Trades Fair Saturday and June 11. Here you will meet fiddlers, bagpipers, sutlers and blacksmiths, along with a variety of Colonial merchants and crafts people. The Maryland Militia and several other 18th-century military re-enactment groups will be encamped on the grounds, and you can watch pistol dueling and fencing demonstrations or visit the tavern tent to play 18th-century board games and be entertained by Seamus Kennedy and the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment Band.

Highlight of the weekend will be "Meet Thomas Jefferson: An Evening of Genteel Entertainment" at 8 p.m. Saturday. Jefferson will be portrayed by his fifth-generation descendant Rob Coles, who according to National Geographic magazine bears "a haunting resemblance" to him. An admission fee of $10 includes a glass of Madeira wine or spiced tea.

Hours for the Trades Fair are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6 for adults; $5 for seniors; $2 for students. The Carroll House, which is located on Duke of Gloucester Street, behind St. Mary's Church, is the home of the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. Call (410) 269-1734.

Antique cars

More than 400 cars will be displayed on the lawn at Historic Sully Plantation in Chantilly, Va., during the Sully Antique Car Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 11.

Antiques, food and crafts will be available, and old-car parts will be sold at a flea market. Musical entertainment will be provided ++ by Hickory Grove. Tours of the mansion that belonged to Northern Virginia's first congressman, Richard Bland Lee, will be included in the admission fee of $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $2 for children.

Sully is on Route 28 (Sully Road) three-quarters of a mile north of the junction of U.S. 50 and Route 28. Call (703) 437-1794.

Plantation life

African-American life in the 1700s will be the focus of a program at Gunston Hall Plantation in Lorton, Va., from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. June 11. The program features African-American music, dance and storytelling by Colonial Williamsburg interpreters.

Performance times are 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

In the plantation kitchen, docents will prepare food typical of that eaten by 18th-century African-American slaves in Virginia. Others will demonstrate domestic duties assigned to slaves. The house will be open for tours between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; $4 for seniors; $1.50 for students through grade 12; free for children under 6. Gunston Hall is in Lorton, about 20 miles south of Washington, off Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1. Call (703) 550-9220.

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