The culture of the Celts comes to Oatlands Plantation

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The Celts will return to Oatlands Plantation near Leesburg, Va., for the second annual Celtic Festival next weekend, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The plantation's 260 acres of rolling green hills, shaded glens and beautiful gardens provide a perfect backdrop for the festival, which features the cultures of Cornwall, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Galicia (Spain) and Brittany (France).

Here festival goers will find lively Celtic music, Irish dancers, Welsh choirs, Scottish games, storytellers, artisans and many others. As part of the continuous entertainment during this year's expanded festival you can hear Jean Redpath, a Scottish ballad singer of international prominence, the Club Espana, a Galician dance group, the Armagh Rhymers from Northern Ireland, the acoustic trio Connemara and the Irish band Celtic Thunder, along with champion fiddlers and pipers. Mary Fitzgerald, official harper for the White House, will play.

Celtic living-history groups will demonstrate life from the first to the 19th centuries, and storytellers will tell tales from Celtic lands. There will also be workshops on Celtic culture and falconry, sheepshearing demonstrations, clan societies with information on genealogy, 50 juried artisans, a craft market, a pub tent and a tea garden.

The admission fee of $8 for adults (free for under 12) includes a tour of the 1803 mansion and its many gardens. Oatlands is on U.S. 15, six miles south of Leesburg. For information, call (703) 777-3174.

Victorian Sunday

Spend an old-fashioned Sunday today on the lawn at Wheatland, home of President James Buchanan, in Lancaster, Pa. The event looks at ways in which Victorian families could spend a Sunday afternoon. Activities include a 19th-century baseball game, three-legged races, a cakewalk, refreshments and a box lunch.

An old-time jazz band will provide entertainment, along with an illusionist, a clown, a magician and a storyteller for the younger set. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults; $5 for children; free for under 6. Wheatland is at 1120 Marietta Ave. in Lancaster. Call (717) 392-8721.

Scottish afternoon

Scottish dancers, pipers, bands, vendors and members of Scottish societies will congregate on the grounds of Steppingstone Museum near Havre de Grace during the annual Scottish Festival today from noon to 5 p.m.

The John F. Nichol Pipe Band and Highland Society of Harford County will lead off with a grand march at 1 p.m. to set in motion a full afternoon of country dancing, musical entertainment, sheepshearing demonstrations, storytelling and games. The Harford County 4-H Petting Zoo will be there as well as Greyhound Pets of America.

Local clan societies will dispense information about their groups, and vendors will sell food and wares.

Admission, which includes a tour of the museum complex, is $4 for adults; free for children 12 and under. Call (410) 939-2299.

Virginia Indians

Members of eight Virginia Indian tribes will gather Saturday at Jamestown Settlement near Williamsburg, Va., for the sixth annual Virginia Indian Heritage Festival.

This year's event is dedicated to Pocahontas, the famous Indian maiden who saved the life of English Capt. John Smith and later married another Englishman. The documentary film "Pocahontas: Ambassador of the New World" will have its premiere showings in the museum theater at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. It is scheduled to air on the Arts and Entertainment Network's "Biography" series June 26.

The festival provides an opportunity for various tribes to share their culture and traditions through dance, music, crafts, storytelling and Indian food. An area will be set up for children's activities.

Jamestown Settlement on state Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg re-creates America's first permanent English Colony. A significant portion of the museum is devoted to the Powhatan Indians who lived in Virginia when the early Colonists arrived. Admission, which includes festival activities, is $9 for adults; $4.25 for ages 6 to 12. Call (804) 229-1607.

Show House

The Beeches, a Georgian-style dwelling once owned by the commodore of the New York Yacht Club, is open through June 30 as the 1995 Decorator Show House, a fund-raiser for the Talbot County Historical Society.

More than 30 areas of this elegant waterfront house, both inside and out, have been redecorated by top interior designers and landscape designers from the mid-Atlantic region. The show house also offers a boutique and waterfront tearoom. It is located about five minutes from Easton. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Monday. Tickets cost $12 and include admission to the Historical Society Museum in Easton, which now features a retrospective exhibition produced by the Maryland Historical Society. Call (410) 822-0773.

Boat show

The Chesapeake Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society will sponsor its annual Antique and Classic Boat Show Friday through June 18 at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels.

The event begins Friday with an all-day seminar, "Planks, Plywood & Plastic: Pleasure Boating in the '50s and '60s," focusing on some of the vessels built in the Chesapeake Bay during the 1950s and '60s.

Saturday's events kick off with an antique car and boat parade through St. Michaels to the museum at 9 a.m. More than 120 mahogany boats will fill the docks of the museum. The boats will be judged from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Boat displays continue on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to the boats, about two dozen antique and classic cars will be displayed at the show. Food will be available on the grounds, and visitors can enjoy musical entertainment on Saturday.

Boat show admission is included in the regular museum admission of $7.50 for adults; $3 for ages 6 to 17; free for under 6. Call (410) 745-2916.

Food in Virginia

The Virginia Pork Festival, one of the East Coast's largest food festivals, comes of age this year as it celebrates 21 years of food and music. The event will be held Wednesday on the Greensville County Ruritan Club grounds in Emporia, Va., from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Multiple stages offer a variety of music, while pork lovers enjoy a sumptuous all-you-can eat feast of sausage and ham biscuits, barbecued spareribs, fresh roast pork sandwiches, country fried ham and red-eye gravy, barbecued loin chops, pit-cooked barbecue and other pork dishes as well as favorite beverages. Tickets cost $20 and are by advance reservation only. Call (804) 634-6611.

Flowers and crafts

The Harrisburg Area Riverboat Society will hold its third annual City Island Flower & Craft Festival Saturday on City Island in Harrisburg, Pa., from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Located in the middle of the Susquehanna River, just offshore from downtown Harrisburg, the island features such attractions as the City Island Railroad, an 18-hole miniature golf course, horse-and-buggy rides, a carousel and 45-minute cruises on the Pride of the Susquehanna. On Saturday cruises will be available at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Some 180 regional crafts people will sell their wares throughout the island, and there will be a large selection of live, dried and silk flowers, demonstrations of Native American crafts, musical entertainment and food vendors. Admission is free, but there is a charge for island attractions. Call (717) 234-6500.

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