Roadside stands with farm-fresh produce, chicken corn soup, apple dumplings, shoofly pie and a host of other delightful visions come to mind when you think of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Here's an opportunity to sample more of this wonderful cuisine and learn how to cook it and where to find it -- the Pennsylvania Dutch Food Festival this week from Thursday through Saturday at various sites throughout Lancaster County.
Cooking classes, demonstrations, a chicken cook-off, a farmers breakfast feast and a progressive restaurant dinner are among the many events featured during the three-day festival. Here's a sampling:
On Thursday evening you can join a progressive restaurant dinner and walking tour in downtown Lancaster. The event, which begins at 5 p.m., takes you to three restaurants. After the main course, there will be a walking tour of historic Lancaster followed by dessert. The cost is $19. A free jazz concert is also scheduled that evening in Lancaster Square. Deadline for dinner reservations is June 19. Call (717) 394-0623.
Pot pie, potato puffs, apple pepper jam, apple dumplings, chicken corn soup, chow chow, pork and sauerkraut and other Pennsylvania Dutch foods can be sampled at the Pennsylvania Dutch Food Fair Friday and Saturday in Bird-in-Hand, Pa. Some of the county's best-known restaurants will offer food and demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The fair will take place under a tent on Route 340 across from the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn. A bluegrass concert is scheduled there Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free.
The finest growers, producers, manufacturers and servers of foods in Lancaster County will be showcased Friday and Saturday in a marketplace at the Artworks Expo Center in Ephrata. There will be free samples, recipes, demonstrations and a chicken cook-off by area cooks. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $2; free for under 12.
For festival information, call (717) 299-8901.
Top country-music stars like John Michael Montgomery, Neal McCoy, Brooks and Dunn, Faith Hill and Martina McBride will be in Crisfield Saturday and June 25 for the fifth annual Tangier Sound Country Music Festival at Hammock Pointe.
In addition to performances by these and other top artists, there will be workshops, children's activities, a dance tent, fresh seafood from local restaurants and, new this year, a juried craft show by some of the Eastern Shore's finest artisans. Gates open at 9 a.m. each day. Performances run from 1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Advance ticket reservations are advised. Tickets purchased by June 23 cost $24 for one day; $40 for two days; $5 for children 10 and under. If available, tickets purchased at the gate will cost $28; $5 for children. Call (410) 651-2968 or (800) 521-9189.
Arts in Frederick
The annual Frederick Festival of the Arts from Friday through June 25 makes Frederick another good destination for weekend travel. The Arts Market, featuring the works of more than 130 juried artists and crafts people from all over the country, will be set up in Carroll Creek Linear Park in downtown Frederick.
Other activities include children's theater, roving minstrels, ballet, face painting and musical entertainment featuring everything from classical to modern rock.
Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Evening concerts will take place each night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission to the Arts Market is $2 on Friday; $3 on Saturday and Sunday; free for children under 12. All other activities and concerts are free. Call (301) 694-9632.
Another large art event, the sixth annual Manayunk Arts Festival, takes place in the Philadelphia area Saturday and June 25. It has become one of the largest outdoor events in the tristate area, attracting more than 250 nationally-recognized artists from around the country.
Festival goers can also enjoy food provided by Manayunk's 28 restaurants, jazz and children's art activities. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Shuttle service is available from various locations. Call (215) 482-9565.
Tilghman Island seafood
Saturday is the date for the annual Summer Seafood Festival on Tilghman Island. It will be held from noon to 8 p.m. at the fire house and adjacent park. Visitors can enjoy a variety of foods fresh from the bay, including steamed crabs, crab cakes, soft-shelled crabs, fried clams and steamed clams, as well as nonseafood fare.
A firemen's parade is part of an afternoon of entertainment that includes contests, games, arts and crafts, crab races and a crab-picking contest.
Admission is free. To reach the island take U.S. 50 to Route 322 in Easton. Turn right on Route 33 through St. Michaels and drive straight to Tilghman Island. Call (410) 886-2121.
Wine and art
Wines from six Maryland vineyards can be sampled at the Susquehanna Wine & Art Festival June 25, rain or shine, from noon to 6 p.m. on the grounds of Steppingstone Museum near Havre de Grace. Tickets cost $12 for adults and include 10 (1-ounce) samples of wine and admission to the museum; $5 for adults who do not participate in wine tasting; free for under 12.
Afternoon events include an art exhibit, music, poetry readings and food from area restaurants and caterers. Call (410) 939-2299.
Backyard barbecue chefs will compete for cash and prizes next weekend during the National Capital Barbecue Battle, two days of barbecued food and music, at the Georgetown Waterfront, Wisconsin Avenue at K Street Northwest in Washington.
Here you'll find more than 50 different barbecued specialties by chefs, caterers and restaurants from Arkansas to Australia. The Barbecue Battle consists of two contests: one for beef, chicken and "Anything But" on Saturday; and the "Memphis in May" contest for pork (winners have an opportunity to compete in the World Championship held in Memphis in May). Two guest chefs, PBS cooking-show host George Hirsch and cookbook author Melanie Barnard will demonstrate and talk about the art of barbecuing.
Musical entertainment will be offered on two separate stages, and a Kids Korral will feature face painting, clowns, games and crafts. Hours are 12:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults; $2 for children under 10; free for ages 4 and under. Call (202) 828-1902.
Family fun days
The Nelson County Summer Festival offers family fun at historic Oak Ridge Estate near Lovingston, Va., Saturday and June 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The 4,800-acre estate was owned by Thomas Fortune Ryan, one of the 10 wealthiest men in the nation at the turn of the century. It includes a 50-room mansion with formal gardens and 80 outbuildings.
Musical entertainment, wine tasting, a festival marketplace, children's activities and food are among the many attractions. Six vineyards in the area will bring their wines for tasting, and for children there will be face painting, storytelling and juggling workshops. There's also a wide range of music, from folk to fusion, crafts and craft demonstrations, sheep-dog demonstrations and an exhibition of unusual occupations like llama and ostrich farming.
Tickets cost $8; free for under 12 if accompanied by an adult. There is an additional $5 charge to tour the mansion. The estate is just off U.S. 29 on State Route 653, midway between Charlottesville and Lynchburg, Va. Call (804) 263-5239.