The earliest militias
A Grand Militia Muster will bring 17th century re-enactment units from all over the East Coast to Historic St. Mary's City Saturday and Sunday. Units such as the English Civil War Society and the James Fort Militia from Jamestown, Va., will be among the visiting militia groups to the site of Maryland's original colony and first capital. It is the largest gathering of 17th century re-enactment units in the United States. With the St. Maries City Militia acting as host unit, they will compete in pike drill, musket fire, swordplay, camp-cooking and various other competitions. Activities will take place on Governor's Field each day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Saturday at 4 p.m. all units will participate in a re-creation of the 1655 Battle of the Severn, and the Maryland Dove will be put to use on this occasion. Sutlers will be on hand to sell period items, and food will be available at Farthing's Kitchen.
Admission is $6.50 for adults; $6 for senior citizens and ages 13 to 18 or those with college ID.; $3.25 for ages 6 to 12. Historic St. Mary's City is on Route 5 south of Leonardtown in Southern Maryland. Call (301) 862-0990 or (800) SMC-1634.
While you're in the area be sure to check out the St. Mary's County Oyster Festival. It is scheduled the same two days at St. Mary's County Fairgrounds near Leonardtown. While oyster is king at this festival, you don't have to be a devotee there's lots of other great Southern Maryland food to whet your appetite. There's also the National Oyster Cook-off on Saturday and the U.S. National Oyster Shucking Championships on Sunday, two stages of non-stop entertainment, two buildings filled with crafts, cooking demonstrations, a farm museum and watermen's museum. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3; free for ages 14 and under. Call (301) 863-5015.