Buy, sell, trade and examine stamps and other items of philatelic interest this weekend at BALPEX '99, a stamp show sponsored by the Baltimore Philatelic Society at the Marriott, Hunt Valley Inn, Shawan Road at Interstate 83. Exhibitors from around the world will display rare collections. An auction, seminars and activities for junior collectors are also part of the annual event. This year's souvenir cachet cover of a 1915 railroad car reflects Baltimore's long association with rail transportation. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $4 for a three-day pass; free admission Sunday for those under age 18 and seniors. Call 410-655-5556.
Rock-A-Billy Country on the Hill
From the melodic voice of Jo Dee Messina and the down-to-earth music of Mark Chesnutt to the rhythms of BlackHawk, this weekend's Rock-A-Billy Country on the Hill festival offers a bit of country for fans of all ages. Also featured at the concert, at Oregon Ridge Park in Hunt Valley, are the WPOC-FM Dance Tent, food, crafts and a children's area. Hours are noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; gates open at 10 a.m. Tickets are $60 for a weekend pass, $33.50 each day; free for ages 12 and under. Call 410-481-SEAT.
Last weekend for the State Fair
There's still time to go to the State Fair. Through Monday, besides the usual farm exhibits, rides and food, you can hear a concert by Angela Taylor (pictured) at 5 p.m. tomorrow, the Beach Boys at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Once Hush at 8 p.m. Saturday. The Maryland State Fairgrounds are at 2200 York Road. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with some activities starting earlier. Admission is $4, free for kids under 12. Call 410-252-0200.
Bonnie Raitt and more at Merriweather
Listen to blues, rock and R&B; this evening when Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Shawn Colvin, Bruce Hornsby and David Lindley present a concert beginning at 7: 30 at Merriweather Post Pavilion, Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Tickets are available for the lawn only, for $25. Call 410-481-6500.
The British are coming to Cecil County
Watch hundreds of military re-enactors portray events from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 this weekend during the "British Invasions" of Cecil County. The celebration includes a Revolutionary War camp and battle re-enactment with night artillery firing demonstrations Saturday and Sunday at Meadow Park in Elkton. A War of 1812 camp will be set up Sunday and Monday on the grounds of the historic Mill House in North East. Also Saturday, a Fall Fest will be celebrated in Elkton's downtown area, within walking distance of Meadow Park. And in North East, a "Yesterdays" street festival takes place Saturday and Sunday. The activities are free, except for a historic house tour on Sunday, which is $8 in advance, $10 on Sunday. For a complete schedule, call 800-CECIL-95.
Celebrate First Thursday and catch late-summer fun today along Charles Street and in the Mount Vernon area. Festivities start with the Pepsi Take Time Out Lunchtime Music Series from noon to 2 p.m. at Center Plaza. Head over to Mount Vernon's West Park at 5: 30 p.m. for the alternative country sounds of the Joiners, then listen to live music by the Crawdaddies at 7 p.m. at Louie's Bookstore Cafe. At the Baltimore Museum of Art, see the new exhibit "Robes of Deliverance" and learn to swing dance. Other First Thursday events include free and discounted admission to area attractions, restaurant specials and extended shopping hours. Call 410-342-SHOW.
AROUND THE HARBOR
Life aboard the Constellation
Step back in history and observe navy life during the Civil War from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday aboard the newly restored USS Constellation, including demonstrations by the Ship's Company, the frigate's official re-enactment group. Other weekend activities include a visit by "Uncle Sam" and a "Powder Monkey" tour at 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6; $4.75 seniors; $3.50 ages 5-14; free for ages 5 and under. Call 410-539-1797.
Join Slim Man for an evening of smooth jazz beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Harborplace Amphitheatre. Expect to hear excerpts of the singer's newest album, "jazzified." Admission is free. Call 800-HARBOR-1.
Smooth grooves and mellow jazz fill the Top of the World Observation Level in the World Trade Center, 401 E. Pratt St., each week in September during Saturday Sunsets at the Top, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. While listening to jazz, you can stroll through the observation level and enjoy a view of Baltimore's twilight. The Barry Dove Jazz Trio performs this week. Admission is $6, $5 seniors, $4 children. Call 410-837-VIEW.