Festival celebrates Shaker way of life


Craving some 18th-century fun without the hassle of climbing into your rusty old time machine? This weekend, the Shaker Forest Festival in Gaithersburg will take you back, way back.

The Shakers originated in Manchester, England, in the mid-1700s and evolved from the Quakers. The group, whose name came from their unusual mannerisms during prayer services, believed in four main principles: celibacy, common property ownership, confession of sins and separation from the world.

The festival is an appreciation and celebration of the Shaker way of life and more. There will be arts and crafts demonstrations, cloggers, bagpipe bands, pony and train rides, face-painting, ventriloquism, magic, puppetry, miming, juggling, unicycling, fire-eating and more. Visitors also can purchase foods prepared in the Shaker tradition.

The Shaker Forest Festival runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday at Seneca Creek State Park, off Clopper Road in Gaithersburg. $6; free for ages 10 and under. Call 888-612-0900 or visit www.shakerforest.com on the Web.

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