In former days the skipjack fleet was a dominant presence on the Chesapeake Bay, but today the fleet has sadly dwindled. Chesapeake Appreciation Days, scheduled next weekend at Sandy Point State Park, is one place to see it. The skipjacks are an important part of Chesapeake Appreciation Days, an event that began 26 years ago with the first skipjack races and one that continues to celebrate the heritage of the bay.
You can still enjoy the sight of these majestic ships under sail. The races are scheduled both Saturday and Sunday at about 10:30 a.m. There will also be a number of other historic sailing craft to see, several boat races, and a workboat docking contest.
But CAD is not just a water event; there's much to see on land and even in the air. An air show is scheduled on Saturday at 2 p.m., and you'll find displays of airplanes and helicopters on the ground. Helicopter rides will also be offered. There will be all kinds of entertainment at the park from live music to a jousting exhibition, K-9 demonstrations and pig races. Additional attractions are an amateur oyster shucking contest, arts and crafts, children's activities, hayrides, demonstrations, environmental exhibits and, of course, lots of Maryland seafood as well as Maryland beef, pork and chicken, Maryland wines and desserts.
The event is produced by Chesapeake Appreciation Inc. and the Maryland Watermen's Association. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; free for under 12.
Sandy Point State Park is on Route 50 at the Bay Bridge, just east of Annapolis. For information, call 269-5570.
Trick or treat? With Halloween events cramming the calendar, you're bound to meet up with a few ghouls, ghosts or goblins, regardless of your destination. Here are some of the events taking place round the region:
In Old Bedford Village near Bedford, Pa., the village square is filling with giant pumpkins in preparation for the Great Pumpkin Festival Saturday and next Sunday. Cash prizes will be awarded for the biggest pumpkins during the pumpkin weigh-in on Sunday.
Games, contests and entertainment are scheduled both days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can try their hand at pumpkin carving or painting for a fee or attend a free scarecrow workshop, while children scramble for surprises in the haystack. There will be a pumpkin pie eating contest, pumpkin foods, a magic show, pig roast and folk singers. Turkey dinners will be available in the Visitor Center Cafe.
Admission is $6 for adults; $5.25 for seniors; $4 for ages 6 to 12; free for under 6. A costume parade will take place in the village on Saturday and children who arrive in costume before 1 p.m. will be admitted free.
Old Bedford Village is on Business Route 220, just off Exit 11 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. For information, call (800) 622-8005.
Ghost walks in Alexandria, Va., are offered Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. The tours focus on the sinister aspects of Alexandria's history during the 18th and 19th centuries. They are not recommended for children, and reservations are a must. Call (703) 548-0100.
"A Halloween Happening" is planned on Saturday at Woodlawn Plantation near Alexandria. Ghostly tours, a storyteller, light refreshments and a blazing bonfire to warm your spirits will be the featured attractions between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Call (703) 780-4000.
Another Halloween event in Alexandria for all ages is the Ghost Tour at the Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St. The Living History Foundation players will bring back the spirits of George Washington, John Carlyle and General Braddock to tell their tales on Oct. 30 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Call (703) 549-2997.
The 10th annual Ghost Walk in Olde Towne, Portsmouth, Va., is scheduled Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. This tour of homes that date from 1662 will begin in the graveyard at Trinity Church. Costumed actors will relate stories of ghostly visitations to these 18th and 19th century homes. Guests will be served cider brewed in a black caldron following the walk. This event is recommended for all ages. Call (804) 399-5487.
The Historic Houses of Odessa (Del.) will offer Halloween fun Oct. 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Activities will include a hayride, bonfire, hot dog roast and sing-along entertainment with musician Peter Young. Admission is $6.
The Historic Houses of Odessa are four properties owned and operated by Winterthur Museum and Gardens. Odessa is just off Route 13 midway between Wilmington and Dover. For information, call (302) 378-4069.
The Sea Witch Weekend Festival lures trick or treaters of all ages to Rehoboth Beach, Del., for two days of festivities Saturday and next Sunday.