Memorial Day weekend produces a number of good ideas for day trips. One traditional favorite is the annual Chestertown Tea Party Festival on Saturday. The festival grew out of an event that happened in Chestertown on May 23, 1774. As a result of the Boston Tea Party, the British closed the port of Boston. When the citizens of Chestertown heard the news they protested the act by staging their own "tea party." They boarded a British ship anchored on the Chester River and dumped its cargo of tea overboard.
The highlight of the festival is a re-enactment of this event at 2 p.m. But the day is filled with many other attractions. It begins with a Colonial parade down High Street to the river at 10:30 a.m. by the First Maryland Regiment and the First Virginia Regiment. Along the route 18th century crafts will be displayed and demonstrated by quilters, weavers, potters, broom makers, candlemakers and various other craftsmen of the period. Concessions will offer a variety of Eastern Shore specialties, and an art show is scheduled at Emmanuel Church.
Walking tours of the town begin at 11:30 a.m. and continue every half hour from the information booth. Music is scheduled throughout the day, including Slim Harrison performing mountain music, David and Ginger Hildebrand playing 18th century music on various instruments and concerts by the Kent County Choir and the Baltimore Brassworks. Additional entertainment will include 18th century country dancing, children's stories told on the Court House lawn, a Punch and Judy puppet show, a drill demonstration by the two Colonial regiments and swing and square dancing on High Street. The festival closes at 6 p.m.
Admission is free. For information, call (301) 778-0416, weekdays between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Once a year the exclusive stables and estates in Virginia's Hunt Country are open for tour. This year's 32nd annual event is scheduled Saturday and next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Middleburg and Upperville area.
In addition to horse farms, the 12 tour stops include a vineyard, a thoroughbred training track, a dairy farm and an equestrian boarding and schooling center. Among the highlights are visits to Kent Farms, home of Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, Paul Mellon's Rokeby Stables and two Saturday events, a Grand Prix jumping exhibition at Plain Bay Farm and a Saturday polo exhibition in Middleburg. Lunch is available both days at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, sponsor of the tour. Tickets can be purchased here on tour day for $23, including tour and lunch; $15, tour only; $7.50 for children under 12. Individual stables cost $5. Tickets are good both days so that tourgoers can schedule a more leisurely pace.
5) For information, call (703) 592-3711.
The summer season in Philadelphia gets off to a rousing start with the sixth annual USAir Jambalaya Jam Friday through Memorial Day Monday at Penn's Landing, Philadelphia's waterfront park on the Delaware River.
The festival imports the sights, sounds and tastes of the New Orleans Mardi Gras to Philadelphia. There will be performances by the Neville Brothers, Allen Toussaint, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Zachary Richard and many others.
Children can enjoy their own mini-festival with a variety of activities each day from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., including face-painting, storytelling and puppet shows, arts and crafts workshops, parades and music workshops. To note the citywide celebration of the Bill of Rights, actors representing Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin will be part of the festivities.
Craftspeople from New Orleans and Philadelphia will offer a variety of handcrafted items for sales and some will give demonstrations in the Junior Jam Workshops.
You can sample such dishes as blackened chicken po'boys, Cajun seafood salad, shrimp creole and chicken and sausage jambalaya, along with many Philadelphia food favorites.
Hours are 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday. Gate admission is $10 for adults, $1 for children 2 to 12. For information, call (215) 636-1666.
The Frederick Festival of the Arts on Saturday offers an afternoon of music and dance, art exhibits and lectures. Now in its sixth year, the festival will be held in the Court Square area of City Hall from noon to 5 p.m.
A performance by jazz saxophonist Stanley Turrentine will be a special attraction. Other highlights include storyteller Donald Davis and the Kaw Kouran West African Dance Company.
Admission is free. For information, call (301) 694-1436.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is sponsoring a Family Heritage Day on Saturday at the Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton, Pa. The event is a celebration of families through music, crafts and family history and this year concentrates on the ethnic heritage of northeastern Pennsylvania.