Summer in St. Mary's County is a busy time. Next weekend the St. Maries Citty Militia will hold its annual Militia Muster in the Governor's Field exhibit area of Maryland's first capital at St. Mary's City. Militia members will re-create life as it was in the early days of the settlement. They will engage in swordplay and musket fire around the grounds of the Reconstructed State House of 1676. In addition to several tactical demonstrations there will be demonstrations of hearth cooking, carpentry and other period crafts Saturday and next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
You can also visit the museum's other exhibits, including the square-rigged Maryland Dove, a 17th century tobacco plantation and the Chesapeake Indian Lifeways Center; dine on Colonial fare at Farthing's Ordinary, the re-created 17th century inn; or watch the archaeological excavations at the St. Maries Chapel site. The summer digs begin Wednesday and continue until mid-August.
Another museum presentation is the Riverside Concert Series, which takes place on weekends through Aug. 24. Groups range from gospel and folk to country and rhythm and blues. The first concert on June 22 features the Hard Traveler's Folk Revival. All concerts will be held at 6 p.m. on the waterfront stage. Food will be available.
The museum is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through November. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for ages 6 to 12. Historic St. Mary's City is on Route 5 in southern Maryland. For information, call (301) 862-0990.
A Summer Solstice Picnic and Concert is scheduled on the lawns of Sotterley Mansion, an 18th century working plantation in Hollywood. Sponsored by the Arts Alliance of St. Mary's College, the event includes a gourmet picnic at 5 p.m. followed by a concert by the Tidewater Ensemble at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $25 and reservations are required. Call (301) 862-0285.
Sotterley will once again be the site of an old-fashioned July 4 featuring refreshments, games for children and an outdoor picnic. Admission is free. Call (301) 373-2280.
The Maryland Dove will serve as the stage for outdoor musical theater. Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance" will be performed there by Interact, a Washington theater group, July 19-21, 26-28 and Aug. 1, 2 and 4. Performances will be held rain or shine at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors. Call (301) 862-0380.
Old-fashioned foot-stomping music will fill the grounds of the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster today from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The 47th annual Deer Creek Fiddler's Convention attracts musicians from several states to compete for cash prizes. You'll hear old-timey and bluegrass bands and individual performers play the fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, dobros, basses and other instruments. The preliminary contests last until 6:30 p.m. with the final round beginning at 8 p.m. The Footloose Cloggers will provide entertainment during intermission.
Besides the music there will be tours of the museum by costumed guides, crafts demonstrations in the museum outbuildings and plenty of country food: fried chicken, homemade pies and pit beef.
Admission is $7. For information, call 435-0967.
The 20th annual Spring Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival, one of the region's biggest and most popular crafts festivals, is scheduled next weekend in Charles Town, W.Va.
The festival draws about 180 exhibitors from around the country. You'll find furniture makers, dollmakers, woodworkers, quilters and many other craftspeople who will demonstrate their special skills.
In addition to the crafts, several bluegrass bands will provide entertainment and food of every description will be for sale.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for ages 6 to 15, free for under 6. The festival will be held on county grounds off Route 340 between Charles Town and Harpers Ferry. Watch for signs. For information, call (304) 725-2055.
This year's Bell and History Day in Frederick on Saturday commemorates the 50th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War II.
The free program will focus on the military and civilian life of the area as the country prepared for war. Activities include a parade of antique civilian and military vehicles, living history interpretive programs, music of the era by the First Army Band and a talk
and book signing by author Robert Denny, who served as a bomber pilot during the war.
Festivities will be held in the Court Square area of city hall from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Later that evening a USO dance at the Adult Recreation Center (old armory) will bring back other memories of the era. The dance begins at 9 p.m. with music provided by a popular Washington orchestra. Tickets are $10 per person.
For information, call (301) 694-1436.
The 145-acre historic village of Yellow Springs in Chester Springs, Pa., will be the setting for the Yellow Springs Craft Festival Saturday and next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.