A top event in the region next weekend is the 48th annual Waterford Homes Tour and Crafts Exhibit, Virginia's oldest crafts fair. Thousands of visitors flock to this National Historic Landmark village each autumn for the three-day event from Friday to Sunday.
A special feature is the heritage crafts demonstrated by more than 100 nationally recognized craftspeople, who are chosen for their ability to teach and give visitors a hands-on experience. The crafts are 18th and 19th century and include everything from making beehives to shoes, guns to musical instruments.
One of Waterford's charms is the number of restored 18th and 19th century dwellings, some of which will be open for tour. Visitors can also enjoy a continuous round of music and dance. You'll hear the music of the fife and drum corps as it marches through town, traditional Irish/American music, Appalachian bluegrass, cloggers, barbershop and folk.
You'll see the Iron Men of Loudoun County crushing rock, splitting logs and baling hay on antique farm equipment or a school days re-enactment in an 1880s one-room schoolhouse. The Civil War will be remembered by skirmishes, battle re-enactments and a ladies' fashion show. One of Saturday's highlights is an authentic Civil War military street dance.
Three floors of the Old Mill will be filled with handicrafts for sale, in addition to an art exhibit and art mart, a barn full of dried flowers and a corner store with homemade breads, jams and jellies. Traditional American food will be available, including fresh apple cider and apple butter.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Tickets cost $10, free for children 12 and under. Take I-70 west to Route 15 south; turn west on Route 7 for five miles past Leesburg, Va., then turn right on Route 9 for one mile and right on Route 662 to the village. For information, call (703) 882-3018.
The 24th annual Historic Pageant and Blessing of the Fleet will be held Saturday and next Sunday on St. Clement's Island from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The event commemorates the landing of Maryland's first colonists with a celebration of the original Mass, a re-enactment of the landing of the Dove and other historic pageants. Many other family activities will fill the weekend, including live music, bands, singers, arts and crafts, tall ships, sky-diving demonstrations and children's activities. Seafood and other local food specialties will be for sale.
Admission is $6 for adults, free for children under 12, and includes a free boat ride to the island. For information, call St. Clement's Island Potomac River Museum, (301) 769-2222.
The apple is important to Pennsylvania German cuisine. It goes back to the early German Mennonite settlers, whose first priority was to plant apple orchards on their new homestead. Snitz Fest at the Hans Herr House in Lancaster on Saturday is a tribute to the influence of the apple.
Pork is another important part of the Pennsylvania German diet. A new feature of this year's event is pig butchering, which will be demonstrated in the traditional manner, quite different from our modern methods. You will see sausage being ground and stuffed into casings and how scrapple and crackling are made. There will be other traditional cooking demonstrations, such as baking bread in the 18th century outdoor bake oven, smoking sausage in the smokehouse, apple butter making and traditional dishes made over the raised hearth. These foods will be available for sale.
Tours of the Hans Herr House, the oldest building in Lancaster County, will be included in the price of admission of $4 for adults, $1 for ages 7 to 12. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Hans Herr House is five miles south of Lancaster off Routes 222 and 741 near Willow Street, Pa. For information, call (717) 464-4438.
Two weekends of festivities are planned in Bedford County, Pa., during the 27th annual Fall Foliage Festival Days next weekend and Oct. 12 and 13. Activities during the first weekend include a wagon train parade through downtown Bedford on Saturday, scarecrow and cider making, arts and crafts and food on the public square and a full schedule of entertainment both days in the Court House area.
The following weekend's agenda includes an antique car parade, the crowning of the festival queen, demonstrating craftsmen, big band concert and square dancing in addition to the arts and crafts, food and entertainment in the festival area on Juliana Street.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free. Free shuttle service is available from the Bedford Fairgrounds, two miles off Pennsylvania Turnpike Exit 11 on Route 30 west. For information, call (800) 765-3331.
The 34th annual Springs Folk Festival will be held Friday and Saturday in the village of Springs, Pa., just north of Grantsville, Md. It's an event that celebrates the arts, crafts and culture of the old-time mountain people.