Chesapeake Appreciation Days, the annual tribute to the bay and its bounty, is set Saturday and next Sunday at Sandy Point State Park.
As in past years the skipjacks will be the centerpiece of the
festival. You can see them under sail as they race both mornings. In addition, numerous other boat races are scheduled between 10 a.m. and noon.
The park stage will offer a full schedule of entertainment: music ranging from bluegrass to folk to pop, a juggler, an oyster shucking contest and a silent auction. Elsewhere you'll find arts and crafts, a photography contest, environmental exhibits, children's activities, a workboat docking contest, a jousting tournament, K-9 dog demonstrations, crab races and of course mounds of fresh Chesapeake Bay seafood.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5, free to children under 12. The park is on U.S. 50 at the Bay Bridge, just east of Annapolis. For information, call 269-5570.
Halloween sets off a rash of events throughout the region next weekend, with Lancaster County reporting a number of activities. Mount Hope Estate and Winery in Cornwall, Pa., will present the Edgar Allan Poe Evermore Celebration on three weekends: Friday, Saturday and next Sunday; Oct. 31 and Nov. 1-3; and Nov. 8-10. Guests will interact with professional actors and actresses who will re-create scenarios from Poe's eerie tales in various rooms of the old Victorian mansion. The performances are at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, and all Fridays; 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturdays; and noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sundays. This is a popular event for families, ages 10 up, and reservations are suggested. Admission is $7.95 for adults; $4 for ages 5 to 11. Complimentary wine samples are included in the adult admission. Call (717) 665-7021.
Historic Lancaster Walking Tours will sponsor "Ghosts of Lancaster Past" Saturday and next Sunday at 7 p.m. The two-hour walking tours will visit eight historic homes. Each will be lighted by candlelight and staffed with costumed characters. Tickets cost $3. Call (717) 392-1776.
Halloween characters will welcome riders on the Strasburg Railroad during 40-minute train trips Saturday. As the train travels through the darkened countryside, illuminated scenes and ghostly apparitions will appear along the route. Trains depart the station in Strasburg, Pa., at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Passengers are encouraged to come in costume. The fare is $6.50 for adults, $3.50 for children. The ticket admits passengers to lantern tours of the haunted Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania following the trip. Reservations are necessary. Call 687-7522.
A Pumpkin Patch Weekend is planned at the Landis Valley Museum near Lancaster, Pa., Saturday and next Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. This is a new event, which promises old-fashioned fun, food and music.
Horse-drawn wagons will take visitors to the pumpkin patch, where they can pick out pumpkins (priced at $4 or less). Next is a stop at the pumpkin decorating station, where visitors can carve or paint their pumpkins. Pumpkins fashioned by students of the Pennsylvania School of Art and Design will provide decorating ideas.
There will be musical entertainment by the Lancaster County Folk Music and Fiddlers Society and storytelling by the South Central Pennsylvania Storytelling Guild. An artist will be on hand to draw caricatures of visitors on pumpkins, and a wandering minstrel will offer Halloween music. The museum will have free cookies to decorate and to eat, while other baked goods and authentic old-time pumpkin recipes will be for sale. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for youth. The museum is on Route 272, just north of Lancaster. Call (717) 569-0401.
The Great Pumpkin Festival returns to Old Bedford Village in Bedford, Pa., Saturday and next Sunday. Various activities are planned from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., including pumpkin pie eating contests, pumpkin painting and carving, scarecrow making, ,X games, a haystack full of surprises, magic shows and old-fashioned cloggers. On Saturday there will be a costume parade and on Sunday a pumpkin weigh-in with prizes for those bringing the largest pumpkins. Admission of $6 for adults, $5.25 for seniors and $4 for ages 6 to 12, includes tours of the re-created pioneer village. Call (800) 622-8005.
Another Great Pumpkin Weekend is planned Saturday and next Sunday at the 1725 John Chads House in Chadds Ford, Pa., where you can learn all about the pumpkin, a staple in the diet of early America, and watch pumpkin bread being baked in the beehive oven. This year's taste treat is pumpkin chips, a Colonial relish, which visitors can sample. Guides in Colonial dress will offer tours of the house and the springhouse from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for ages 12 and under. The Chad House is on Route 100, 1/4 mile north of U.S. 1. Call (215) 388-7376.