The National Pike Festival celebrates the nation's first federally funded interstate highway linking the East to the Western frontier. The original festival began 19 years ago in Washington County, Pa., during the nation's bicentennial.
Today, the festival stretches more than 300 miles from Pennsylvania, through parts of Maryland, West Virginia and into Eastern Ohio. It is billed "the longest festival in the world," and celebrations will be held on weekends through the end of May. In Maryland the festival will take place Saturday and next Sunday.
The pike, now known as U.S. Route 40, winds through Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties. Many communities along the route will hold their own celebrations. In Garrett County, a wagon train will leave Savage Mountain at 9 a.m. Saturday and arrive in Grantsville sometime after 4 p.m. Among the planned events are a buck-skinner encampment, storytelling, carriage rides, arts and crafts, demonstrations, music and food.
A second wagon train will travel across Washington County, leaving Clear Spring Saturday morning and making stops at Huyette's Crossroads, Funkstown and Boonsboro. The wagon train will also pass through Hagerstown, where a Civil War encampment will take place both days on the grounds of the Jonathan Hager House. The free event features military demonstrations and a cavalry skirmish with participation by several re-enactment units. The Hager House will be open for a nominal charge. In other towns, you'll find demonstrations of old-time craft skills, antique shows, buggy rides, music and many other attractions.
Allegany County will celebrate by holding a Parade of Transportation, commemorating the various modes of transportation on the pike over the years. The parade begins at noon in downtown Cumberland; attractions include a car show, musical entertainment, arts and crafts, a petting zoo and food. The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad will run three-hour excursions both days; there will also be trolley tours, and many historic sites will be open.
5) For information, call (800) 228-STAY.
Springfest in St. Michaels
Travel to the Eastern Shore for Springfest on Saturday at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels. A family fun day is planned for the museum's first event of the season.
A sampling of gourmet foods will be available under the museum's tent from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Entertainment includes a singing, dancing and juggling act for children in the morning and live bluegrass in the afternoon.
There will be a variety of displays, demonstrations and lectures on boating, along with boat rides on the museum's Mister Jim. Children can check out the kid-sized skipjack on Navy Point, visit the lighthouse, have their faces painted or be decorated at the "tattoo" parlor.
Activities run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; $4.50 for seniors; $2.50 for ages 6 to 17; free for under 6. For information, call (410) 745-2916.
Antique aircraft buffs will gather next weekend for the 24th annual Antique Fly-In at the Horn Point Aerodrome in Cambridge. The aerodrome is situated on the old du Pont estate, which is operated by the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies. When Francis du Pont lived there he had an airport constructed with a hangar for his plane. Today the hangar houses the Dorchester Heritage
The fly-in attracts pilots from the eastern United States, who bring their vintage aircraft, dating from 1918 to 1960, to be judged on the quality of the restoration work.
In addition to the displays, there will be fly-bys and opportunities to talk to the pilots about their planes and learn more about the history of early aviation.
The museum will be open and refreshments available. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. For information, call (410) 228-1899 or (410) 228-5530.
Colonial Highland Gathering
You can enjoy a day of clan activities Saturday at the 30th annual Colonial Highland Gathering at Fair Hill.
A full day of athletic events, music, dancing, food and other attractions is planned, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You'll see the tossing of the caber, a long, heavy pole, in a test of strength that goes back to ancient times; sheep dog demonstrations; bagpipes and pipe band competitions; and Highland and Scottish country dancing. At clan tents, you can trace your Scottish lineage or shop for Scottish gifts or food. Highlight of the day will be the parade of bands of pipes and drums, with more than 100 traditional pipers.
Admission is $8 for adults; $2 for ages 6 to 12; free for under 6. Fair Hill is four miles west of Newark, Del., on state Route 273. For information, call (302) 453-8998.
A new event is set next weekend in Carroll County. It's the first annual Carroll County Renaissance Festival, Saturday and next Sunday from 9 a.m. to dusk at the William Winchester Country Inn in Westminster.