Next weekend the clans will descend on Alexandria, Va., for the 19th annual Virginia Scottish Games, one of the largest exhibitions of Scottish culture in the country. It will be held Saturday and Sunday on the grounds of Episcopal High School, 3901 W. Braddock Road.
Opening ceremonies featuring massed pipes and drums are scheduled Saturday at noon. The main event is the games, which trace their origins back to the ancient Highland games of Northern Scotland. The U.S. National Highland Heptathlon, an invitational competition, attracts both professionals and amateur athletes.
But there are other important competitions, such as the National Scottish Fiddling Competition which brings fiddlers and judges all the way from Scotland; the National Scottish Harp Competition, the Highland dance competition, individual piping and drumming competitions and pipe band competitions.
Visitors can relax in a tent while listening to Scottish entertainers. Animal lovers can attend the sheep dog demonstrations and Scottish dog events. The Grand Parade of Scottish clans, a British Car Show and a parade of Scottish-bred dogs are scheduled for Sunday.
Gates open each day at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Admission is $9 for a one-day ticket; $15 for both days; free for children under 15 with a paying adult, or $1 if unaccompanied. For information, call (703) 838-5005.
Latin American Festival
Another big event in the Washington area is the Latin American Festival next Saturday and Sunday. This year it commemorates the Columbus quincentennial and focuses on cultural evolution in the Americas over the centuries.
The festival opens Saturday at noon, as it has for 19 years, on the streets of El Barrio in Washington's Adams Morgan area (along 18th Street). On Sunday it moves to the Washington Monument grounds. Sound stages where folkloric demonstrations and performances will be presented by groups from each of the participating countries will be at both sites. Local and nationally known performers will provide entertainment; you'll hear Latin rhythms -- salsa, cumbia and merengue by more than 40 bands.
On Saturday young Hispanic musicians and dancers can display their talents on their own stage in El Barrio. Sunday's agenda includes a children's festival with clowns, magicians, singers and storytellers. There will also be arts and crafts booths.
One of the highlights of the festival is Sunday's Parade of Nations in which each Latin American country is represented by a float and a dance troupe. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and moves down Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th streets.
Festival hours are noon to 8 p.m. Saturday; noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. For information, call (202) 986-6963.
Chambersburg, Pa., was burned by Confederate troops in 1864 because the townspeople refused to pay a $500,000 ransom. Chambersfest '92 commemorates the 128th anniversary of this event with seven days of festivities.
Opening ceremonies are scheduled Friday at noon with historical tributes and music in the Courthouse Plaza. Three days of Civil War seminars will be presented at Wilson College Friday through next Sunday. Visitors can go by bus to Frederick and Greencastle, Pa., on Friday and to Washington on Sunday. There is an admission charge and reservations are necessary.
Most of the activities will take place on Saturday. "Celebrate The Arts at Old Market Day" takes place on Main Street offering a full day of musical entertainment, dance, literature, art, children's theater, puppetry, magic, crafts and food. Another event is Airfest '92, which features two days of airplane rides, sky diving, a radio-controlled model airplane show, an antique aircraft fly-in and static military displays Saturday and Sunday at the Chambersburg Municipal Airport. Admission is free for both events.
On Saturday evening a Civil War Ball is scheduled at Wilson College from 7 p.m. to midnight. Participants are encouraged to wear period dress. Tickets cost $25 and include light refreshment. There is an optional $5 charge for dance lessons.
For information, call (717) 264-7101.
Pocomoke City fair
The Great Pocomoke Fair recalls county fairs of the early 1900s with four days of fun from Thursday through Sunday at the Old Fairgrounds in Pocomoke City.
The fair offers a variety of entertainment for all ages. In addition to carnival rides, games and food, a Revolutionary War encampment will depict camp life. The Maryland Jousting Association will present a jousting tournament. There will also be a horse show with an exhibition of dressage, harness racing Friday and Saturday, and an antique car show Sunday. Children can enjoy games, contests, a petting zoo and face-painting. Bands will play, and international foods will be available.
The Pocomoke Rotary club will hold its annual craft show at the Pocomoke Middle School. Two round-trip train rides are scheduled on Saturday between Pocomoke City and Parksley, Va. The fare is $13 for adults, $8 for children.