Seafood, Entertainment Are Recipe For Festival Fun

August 08, 1993|By JoAnne C. Broadwater | JoAnne C. Broadwater,Contributing Writer

The historic town of Havre de Grace served steamed crabs, oysters, crab soup, seafood muffins and crawdads under uncertain skies yesterday on the first day of the 13th annual Harford County Seafood Festival.

The sun was shining when the fair opened at noon and visitors began streaming into Millard E. Tydings Memorial Park to sample the seafood and enjoy live entertainment, arts and crafts and activities for children.

"We came for the food," said Linda Wilson of Bel Air, who shared blackened redfish, clams and soft crabs with her daughter Karen Pugh and 15-month-old grandson Brandon. "We always try to support anything in Harford County."

The clouds came and went during the festivities, which are scheduled to continue today -- regardless of the weather.

"We try to make it a day in the park with the family," said Ann Marie Lane, a teacher at North Bend Elementary School who chairs the festival for the Harford County Education Association.

HCEA, the county teachers union, sponsors the festival to raise scholarship money for county graduates planning to pursue careers in education. More than 50 volunteers, most of them teachers, organized the event.

Between 5,000 and 6,000 seafood-lovers are expected to visit the fair this weekend. Pit beef, sausage, fruit salad and french fries will be available for those who prefer something other than seafood.

Younger visitors can head for the Children's Corner, where volunteers tell stories and supervise free arts and crafts. Yesterday, Fran Sorin -- who evaluates special education students in the county -- and her husband, Steve, helped youngsters make sun-catchers, string beads and create artworks.

Four-year-old Kelly Drake sat on a blanket in the Children's Center tent yesterday making a paper bag puppet. Her 10-year-old brother Jason was busy stringing beads.

"We're having a great time," said their mother, Ada Drake of Towson.

Marie Meyer, the children's grandmother, enjoyed browsing through dozens of arts and crafts stands in the breezy park overlooking the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay. She hoped to find ideas for crafts that her senior citizens group could make.

Yesterday, fair-goers could board a bus outside the entrance at Washington and Commerce streets for a free one-hour tour of Havre de Grace narrated by volunteers from local historic and tourism organizations. Historic homes and churches, museums, antique and decoy shops and a local homemade candy business were highlights of the tour.

"We would like people to see Havre de Grace and see what we have to offer," said Madelyn Shank, one of the tour guides who was born and raised in Havre de Grace. "It's a nice river town."

The tours will be offered again today. Passengers may get off anywhere along the route and board a later bus to return to the festivalgrounds.

Live entertainment throughout the weekend will feature a bluegrass band, clog dancing, children's theater and a roving minstrel. And the festival's boldest visitors can climb on stage and sing along with the karaoke machine that Joystar Productions has set up for the festival.

The seafood festival will be held today from noon until 5 p.m. inTydings Park at the foot of Union Avenue. On-street parking is available. Admission is $3 for adults; children 12 and under are free.

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