Travel back in time to Annapolis of 200 years ago during the 18th-Century Trades Fair on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Charles Carroll House, 107 Duke of Gloucester St.
Charles Carroll, portrayed by Baltimore actor David Guy, will be on hand to greet you. Carroll was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and one of the wealthiest men in the American Colonies. You will meet his wigmaker and servants and a large group of Colonial tradesmen, portrayed by the South River Sutlers, who will set up shop in the Carroll garden. A seller of rare books, a paper cutter, a seamstress, a potter and many other artisans will demonstrate 18th-century skills, and the Maryland Militia and the 6th Maryland Regiment will be encamped on the grounds.
For entertainment you can enjoy 18th-century music, dance, storytelling and fencing demonstrations. There will be complimentary wine tasting, and 18th-century food will be for sale in the garden. Living history tours of the Carroll House, which is currently undergoing restoration, are included in the admission of $7 for adults; $6 for seniors; $2 for students through grade 12; free for under 6. For information, call (410) 269-1737.
Rain or shine, gates open today at 9:30 a.m. for a day of amateur steeplechase racing on the grounds of Winterthur Museum. The Winterthur point-to-point introduces visitors to parts of the large Winterthur estate not usually seen by the public. It is the Brandywine Valley's most popular equestrian event, with five jumping races over post and rail and one race run on the flat.
Pre-race activities include a pony race at noon, a parade of antique carriages at 1 p.m. and a tailgate picnic competition. Post time for the first race is 2 p.m. General admission is $20; free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult. Take Route 52 from Interstate 95 and follow signs. Call (302) 888-4600.
Sheep dog trials
The 10th annual Sheep Dog Trials will be held Saturday and next Sunday at Oatlands Plantation near Leesburg, Va. More than 60 border collies will show off their skills at rounding up sheep on the Oatlands' hillside. Handlers, who come from all over the United States and Europe, use only voice commands and whistles to direct these intelligent dogs. Border collie relay teams will also race each other in a "fly ball" demonstration.
In addition to the sheep dog events there will be Irish bluegrass music, a crafts fair, a falconry exhibit and canine rescue corps demonstrations. Children can enjoy their own fair with games, a petting zoo and pony rides. The 1803 mansion and garden will be open for tour, and food will be for sale. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults; free for children under 12. Oatlands is on U.S. Route 15 just south of Leesburg. Call (703) 777-3174.
Mercer Folk Fest
The Mercer Museum in Doylestown, Pa., is an unusual museum, built in 1916 entirely out of concrete to house the collection of Henry Chapman Mercer. Among its more than 50,000 early American artifacts are a stagecoach, whaling boat, gallows and vampire-killing kit, as well as Civil War memorabilia. On Saturday and next Sunday the museum will hold its 21st annual Folk Fest on museum grounds. More than 100 skilled artisans will demonstrate skills such as glass blowing, shoemaking, timber framing and open-hearth cooking. Three-quarters of the participating crafts people were winners in a competition to determine the best traditional crafts people in 1993 by Early American Life magazine. There will be musical entertainment, dancing and food. Children will enjoy hands-on crafts, a mini-farm, hay-wagon rides, jugglers, storytellers, puppeteers and a Revolutionary War encampment.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7 for adults; $5 for ages 9 to 17; free for age 8 and under. Park free on the grounds of Fonthill Museum, East Court Street and Swamp Road. Shuttle service to the festival is free. Call (215) 345-0210.