Oatlands Plantation will present Celtic celebration


June 12, 1994|By Dorothy Fleetwood | Dorothy Fleetwood,Contributing Writer

Oatlands Plantation near Leesburg, Va., bids weekend visitors "cead mile failte" (a hundred thousand welcomes) to its first Celtic Festival Saturday and next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests can stroll among Oatlands' 260 acres, tour the 1803 mansion and formal gardens and spend time in the picnic grove, where storytellers will tell tales of the "auld" country.

Four stages of continuous music, dance and acoustic entertainment will be presented throughout the two days. Celtic Thunder, one of the country's best-known traditional Irish bands, national Scottish harp champion Sue Richards and the North American champion Irish step-dancer Regan Wick are among the performers, along with Scottish bagpipers, a prize-winning Welsh choir, champion fiddler and a youth group performing the music and dance of Galicia in native costume.

The festival is a celebration of Celtic culture found in Cornwall, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Galicia in Spain and Brittany in France. You can attend workshops in the Celtic language, Celtic harp making and other programs. There will be falconry, sheepshearing and roof-thatching demonstrations. Celts clubs will present living-history encampments from the first, sixth and 18th centuries, and you'll see Scottish athletic contests, like the caber toss.

A craft market of more than 50 juried artisans will exhibit and demonstrate Celtic crafts, such as kilt making, woodcarving, glass-engraving, jewelry making, and the sheep-to-shawl process. A pub tent will have traditional Scottish ales, a tea garden will offer Celtic foods and vendors will sell Celtic goods.

Admission is $6 for adults; free for children under 12. Oatlands is on Route 15, six miles south of Leesburg. For information, call (703) 777-3174.

Arts festival

The Columbia Festival of the Arts brings 10 days of music, theater, dance and visual arts to the Columbia area Friday through June 26. Festival-goers can also attend symposiums, master classes, open rehearsals and films. On the bill this year are author and raconteur Garrison Keillor in a joint performance with prize-winning poet Roland Flint, jazz artist Max Roach and his Double Quartet, blues great Taj Mahal, the noted modern jazz dance company Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Columbia Pro Cantare appearing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Performances will take place at eight festival sites in and around Columbia. A Lakefront Festival is scheduled on the second weekend with free outdoor performances at Columbia's Lakefront at the Town Center, a three-day juried craft show with continuing demonstrations and children's entertainment. A waterside cafe will sell food from local restaurants.

For a complete schedule, call (410) 715-3055.

Children's festival

Historic Annapolis Foundation presents its annual Children's Colonial Festival next Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at the William Paca House and Garden, 1 Martin St. in Annapolis.

Children can try their skill at a number of 18th-century activities, such as writing with a quill pen or stitching a needlework sampler. They can try on 18th-century costumes, watch crafts people card and spin wool into yarn, help grind sugar and herbs and knead dough as Colonial cooks prepare food in the open-hearth kitchen.

For children, there will be a storyteller to relate tales from American folklore, and a teacher with hand puppets will give lessons in proper deportment. Early-American games, gardening activities and a children's tour of the Paca House are other activities.

Admission is $5 for children; $6 for adults. Reservations are required. Call (410) 267-7619.

War at Union Mills

A Civil War Weekend is planned at Union Mills Homestead Saturday and next Sunday. The 26th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry will be joined by several other Civil War re-enactment groups to re-create the atmosphere of the days in 1863 just before the Battle of Gettysburg, when Federal and Confederate troops alternately camped on grounds around the Shriver family home.

Camp-life scenarios will be presented at both Federal and Confederate encampments, and there will be drill demonstrations by the infantry, artillery and cavalry. Civilian life will also be interpreted through such activities as a period school, dance lessons, cooking and craft demonstrations. One group will present a Civil War band concert, and there will be a lecture on Victorian fashions. Visitors will also see operational civilian and military telegraph stations.

Tours of the Homestead and mill will be offered for a small fee, and breakfast and lunch will be available on the grounds. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3 per vehicle. Union Mills Homestead is on Route 97, seven miles north of Westminster. Call (410) 848-2288.

More war

Another Civil War living-history weekend will be presented by the National Park Service at Fort Washington Park Saturday and next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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