The shady nooks and cooling fountains at Longwood Gardens near Kennett Square, Pa., make the gardens a perfect retreat from summer's withering heat. Now -- and through Sept. 29 -- Longwood is presenting the 1994 Festival of Fountains, the annual summer celebration of water, flowers and music.
Three fountain gardens have water displays during the day. At the Main Fountain Garden, fountains run continuously from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Half-hour illuminated musical displays are presented on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights during the summer, beginning at dusk.
On many of these evenings, outdoor concerts are planned in the adjoining garden or in the 2,000-seat Open Air Theatre.
A total of 43 performances are being offered at Longwood this season. You can hear music ranging from classical to jazz and country to barbershop. The Bellringer Theatre Works will present scenes, songs and sonnets by Shakespeare in "Much Ado in a Midsummer's Night," June 23 and 30. "Brigadoon" will be performed by the Brandywiners Ltd. July 28-30 and Aug. 4-6. Children can enjoy "The Water Tree," a play using giant puppets and masks, on July 12, and a performance of "Cinderella" by Montana's Missoula Children's Theatre on Aug. 11. The Kennett Symphony Orchestra will perform June 25 and Aug. 13, and today's Father's Day celebration features the strolling pipes and drums of the Washington Memorial Pipe Band.
Four programs of "Fireworks & Fountains" are scheduled Fridays, July 15, Aug. 12, Aug. 26 and Sept. 9. Tickets for these four evenings require advance reservations. A lily show, sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Lily Society Saturday and next Sunday, is another of the many events planned at Longwood this summer.
Located on U.S. Route 1, three miles northeast of Kennett Square, the gardens are open daily during the summer from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, when the gardens remain open for at least 30 minutes after the conclusion of the evening fountain show.
Admission is $10 for adults ($6 on Tuesdays); $6 for ages 16 to 20; $2 for ages 6 to 15; free for under 6. For a complete schedule, call (610) 388-6741.
Art in Frederick
Travel west to Frederick, where you'll find a major arts festival on next weekend's agenda. The new Frederick Festival of the Arts is scheduled from Friday to next Sunday along a one-mile stretch of Carroll Creek in the middle of the city's historic district.
Two hundred artists have been selected to participate in this juried show, and additional spaces have been allotted for up-and-coming artists. In addition to the art exhibitions, there will be craft demonstrations, children's art activities and puppet shows, theatrical presentations and workshops and dance performances every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Food booths will line the creek, and boats can be rented for a fee of $5 per half-hour.
During evening hours, you can attend concerts at Baker Park from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. On Friday evening, hear the popular rock band NRBQ; the Johnson Mountain Boys are scheduled to play on Saturday night, and the Cajun music of Beau Jocque and the Zydeco Hi-Rollers will be presented Sunday.
Admission is $2 for adults; free for under 12. A three-day pass is also available for $5. Other events include performances of the ballet "Sleeping Beauty" at the Weinberg Center For Performing Arts Saturday at 7 p.m. and next Sunday at 2 p.m. and a show of contemporary and traditional quilts at Rose Hill Manor, open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For information, call (301) 694-9632.
Another event taking place in Frederick County is the Covered Bridge Festival, on Saturday from 9 a.m. until dark.
The Loy's Station Covered Bridge was destroyed by fire in June 1991. It has been reconstructed, and the grand opening will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. The original bridge is thought to have been completed just before the outbreak of the Civil War and used by both armies. After Saturday's dedication ceremony, there will be a parade of Conestoga wagons, Civil War re-enactors, antique tractors, draft horses, frontiersmen and others.
Activities will reflect the happenings around the bridge in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries. Crafts people will be on hand to sell their wares and demonstrate such skills as blacksmithing, candle making, soap making, furniture making and wool spinning. Local politicians will give old-time "stump speeches" (political speeches delivered from atop a tree stump), which will be judged in various categories. There will be entertainment by storytellers and country and bluegrass musicians, as well as puppet shows, Civil War re-enactments and horse-drawn wagon rides. Dancing will take place on the bridge from 6:30 p.m. until dark.
The Maryland Midland Railroad will offer round-trip train rides from Loy's Station to Thurmont at noon and 2 p.m. A fee will be charged. Food and drink will be sold by local fire companies.