Independence Day is marked by major celebrations


June 26, 1994|By Dorothy Fleetwood | Dorothy Fleetwood,Contributing Writer

Celebrations on a grand scale will fill the Fourth of July weekend. Why not include one of the following events in your holiday plans?

One of the largest of the Pennsylvania Dutch festivals is the Kutztown Folk Festival, which opens at the Kutztown festival grounds on Saturday and runs through July 10.

Festival programs on the Main Stage and Seminar Stage will entertain and enlighten you about Pennsylvania Dutch culture. You will, for example, learn the meaning of "plain" and "fancy." Most people think of the Pennsylvania Dutch as either Mennonite or Amish ("plain people"), but 80 percent are worldly ("fancy") and belong to the Lutheran Church or the United Church of Christ, which do not place restrictions on lifestyle or manner of dress.

Among the attractions at this nine-day event are more than 200 working, 19th-century crafts people, children's barnyard activities, puppet shows, music, dancing, a re-enactment of an Amish wedding, 1200 handmade quilts on display and for sale and, of course, lots of Pennsylvania Dutch food.

Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Admission is $8 for adults; $4 for children under 12. Parking costs $2. For information, call (610) 683-8707.

Gettysburg re-enactment

The 131st anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg is commemorated at the 12th annual Gettysburg Heritage Days, with 10 days of activities that continue through July 4.

Events during the week include band concerts, evening lectures, a Civil War Collectors Show, Civil War train raids, fireworks and the annual Fireman's Festival. Highlight of the event will be the battle re-enactments Saturday at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. and next Sunday at 2 p.m. on Pumping Station Road off U.S. Business Route 15 south. Tickets cost $8. Call (717) 337-9483.

For general information, call (717) 334-6274.

Harpers Ferry

This is the 50th anniversary year for Harpers Ferry National Park. Numerous events have been planned throughout the year, but the top event is the five-day celebration scheduled from mid-week through the holiday weekend.

It begins Wednesday evening with a block party on Potomac Street, featuring food and live music from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Prominent historians will discuss the role of Harpers Ferry in American history on Founder's Day (Thursday). Friday -- History Day -- living-history presentations will be made by re-enactors noted for their portrayals of Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and others. Ribbon-cutting ceremonies will open the John Brown Museum during Recognition Day (Saturday) along with the opening of several new sections of the park. The day includes a public reception with cake cutting, concerts, a 19th-century circus, a play and fireworks from Bolivar Heights.

The final day (Sunday) is designated Family Day; events include a living-history program, band concerts, picnic, children's games, 19th-century circus and family rafting trips. Five jTC white-water rafting tours are scheduled -- at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. from Market Street on the Shenandoah River to Sandy Hook on the Potomac River. The tours will be conducted by the Harpers Ferry Historical Association. After the one-hour trips, participants will join a park ranger for a short walking tour up the C&O Canal towpath to Harpers Ferry. The cost is $12 per person. Due to space limitations on the rafts, advance registration is required. Call (304) 535-6881.

During the celebration, admission to the park is $5 per car. Call (304) 535-6223.

Folklife festival

One of the top events of summer in Washington is the Festival of American Folklife. Co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Park Service, the festival will be held on the National Mall between 10th and 14th streets over two weekends, Friday through July 4 and July 7-10.

This year's program focuses on the cultures of the Bahamas and Thailand. From the Bahamas come presentations on boat building, storytelling, wood carving, bush medicine, traditional conch cooking, music, dance and crafts. Thai demonstrations include the traditional art, music and activities of a household, a temple fair and court.

Also, past winners of the National Endowment for the Arts' National Heritage Fellowships will present Appalachian string music, Hawaiian hula, Cape Breton fiddling, Irish flute playing and Pueblo Indian and Southern pottery.

The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day with a dance party scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and a concert from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Food will be sold on the site. Call (202) 357-2700.

Carroll County museum

Take the family to a grand Fourth of July Celebration next Monday at the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster, and enjoy old-fashioned games, patriotic music, picnicking and fireworks.

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