After a busy spring of plowing and planting, the farm family at Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run in McLean, Va., is ready for its 18th-Century Market Fair Saturday and July 17, weather permitting.
Three times a year this working, lower-class farm of the Colonial period stages a market fair, where all wares, food and activities are authentic to the 18th century. As if in another time zone, visitors will find stalls that sell fresh vegetables and fruits that were grown in the 18th century, a milliner, a chandler (candle maker) and a toy maker. A men's stall will have cards, books and soap for gentlemen, and products for hard-working hunters and trappers as well. Another interesting stop might be the stillatory stall, where you can watch as interpreters prepare mixtures of colognes, medicines, furniture polish and insect repellent.
Visitors can also learn to use a spinning wheel, dye wool, make candles from tallow or beeswax, write with a quill pen, make potpourri or paint a fan. Each activity costs $1, and you can keep what you make.
A Colonial orchestra, with reproduction period instruments, will play music for dancing, and an 18th-century opera singer will entertain. Children can watch puppet shows by the Colonial Company Puppet Theatre and play period games. You can taste chicken and sausage cooked over an open fire or stop at the tavern for ale, stout or other beverages popular in that era. The militia will be drilling outside the tavern and will invite young visitors to join in their drills.
You can also visit a frontier encampment on the property and watch hunting horns being made or learn about other aspects of frontier life.
Admission is $3 for adults; $1.50 for senior citizens and ages 3 to 12. The farm is at 6310 Georgetown Pike in McLean. For information, call (703) 442-7557.
Decorative banners hang from lampposts, storefronts present colorful displays, and the entire town of State College, Pa.,takes on a festive air this week during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts from Wednesday to July 17.
This will be the 28th year for the festival, which provides the town and its 100,000 visitors with a wide variety of visual and performing arts during its five-day run.
The festival opens Wednesday with Children & Youth Day, when every activity is geared to children. There are puppets, plays, children's films, storytelling, hands-on activities, animals, dance and music workshops, a sidewalk sale of artwork made by
children ranging in age from 8 to 18. A highlight of the day is the 4 p.m. parade featuring a procession of giant puppets.
The Sidewalk Sale & Exhibition, which features some 325 juried artists and crafts people from all over the United States, begins Thursday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. There will be two indoor fine-arts exhibitions, a juried crafts exhibit and a two-dimensional show by artists of the mid-Atlantic region. Also on the schedule are a juried banner competition, Artists In Action (fine artists and crafts people from all over Pennsylvania who give demonstrations), and an arts and crafts show by local people.
Performing arts include music, dance, theater, a juried film series and the Midsummer's Festival of Storytelling, a festival-within-the-festival, with storytellers who include the nationally known storyteller/songwriter Bill Harley.
There are two ticketed events -- a performance by Robert Post on Friday evening and the Underground Railway Theatre production of "Washed Up Middle Aged Women," on Saturday. "Performing Arts Buttons" are required for about a third of the performances. The buttons cost $3 (all ages) and are good throughout the festival for any event requiring admission, except for the two ticketed performances. Call (814) 237-3682.
Summerfest and quilt show
More than 70 crafts people, musicians, and storytellers will gather on the grounds of Spruce Forest Artisan Village at Penn Alps near Grantsville during Summerfest, from Thursday to Saturday. Each day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. visitors can watch potters, woodcarvers, glass blowers, spinners, weavers and other artisans and hear fiddle and dulcimer music. There will be talks on Amish settlements of the area and Native-American crafts, and storytellers will tell tales of a historical nature. In conjunction with Summerfest, a quilt show will be held at nearby Grantsville Elementary School. Free transportation will be available between the two sites. A $4 admission includes both events; free for 12 and under; $3 for either Summerfest or the quilt show.