Families can have a blast at the Hagley Museum


August 07, 1994|By Dorothy Fleetwood | Dorothy Fleetwood,Contributing Writer

Have a "Summer Blast" at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington Saturday and next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is a new family-style event, designed to celebrate the Hagley's past, when the site was the world's largest black-powder mill. Visitors will learn how various forms of explosive force were used to lighten workloads, speed travel, wage war and maintain peace.

Blasts will be heard from cannons as well as from internal combustion engines. You will also see rocket-making and firing, and shooting demonstrations. Visitors will watch as steam power turns a toy Ferris wheel, sounds a whistle and operates other toys. Other activities include rides in a Stanley Steamer or a 1915 electric truck and an antique-car rally.

Gunpowder was the DuPont Co.'s first product. It was manufactured at the black-powder mills for over 100 years, and during the Civil War the company produced more than half of the gunpowder used by Union forces.

A Civil War encampment and skirmish by the 61st Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry, displays of military vehicles, including a modern helicopter, 19th-century games, races, strolling musicians, face-painting and children's dress-ups are other attractions.

Admission is $4 for adults; $2 for ages 6 to 14; free for children under 6. A family ticket is available for $10. Use the Buck Road East entrance off Route 100 in Wilmington. For information, call (302) 658-2400 weekdays.

Free music in Bethlehem

Music lovers will be heading for Bethlehem, Pa., where for nine days in August they can attend more than 630 free performances. Musikfest opens Saturday and runs through Aug. 21. As one of the largest performing-arts events in the United States, Musikfest offers music for every taste -- from Bach to bluegrass, jazz, reggae, blues and rock.

There are 15 outdoor stages, each with its own theme and food to complement that theme. At Americaplatz, for instance, you can hear jazz, bluegrass, Broadway tunes and country-western music and enjoy regional American foods. Festplatz is the place to go for German music, dance and food, and Liederplatz offers a cabaret-style arena for American and European folk songs. Headline performers can be seen at Kunstplatz on each night of the festival. Among them are the Lettermen Saturday; George Benson Aug. 14; the Rippingtons Aug. 16; and Manhattan Transfer Aug. 21.

Kinderplatz offers children's theater, hands-on arts and crafts and a backyard circus. In the afternoon,dance instructors will teach the latest dance steps to children and adults alike. Spielplatz is devoted to family-style fun from noon to 10 p.m. Movietime begins at 8 p.m. Moviegoers can enjoy popcorn and lemonade while watching cartoons, silent films, and early American serials like "Buck Rogers."

With the exception of two series of indoor classical concerts and the Candlelight and Asa Packer series, all music events are free.

Festival hours are noon to 11 p.m. A Musikfest trolley operates between sites, and free parking is available at the Lehigh Shopping Center, at Club Avenue and Union Boulevard; Minsi Trail Bridge, on Stefko Boulevard; Martin Tower, at Eighth and Eaton avenues; Fuller Co., at 2040 Avenue C. Shuttle service is available from all parking areas to the festival. Call (215) 861-0678.

Historians' Folk Festival

The Goschenhoppen Historians' Folk Festival is nationally recognized for its authentic portrayal of 18th- and 19th-century Pennsylvania German folk culture in Southeastern Pennsylvania. This year's event will take place Friday and Saturday at the New Goschenhoppen Park in East Greenville, Pa.

The 10-acre park will be filled with more than 500 skilled and apprentice crafts people, the men dressed in knee breeches and rye straw hats, the women in long skirts with aprons and kerchiefs in the style of the late 1700s. They will produce crafts with tools and technology used by the early settlers. Some will be engaged in rifle making, while others demonstrate barrel and broom making, candle dipping, spinning and quilting.

"Potato culture" is the theme of this year's festival. Interpreters will show the potato's many uses: in potato candy, potato pie, Gebrotene Grumbiere mit Gella Strimp (fried potatoes with yellow stockings); there will also be potato games and presentation of folk beliefs related to the potato. The program includes lectures, demonstrations and entertainment, including cornet band concert and old-fashioned cakewalk. There will also be homemade Pennsylvania Dutch food.

The festival will be held, rain or shine, from noon to 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $6 for adults; free for ages 12 and under.

The park is on Third Street just off Route 29 in East Greenville, Montgomery County. Call (215) 234-8953 or (215) 234-4737.

Fiddlers' Convention

The Deer Creek Fiddlers' Convention returns to the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster today for the second time this summer.

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