Workhorses will be out in force at Oatlands Plantation


August 28, 1994|By Dorothy Fleetwood | Dorothy Fleetwood,Contributing Writer

Labor Day Weekend brings the usual rash of activity as summer comes to a close. One event the whole family can enjoy is Draft Horse and Mule Day Saturday at Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, Va. Here, you can spend a day in the country, enjoy free pony and wagon rides and see large workhorses in obstacle races, log pulls and carriage-driving demonstrations.

Sponsored by the Virginia Draft Horse and Mule Association, this 10th annual event pays tribute to workhorses, gentle giants that once were the mainstay of the American farm. Teams of Clydesdale, Belgian, Suffolk and Percheron workhorses will compete in various events. There will be stallions and mares, working blacksmiths and exhibits of horse-drawn farm implements. One of the more amusing events is a competition in which trainers try to coaxreluctant mules over a fence. A highlight of the event is the big-horse pull, when horses attempt to pull log loads weighing as much as four tons. Cash prizes of more than $1,000 are awarded for winners.

A country-bluegrass band will provide entertainment, and there will be a country craft show, children's games and activities, food and a tour of the mansion and its 4-acre formal garden.

Gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 4:30 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults; free for children under 12. The plantation is on U.S. 15, six miles south of Leesburg. For information, call (703) 777-3174.

Long's Park festival

Artists from all over the country will gather at Long's Park in Lancaster, Pa., for the 16th annual Long's Park Art & Craft Festival Friday through Monday.

The show has been recognized by a national rating organization as one of the top four fine-art and craft shows in the country. It features 185 of America's top artists and crafts people selected from more than 1,400 applicants.

Among the items for sale are jewelry, apparel, furniture, tapestry, graphics and paper sculpture. You'll find some unusual items; prices range from less than $100 to thousands of dollars.

The festival also features a variety of entertainment, including traditional folk, jazz, classical and Dixieland music, as well as a gourmet restaurant fair, with samples from some of the region's most popular restaurants and caterers. The park is also a great place to relax or take a picnic. It contains a lake surrounded by huge, old, shade trees, and there are ducks and swans, a petting zoo and playground facilities.

Admission is $7 for adults; free for ages 16 and under. Proceeds benefit the park's summer music program. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday to Sunday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. The park can be reached from the Harrisburg Pike exit of U.S. Route 30, across from Park City Center. Call (717) 295-7054.

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