Two days of family fun are a tribute to the skipjacks


October 23, 1994|By Dorothy Fleetwood | Dorothy Fleetwood,Contributing Writer

Chesapeake Appreciation Days celebrates its 30th anniversary with two days of family fun and education at the edge of the bay. The event will be held Saturday and Oct. 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sandy Point State Park.

As in past years, CAD marks the opening of the dredge-boat oyster season, and it pays tribute to the skipjacks, the last commercial sailing fleet on the bay. Though these vessels are fast disappearing, eight skipjacks are expected to participate in this year's celebration. You will see these vessels under sail as they race off Sandy Point, and later some will welcome visitors aboard. The skipjack H. M. Krentz will even offer rides.

Activities from workboat-docking contests (on Sunday) to an amateur oyster-shucking contest, as well as musical entertainment, jousting, pig races, kite flying on the beach, and arts and crafts, will be offered -- along with an abundance of fresh Chesapeake Bay seafood.

Children can have their own adventure on the Education Trail, where they will learn about weather, find out how to save water, build a crab pot, go aboard a skipjack, examine wildlife and take part in other hands-on experiences. New this year is the Chesapeake Chautauqua, a 19th-century form of entertainment and cultural program. The chautauqua includes a pictorial lecture of the Chesapeake region, storytellers, a Civil War re-enactment, a lecture on area pirates, and songs and stories of life on the island by the Smith Island Players.

Admission is $5 for adults; $3 for seniors and military personnel; free for 12 and under. The park is on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay Bridges at U.S. 50 and 301. For information, call (410) 269-6622.

Equestrian events

Horses will take the lead in two big events this week. Starting today, the Washington International Horse Show opens at the USAir Arena in Landover and runs through Oct. 30. Here you will see Olympic veterans, world champions and team riders -- American riders like Tim Grubb, McLain Ward, Mark Leone and Michele Grubb, along with top Canadian, Swiss, German and French riders.

Highlights include the Crown Royal International Gambler's Choice (Friday); Western Cutting Horse Championships (Friday and Saturday); the U.S. League Final for Volvo World Cup jTC Dressage & Exhibition and the UST Puissance "Great Wall" Jump, in which horses attempt to break the current record of 7 feet 7 1/2 inches (Saturday); and the $50,000 President's Cup Grand Prix (Oct. 30).

Other events include Jack Russell terrier races, the Millers Pony Division, the Hunt Night Competition and the Ladies' Sidesaddle Championships. More entertainment is provided by draft horses; a children's outdoor educational pavilion, offering information and demonstrations on the care of horses and open to matinee ticket holders; boutique shopping on the concourse; and dining at the Ringside Cafe.

Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and both Sundays. Tickets range in price from $6 general admission to $41 for a weekend box seat, and proceeds are used to benefit local and national charities. Call (301) 386-7055 or, for tickets, (202) 432-SEAT.

More horses

Thousands of spectators are expected to be at Fair Hill Race Course in Elkton Thursday through Oct. 30 for more high-powered equestrian competitions.

The weekend is made up of several different events, including one of only two competitions in the U.S. rated with three stars by the International Equestrian Federation: the U.S. Equestrian Team Fall Three-Day Event Championship, in which horse and rider are tested in dressage, cross country and stadium jumping.

Another competition taking place the same weekend is the Carriage Driving Championships, in which horse and driver are tested in dressage, marathon driving and timed precision driving through obstacles. Admission to the Fair Hill International Three-Day Event and the Carriage Driving Championships is $8 for adults, and it is free for children under 6.

From Friday to Sunday, holders of tickets for the Three-Day Event can also attend Festival in the Country, a fair with everything from clothing to home furnishings to works of art, as well as mountain-bike races, a classic-car expo and dog agility trials.

The final equestrian event of the weekend is steeplechase racing Oct. 30, featuring seven timber, turf and hurdle races with pari-mutuel wagering. Post time is 1 p.m. These races are preceded by several pony races, two of them with Halloween themes. Tickets to the steeplechase races are priced at $5 for adults, and they are free for children under 12 with an adult.

Fair Hill Race Track is at the intersection of Maryland Route 273 and Route 213. Call (410) 885-2523.

Halloween by the sea

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