A pipe band will be part of this year's British Garden Party… (Photo courtesy St. Stephen's…)
Pinkies up! St. Stephen's Traditional Episcopal Church in Timonium is hosting its 12th annual British Garden Party and Fete on Saturday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission is free, even though it costs St. Stephen's nearly $4,000 each year to present this "bit of Jolly Olde England," as the church bills it.
"It's really a gift to the community," the Rev. Guy Hawtin said. "It's not really a money-making venture — the goal is to break even. One year we cleared $50 profit. I thought about taking it to Las Vegas to increase the sum."
It's like "a little show among other things," said Dick Huffman, who is co-charing this year's event with his wife, Priscilla.
Look for King Henry VIII and other costumed characters, young and young-at-heart Maypole dancers, the John F. Nicoll pipe band, madrigal singers, wheels of chance and games and activities for kids, including a Bouncy Castle.
Enjoy high tea in the parish hall or guzzle wine or beer in Ye Olde Barley Mow Pub, which will be serving Ploughman's lunches of bread, cheese and fruit, as well as traditional pub food like Cornish and Welsh pastries.
Beware the British bobby who could send a visitor to a parking lot or to the pillories, where release will require crossing the palm of the lord high jailor with a dollar.
Don't forget "The Jumble," or flea market. "It promises to be "extraordinarily wonderful," Hawtin said.
Mays Chapel resident Evelyn Garrett, who was born in Glasgow 70 years ago, takes her grand-nephews to the event each year.
"They love the arts and crafts and the sack races," she said. "It's fabulous."
Visitors can buy tickets that entitle them to food and drink, and other items offered for sale, or they can just wander around for free and enjoy themselves," she said.
"For me, it brings back memories, and that pipe band always brings a tear to a glass eye."
For more information about the British Garden Party and Fete, call the church at 410-560 6776.