|Barked: Sat Jun 12, '10 3:25pm PST |
|Heritage Days Saturday, Sunday
Annual street festival brings crafts, carnival, entertainment to heart of the Queen City
For the Cumberland Times-News
CUMBERLAND — In a city loaded with history beginning before the American Revolution, creating a festival to celebrate its heritage was a logical step in 1968. And now 42 years later, Cumberland’s official street festival, Heritage Days is still going strong.
Scheduled for the second full weekend in June, Heritage Days is filled with arts and crafts, music and other street entertainment, a children’s carnival and plenty of food vendors.
Located on historic Washington Street, known for its Victorian homes, and downtown Cumberland, the 2010 Heritage Days is scheduled for tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
History buffs should enjoy visiting the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, the original site of Fort Cumberland and the festival’s base for the mini-encampment of the Maryland Forces from Fort Frederick who will be practicing military drills and offering questions and answer periods.
The Army of Potomac Civil War, 3rd MD Co. B, Vincent’s Brigade living historians will also be camped on the grounds demonstrating military drills and weapons fire demonstrations. Also located on the church grounds will be the Band of Merry Gamesters demonstrating a variety of 18th century toys and games
Tours of the tunnels under Emmanuel Episcopal Church will also be available. The tunnels date from the late 1700s and were part of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. Church members will host one of the festival’s most popular dining opportunity — a Strawberry Shortcake and Salad Luncheon.
The Masonic Temple built in 1910 will be hosting guided tours through the building. The interior of the building features ceiling and wall paintings, elaborately carved ceremonial chairs, desks and altars. Free child identification kits will be available at the temple. The Masonic Temple has not been open for tours during Heritage Days for several years.
Heritage Days Festival is host to over 150 artisans who fill up the sidewalks on Washington and Baltimore Streets presenting their handmade items. Each arts and crafts vendor is juried and invited to attend the festival. Several on the vendors come back every year and consider Heritage Days as one of their favorite summer festivals.
“One of most popular features for families is the Children’s Carnival complete with Moon Bounce, Big Blue Whale, a ferris wheel and plenty of carnival games,” said Gayle Griffith, festival coordinator. “There are plenty of other children’s activities throughout the two days including face painting and the Allegany Arts Council “Arts Bus”, a traveling studio with various children’s arts projects.
Both festival days features a variety of musical entertainment on two stages, one on Washington Street and one on Baltimore Street. The music varies and includes jazz, rock ’n’ roll, country, gospel and big band.
“We work with all of the local museums, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, C&O Canal Heritage Preservation, the arts community and businesses in downtown Cumberland to create a variety of activities. There is always something for everyone,” added Griffith. “Of course, a lot of people tell me they come for the food — we have everyone’s favorites from Funnel Cakes and Scotch Shortbread to Polish Sausage and Greek Gyros!”
There is no admission fee to the festival. A complete schedule of events and directions are available at www.heritagedaysfestival.com.
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