Music, crafts, exhibits celebrate C&O Canal

August 26, 2004|by KATE COLEMAN

WILLIAMSPORT - Last April, the C&O Canal Association sponsored a hike to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a 1954 walk along the canal.

That hike a half a century ago was the result of U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas' challenge to the writer of a Washington Post editorial that supported the creation of a parkway along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal or its towpath. Douglas invited the editors to join him and experience the natural beauty of the wilderness path.

The 1954 hike led to the creation of the C&O National Historical Park in 1971.

Another celebration - the 28th annual Williamsport C&O Canal Days - begins this evening in the Washington County town that sits beside what was once a 184.5-mile waterway. There will be a picnic, pool party and concert by the community band. There will be a barn dance at the restored barn at the rear of the park on Friday evening, and event Chairwoman Elissa Slayman has lined up 135 vendors - purveyors of food and crafts - for Saturday and Sunday's arts and crafts market.


Visitors will have a chance to win a framed painting of Williamsport's Cushwa Basin by Hagerstown artist Lonnie Jenkins. Raffle tickets cost $1 each or $5 for six. The drawing will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29.

Proceeds from the town's festival benefit Williamsport - including the fire company and treats for kids at Christmas time.

"Everything goes back to the town," Slayman said.

For a fare of 50 cents each way, a trolley will transport visitors between the canal basin and the National Park's visitor center, where a variety of exhibits, demonstrations and music will take place.

Free parking is available at U.S. 11 and Springfield Lane.


5:30 p.m. - Town picnic

7 p.m. - Williamsport Community Band concert, Byron Memorial Park band shell

7 to 10 p.m. - Free pool party, L. Beard Miller Pool

Friday, Aug. 27

8 to 11 p.m. - Barn dance, in the restored barn at the rear of the park. Lost in the '50s will perform. Admission is $4 in advance for ages 12 and older or $5 at the door. Tickets are available at Town Hall and Briar Patch in Williamsport.

Saturday, Aug. 28, and Sunday, Aug. 29

Information and trolley tickets at Byron Memorial Park entrance.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Arts and crafts market: pony rides; Williamsport Memorial Library book sale; fire prevention trailer, sponsored by Williamsport Volunteer Fire Co.

Noon to 4 p.m. - Springfield Museum open

Also, from noon to 5 p.m., the C&O Canal Museum, 139 W. Potomac St., will be open to visitors.

More events at Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Williamsport Visitor Center and Cushwa Basin, 205 W. Potomac St.

For information, call 301-582-0813.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, and Sunday, Aug. 29

Canal-era music: Kate Evans, Edgar Howell and Matthew Dodd

Displays of C&O artifacts, geology, canal-era veterinary medicine, model canal boat, model railroad; Lockhouse 44 tours; Operation Lifesaver, Maryland Natural Resources Protection

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Kid's Casting Contest

11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. - "The Hike that Saved the C&O Canal," guided tour

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Ironwork and steelwork demonstrations

Saturday, Aug. 28

Noon - "The Driving Force of Iron," lecture

Sunday, Aug. 29

10 a.m. - "Rocking Along the Canal," lecture

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