westport 8/1/09

Next weekend is the Westport Heritage Festival, which promises to be more exciting than ever in this Quadricentennial year of Samuel de Champlain's epic voyage. The festival itself takes place in three main venues, the Heritage House, Ballard Park, and the Marina, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8.

I'll give a summary in a moment. More information may be found at the Chamber of Commerce Web site, westportnycom.

First, though, you've got several outstanding choices for Friday night, Aug. 7. If you went to Westport Central, come to the first ever WCS alumni picnic at Lee Park, which starts at 5 p.m. It's a potluck affair, so bring a dish and picnic supplies (chairs, blankets, etc.) and share some memories with your old friends.

At 6 o'clock the Federated Church presents "Eat, Drink, and Be Married," a lasagna dinner with an interactive murder mystery. The delicious drama is set in a Las Vegas chapel, where Blackjack White meets death as he bursts into the wedding of his eloping daughter, Virgen White. Can you figure out whodunnit? Call Ernie or Alta LaPine at 962-4465 for info or tickets.

Finally, the Depot Theatre's third show, "Heroes," opens at 8 o'clock the same evening and runs until Aug. 16. Directed by Chris Jones, who also plays the role of Gustave, it's the hilarious story of three WWI vets who hatch a plan to "escape" from their retirement home. Call the Depot at 962-4449.

If you eat lightly and time it out to the split second, you might be able to make it to all three events. But you'd better get a good night's sleep, because you won't want to miss a thing the next day.

At 10 a.m. things get rolling with the traditional Foot Race from Camp Dudley to Ballard Park. But it's really all about boats. The Antique Boat Show goes all day at the Marina and culminates in the Boat Parade at 4 p.m. You can take a tour on the canal schooner the Lois McClure, enjoy a longboat ride from the old Inn dock, and go see the 1776 gunboat Philadelphia, which will be docked at the Yacht Club.

All afternoon there will be fun games in Ballard Park, craft vendors and displays, mouthwatering michigans sold by your volunteer firefighters, ice cream sold by the 4-H Clubs, and drinks sold by the Chamber. At 6 o'clock the winner of the raffle for the beautiful Westport Chair (with a stained glass insert by Kip Trienens of Westport Trading Company) will be drawn, so make sure you get your ticket before then. The day ends with fireworks at 9:30. Have a great festival!

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