Westport 8/8/09

Last week I gave a brief summary of the Heritage Festival, which takes place in town this weekend, Saturday, Aug. 8, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Here's a fuller version, which I hope will be useful in your planning.

The festival kicks off with the 5K Fun Race from Camp Dudley to Ballard Park, which begins at 10 a.m., when the Antique Boat Show also opens at the Marina. Several all-day attractions begin at this time, including the Lois McClure replica canal schooner at the Marina dock, the 1176 gunboat Philadelphia II at the Yacht Club dock, and the special Quadricentennial Stamp Cancel at the Post Office until 11 a.m. and at Ballard Park in the afternoon.

Starting at noon, the Talking Tents series presents fascinating windows into local lore each hour on the hour: 12 noon-125 Years of Camp Dudley; 1 p.m.-Trefoil Farming; 2 p.m.-Maple Sugaring; 3 p.m.-Farm to Table; 4 p.m.-Sunflower Seed Farming.

At 12:15, director Lindsay Pontius' Bits and Pieces historical theater experience will present this year's show, From the Center of the World, at various spots around Ballard Park. At 1 p.m. the dedication ceremony, including the burial of the fabled time capsule, will take place at the Heritage House. This will be followed shortly by the arrival of the noted, if by now rather elderly, explorers Samuel de Champlain and Henry Hudson at the Marina dock sometime between 1 and 1:30.

All afternoon, you can take Longboat Rides at the Old Inn dock, inspect the First Navigators canoe in Ballard Park, play games and enjoy activities in Ballard Park, visit craft vendors and displays, and bid in two silent auctions, Plein Air and Themed Baskets. You can also wolf down tasty michigans and roasted corn-on-the-cob prepared by your volunteer firefighters, slurp ice cream sold by local 4-H clubs, and sip drinks sold by the Chamber of Commerce.

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