Blasts from the past: NoVA history festivals

These upcoming events invite guests to embark on an educational trip back in time.

scottish heritage festival
Scottish Heritage Day at Carlyle House, Photo by Jen Brougham
Scottish Heritage Day
Oct. 14, noon-4 p.m.

This annual celebration of Scottish culture will include performances by The Granfling School of Highland Dance as well as several professional storytellers who will bring old Scottish and Celtic legends to life through song and dance. Free tours of the Carlyle House will also be offered throughout the event as well as a fashion show of 18th-century Scottish garb. All of these events are free, but small donations are encouraged. // Carlyle House, Alexandria

Fall Harvest Family Days
Oct. 21-22, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The annual Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon will allow kids and adults alike to experience some of the fun fall activities that our ancestors often took part in, such as making cornhusk dolls and taking wagon rides. Kids will have the opportunity to learn and take part in old-fashioned games and navigate their way through a straw-bale maze while 18th-century music plays during the entire event to get you more into the colonial mood. There will also be dancing and blacksmithing demonstrations, as well as an explanation of wheat treading and how it was used in the 16-sided barn. // George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon

Fall Colonial Market Fair at Claude Moore Colonial Farm
Oct. 21-22, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The Claude Moore Colonial Farm is a lesser-known place of living history: an antique farm that is in perfect working order, animals and all, and would not look out of place at all during the colonial era. This fall version of the three festivals the farm hosts each year (the others are in spring and summer) will have local apples, meat pies and homemade breads for sale as well as costumed militia, tradesmen and performers milling around for your education and entertainment. The stores and their wares are very period-centric; you can learn to dip candles at the Dry Goods store or take a breather at the tavern for some warm mulled wine before embarking into the tradesmen and merchants booths, where you can purchase tchotchkes of antique origins. // Claude Moore Colonial Farm, McLean

(October 2017)

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