- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Ready for your own slice of musical America from the 18th century? Here’s a sampling of some area museums and events where you can get your own taste of music — and life — in early America.

Early American life

• Claude Moore Colonial Farm: 6310 Georgetown Pike, McLean. Summer Market Fair features period dining, drinking, candle making and other arts of the time along with music and dancing and a militia muster. 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. July 19 and 20, weather permitting. Market Fair admission $5 adults, $2.50 children 3 to 12 and seniors. 703/442-7557.

Gadsby’s Tavern: 134 N. Royal St., Alexandria. A center of political and social life in early Alexandria. Museum open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Thirty-minute tours start on the quarter- and three-quarter-hour. Last tour 4:45 p.m. $4 adults, $2 students 11-17, children under 11 free with a paying adult. 703/838-4242.

Mount Vernon: George and Martha Washington’s home and burial place at the south end of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. See Nelly Custis’ harpsichord and English guitar, and Washington’s music room. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through August. Admission to the grounds $11 adults, $5 children 6-11 when accompanied by an adult, children under 5 free.

The “Red, White & Blue Celebration” tomorrow includes a performance by 18th century music specialists David and Ginger Hildebrand, 8:30-9:30 a.m.; inspection of re-enactors of the First Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line and a reading of the Declaration of Independence, 9:30 a.m.; placement of a memorial wreath on Washington’s tomb by the Sons of the American Revolution, accompanied by fifers and drummers, 10:15 a.m.; eating of the “All-American Birthday Cake” and a concert by the National Concert Band of America, 11 a.m.

Other performances by David and Ginger Hildebrand

m Fort Hunt Park: Five miles south of Old Town Alexandria on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. 12:30 to 2:15 p.m. July 4. Admission free. 703/289-2550 or 2552.

m College of Southern Maryland: Fine Arts Center, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata, Md. Chautauqua Series, “Music for Thomas Paine.” 7:30 p.m. July 7. Free. No tickets required. 301/934-7859.

• Montgomery College: 20200 Observation Drive, Germantown. Chautauqua Series, “Music for Thomas Paine.” 7:30 p.m. July 10. Call the Hildebrands at 410/544-6149 or see their Web site at www.colonialmusic.org.

Best foot forward

• Contra dancing: Bumper Car Pavilion, Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd. Traditional American dances: squares, contras and social mixers. Lessons 7:30 p.m., dances 8:30 p.m. Fridays. Admission $6. Lessons free. 301/492-6282.

Military bands

• Twilight Tattoo: An hour-long sunset military pageant presented by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington at the Ellipse near the White House. Performances by the U.S. 3rd Infantry (“The Old Guard”), the U.S. Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”) Fife and Drum Corps and the U.S. Army Drill Team. Over 100 Old Guard soldiers dressed in period uniforms provide a glimpse of Army history from colonial times to the soldier of the future. 7 p.m. Wednesdays through July 30. First-come, first-served bleacher seating suggests early arrival. For group reservations call 202/685-2888.

Lisa Rauschart

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