Colonial May Fair Comes to Wye Mills

Enjoy and celebrate the Eastern Shore’s Colonial Heritage at the Colonial May Fair in historic Wye Mills, Maryland, on Saturday, the first of May from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This May Day celebration on the grounds of the beautiful 1721 Old Wye Church will include docent-led, Clydesdale-drawn wagon rides to the old (1682), working Grist Mill and the restored Colonial one-room structure in Wye Oak State Park.

Fair-goers interested in the craft of building are invited to join local volunteer carpenters in the finishing and raising of the timber frame of a “dependency” shed.  This construction will be done with authentically milled lumber using traditional Colonial building techniques, which visitors can watch and participate in.

For the children, there will be May Pole dancing with the participants weaving brightly-colored ribbons around a live-flower bedecked May Pole.  Youngsters are also invited to take part in Colonial games and crafts that will introduce them to the ways children entertained themselves over 200 years ago.  Children will have the opportunity to paint and plant a flower pot – a wonderful handmade gift for Mother’s Day.  There will be a modern fire engine for the children to climb on and learn about – a great improvement from the Colonial bucket brigades!

Animals were everywhere in Colonial times, and they will be at the Colonial May Fair, too!  Bring your pets to the traditional Blessing of the Animals so that Wye Parish Rector Charlie Osberger can give your animal friend an individual blessing.  The Maryland Park Service is coming to the May Fair with Scales & Tales, giving Fair-goers the opportunity to see live wildlife, all native to Maryland, up close. Stewardship of Maryland’s wildlife is promoted through “tales” – or stories –  of how these live non-releasable birds of prey and reptiles came into the care of the program.

This year’s Wye Auction Market will feature gift and furniture items and rare books as well as the 23” by 63” wood-framed, diamond-paned stained glass windows that were removed from Old Wye Church in the 1940s prior to its restoration.

Tours of the Church will be available throughout the day.  The authentically restored Colonial Vestry Cottage will be the home of the Lavender Shop, where candles, sachets, eye pillows and other items made from locally grown lavender will be sold.

With the last frost date just past, there will be all kinds of plants – flowers, vegetables and herbs – to buy for your garden, plus a selection of fresh produce for your table.  A number of vendors will be there displaying their crafts.  The colonial heritage of Wye Mills will be celebrated in music by the Wye Choral Scholars and in colonial costumes.

Of course, there will be lots of food  – especially Eastern Shore specialties like Barbequed Chicken dinners to take home or eat on the spot, Smith Island Cake and other baked goods, as well as a homemade luncheon prepared by the women of the Parish.

Old Wye Church is located at 14114 Old Wye Mills Road (Route 662) in Wye Mills.  Proceeds from the Colonial May Fair support the outreach programs of Wye Parish.  For further information, call 410.827.8484.

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