Saturday, June 21, 2014

2014 Sip of Summer Includes Local Historic Personality

Ron Duquette as Albert Gallatin at Waleski Mansion

        Despite the threat of rain, 368 people converged on the beautiful Walaeski Farm near Richeyville at 7 p.m. on June 20, the eve of the longest day of the year. A brief shower early in the evening didn’t dampen the spirit of the 21 years and older event, a fundraiser for the Fredericktown Public Library.
With the complimentary Sip of Summer glass in hand, patrons made their way around the flower-strewn lawns and sampled the wines of six area wineries. Some decided to sit around tables and chairs installed in a massive tent in front of the bandstand where Bob Podash entertained with guitar and vocals playing soft, relaxing, easy listening music.
Each of the six wineries - Christian W. Klay Winery, Greenhouse Winery, J & D Cellars, Ripepi Winery & Vineyard, Thistlethwaite Vineyards, Shields Demesne Winery  and Reece Winery offered samples of at least six of their wines, which were also available for purchase by the glass of bottle.
From Spraggs, Greene County, Alex Shields and family poured a unique set of eight Shields Demesne wines called melomel made with both grape juice and honey and come in red, white and rosé selections with either dry, semi-sweet or sweet finishes.
Besides allowing patrons to sample the wines, the $25admission ticket included four food stations featuring a fresh fruit waterfall, a fresh vegetables waterfall, a cheese fountain and a chocolate fountain catered by Trisha’s Treats Café in Fredericktown. The chocolate fountain offered the popular strawberry for dipping but included some other creative options such as banana bread cubes, Oreo cookies, vanilla wafers and more.
Additional vendors included Sweeties Cinnamon House, Bedillion’s Farm and Fruit Market, Big Barn Country Store, Organo Gold, All Day Stained Glass & Lucky Breaks Mosaics, McKee Kustom Wood Krafting, Margie’s Marque, Sugar Creek Candle Company, Stella and Dot and the Barkley Bakery.
Guided tours of the Waleski residence (the historic stone Welsh-Emery house) were offered for a small fee and featured Ron Duquette appearing as Albert Gallatin, a noted historic personality who served as Secretary of the Treasury during the Jefferson and Madison presidencies and lived in Friendship Hill near Point Marion in the very early 19th century. As Gallatin, Duquette, a noted performer of national status who’s appeared throughout the eastern United States, discussed the politics and events of his day.
Marianna Williamson of Beallsville, a first time Sip of Summer patron, said that she went to the event not knowing what to expect.
"It was raining when we arrived, and I thought it might hamper the enjoyment of the event, but the rain soon stopped, the skies cleared and the temperature was perfect," she said. "Everyone was soon mingling, sipping, and enjoying a wonderful evening. The food was great, and the wine was spectacular. I was introduced to new friends and even saw many friends I hadn’t seen in years. The Sip of Summer is definitely an event I will pencil in my calendar for many years to come."

Monday, June 9, 2014

September Bike Tour Goes Through Delaware's Amish Country

Cyclists near typical Amish Farm in Delaware - everything is white

 For cyclists and the general public who are not familiar with the ways of the Amish, or for those who never knew Dover, Delaware was home to an Amish community, the weekend of September 5-7 featuring the Amish Country Bike Tour will provide not only an opportunity to pedal through Amish communities, but also insight into the ways of the Amish including their beautifully-made handmade quilts.
The Amish Country Bike Tour, now in its 28th year, features five loops (15, 25, 50, 62 and 100-miles) through the back roads and Amish communities in Kent County.  It is the largest cycling event in Delaware with more than 2,500 cyclists from 25 states and the U.K.  For more information, visit the website: or  on Facebook:
The Dover Art League is partnering with the Dover Public Library and local art gallery Parke Green Galleries to present the Amish Art Loop on the weekend of September 5-7.  An opening reception will be held on “First Friday,” September 5, from 5-7 p.m.  The public and Amish Country Bike Tour cyclists are invited to attend, free of charge.
The Amish Art Loop is a self-directed art tour which will cover sections of Governor’s Avenue, Loockerman Street, Federal Street and State Street.  All venues are within a short walking distance and will feature local visual artists.  Maps will be provided at all participating locations, and the tour is free and open to the public. 
On the afternoon of Saturday, September 6, the Dover Art League will feature an Amish Quilts presentation in its Holden Gallery with a speaker from the humanities covering the Delaware Amish culture.  In the downstairs gallery, the League will feature art related to Amish life and bikes, to coincide with the Amish Country Bike Tour. The Dover Public Library will feature a group show and Parke Green Galleries will have a focused Amish-themed show as well as a Saturday evening reception from 5-8 p.m.
For more information on the Amish Country Bike Tour, call 800-233-5368.

Two Kinds of Transportation
Ben Miller leading bikers out of town