Put Dover in the rear view mirror this weekend and check out a few other regional locales and events that are more than worth the drive.
Farmer and Foodie Festival
WHERE The Circle and The Brick Hotel, Georgetown
WHEN Noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22
INFO (302) 855-5800
Farm-fresh food will hit The Circle Sunday afternoon, delighting Georgetown foodies with veggies so organic, there may still be remnants of the ground they were ripped out of still visible. The event, now in its third year, is a feast for the senses for the whole family. Expect to see lots of farmers and food vendors, who will be bringing their most delectable samples.
This event is not just for vegetarians, either. A big part of the day is the "backyard barbecue competition." Event sponsors will supply the ribs and competitors need only supply some grilling know-how and the $35 team fee. Trophies and prizes will be awarded.
And, what goes best with mouth-watering barbecue? Locally crafted beer, of course, supplied by Georgetown's own 16 Mile Brewery, who will be selling $3 drafts in the "beer garden."
What about the kids, you ask? They're included, too, and can spend the day decorating pumpkins, getting their faces painted, making scarecrows or hopping around in the moon bounce. There will also be train rides and an old-fashioned horse and carriage and hay rides.
DO'S AND DON'TS Do bring your appetite because there will be plenty of food, including lunch and dinner concessions as well as demonstrations and tastings. Don't forget to dress for the weather so you can take full advantage of the four-hour festival.
WHERE Clear Space Theatre, 20 Baltimore Avenue, Rehoboth Beach
WHEN 7 p.m., Friday; and 7 p.m., Saturday; and 2 p.m., Sunday
COST $30 per person
The Clear Space Theatre Company will launch its 100th production Friday night with the comedy tour-de-force comedy, "Shirley Valentine," starring Elaine Faye.
The one-woman show is an intimate peek into the life of a British housewife, whose life is in such a rut that she finds herself talking to the wall while she cooks. But, when her best friend wins a trip-for-two to Greece, Valentine packs her bags, leaves a note on the cupboard door and heads out for rest and relaxation. Little does she know that she'll be finding some self-awareness and a little romance along the way.
DO'S AND DON'TS Do make this one a date night and maybe leave the kids with the sitter. There's some strong language and grown-up subject matter so it might not be appropriate for all ages. Don't forget that the show will actually run for three weeks and that the Sept. 28 show is part of the theater's "pay what you can night," allowing people to enjoy a night out at the theater for a cheaper price. Seats are subject to availability, though, and tickets must be bought at the door.
WHERE Bob Carpenter Center, 631 S. College Avenue, Newark
WHEN 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22
COST $5 for adults, Free for children six years old and younger
Spice up Saturday with the 2012 IndiaFest at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark. Organized by the Indo-American Association of Delaware, the IAAD has invited clothing, jewelry, arts and crafts vendors and performance artists hailing from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and New York.
The event is a real opportunity to explore the riches of India without having to hop a plane.
DO'S AND DON'TS Do bring your appetite and an open mind. There will be spices and smells that will be worth it. Do bring some extra cash for souvenirs. Don't think the kids will be bored. Last year's event featured an Indian princess photo booth that dressed little girls up in the vibrant colors and gold accents of royalty, complete with gold thrones.
2012 National Book Festival
WHERE National Mall, Washington, D.C.
WHEN 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22 and 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 23
BIBLIOPHILES UNITE The dreams of book lovers everywhere come true once a year at the National Book Festival that takes place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and this year's 12th annual event promises to deliver more than just a few note-worthy words and quotable phrases.
The two day "rain-or-shine" family-friendly event brings together more than 100 authors, poets and illustrators who will host discussions and sign thousands of books. People are encouraged to bring the most beloved copies of participating authors' books or to pick up the latest opus from the on-site bookstore, operated by Barnes & Noble.
More than 200,000 people regularly attend but don't let the size of the event intimidate you. The event is known for being well-executed and spacious. It's also known for state-of-the-art sound systems that give everyone a front row seat.
More information can be found at www.loc.gov/bookfest/ but be sure to check out the different schedules for speaking and signing because they are not the same. Also, pack up the kiddos for this one because it will be well worth the drive for them, too. There are two full size tents devoted to pint-sized readers with build-a-book stations, Legos, and a 19th century stagecoach. The PBS tent will also have life-size characters, like Clifford, the big red dog, who is turning 50 this year, posing for pictures
DO'S AND DON'TS Do bring cash for food and souvenirs. Don't forget to pack the sunscreen. Do dress comfortably or as your favorite character; lots of people will be in costume. Do leave your manuscript at home but be ready for open question sessions following author discussions. Do check out the digital bookmobile, a 74-foot tractor-trailer displaying e-reading options for the modern reader. Don't leave your furry friends at home. Leashed dogs are welcome. Do join the Twitter conversations by tagging posts and pictures with #natbookfest or by following your favorite authors, some of whom are active tweeters. Additionally, @librarycongress will be live-tweeting information and updates throughout the weekend.