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On Jekyll Island, They Know the Drill

March 19, 2000|ELLEN MELINKOFF


Military re-enactors portraying the 1st Regiment State Line Infantry will encamp April 7 to 9 on Jekyll Island. Like the actual Civil War unit, the modern regiment includes women and children in camp. Visitors can walk through the area and watch military drills, firing demonstrations and everyday life. Jekyll Island is halfway between Savannah and Jacksonville, Fla. For more information, contact the Jekyll Island Welcome Center, P.O. Box 13186, Jekyll Island, GA 31527; telephone (877) 453-5955.


Lahaina's magnificent banyan tree is the guest of honor at the Banyan Tree Birthday Party April 15 and 16. The tree, with a circumference of more than a quarter mile and shading two-thirds of an acre, dominates the center of town. It was planted in 1873 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first missionaries to Maui. Highlights include birthday cake for all, an art show and displays of the tree's history, including how it has been lovingly tended over the years to ensure symmetry. For more information, contact the Lahaina Town Action Committee, 648 Wharf St., Lahaina, HI 96761; tel. (808) 667- 9193.


Festival International de Louisiane, April 26 to 30 in Lafayette, celebrates the many cultures of the area, including African, Caribbean and Latino, but the emphasis is on the French. Festivities include a Parisian cabaret; French Canadian fiddling; musicians from Zaire, Haiti, Morocco, Belgium and Canada; and plenty of Cajun and Zydeco. Expect lots of local delicacies plus French storytelling, an art show and children's games. For more information, contact the Festival International de Louisiane, P.O. Box 4008, Lafayette, LA 70502; tel. (318) 232-8086.


During the annual Daffodil Festival, April 28 to 30 on Nantucket, 3 million daffodils will be in bloom everywhere you turn. The main event is the Antique Car Parade through town, featuring more than 100 daffodil-bedecked cars, followed by a tailgate picnic on the lawns leading into the village of Siasconset. Merchants hold a daffodil window box contest, the garden club shows prize daffodils and visitors can tour some of the island's historic inns. Advance lodging reservations recommended. For more information, contact the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce, 48 Main St., Nantucket, MA 02554; tel. (508) 228-1700.

New York

The most famous Easter Parade in the world is an informal sauntering of New Yorkers in their spring finery, some serious, some for laughs (and the TV camera). Crowds gather on Fifth Avenue between 44th and 59th streets, centering on St. Patrick's Cathedral, between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The city's major egg hunt, Easter Eggstravangaza, takes place at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. April 22, the day before Easter, in Central Park, between 72nd and 86th streets. For more information, contact New York City Parks and Recreation, Special Events, 16 W. 61st St., New York, NY 10023; tel. (212) 408-0100.

Washington, D.C.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, April 8 on historic Constitution Avenue, is the largest annual spectator event in the capital, and is part of a two-week-long festival that begins March 26 and concludes April 9. Highlights include floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands and dance troupes. Grandstand seating is available. Sakura Matsuri, a Japanese street fair, takes place the same day on 12th Street Northwest and features performers from Japan, Japanese foods, taiko drummers and demonstrations of martial arts, ikebana and origami. For more information, contact the Downtown Jaycees, 1612 K St. N.W., Suite 202, Washington, DC 20006; tel. (202) 728-1137.


One of the world's largest and oldest garden shows, the Floralies, takes place April 22 to May 1 in Ghent. The event began modestly in 1809 with only 50 plants and now draws gardening faithful to the halls at Flanders Expo to see thousands of specimens that are rare for their size, form, color or smell. Themes this year include a romantic garden, jungle biotope and 21st century garden. Advance tickets are recommended. For more information, contact the Belgian Tourist Office, 780 3rd Ave., Suite 1501, New York, NY 10017; tel. (212) 758-8130.

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