From Graw Days Festival Website:Come join us for our annual Graw Days Festival. With a wide variety of delicious food, live foot-stomping music all day, horses from the Susquehanna State Park Mounted Patrol reminding us that horses and horse racing are the theme of the Festival, lots of kids games, artisans and craftspeople displaying their handicrafts and talents, historic presentations and displays, and our local merchants' doors swinging all day, we can say only one thing: Saturday, October 13, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Fifth Annual Graw Days Festival!
The Graw Days represent a colorful time in Havre de Grace's history beginning in 1912 with the construction of the Havre de Grace Racetrack, affectionately called "The Graw." The track was considered on the of the best racing strips of the American turf and was the main training ground for owners who hoped to win the Kentucky Derby. It also made Havre de Grace a popular stop-off for travelers and gamblers up and down the East Coast.
The timeframe of the Graw Days Festival is the Roaring Twenties, with period music and costumes, a wide variety of food, beer garden, historic displays and presentations, and artists and craftspeople in booths along downtown streets closed to traffic. Havre de Grace Main Street, Inc. draws thousands of visitors to this event, which will be held rain or shine.
Family-friendly daytime events take place downtown from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. In partnership with the Havre de Grace United Methodist Church, Restore Church, Living Word ministries, and Harford County Public Library, activities, games and crafts for kids of all ages will include pony rides, face painting, a moon bounce, balloon fun, and special visits from Tales, the Library Dog and the Orioles Mascot. The Susquehanna Hose Company will also bring a truck for kids to experience a fire truck first hand.
Horse-drawn carriages take visitors on tours of the downtown area. And special daytime tours (from Noon to 2 pm) of the old Graw clubhouse and various other buildings. For information about tours, come to the Main Street table in the Bank.
At the newly renovated and historically preserved La Banque de Fleuve, the Havre de Grace Main Street organization will have its headquarters for the Festival, historic photographs of the Havre de Grace and the heyday of the Graw Racetrack, horse racing history, racing silks and other racing tack from the Dupont Estate and Woodstock Farm Bohemia Stables. Also in our historic building will be the displays from the Heritage Museums of Havre de Grace/1812, Concord Point Lighthouse, and the Havre de Grace Historic Preservation Commission, and a special display will recount the historic flight of Calbraith Perry (C. P. ) Rodgers, a pioneer American aviator (and former Havre de Grace Resident) who made the first transcontinental airplane flight in a bi-plane across the U.S in 1911.
Speakers throughout the day at the Bank of History on St. Johns will include Mitch Shank on local history, Dr. Ken Unruh on Nostalgic Havre de Grace, Heidi Gladenfelter on Community History Day, Erika Quesenbery on the Great Depression in our region, and Historical Ghost Tour Guide, Donna Miller, will bring some weird wonders into the Graw Lecture Hall.