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Park It: Scottish Fair at Ardenwood

By NED MacKAY
Special to the Tribune

The pipes are calling and the clans will gather at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont on Saturday, April 1, for the annual Tartan Day Scottish Fair.

Sponsored by the East Bay Regional Park District and the East Bay Scottish Association, the always-colorful event will convene from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Attractions will include live music (bagpipes!), Scottish dancing, handmade crafts, Highland athletics and historical re-enactments. Local Scottish clans and societies will share their heritage and culture. Fairies and a dragon will lurk in the Children’s Glen. Ethnic food will be available for purchase. Kilts are encouraged, though not required.

Ardenwood is located at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84. Admission to the fair is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors ages 62 and older, $5 for children ages 4 through 17, and free for kids 3 and under. Parking is free. For information, call (510) 544-2797.

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Besides the Scots, there’s lots more in store in coming days in the regional parks. For instance, you can step back in time for an afternoon of Paleolithic hunting activity from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 1, at Coyote Hills Regional Park, also in Fremont.

Under the guidance of naturalist Dino Labiste, the group will learn how early people created stone tools, then try hitting a target with an atlatl dart. The atlatl was a throwing device used by hunters during the ice age. No animals will be harmed.

The program is free of charge, designed for ages eight and older. Meet at the Coyote Hills Visitor Center, which is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle.

Dino and the interpretive staff also plan a four-day “Stone Age Time Travelers” day camp for kids ages 9-13 this summer.

It’s from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, June 19 through Thursday, June 22. The kids will learn skills used by early cultures to thrive in their environment. Fire and shelter building, stone tool making and twisting cordage are all on the agenda.

Registration is required and there is a fee of $200 per kid ($220 for non-district residents). For information, call the park district reservations department at 888-327-2757. Select option 2 and refer to program 16171.

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Up the road at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda, animal camouflage is the theme of Family Nature Fun Hour from 2-3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, April 1-2. Afterwards it’s fish feeding time from 3-3:30 p.m. at the center’s large aquarium.

Crab Cove is at the end of McKay Avenue off Alameda’s Central Avenue. For information, call (510) 544-3187.

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“Eat the Earth” is the theme of a program from 1-2 p.m. Sunday, April 2 at Tilden Nature Area’s Environmental Education Center near Berkeley, led by interpretive student aide Sharona Kleinman. You can learn about the different layers of soil, substituting pudding, cookies, gummy worms and more.

Then from 3-4 p.m. the same day, naturalist Trent Pearce will lead a Little Farm sing-along featuring old-time songs about farming, work and play.

You can become a Tilden Nature Area docent, helping with educational programs and at the Little Farm. Trent is conducting a docent training program that will meet from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 2, 9, 23 and 30. An application is required. Call (510) 544-3257.

The center and Little Farm are located at the north end of Tilden’s Central Park Drive. For general information, call (510) 544-2233.

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Naturalists at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley will take visitors on a hunt in search of that elusive bird, the snipe, from 2-3 p.m. on Saturday, April 1 (note the date). The group may not find a snipe, but will learn some Delta lore along the way.

Big Break is on Big Break Road off Oakley’s Main Street. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 3050.

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There are lots of other activities available in the East Bay Regional Parks. Check out the website, www.ebparks.org.

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