Big party for ‘Big Top’

Steam at Harpers Ferry’s latest exhibit offers up unique interpretations of Victorian-era circus images starting with an artists’ reception this weekend.

A “Big Top Steam Party” happens from 5 to 8 p.m. at the art gallery at 1B 180 High St. For the public, it’s the first chance to see the works of artists including Leigh Anne Cassell, Lindsey Donaldson, Eric Holstine and Phil Berneburg.

The exhibit will be on display through April 28. The gallery’s regular hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information, go to steamathf.wordpress.com or call 304-885-0094.

Emancipation Proclamation lesson

Officials with Harpers Ferry National Historical Park have put together a special Black History Month exhibit entitled, “The Emancipation Proclamation: A New Birth of Freedom.” Through the end of February, the display can be viewed on the second floor of the John Brown Museum on Shenandoah Street.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s historic declaration granting freedom to enslaved Americans. For details, call the Park Information Center at 304-535-6029.

Special show

Ranson Civic Center is set to host a special music event next month, with the Baltimore-based country/Southern rock band Dean Crawford & The Dunn’s River performing from 7 to 11 p.m. March 16.

Besides Crawford – the group’s songwriter and lead singer – the band’s boot-stomping sound comes thanks to Kenny Wise on mandolin and fiddle, Billy Coley on steel guitar, guitarists Bobby Murphy and Mike Clark, and drummer Bobby Lawrence.

Tickets cost $20. They will be available at the door or may be reserved now by calling organizer Jessica Palencar at 304-724-3862. The civic center is located at 431 W. Second Ave.

Civil War books

A new book by Dennis Frye, chief historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, will be the focus of a special talk and dinner next month in Shepherdstown.

Frye, who wrote “September Suspense: Lincoln’s Union in Peril,” will be in the spotlight March 16 along with Tom Clemens, the Hagerstown Community College professor behind a second volume of Ezra Carmen’s “The Maryland Campaign of September 1862.”

Clemens is president of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation, the group co-sponsoring the event at the War Memorial Building at 102 E. German St. The Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association Inc. also is a co-sponsor.

The night’s menu includes either vegetarian lasagna or filet de Boeuf with mushroom Madeira sauce, garlic-roasted potatoes, green beans almondine, minted carrots and a salad of field greens with hearts of palm, artichokes, shaved Parmesan and lemon vinaigrette. Dessert is lemon pannacotta, fresh fruit and cookies. Tables of eight will share a bottle of white wine and a bottle of red; additional wine, beer and iced tea also will be for sale.

A cocktail hour and book signing begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner, an auction of Civil War-related items and then a discussion period with the two authors. Tickets cost $45.

For details or to make reservations, go to battleofshepherdstown.org or call 732-930-3132.

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