One of the main features is the tour of homes.
By LAURI GALENTINE
MERCER, Pa. -- The 14th annual Victorian Weekend Festival comes to life here at noon Friday with an ice cream social on the lawn of the Mercer County Courthouse.
The social will continue until the rest of the day's activities wrap up at 9 p.m.
Other activities that day include a story hour at the library, a puppet show and a Victorian music concert.
The town has used this event, sponsored by the Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce, to highlight the history of the town and its surrounding area.
On Saturday a parade will go east on Shenango-Venango Street from Mercer Elementary School on Lamor Road to Pitt Street, then south to Butler Street, where it will disband.
On Saturday and Sunday, artisans and craftsmen from several states, dressed in Victorian costume, will have booths located throughout the town, displaying and demonstrating their crafts, chamber officials said.
South Diamond Street, behind the courthouse, will be lined with antiques, collectibles and flea market vendors, they said.
Rounding out the weekend are Civil War re-enactments, a historical display, antiques appraisals, a & quot;Gone With the Wind & quot; display, classic car show, Victorian Hat silent auction and the annual Grand Victorian Parade, featuring & quot;one of the youngest mayors in the country, & quot; Mercer Mayor Christopher Portman, 19.
Deborah Plant, chamber secretary, said that new to this year's line up of events is a & quot;special presentation on some of America's First Ladies and the roles they played in our country's history. & quot;
What's on tour
One of the festival's most popular events over the years, The House Tour, will be from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 21.
& quot;It will showcase five homes, and a church of outstanding architectural or historical interest, & quot; Plant said.
The tour features:
Bethany Presbyterian Church, 100 East Venango St., marking its 200th anniversary.
Mehard Manor, 146 North Pitt St., the original home built by Samuel S. Mehard, president judge of the Mercer County Court of Common Pleas from 1883 to 1895.
Palmer House, 321 East Butler St., built in 1895 by Mercer County District Attorney Edwin Moon.
Shannon House, 305 Greenville Ave., built in 1909 by James Willis Ayers, president of Reznor Manufacturing.
Milliron House, 202 West Market St., built in 1840, and considered one of the 10 oldest homes in Mercer.
John Taylor House, 203 North Otter St., built in 1923 and featuring an extensive collection of Victorian antiques dating from 1870 to 1880.
House tour tickets can be purchased at the Victorian Weekend Information Booth on the courthouse lawn or at the chamber office, 132 South Pitt St.