FOR WEEKEND travelers who seek entertainment, summertime is festival time -- and that's one reason the livin' is easy. Many nearby states offer folk, arts, crafts and music shows, sometimes combining all those elements and adding a gustatory bonus that tempts visitors to ignore their diets.
Here are four varied annual attractions scheduled for West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York State:
* The Mountain Heritage Arts & Crafts Festival will be held June 10, 11 and 12, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., about midway between Harpers Ferry and Charles Town, W. Va. From either town, take Halltown exit off Rte. 340 to Rte. 230, follow signs and take Rte. 220 to the festival site.
Sponsored for the 12th year by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, the festival will feature more than 160 specialists in craft work, with demonstrations, folk dancing and apple-butter making. A wide selection of items will be for sale. Bluegrass music will be performed over the weekend. Food will be available, and picnicking is permitted on the grounds. Free parking. Admission: $3 for adults, $1 for children 6-15. No pets.
For more information, call the chamber of commerce toll free at 800-624-0577.
* Annapolis Arts Festival will present its 21st annual show June 17 to 19 in multicolored tents, outdoor booths and on a waterside stage along the Maryland capital's waterfront.
During the three-day event there will be continuous entertainment, including clowns, dancers and music by bluegrass bands, the Marvelettes, and the New York City Swing Band. Many programs for children will be offered. More than 130 artists and craftsmen from several states will exhibit.
Festival hours are noon to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 17; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. From U.S. Rte. 50-301, take Rowe Blvd. (Rte. 70), the second Annapolis exit, and follow signs to free festival parking at the Navy-Marine Stadium just outside of town. Annapolis Transit shuttle bus direct to show costs 60 cents round trip for ages 13 and over, 12 and under ride free.
Admission: adults, $3; children, $1 (reduced prices for advance purchase and discounts for groups). Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Annapolis Fine Arts Foundation Inc., which supports arts-oriented organizations and projects. No pets.
For a free brochure and other information, write the Festival at P.O. Box 228, Annapolis, Md. 21404, or phone 301-267-7922.
* The 34th Annual Pennsylvania Dutch Kutztown Folk Festival begins July 2 and runs through July 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The 35-acre festival grounds are in Kutztown, between Reading and Allentown, on Rte. 222.
Drawing upon the theme "Alt Iss Bescht" (Old Is Best), there will be 18 special events including demonstrations of sheep shearing, horseshoeing, rifle shooting, metal casting in sand, butchering, soap-boiling, and apple-butter making, and tours through a herb garden. A schule mayschter (school master) will give lessons in a one-room school, and children can see puppet shows and play games.
Naturally, Pennsylvania Dutch cooking will be available "by the carload," and Kutztown quilts "by the hundreds." Twenty new crafts will be introduced, making the total represented nearly 300.
The festival is sponsored by the nonprofit Pennsylvania Folklife Society, which seeks to demonstrate and display "the lore and folkways of the Pennsyvania Dutch." Proceeds are used for scholarships and other educational needs at Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pa. Admission: adults, $5; children under 12, $3; parking on grounds, $1 per auto.
For a list of nearby motels and campsites (accommodations are also available in Kutztown private homes, but arrangements must be made at the festival grounds office), or other information: Kutztown Folk Festival, 461 Vine Lane, Kutztown, Pa. 19530 (215-683-8707).
* Summerfare '83, an arts festival sponsored by the State University of New York at Purchase and PepsiCo Inc., presents its fourth season from July 7 through Aug. 7 on the country campus of SUNY at Purchase, and on the grounds of its corporate next-door neighbor.
Purchase, a small village in Westchester County, is 45 minutes from New York City, so Summerfare boosters like to suggest that their mixture of classical and contemporary music, dance and theater is a cooler, less-hectic and lower-priced respite from the Big Apple.
This summer's performing arts smorgasbord includes a presentation, "first in the western hemisphere," of Calonarang, a Balinese drama/dance ritual; the American premiere of "Booth Is Back in Town," a new musical; five of France's premiere modern dance companies; premieres of the Oakland Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet; residencies of the Baltimore Symphony and Oakland Philharmonic, and performances by such artists as Misha Dichter, Aaron Copland, Anthony Newman, David Amram and Marian McPartland. In addition, there are family programs, late-night cabaret, and an an international juggler's convention.
Ticket prices range from $3 to $20, and many events are free.
A detailed brochure can be obtained from PepsiCo Summerfare '83, Center for the Arts, MPO Box 140, Purchase, N.Y. 10577, or phone the box office at 914-253-5900. HUNGARIAN RIDING TOUR: In August, Dorothy S. Grant will lead her 17th annual Holidays on Horseback tour of Hungary. Grant, a former riding teacher and one-time owner of Rock Creek Stables, plans the tour "for riders able to control a horse at a walk, trot and canter, who want to see picturesque Hungary from a horse's back."
For the first two days the pace is easy, she says, "starting with two hours in the saddle, moving up to five or six hours daily with a Hungarian luncheon break midday." The group, limited to a maximum of 20 riders (extra nonriders are welcome), "meanders along the Danube, climbing the Matra-Bukk Mountains in the Eger wine-growing district, and ending the tour with galloping across the Hortobagy Puszta, Europe's last great plain."
The horses are Lippizaner, Trakaener, Arab, Anglo-Arab, racing thoroughbreds and Hungarian cross breeds from the stud farms of Hungary, "which were formed in the reign of Maria Theresa during the Austro-Hungarian Empire." This year's tour, Aug. 20-Sept. 3, includes sightseeing in Budapest, double occupancy of twin-bedded rooms in four-star hotels, and three meals daily. Costs (exclusive of air fare): riders, $1,012; nonriders, $713. Single supplement for private room is $185.
Information: Holidays on Horseback, 2420 44th St. N.W., Washington,D.C. 20007 (338-2616). INDEPENDENCE AND PRIDE: With awareness of its past and hope for the future, Jamaica is celebrating the 21st anniversary of its independence with a warm invitation to both Jamaicans and tourists to return to that Caribbean island.
Edmund C. Bartlett, Minister of State for Culture, has called the year-long event "an occasion for celebration" by the Jamaican people, "a forum for expressing themselves and an opportunity for national unity." Works of art and literature will be commissioned, Bartlett said. It is part of an effort to help the island's youth develop pride in their country and their heritage.
For tourists, he noted, there will be a chance "to see a lot more of the people" and to realize that Jamaica "is more than a beach."