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2021 Hands & Harvest Festival offers a weekend to celebrate fall in the mountains

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Photos courtesy of Highland County Chamber of Commerce

Highland County’s annual Hands & Harvest Festival returns with county-wide fall fun during the weekend of October 8 – 10, 2021, where everyone is invited to celebrate the traditions, harvest, and crafts found in this rural mountain community.

From farms to a fire tower, visitors can experience the sights and tastes of the season while viewing the beautiful countryside of fall foliage.  On the self-guided Harvest Trail, the public is invited to take part in traditional fall staples like cider pressing, stirring apple butter, or picking pumpkins at local maple sugar camps, or they can try something different like viewing the process of creating colorful barn quilts or taking a tour of a mini equine sanctuary.  While traveling, guests can get their Virginia Maple Syrup Trail passports stamped at five sugar camps (www.virginiamaplesyrup.com).  Community activities and attractions like the Valley AeroSpace Team Rocket Launch, restored Sounding Knob Fire Tower, Highland County Museum, Highland County Public Library’s annual used book sale, and walking tours of historic Monterey provide unique memories for the entire family.

An Arts and Crafts Vendor Market on the Highland County Courthouse Lawn in Monterey offers one-of-a-kind items like pottery, wooden signs, handmade soap, wool items, therapeutic balms, and much more to get an early start on holiday shopping.  For foodies, the Friday Highland Farmers’ Market and Puff’s BBQ will be open on the Courthouse Lawn, with Big Fish Cider close by, and specialty fall-themed menus at local restaurants are sure to please.  Complete your shopping needs by visiting an old general store or venue nestled around the countryside.


For entertainment, Larnell Starkey and the Spiritual Seven will be providing a blend of traditional gospel with a twist of contemporary at The Highland Center on Saturday at 2 pm.  Known as the “Gospel Temptations,” this award-winning ensemble has toured across the United States and internationally, performing for audiences of 300 to 30,000.  At The Highland Center pavilion, the Highland County Arts Council will provide demonstrations and exhibits of art from basketry to ecoprinting to broom making and more.  Gather the children in the evening for free games, activities, and a bonfire celebration with s’mores, and cap off the night with a free outdoor showing of the classic 1921 silent movie Tol’able David that was filmed in the Highland County.  Finish your weekend on Sunday with a free performance from one of the oldest clogging groups in Virginia, The Little Switzerland Cloggers, at 2 pm on Water Street in Monterey.

All of this and many other adventures await with a visit to Highland County, Virginia.  Full schedule, details, and addresses of all the festival happenings can be found at www.highlandcounty.org/hands-harvest-festival.  Maps will be available at local stores and on the Highland County Courthouse Lawn in Monterey during the event.

The Hands & Harvest Festival is brought to you by the Highland County Chamber of Commerce.  Top sponsors include Fair Lawn Farm, The Highland Center, Summit Community Bank, the Highland County Arts Council, and Big Fish Cider.


The Highland County Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) membership nonprofit organization with a mission to lift up local businesses and entrepreneurs, promote Highland County, and champion economic prosperity and quality of life.  For more information, please visit www.highlandcounty.org.

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Rotary Club of Warren County sponsors Community Shred Day

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Come out and take advantage of this free service. Clean out those offices and filing cabinets and join us! The Rotary Club of Warren County makes it easy to drive right through the parking lot at the fire station.

  • October 23, 2021
  • 9am – 12pm
  • Volunteer Fire Department on Commerce Ave.
  • No limit No charge
  • Event Link

Call Michelle Smeltzer with questions: 540-892-6108

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WCHS Class of 1976 reunion to be held October 30th

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The 45th Warren County High School Class of 1976 reunion is set for October 30, 2021, from 6pm to 10pm, at the Front Royal Country Club.

Tickets are $35 per person. Your meal will be provided from Shaffers BBQ truck. Beer is to be purchased at the club – they have a large selection, plus IPA’s and cocktails in a can. If you prefer a mixed drink or wine, BYOB, and it will have to be put behind the bar where staff will serve you. The DJ will be playing from 7pm-10pm.

Please make checks payable to Warren County Class of 1976 and send to Susan Brown Jenkins at 208 Clymer Ave. Front Royal, VA 22630 by October 27th. Looking forward to a great turnout!

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Blue Rock opens after extensive renovation, Grand Opening on October 22

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Washington, VA – Located in the heart of Rappahannock County, Blue Rock, a modern take on the classic country inn, will open October 22 after one year of extensive renovations. The 80-acre equestrian themed property, set against the Blue Ridge Mountains, features five uniquely designed inn rooms, an on-site restaurant lead by esteemed chef, Bin Lu, and a tasting room with flights and selections of local and international wines, beers, spirits and cocktails. Blue Rock has assembled a veteran hospitality team under general manager Liz Carpenter, who joins from the Red Fox Inn and Tavern in Middleburg, Va. An adjoining five-bedroom farmhouse, also recently restored, is available for private rental.

Chef Bin Lu, formerly of Pineapple and Pearls, Bourbon Steak, and Cityzen, to name a few, will oversee both food and wine menus. The Restaurant at Blue Rock features contemporary American cuisine offering an elevated yet approachable dining experience, regardless of the occasion. A seasonal, four-course menu composed of small plates, mains, and dessert offerings, will be exclusively available in the restaurant, with a la carte options in the coming weeks. Highlights include Buttered Peekytoe Crab with burnt caramel vinaigrette and Charleston “Ice Cream”, Blue Rock Private Reserve Caviar with house-made sourdough donuts, and Quinoa Crusted Black Bass served with chilled tartare, grapefruit and chicharron. Dessert features a Dark Chocolate ‘Candy Bar’ with banana sherbet, toasted hazelnuts, and fresh cherries; Madeira-Poached Figs with warm olive oil cake and smoked ice cream, and a Champagne Sorbet with fresh fruit salad. The four-course menu is priced at $99 per person.

“The experience at Blue Rock is designed to connect our guests to the history of the space and our surroundings through locally sourced ingredients and cuisine inspired by the bounty of the Virginia countryside,” said Lu and Carpenter in a joint statement. “Our goal is to reflect the inn’s deep history and pay homage to Blue Rock’s legacy through food and exceptional service,” they continued. “We are proud to be part of this community and to help cultivate an accessible experience that transports guests through food and warm hospitality.”

The Tasting Room at Blue Rock offers flights, tastings, and a comprehensive wine, beer and spirits menu with craft cocktails featuring local and imported brands. Visitors can choose from local Virginia wines or an eclectic mix of traditional and global options from emerging regions like Texas, Bosnia and Bolivia. Wine flights are meant to inspire discovery and conversation with tastes highlighting everything from Virginia wines to grower Champagnes, to Old and New World reds. A la carte food options in the Tasting Room include Local and International Charcuterie ($15) with red eye gravy and pimento dressing, Warm Crab and Gruyere Dip ($12), or a double patty Blue Rock Burger ($20). Tasting Room beverages and food can all be enjoyed at the bar or outdoors on the terrace, at fire pits and seating areas throughout the beautifully appointed grounds.


On the grounds, visitors can build and roast their own s’mores at one of several seating pods around a large fire pit, or play lawn games such as bocce, croquet and cornhole. Blue Rock’s picturesque outdoor spaces offer the perfect spot for a tented wedding, celebration, or other event for up to 100 guests.

Taking inspiration from historic countryside retreats, the inn is complete with five fully renovated guest rooms that feature playful wallpaper designs and locally sourced vintage details such as antiques, books, and artwork. All rooms include complimentary Wi-Fi, in-room Nespresso® machines, Monarch Cypress robes, Molton Brown® bath amenities, and a daily breakfast spread from Chef Lu and team. Welcoming living room and library areas provide comfortable spaces for guests to lounge and read or catch up on work.

The inn design incorporates modern detailing with whimsical pops of color, dramatic wall coverings and historic reclaimed woodwork, transforming Blue Rock’s 5,600 square foot space into an inviting and cozy retreat. Blue Rock’s private farmhouse is a modern five bedroom and five bathroom home available for rental and perfect for bridal parties and families alike. The home boasts indoor and outdoor dining spaces, a cozy family room, screened-in porch, and hot tub.

The Tasting Room at Blue Rock is walk-in only and will open Thursday through Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to sunset. Blue Rock’s 34-seat restaurant will open Thursday through Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made on Tock. The 12-seat private dining room, adjacent to the restaurant’s kitchen and dining patio, will be available for dinner parties and private events and can be booked by contacting events@bluerockva.com. Pricing for the inn’s five guest rooms vary with opening rates starting at $399. Room and private farmhouse reservations can be made by visiting www.bluerockva.com

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Parent’s Night Out at Ruby Yoga – drop the kids and find some peace!

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Would you enjoy a night out with no children? Check out Ruby Yoga’s parent’s night out, a Halloween edition. The children will be led by instructors Laura Ruby, and long time local educator Joey Waters.

Ruby Yoga hosts parent’s night out, a Halloween Edition:
Kid’s Yoga | Mindfulness | Stories | Snacks

  • Date: Saturday, October 23
  • Time: 6pm – 8:30pm
  • Location: 17A S Royal Ave, Front Royal VA 22630
  • Register: Click Here
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Sons of the American Revolution commemorate at the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier

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On October 9, 2021, the Colonel James Wood II (CJWII) Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted a commemoration at the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier, Presbyterian Meeting House, Alexandria, Virginia.

Sean Carrigan, Brett Osborn and Marc Robinson. Photos courtesy of Sean Carrigan.

The Tomb is located in the Burial Ground of the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, and honors an unidentified soldier whose remains were unearthed and reburied at this site in 1826. It honors the many other patriots who died helping secure Independence for the United States of America and especially those who now rest in unmarked graves. It reminds us of the gratitude we owe all those who have served to enable the United States to remain a free and independent nation.

Dale Corey presenting the wreath.


During construction of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, which is located immediately next to the churchyard of the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, the body of an unidentified man, clothed in a Revolutionary War uniform, was unearthed. The body was then reinterred within the current bounds of the Meeting House Burial Ground. The current memorial was created by the National Society of the Children of the American Revolution and was dedicated on Lexington–Concord Day, April 19, 1929, with services in the Presbyterian Meeting House and at the site of the memorial.

Making presentations for the CJWII Chapter were Brett Osborn and Marc Robinson. Dale Corey presented a wreath to honor all Revolutionary War Patriots. Also participating for the chapter was Sean Carrigan.

Sean Carrigan, Brett Osborn and Marc Robinson saluting the memory of the unknown patriot.

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This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of October 14th

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Are you looking for the full movie-going experience without having to wait in the long lines that often accompany that experience? Then look no further because Royal Cinemas movie theatre is the answer. Get the whole gang together and enjoy a movie! Reserved seating in all auditoriums.

Here is a list of this week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of Thursday, October 14:

• Thursday – Friday: 7:00
• Saturday – Sunday: 4:00 & 7:15
• Monday – Wednesday: 7:00
Rated PG-13  |  2 Hours 43 Minutes

• Thursday – Friday: 6:00 & 8:10
• Saturday – Sunday: 3:55, 6:05 & 8:15
• Monday – Wednesday: 6:00 & 8:10
Rated PG-13  |  1 Hour 37 Minutes


• Thursday – Friday: 6:05 & 8:15
• Saturday – Sunday: 4:05, 6:10 & 8:20
• Monday – Wednesday: 6:05 & 8:15
Rated PG  |  1 Hour 32 Minutes


Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Adult: $10
  • Child (under 12): $7
  • Military: $8
  • Student (college): $8
  • Senior: $8
  • Matinees, All Seating: $7

COMING SOON:

  • “Ron’s Gone Wrong”
  • “Eternals”
  • “Clifford the Big Red Dog”
  • “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”
  • “Encanto”
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Front Royal
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Sunny
7:25am6:29pm EDT
Feels like: 54°F
Wind: 8mph W
Humidity: 61%
Pressure: 30.06"Hg
UV index: 2
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72/48°F
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Upcoming Events

Oct
18
Mon
11:00 am Art Class for K-1st @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for K-1st @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 18 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Art Class for K-1st @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Kindergarten and First Grade. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: Ages 5 and 6 Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at Strokes[...]
1:00 pm Art Class for 2nd & 3rd @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for 2nd & 3rd @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 18 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Art Class for 2nd & 3rd @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Grades 2nd and 3rd. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: 7 and 8 years old Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at[...]
Oct
21
Thu
10:00 am Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie at Strokes of Creativity. Tickets: CLICK HERE Cost: $80 for 6 weeks Dates: Thursdays – Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 4 Time: 10 am[...]
1:00 pm Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 21 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Grades 4th and 5th. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: 9 and 10 years old Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at[...]
Oct
23
Sat
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 23 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area.  During Fall Farm Days History Weekend, step back in time and see history come to life. Stroll through the Historic Area buildings, interact with our living historians and discover our links to historic[...]
1:00 pm Paint Class for Kids Ages 8 and up @ Strokes of Creativity
Paint Class for Kids Ages 8 and up @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 23 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Paint Class for Kids Ages 8 and up @ Strokes of Creativity
This is a painting class for children 8 years old and up. Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at Strokes of Creativity. Date: Saturday, October 23,[...]
Oct
24
Sun
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 24 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area.  During Fall Farm Days History Weekend, step back in time and see history come to life. Stroll through the Historic Area buildings, interact with our living historians and discover our links to historic[...]
Oct
25
Mon
11:00 am Art Class for K-1st @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for K-1st @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 25 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Art Class for K-1st @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Kindergarten and First Grade. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: Ages 5 and 6 Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at Strokes[...]
1:00 pm Art Class for 2nd & 3rd @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for 2nd & 3rd @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 25 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Art Class for 2nd & 3rd @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Grades 2nd and 3rd. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: 7 and 8 years old Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at[...]
Oct
28
Thu
10:00 am Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 28 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie at Strokes of Creativity. Tickets: CLICK HERE Cost: $80 for 6 weeks Dates: Thursdays – Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 4 Time: 10 am[...]