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62nd Highland County Maple Festival: The official maple festival of Virginia returns

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The tradition of the Highland County Maple Festival in Virginia returns March 12-13 and 19-20, 2022.  Since 1959, visitors have been drawn to Highland County to tour real maple sugar camps for a cultural and culinary adventure.  All-you-can-eat pancake and buckwheat cake meals, over 100 arts & crafts vendors, and live entertainment make this county-wide event a fun outing with lasting memories for the entire family.

This year, the Highland County Maple Festival features ten unique sugar camps open for the public for free tours.  Visitors have the chance to view traditional and modern techniques for creating maple syrup from tree to bottle.  In addition to pure maple syrup, some local camps offer a variety of flavored maple syrups infused with native plants or aged in spirit barrels, as well as black walnut syrup, hickory syrup, and even birch syrup.  New for 2022, the familiar faces of Back Creek Farms that have been set up for years at the Courthouse Lawn in Monterey will now have their sugar camp open for tours along beautiful Back Creek in the western portion of Highland County.

Local civic clubs and organizations will be bringing back their delicious food offerings, including those famous fresh maple doughnuts, pancake and buckwheat cake meals with sausage and gravy, trout sandwiches, pork rinds, funnel cakes, and just about anything maple-flavored!  Additional food vendors on North Water Street in Monterey offer treats like maple fudge, pizza flatbreads, waffle on a stick, chorizo white queso fries, falafel, and much more.

Over 100 juried arts & crafts vendors will be available in Monterey and McDowell, providing one-of-a-kind treasures, tasty treats, and special gifts.  Browse and shop with new and returning vendors for a seemingly endless variety of handcrafted items, from exclusive artwork to exquisite jewelry.  Admission to access vendors at the Highland High School and Elementary School gyms remains at $3 purchased onsite, and payment comes with a collectible maple leaf keychain that also provides access to daily noon entertainment at The Highland Center in Monterey.  Although those keychains will be branded with “2020”, they will grant visitors entry for 2022 and are sure to be a unique reminder and talking point of these interesting times.


All four days of the festival will feature entertainment.  On Saturday, March 12th, enjoy the popular bluegrass band Southern Rail Express at noon and the acoustic high energy duo of Scuffletown at 7:00 p.m.  On Sunday, March 13th at noon, take a step back in time for a showing of the 1921 silent film Tol’able David that was filmed in Highland County, courtesy of the Highland Historical Society.  On Saturday, March 19th, put on your dancing shoes with square dance workshops from noon to 2:00 p.m., concluding with a full square dance at 7:00 p.m. with callers Ellen and Eugene Ratcliffe and music by Juanita Fireball & The Continental Drifters.  On Sunday, March 20th, finish up the festival with crowd favorites The Little Switzerland Cloggers starting at noon.  All entertainment at The Highland Center is brought to you with the assistance and sponsorship of the Highland County Arts Council.  For more entertainment options, visitors of all ages can listen to bluegrass music at Southernmost Maple in Bolar starting at noon on Saturdays, or those 21 and up can groove to the acoustic blues of Delta Junction at Hull’s Hideaway Restaurant & Tavern in Monterey starting at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 12th.

While traveling the beautiful scenic roads of the rural mountain community, visitors will discover many other additional activities, such as spending time at kids’ fishing fun days at Hiner Town Trout Fishing north of Monterey, experiencing a living history camp and new exhibits at the Highland County Museum in McDowell, enjoying award-winning cider at Big Fish Cider Co. in Monterey, browsing local art and books at the Gallery of Highland located in The Highland Center, viewing additional vendors at The Church at the Old Oak in Meadowdale, visiting a local restaurant or store, or taking in the thrilling sights of a Valley Aerospace Team Model Rocket Launch south of Monterey on Saturday, March 12th.

2022 will mark the first time the Highland County Maple Festival has been held since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Additional hand sanitizer units will be placed throughout populated areas in Monterey and McDowell this year.  Disposable masks will be provided at the entrance to the Arts & Crafts Show at Highland County Public Schools for those who need them.  Nonprofit organizations that are usually located in the High School Hallway will be found in the Elementary School Gym, allowing for more social distancing room for visitors in the hallway.  Please stay home if you have symptoms of COVID-19, and follow recommended guidelines for isolation/quarantine if you recently had COVID-19 or were exposed to COVID-19.

In 1999, the Library of Congress designated The Highland County Maple Festival a “Local Legacy,” and in 2014, the Governor of Virginia signed a bill into law designating the festival as the “official maple festival of Virginia.”  Even in its absence in 2020 and 2021, the festival was announced as the 2021 first-place place winner for Best Food or Drink Festival of the Shenandoah Valley Region in Virginia Living’s Best of Virginia issue, receiving the distinction for the second consecutive year.  It has also been awarded the top spot in the Best Family Entertainment category in the 2021 Best of the Valley by readers of Harrisonburg’s Daily News-Record.  Tens of thousands of visitors arrive annually to enjoy the event.  The Highland County Maple Festival is coordinated by the Highland County Chamber of Commerce and made possible with the help of countless volunteers and organizations.  Top sponsors include Summit Community Bank and Kissito Healthcare Hot Springs.

Traditional hours of the festival include Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., though visitors can get a jumpstart to the day with an all-you-can-eat pancake meal as early as 7:00 a.m.  Full details on all the festival happenings can be found at www.highlandcounty.org/maple-festival, with posts highlighting the festival available at www.facebook.com/HighlandCounty.

Virginia is for Maple Syrup Lovers!


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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Community Events

This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of October 7th

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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 Friday, October 7:

• Friday: 6:50 & 9:20
• Saturday: 2:55, 5:30 & 8:00
• Sunday: 4:10 & 6:45
• Mon-Wed: 7:10
Rated PG  |  1 Hour 46 Minutes

• Friday: 6:45 & 9:30
• Saturday: 2:45, 5:20 & 7:55
• Sunday: 4:05 & 6:40
• Mon-Wed: 7:05
• Thurs: 6:10 & 8:50
Rated R  |  1 Hour 55 Minutes


• Friday: 6:40 & 9:15
• Saturday: 2:45, 5:20 & 8:00
• Sunday: 4:00 & 6:45
• Mon-Wed: 7:00
• Thurs: 6:05 & 8:45
Rated R  |  2 Hours 10 Minutes


Ticket prices are as follows:

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

Film Club Showing Friday, October 18:
“The Terror” @ 7:30


Special Double-Feature of “Halloween” and “Halloween Ends” on Thursday 13th starting at 6:00 pm

COMING SOON:

  • “Halloween Ends”
  • “Black Adam”
  • “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
  • “The Fablemans”
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Samuels Public Library announces 44th Holiday Writing Contest

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It’s that time of year again! Samuels Public Library is holding their 44th Holiday Writing Contest from October 3, 2022, through November 5, 2022, for children in grades K-12.  There will be a reception for winners and their families in December.  Entry forms and guidelines are available at the library.

Attention writers and artists! Submit your short story, poem or an illustration by November 5, 2022.

  • Winners receive their work in a professionally published keepsake book
  • First place winners will receive a certificate to the Royal Oak Bookstore
  • A celebratory reception is held for all winners and their families

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Considerations for choosing wildlife ambassadors

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Have you ever wondered how Blue Ridge Wildlife Center (BRWC) decides which patients to keep as educational wildlife ambassadors?

BRWC is home to 25 non-releasable wildlife ambassadors, many former patients whose injuries have prevented them from surviving in the wild. Jennifer Burghoffer, BRWC’s Education Manager, will be speaking about the rigorous process we go through to make sure that the wild animals on our Education Team are the best animals for the job!

Join us on Thursday, October 6th and meet many of our wildlife ambassadors in-person!

  • BRWC Member – 50% Off Discount
    • Use discount code MEM22BRWC at checkout
  • REGISTER HERE

Space is limited and tickets may go fast—please sign up soon to reserve your seat!



This program is part of Blue Ridge Wildlife Center’s Fall Lecture Series.

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Subaru Loves Pets Month at the Winchester Area SPCA

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October kicks off #subarulovespets month at the Winchester Area SPCA to help find loving homes for pets in need. This month, WASPCA will benefit from a $100 donation from CMA’s Subaru of Winchester for every pet adopted. Learn more at subaru.com/pets.

Stop by the adoption center at 111 Featherbed Lane in Winchester, VA, Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm, and weekends by appointment to find the love of your life!

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Laurel Ridge hosted College Night at Fauquier Campus

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Hundreds of high school students came to Laurel Ridge Community College’s Fauquier Campus Tuesday night for the return of College Night following a two-year hiatus brought on by the pandemic.

Students from high schools in Fauquier County, Rappahannock County and beyond were able to meet with representatives from more than 75 colleges and universities from around Virginia and the nation – including Laurel Ridge, of course – to learn about their programs, admission requirements, financial aid, scholarships and more.

“This is an exciting time in the lives of high schoolers, a time when they are figuring out what their next chapter will look like,” said Dr. Caroline Wood, associate vice president for student services and academic support at Laurel Ridge. “We are excited to be a key resource in their planning, and pride ourselves on being the college of choice for so many who are a part of this event.”

College Night is sponsored by the Virginia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, and Laurel Ridge has been a part of it for more than a decade.


Colleges and programs represented included Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing, Bridgewater College, Coastal Carolina University, Concord University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida Institute of Technology, George Mason University, Hollins University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Johnson & Wales University, Mount St. Mary’s University, Ohio University, Regent University, Roanoke College, Seton University, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, University of Kentucky, University of Virginia, Virginia State University and Virginia Tech.

“It was great to have this event back on campus,” said Laurel Ridge student life and engagement coordinator Chris Lambert. “Our four-year partners are always eager and excited to register for this event. Not only were we able to invite potential future students back to our campus, but we were also able to show off our new STEM and health professions building, Hazel Hall.”

College Night is part of a six to eight-week college transfer tour. It was on the Middletown Campus Wednesday afternoon and in the Apple Blossom Mall Wednesday evening.

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This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of September 30th

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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 Friday, September 30:

• Friday: 7:00 & 9:35
• Saturday: 3:00, 5:40 & 8:20
• Sunday: 4:10 & 7:25
• Mon-Thurs: 7:05
Rated PG-13  |  2 Hours 6 Minutes

• Friday: 7:05 & 9:45
• Saturday: 3:10, 5:40 & 8:10
• Sunday: 4:25 & 7:20
• Mon-Thurs: 7:20
Rated R  |  1 Hour 55 Minutes


• Friday: 6:55 & 9:40
• Saturday: 3:05, 5:45 & 8:25
• Sunday: 4:15 & 7:15
• Mon-Thurs: 7:10
Rated R  |  2 Hours 10 Minutes


Ticket prices are as follows:

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

Film Club Showing Tuesday, October 4:
“D.O.A.” @ 7:30

COMING SOON:

  • “Lyle, Lyle Crocodile”
  • “Halloween Ends”
  • “Black Adam”
  • “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

National Media Services

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Feels like: 50°F
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Upcoming Events

Oct
5
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Oct 5 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Oct
8
Sat
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 8 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Come back to the family farm at Sky Meadows. Explore the park’s sustainable farming practices, visit the barred plymouth rock hens, learn about our cattle operation in partnership with the Department of Corrections’[...]
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 8 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and are ready to show[...]
Oct
9
Sun
10:30 am Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Oct 9 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Please join us on October 9th at 10:30am and October 10th-12th at 6:30pm nightly for a special series of services with Johan Bruwer. Johan is from Bloemfontein, South Africa, and will deliver a very inspiring[...]
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 9 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Come back to the family farm at Sky Meadows. Explore the park’s sustainable farming practices, visit the barred plymouth rock hens, learn about our cattle operation in partnership with the Department of Corrections’[...]
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 9 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and are ready to show[...]
Oct
10
Mon
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 10 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Come back to the family farm at Sky Meadows. Explore the park’s sustainable farming practices, visit the barred plymouth rock hens, learn about our cattle operation in partnership with the Department of Corrections’[...]
6:30 pm Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Oct 10 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Please join us on October 9th at 10:30am and October 10th-12th at 6:30pm nightly for a special series of services with Johan Bruwer. Johan is from Bloemfontein, South Africa, and will deliver a very inspiring[...]
Oct
11
Tue
6:30 pm Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Oct 11 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Please join us on October 9th at 10:30am and October 10th-12th at 6:30pm nightly for a special series of services with Johan Bruwer. Johan is from Bloemfontein, South Africa, and will deliver a very inspiring[...]
Oct
12
Wed
6:30 pm Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Oct 12 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Please join us on October 9th at 10:30am and October 10th-12th at 6:30pm nightly for a special series of services with Johan Bruwer. Johan is from Bloemfontein, South Africa, and will deliver a very inspiring[...]