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A Memorial Dog Day Afternoon honors service to country

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Front Royal event founder Malcolm Barr Sr. greets attendees and introduces participants in the town’s 2019 Memorial Day ceremony. Photo by Roger Bianchini. Video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

In a small, rural Virginia town 70 miles west of the nation’s capital the annual Memorial Day ceremony honors, not only those people who have served and sacrificed for their country in times of war, but their K-9 companions in that service.

Led by retired USAF Master Sgt. Diana Lieber and her therapy Dog Bentley, other dogs and their owners muster for the Memorial Day blessing of the pets and pet parade. Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini

Featured speaker this year was Skip Rogers, founder and executive director of the Able Forces Foundation that provides assistance, financial and otherwise, to military and veteran families in crisis.

At left County Board Chairman and Army vet Dan Murray stands as keynote speaker Skip Rogers acknowledges each branch of the military – to right event Co-Chair Rob McDougall, and at far left FR Vice-Mayor Bill Sealock, await the call to Marines present.


 

Rt. Rev. Dr. Vince McLaughlin of Rockland Community Church gave a stirring invocation.

Four local veterans, one of whom died on the World War II battlefields of Europe, and others who passed recently were honored at this year’s Memorial Day ceremonies at Front Royal’s Gazebo.

They were:

  • Samuel Albert Hallman, 21, who was killed in action at the Battle of the Bulge on December 17, 1944; he was buried in Front Royal’s Pioneer Cemetery shortly thereafter.
  • U.S. Army veteran Philip Funk, who passed earlier this year, was a longtime Town employee who lived in Middletown. Funk was the father-in-law of Front Royal Town Councilman Eugene Tewalt, and his wife Juanita’s dad.
  • Marvin Reifsnider, who died earlier this year in his 104th year; lived in Rockland and was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II.
  • U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. (retired) Norman Brander. For many years Brander was a member of the Randolph-Macon Academy staff and president of the local chapter of the Air Force Association (AFA).

The AFA, along with the Town of Front Royal, the Humane Society of Warren County, and the Warren County Rotary Club, are co-sponsors of the event founded seven years ago by former AP reporter, U.S. Senate Public Information Officer, local Humane Society Board President, and veteran of Britain’s Royal Air Force – now retired from all – Malcolm Barr Sr. The event is now co-chaired by Lt. Col Rob McDougall, USMC.

The annual laying of the Memorial Wreath with the help of the R-MA Color Guard

 

See Rogers’ emotional keynote address on the role of service dogs in preserving the lives of their human companions at war, and the Right Reverend Dr. Vince McLaughlin of Rockland Community Church’s passionate invocation, as well as local citizens, their pets and municipal officials honor service for others in Front Royal, Virginia’s May 27th Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony and canine parade in this Royal Examiner video:

 

Bagpiper Bill Wright helped open and close the event, giving Rev. McLaughlin an assist in lending a Scottish ambience to the 2019 event.

 

A member of the Skyline High Brass Ensemble plays Taps to close the wreath laying ceremony’s remembrance of service, sacrifice and lost friends.

 

Malcolm Barr’s new Husky girl Diva, formerly known as Deena

 

There’s always a cute one.

 

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Community Events

The Rotary Club of the Northern Shenandoah Valley hosting blood drive

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All are invited to the Rotary Club of the Shenandoah Valley (The Area ONE|ders) blood drive on Wednesday, August 17th, from 1pm-6:30pm, at the Front Royal United Methodist Church (1 W. Main St. Front Royal), to be a hero and give the GIFT OF LIFE! Go to www.redcrossblood.org for more info–appointments are required.

If you can’t give, please take a moment to invite someone else to donate! Sometimes, all it takes is a heartfelt ASK and a person will become a blood donor for LIFE, and YOU can be a part of saving countless lives by inspiring a new donor!

While not required, you can speed things up by completing your RapidPass®. The process is simple, just 4 steps – and takes about 10 to 15 minutes (must be done on the day of donation). Get started with some initial information, read through the pre-donation materials, answer your health history questions and print, download or email your RapidPass® to yourself, and bring it with you. ONE PINT OF BLOOD CAN SAVE UP TO THREE LIVES! Thanks to all of the loyal regular donors, and welcome to future donors who would like to become regulars on this drive series that runs approximately every 56ish days!

Have you ever considered donating an impactful POWER RED donation (which can be done every 4 months)? There are slots available at all area drives, including this one! Learn more here.


  • Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S.
  • Nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S.

WHY give blood?

  • You don’t need a special reason to give blood. You just need your own reason.
  • Some of us give blood because we were asked by a friend.
  • Some know that a family member or a friend might need blood some day.
  • Some believe it is the right thing to do.
  • Some do it for the free cookies and juice, cool sticker and time off from work.
  • But EVERYONE enjoys the great feeling of helping save lives!

WHAT are the general Blood Donor Requirements?

  • Be in good general health and feeling well.
  • Be at least 17 years old in most states (16 years old with parental consent in some states).
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds. Additional weight requirements apply for donors 18 years old and younger and all high school donors.
  • Have not donated blood in the last 56 days.
  • Be in good general health and feeling well.
  • Be at least 17 years old in most states (16 years old with parental consent in some states).
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds. Additional weight requirements apply for donors 18 years old and younger and all high school donors.
  • Have not donated blood in the last 56 days.

Download the BLOOD DONOR APP TO SAVE TIME!

THANKS for joining us in helping to replenish the blood supply by donating! To learn more about service through Rotary, please visit www.rotary.org or email our club directly at theAreaOneders@gmail.com.

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Community Events

Black Cat Appreciation Day at the Winchester SPCA

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To honor Black Cat Appreciation Day, consider adopting a kitty with black fur. Approved adopters can adopt any kitty with black fur at the Winchester SPCA adoption center (located at 111 Featherbed Lane in Winchester) for just $17! This event is one day only, August 17, from 10am to 5pm.

To learn more about your local SPCA, go to winchesterspca.org.

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Community Events

7th Annual Phoenix Project Wine Pull

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Phoenix Project is excited to announce their Annual Wine Pull fundraising event once again this year. Come on out and socialize, have a glass of wine, enjoy good food and support a worthy cause.

  • Where: Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club (456 Shadows Drive | Front Royal, VA 22630)
  • Date: Thursday, October 20, 2022
  • Time: 5:00-7:00 pm
  • Tickets: $60 Purchased in Advance | $65 at the Door
    • Tickets are available at our office (222 S. Royal Avenue | Front Royal, VA 22630) and online at Eventbrite.

Every ticket purchase includes food, a complimentary glass of wine, and a bottle of wine or wine tasting certificate.

For more information, visit phoenix-project.org, or call the office at 540-635-2302.


About Phoenix Project:


Phoenix Project is Front Royal/Warren County’s Domestic Violence Agency. Our mission is to ensure freedom from ALL forms of domestic violence through EMPOWERMENT, EDUCATION, and COMMUNITY.

Since January 1, 2022, through August 10, 2022, we have answered 759 domestic violence calls, 93 sexual assault calls, and 623 other service oriented calls. As you can see, we have a serious problem right here in our own community, and we appreciate your support!

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Belle Grove to host Jerome Bias as an artist-in-residence

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Belle Grove Plantation will host North Carolina furniture maker, Jerome Bias, as an artist-in-residence August 27-October 2.

Mr. Bias has been making period furnishings and studying southern decorative arts for more than 20 years. He was a joiner for Old Salem Museums and Gardens in Winston-Salem and has been a presenter at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, and with the Slave Dwelling Project.

His interest in working at Belle Grove, and at other sites of enslavement like it, is to bring attention to the skilled and talented craftspersons who had significant roles in shaping Southern decorative traditions. These furniture pieces represent the local areas in which they were made, and became a way for the makers, though enslaved, to survive and thrive. Learning and demonstrating these furniture making techniques and skills has been a way for Mr. Bias to connect with his enslaved ancestors, get a glimpse at the pain, trauma, and joys that they experienced, and begin a process of healing. His current project is reproducing pieces of furniture from six areas of the United States in which his family was enslaved, including a buffet from South Carolina, and a china press from Louisville, Kentucky.

Jerome Bias Woodworking (photos by Sean Rowe / Courtesy of Belle Grove)

Front Royal Virginia

While at Belle Grove, Mr. Bias will have both indoor and outdoor workshop spaces where visitors can learn about the pieces he is making, their history, and the history of the craftspersons who inspire him. He will be demonstrating during Belle Grove’s Wine Festival on Saturday, August 27, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thereafter, he will be doing demonstrations Wednesday-Sundays when Belle Grove is open (10 a.m.-4 p.m. and 1-5 p.m. Sundays). For a specific schedule, please visit bellegrove.org/calendar/artist. Access to these demonstrations will be free of charge.

Another way Mr. Bias has connected with experiences of his ancestors is learning about the foodways of enslaved communities. He will share his experience and talents with hearth cooking during a free program by the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Park Ranger Shannon Moeck, “Kneading in Silence: A Glimpse into the Life of the Enslaved Cook Judah.” It is Sunday, September 4, at 2:30 p.m. in the historic kitchen of the Belle Grove Manor House. Attendees of the program will see first-hand the wide variety of skills, intense labor, and personality characteristics that Judah had to have in order to be the head cook.

Jerome Bias Cooking

Support for Mr. Bias’s residency has been provided through the Interpretation and Education Grants of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“Belle Grove is delighted to host Mr. Bias for this residency, and we are excited to share his craft and insights on African-American history with our guests, ” said Executive Director Kristen Laise.

Belle Grove is actively researching and interpreting the African American history of the site and honoring the lives of those enslaved and free. More information may be found at
bellegrove.org/about/enslaved. Some of the stories of the people enslaved at Belle Grove are featured in a monthly newsletter found at virtual.bellegrove.org.


About Belle Grove—Belle Grove Plantation is located off Route 11 at 336 Belle Grove Road just south of Middletown, Virginia, and is conveniently situated to I-81 (exit 302) and I-66. Belle Grove Plantation is a non-profit historic house museum that is a National Trust for Historic Preservation historic site (www.savingplaces.org). It is also one of the legislated partners in Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park (www.nps.gov/cebe).

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Community Events

Sunday Worship in the park

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Stephens City United Methodist Church (SCUMC) hosted a Sunday worship service on July 31st at Newtown Commons. Pastor Bertina Westley provided a sermon on Zephaniah 3:14-20, “God’s Great Compassion.”

The service took place at 10:00 am. The congregation brought lawn chairs to worship under the open summer sky with the Commons Stage substituting for the pulpit. “Our church is taking advantage of the Newtown Commons location to be able to reach out to people that are passing by on Main Street. We are in the process of building community at SCUMC,” Westley said. The folks in Stephens City were invited to share in this time of fellowship and prayer. 71 adults and children attended the morning service. “It is all about touching those who have left the church for some reason and also welcoming potential newcomers who may be seeking faith programs for their families,” Westley added.

Church-goers attend worship service held at the Stephens City Newtown Commons. Photos courtesy Marty Barley.

According to Westley, healthy worship comprises inspiring faith, building community, and connecting people to the congregation’s mission.  As church attendance increases, there is an enhanced opportunity to spread God’s message and ensure people love and follow Jesus.


Deanna and Steve Morris began attending SCUMC services a few weeks ago and reside in Lake Frederick. They were referred to SCUMC by a neighbor who told them about the church’s many local ministries. “During the early service the congregation made us feel at home and Pastor Bertina presented the sermon in a very lively and interesting manner. We thought the outdoor combined service and picnic were a great way to have fellowship with the community and meet other church members,” said Deanna Morris.

Pastor Bertina Westley preaches from Commons Stage. 

The service was followed by a picnic of hot dogs, chips, cookies, and ice cream under the Newtown Pavilion.

The Worship Team and United Methodist Men collaborated to provide an outdoor worship service and picnic for the congregation and welcomed any passerby to join in the church service.

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Upcoming Parks and Recreation programs for Warren County

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The County of Warren Parks and Recreation Department announces upcoming programs for the month of August. To see if any of these programs are eligible for online registration, visit their website at parksandrecreation.warrencountyva.net.


Kings Dominion – Good Any Day Discount Tickets

The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department is offering “Good Any Day” discount tickets for Paramount’s Kings Dominion.  These tickets are valid any 2022 operating day except park rental days.

The cost is $40.00 per ticket for ages 3 and older and can be purchased at the Warren County Community Center, located at 538 Villa Avenue, Front Royal, Virginia 22630.




Karate Program

This program will encompass the usual stances, kicking, punching techniques, stretching, weight lifting (2 to 4 lbs.), and an overall history and review of martial arts. Sensei Drago emphasizes the attitude of working with each other, not at each other.

The program is held on Saturdays, August through December 2022, at the Front Royal Karate Club, 7 Kidd Lane, Front Royal, Virginia 22630, from 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. for those ages 5 to 16.

The cost of the program is $120.00 per participant for ten (10) consecutive classes. This program is ongoing and starts the first week you register.


Walking Club

This club is geared towards providing participants with a safe environment to walk and stay active and healthy throughout the year. This program is “self-paced” to fit everyone’s life style.

Walking Club will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, August 2, 2022 through August 30, 2022, from

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. at the Raymond E. Santmyers Youth Center, located at 200 E 8th Street, Front Royal, Virginia 22630.  The Walking Club is a free-to-join, drop-in program for all ages. Children 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.


Mah Jongg “Players Club”

Players will enjoy several hands of Mah Jongg against skilled opponents. Players must bring their own league card.

This club meets on Tuesdays, August 2, 2022 through August 30, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Warren County Health and Human Services Complex Band Room, located at 465 W. 15th Street, Front Royal, Virginia 22630.

The cost for the club is $8.00 for the month prepaid or $3.00 per day drop-in at the door.

For more information about the Mah Jongg “Players Club”, please contact Deb Jones at (540) 252-4252.


Cardio Kickboxing

Cardio Kickboxing is a group fitness class that combines martial art techniques with fast-paced cardio. This high-energy workout challenges the beginner and elite athlete alike. Build stamina, improve coordination and flexibility, and burn calories as you build lean muscle with this fun and challenging workout.

Classes will be held on Thursdays, August 4, 2022 through August 25, 2022, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Warren County Health and Human Services Complex Band Room, located at 465 W. 15th Street, Front Royal, Virginia 22630.

Participants must be 18 years of age or older.

Minimum of two (2) participants needed to hold the class, with a maximum of eight (8) participants.

The cost of the class is $12.00 per participant per class or $40.00 for the entire session.

This course requires gloves and wrist wraps for each participant. Participants must bring their own equipment or purchase equipment through Warren County Parks and Recreation for an additional $45.00 with two weeks’ notice.


Skyline and Warren County Middle Schools – Girls Basketball Camp

The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department, in conjunction with Skyline and Warren County Middle Schools, will be sponsoring a Girls Basketball Camp for girls in 6th – 8th grades.

This camp will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Warren County Middle School Gym, located at 522 Heritage Drive, Front Royal, Virginia 22630.

The cost for the camp is $25.00; campers must bring their own lunch and a drink.

For more information, contact Luke Heeter at (540) 635-2194.


Skyline and Warren County Middle Schools – Cheerleading Camp

The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department, in conjunction with Warren County and Skyline Middle Schools, will be sponsoring a Cheerleading Camp for students in 6th – 8th grades.

This camp will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Skyline Middle School, located at 240 Luray Ave, Front Royal, Virginia 22630.

The cost for the camp is $25.00; campers must bring their own lunch and drink to camp.

For more information contact Rio Coon at (540) 636-0909.


Toddlers n’ Trees – Toddler Trails

Sponsored by the Warren County Parks and Recreation Department and Samuels Public Library, we’ll be walking around our beautiful Rockland Park identifying popular trees while gathering leaves. After our nature walk, we will enjoy a nature-inspired story and use our leaves to make nature art (leaf rubbings).

This trail walk will be on Friday, August 12, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

This program is for boys and girls, ages 3 to 5 years. Child must be accompanied by an adult.

Toddlers n’ Trees will be held at Rockland Park Isopod Trail, located at 250 Rockland Park Court, Front Royal, Virginia 22630.

This program is free to participants; pre-registration is strongly recommended.

This program is available for online registration at samuelslibrary.com/toddler-trails


Basic Pistol Shooting Class

The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department and Defensive Firearms of Virginia, LLC will be holding a Basic Pistol Shooting Class on Saturday, August 27, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Warren County Community Center, located at 538 Villa Avenue, Front Royal, Virginia 22630.

This class is open to anyone 10 years of age and older; those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

This class deals with the basic knowledge, skill, and attitude necessary for owning and using a firearm safely. Through this class, the student will learn the following:

  • Firearm parts and operation
  • Ammunition
  • Gun safety
  • Virginia laws regarding firearms
  • Shooting fundamentals

This class satisfies all requirements for a Virginia Concealed Carry Permit.

The cost for the class is $75.00 per participant, and the class is limited to 12 participants.

Pre-registration is required; registration deadline is April 21, 2022.

For more information about this class, please contact Rex King at DFV357@yahoo.com.

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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
73°
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Feels like: 73°F
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Humidity: 78%
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Upcoming Events

Aug
12
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Aug 12 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!
Aug
13
Sat
9:30 am Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 13 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Picnic Area Join Kim Strader, ANFT Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, for a gentle walk (no more than a mile or two) where we will wander and sit. Through a series of invitations and[...]
11:00 am Monarch Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Monarch Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 13 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Monarch Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area Habitat loss has caused Monarch butterfly populations to reach dangerously low numbers. Join the Park Naturalist and Virginia Master Naturalists as they set out to collect Monarch caterpillars and[...]
2:00 pm Pregnancy Center’s Community Bab... @ Living Water Christian Church
Pregnancy Center’s Community Bab... @ Living Water Christian Church
Aug 13 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Pregnancy Center's Community Baby Shower @ Living Water Christian Church
The Living Water Christian Church of the Shenandoah Valley is having a “Community Baby Shower” in support of the Pregnancy Center of Front Royal. We are inviting the public to attend and bring wrapped gifts[...]
Aug
17
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Aug 17 @ 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[...]
Aug
18
Thu
7:00 pm Appalachian Chamber Music Festiv... @ Barns of Rose Hill
Appalachian Chamber Music Festiv... @ Barns of Rose Hill
Aug 18 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Appalachian Chamber Music Festival - Opening Night @ Barns of Rose Hill
The Appalachian Chamber Music Festival is delighted to be returning to the Barns of Rose Hill on Thursday, August 18, at 7pm, for the opening night concert of our 2022 summer season. The festival celebrates[...]
Aug
19
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Aug 19 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!
Aug
20
Sat
11:00 am National Honeybee Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Honeybee Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 20 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Honeybee Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area The bees are buzzing at Sky Meadows State Park! Meet the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah as they perform a honey extraction. Learn about beekeeping, honeybees and the art of apiculture. Support beekeeping and[...]
Aug
21
Sun
12:00 pm Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 21 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. What’s that buzzing? Meet with local apiarists of the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah (BONS) and discover the art of Apiculture (a.k.a. Beekeeping). This monthly program series examines all aspects[...]