At least it wasn’t a steady, HARD rain on the Family Fun Day Parade, as well as booths, rides, arts, and business displays officially opened at 10 a.m. with a scheduled closing time of 6 p.m. Saturday, May 7th. If not packed the entire day, there appeared to be a steady stream – oops, is that a poor choice of words in this rainy day report context? – of hearty attendees, young and old alike, through the Historic Downtown Front Royal Gazebo-and-Pavilion anchored Village Commons area.
Royal Examiner checked with Family Fun Day organizer, and C&C Frozen Treats proprietor William Huck on a dryer, if mostly cloudy following Sunday afternoon, on the impact of the uncooperative, if not extremely so, weather the previous day. The response was characterized by his familiar enthusiasm for what downtown Front Royal has to offer and the community that downtown serves.
“This community is the most amazing community – people came out in droves,” Huck began, noting that 555 pounds of crawfish purchased for sale for an event anticipated to be held under sunnier spring skies sold out regardless of the weather. And if there was a steady, if fortunately generally light, rain throughout the day, Huck noted that there was also “a steady flow of people to the end,” which came slightly earlier than the planned 6 p.m. close, between 4:30 and 5 p.m., he observed.
“Even through the weather there was sunshine and happiness across the board,” Huck said of the smiles on faces of those braving those threatening skies from shortly before the 10 a.m. parade launch for a good six to seven hours.
See Royal Examiner’s photographic record of that mixture of rain, sunny faces, and attractions below:
Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education Classes
Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, in conjunction with Northwestern Community Services Board, will offer three more free, virtual REVIVE! Training classes before the end of June. These one-hour online classes provide an overview of how to recognize an opioid overdose, respond to an opioid emergency, and administer life-saving naloxone.
Classes will be held on Friday, May 27th, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm; Tuesday, June 7th from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and Friday, June 24th, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. All attendees will receive two free doses of Narcan by mail. To register for any of these three classes, visit nwprevention.org/revive-training.
Opioids are highly potent, making it relatively easy for accidental overdoses to happen. There has also been an increase of Fentanyl-laced “pressed pills” disguised as prescription medications such as Adderall, Percocet, and Oxycontin. These pressed pills have caused an increase in overdoses throughout the country.
This training is ideal for those who have loved ones who use or have used opioids in the past, as well as those who have personally used or are using opioids. Those who work in public places or businesses where overdoses may occur can be part of the defense against overdoses, and they are also encouraged to attend one of these free classes.
About Northwestern Prevention Collaborative
The Northwestern Prevention Collaborative covers the Lord Fairfax Planning District, encompassing the City of Winchester and the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah, and Warren. NPC focuses on education around opioids, marijuana, vaping, and alcohol, with dual goals of preventing young people from misusing drugs and reducing the number of overdose deaths. The Collaborative is a partnership between Page Alliance for Community Action, Family Youth Initiative, Warren Coalition, Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition, and the Prevention Department of Northwestern Community Services.
About the Prevention Department at Northwestern Community Services Board
The Prevention Department at Northwestern Community Services Board has a mission to prevent substance misuse and suicide and to promote mental wellness in the Lord Fairfax Planning District. The Department utilizes evidence-based programs, practices and strategies targeting concerns identified by needs assessments and using the Strategic Prevention Framework as its guide. An emphasis is placed on community collaboration and mobilization, enabling groups to be brought together for the benefit of the community. Find more information at nwcsb.com/prevention
Stephens City’s biggest annual festival announces robust programs and schedules
Stephens City is revving up for Memorial Day with two days of activities kicking off Friday, May 27 and Saturday May 28th. The 30th Newtown Heritage Festival is centered around the historic Newtown Wagon. In the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth centuries, Stephensburg became prosperous as a crossroads village with small scale industries, featuring production of the renown Newtown Wagon.
This immense wagon, which in strength and durability of material and workmanlike finish, was not surpassed. The wagon rivaled their famous prototypes, the Conestoga wagons of Pennsylvania. Spacious enough to carry all that the six powerful horses could draw over the rough roads and strong enough to sustain the weight of four tons, the Newtown Wagon became legendary for its sturdiness among both Virginia farmers and settlers migrating to the far West, including the Gold Rush of 1849.
Blacksmiths, wheelwrights, tanneries, saddle and harness makers, silversmiths, timbermen, machine shops and other skill mixes were established to support the wagon making industry. The Newtown Wagon logo reflects the story of the ordinary people who lived, worked and prospered here and personifies the festivals spirit.
All events are free and open to the public.
The festivities begin Friday evening at 6:30 PM with the Newtown String Band at the Stage on the Commons. The bluegrass band, based in Lexington is self-described as Acoustic/ Bluegrass/Americana genre band. The Newtown Band is followed by a Main Street Family Night movie featuring “The Sandlot” at dusk (about 8:45 PM). The Sandlot is a genuinely sweet and funny coming-of-age adventure. This movie will capture your attention with its memories of what really matters when you are 12 years old. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy the music and movie.
The main events happen Saturday, with a full schedule of music, a car show, tours, museums, food, crafts and scintillating fireworks. A parade at 2 PM through town will include numerous floats, bands, antique cars, tractor-drawn wagons, firetrucks, military vehicles, dignitaries and local civic groups.
A Veterans Observance will take place on the Memorial – Old Stephens City School at 8 AM. The featured speaker is Mariah Smith, Town Council member and retired Army combat veteran.
A car show will occur at Old Stephens City School from 9 AM – 1 PM. Best of Show award.
The Commons will open at 10 AM with a festival information booth, commemorative sales, pie-eating contest registration, town history trolley tour tickets, craft tents and food vendors. The festival will once again be offering our traditional gray and blue Grandville Hollow pottery. The 2022 piece is a 7” barrel stein and the 30th anniversary special is a limited edition 8 ¼ “ tall pitcher.
Craft vendors will be hawking their wares from 10 AM to 5 PM. About 20 craft vendors will be on hand selling hand-made jewelry, artwork, homemade crafts, bags and wood crafts. Food vendors will be serving customers from 10 AM to 9 PM to include traditional festival menu items such as hamburgers, hot dogs, gyros, fried and teriyaki chicken, Italian sausage, kettle corn, pizza, ice cream and funnel cake. Food and craft vendors will be selling items from 10 AM to 9 PM.
Three local museums will be open from 10 AM – 4 PM in honor of the festival: Newtown History Center Transportation Museum – Old Stephens City School, Steele & Brothers Store – 5353 Main Street and Newtown History Center – 5408 Main Street.
People generally attend the festival to sample their favorite food, music, artisan tents and remain for the fireworks. However, for additional Stephens City history, folks may take an 11 AM or 4 PM trolley tour presented by Rick Kriebel, Stone House Foundation Manager of Collections and Programs. titled “Up along Mulberry.” The one-hour tour will depart from the Capon Valley Bank and identify pertinent buildings along Mulberry Street. Reserve your free ticket(s) by emailing NHE30th@gmail.com.
A Museum Hamlet will be located in the side yard of the Newtown History Center. The following organizations will be set up for displays; The Stewart Bell Archives, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, The French and Indian War Foundation and The Sons of the American Revolution.
There will be Famous Barbeque Chicken drive through and takeout from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM at Stephens City Volunteer Fire and Rescue – 5346 Mulberry Street. It is a firehouse secret recipe.
The 2 PM north-south Main Street one-mile-long parade highlights the hometown festival. Families schedule reunions around the event each year, old friends are back in town and children are mesmerized by the experience. The casual ambiance emanating from the parade promotes a hometown feel. There is an excitement in the air come 2 PM when residents leave their homes, sit on the curb in lawn chairs, only a few feet away, and become interactive with the parade participants.
Everybody knows each other personally, and the intimate nature of the parade makes it easier to laugh and converse with one another among an enthusiastic crowd. The parade gradually evolves into an electrifying fun packed; family filled get-together. It is what makes small towns the heart and soul of America.
Festival Committee member Donna Steward provided a summary of parade entries. “The Frederick County Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard will carry the flags and the Stephens City Boy Scouts will lead with the Festival Banner. Other participants include Sons of the American Revolution, antique cars, including those from the car show on the south end of town, Mayor of Stephens City Mike Diaz and Festival President Tootie Rinker, Newtown Beauty Pageant winners, Shenandoah Valley Gas and Steam Club and VFW Post 2447 Rider’s Group from Edinburg. Italia Performing Arts, Gore’s Meats and several churches will have floats and there will be numerous walking groups,” Steward said.
Judging will be done by festival past president, Adrian O’Connor. “Plaques will be awarded for the following, Best Display of Heritage, Best in Originality and Best Overall Appearance,” Steward concluded.
A first-time, all day Selfie Tour around the Stephens City area will feature stand up and hand-held cutout boards which portray you as Mona Lisa, American Gothic, big apple with a worm, Nellie the Cow, a Conestoga wagon, ice cream cones and gourds. Receive a map of exact locations at the Information Booth or on our Facebook page.
A Pie-eating contest (youth and adult divisions) will take place in front of the Stage on the Commons at 6 PM. Pre-registration is required at the Festival Tent.
According to Festival Committee member, Adrian O’Connor, Souled Out, Crosswinds, and the acoustic ensembles from the Newtown Music Center were the first bands he invited this year. “These bands were selected because they are local, thus providing a true hometown feel to the first in-person festival held since the COVID shutdown. The bands came out to support the festival when we put on the “virtual” streamed concert last year. We are all so happy they accepted our invitations again this year,” O’Connor said.
The following entertainment will perform Saturday at the Stage on the Commons:
- The Virginia Rain Bluegrass (new to the festival) is based in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where bluegrass roots run deep, traditional and true, from Noon – 1:45 PM.
- Crosswinds is based in Frederick County, and perform today’s Country Hits… and the Classics that count, from 4 PM – 6:30 PM.
- Souled Out, a funk/soul/dance band is based in Winchester, VA from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM.
- The evening will close with a 9 PM massive fireworks display.
For further information on Festival Times and Events, call the Town Hall at 869-3087.
This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of May 20th
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, May 20:
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult: $10
- Child (under 12): $7
- Military: $8
- Student (college): $8
- Senior: $8
- Matinees, All Seating: $7
- “Top Gun: Maverick”
- “Jurassic World: Dominion”
Sons of the American Revolution co-sponsor Grave Marking Ceremony in Linden
On May 15, 2022, the Colonel James Wood II (CJWII) and Culpeper Minutemen (CMM) Chapters of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution co-sponsored a Revolutionary War Patriot Grave Marking Ceremony for John Harrell in Linden, VA. The ceremony was held at the Harrell Family Farm next to the house that patriot John Harrell built in the 1770s.
Harrell was born in Charles County, Maryland and enlisted as a private in the First Maryland Regiment in 1778. He was sworn in by Captain William Bruce and his regimental commander was Colonel Peter Adams. The First Maryland Regiment was heavily involved in the southern campaign, participating in the battles at Camden Courthouse, Guilford Courthouse, Eutaw Springs and other skirmishes.
Harrell served during the war for five years, from 1778 to 1783, being discharged in Charles County. In 1789 he met and married Martha Davis of Fairfax County. They eventually settled in what is now known as Harrell Corner, Fauquier, Virginia, raising nine children on the family farm. In 1818, he applied for and was given a pension for his service during the Revolutionary War. Harrell died in 1837 with Martha applying for and receiving a widow’s pension in 1838. She died in 1843. Both were buried on the family farm.
The ceremony was co-emcee’d by CMM President Tom Hamill and CJWII President Thomas “Chip” Daniel with chaplain services provided by the Rt Reverend Larry Johnson. Descendants of the patriots Ms Barbara Harrell and Mr Don Hakenson participated in the ceremony. Ms Harrell provided greetings, uncovered the marker and presented a family wreath. Mr Hakenson provided an in depth biography of his 4th Great Grandfather.
SAR wreath presentations were presented Thomas “Chip” Daniel (CJWII), Tom Hamill (CMM), Ken Morris (George Mason), Dave Cook (Fairfax Resolves), John Lynch (Williamsburg) and Barry Schwoerer (Sgt Maj John Champe). Michelle Phillips presented a wreath on behalf of the Pack Horse Ford DAR.
A combined Virginia State Color Guard was led by commander Brett Osborn. Members of the guard included Sean Carrigan (CJWII), Dave Cook (FR), Jim Cordes (FR), Paul Christensen (CJWII), Thomas “Chip” Daniel (CJWII), Kelly Ford (CJWII), Charles Jameson (CMM), John Lynch (WMG), Ken Morris (GM), Paul Parish (General Daniel Morgan), Dennis Parmerter (CJWII), Allan Phillips (CJWII), Will Reynolds (CJWII), Bill Schwetke (CMM) and Barry Schwoerer (SJC).
Mike Bocock’s Journey through the Dugouts and Diamonds of the Shenandoah Valley
Lot’s Wife Publishing, an Augusta County-based company, announces the release of Close to the Dirt, a personal biography about the life of long-time Valley Baseball League manager Mike Bocock, the winningest manager in league history.
Written by local sports journalist Bill Meade, Close to the Dirt: Mike Bocock’s Journey through the Dugouts and Diamonds of the Shenandoah Valley, examines Bocock’s long, successful run as manager in the league and reveals his adventurous exploits from little league, high school, college and adult life.
Close to the Dirt describes Bocock’s journey, showing his love of sport, love of family and love of life. Full of humorous stories, the book details Bocock’s coaching strategies, interesting characters and impactful personal losses.
Meet Bill Meade and Mike Bocock and get your own copy signed on Saturday, May 21, from 12pm-2pm, at Hawksbill Brewery (22 Zerkel St, Luray, VA 22835).
A portion of the proceeds from the book’s sales will go to the Woodstock-Edinburg Community Baseball organization to benefit local little leagues and other charities.
Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution begins an Honor Flight in Ashburn, VA
On May 14, 2022, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution participated in a ceremony to begin an Honor Flight from Ashburn, Virginia.
The Honor Flight Network is a national network of non-profit independent groups working together to honor our nation’s veterans with an all-expenses-paid trip to see their respective memorials located in Washington, D.C.
Honor Flight Top of Virginia covers the lower Shenandoah Valley and Loudoun County. Their vision is “A nation where all of America’s veterans experience the honor, gratitude, and community of support they deserve.”
As recorded on their website, “Participation gives veterans a chance to share with other veterans, to remember friends and comrades lost and share stories and experiences with each other.” Top priority is given to members of the greatest generation – World War II survivors, along with veterans who may be terminally ill.
They currently accept applications from any Veterans who served prior to 1975. Memorials visited include the World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Air Force Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery, where they watch a changing of the Guard.
To begin the day, veterans gather with their guardians to socialize and get to know one another. During an opening ceremony, Randolph Macon Academy provided an Honor Guard to present the colors for the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem.
Colonel James Wood II and Sgt Maj John Champe SAR Chapters provided sentinels. The ceremony was followed by a procession by the veterans through a Sons of the American Revolution Honor Guard along a Walk of Honor.
Participating in the Colonel James Wood II Chapter were Paul Christensen, Thomas “Chip” Daniel, Brett Osborn, Allan Phillips, and Will Reynolds. They were joined by Sgt Maj John Champe’s compatriot Ken Bonner.
Special recognition is given to Dianne Kopp, President of Honor Flight, Top of Virginia, for her exemplary efforts in running this program to honor our veterans.