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Eight boats, 160 paddlers to compete in dragon boat races on August 3rd



Those are some fast dragons on the race – eight boats, each powered by 20 rowers will return three Saturdays from now, on Aug. 3. Courtesy Photos HSWC

Dragon boat races return to the Shenandoah River on Saturday, August 3, and are expected to raise at least $16,000 in entry fees for Front Royal’s animal shelter.

The event is one of the Humane Society of Warren County’s (HSWC) most popular. Crowds of several hundred are expected at the Front Royal Golf Club boat landing site starting at 9:30 a.m. Trolley transportation is provided from Crooked Run Plaza.

While the event was missing from last year’s calendar, eight boats with 20 paddlers sponsored by community and corporate organizations will compete in this year’s contest over the 200-meter course. One of the boats is skippered by Ellen Aders a former winner. Aders is the HSWC president. Newcomers to the contest this year are the Rotary River Dogs, Captain Julie Covert, Aders’ vice president.

“We are all looking forward to an amazing day, full of spirited fun, all in the name of helping the animals in our community,” said Meghan Bowers, in her first year as executive director of the Humane Society’s Julia Wagner Animal Shelter.

And it’s for a GREAT cause – like housing Otto. Otto has lived his entire life in a kennel. Since taking her position in the last year, Shelter Director Bowers has taken Otto, who is fearful of people, into her office where he has a comfortable bed and the things he likes best to eat: cheeseburgers!

Bowers said of her first six months that one of her most difficult things to deal with has been the sad condition of many of the animals that arrive at the shelter.

“It is a regular occurrence,” she wrote in the shelter’s summer newsletter advertising the Waggin’ for Dragon event, “to have a dog or cat arrive who has suffered years of neglect, abuse and lack of proper medical care. It is our mission (funded by the likes of Waggin’ for Dragons and other events such as Barks & Bags) to provide these animals a new beginning, starting with compassionate care.”

She announced that a recent yard sale at the shelter site had raised a record $3,400 for the animals. She also announced a fee increase for adoptions – in future, cat adoptions with be $30 and dog adoptions $60. “Even at the new rates,” Bowers said, “it may surprise some that adoption fees do not cover the total costs of caring for the animals until they are adopted.”

Among the shelter’s greatest needs at the moment is an industrial washing machine. Is there anyone out there with one lying around their basement? – Just asking…

The last winners – the State Farm Dragons

And the races get exciting as they bear down on the finish line – don’t miss this year’s Waggin’ for Dragons Humane Society of Warren County fundraising event, it’s a great day on the river and a great day for the county’s abandoned animals.

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Community Events

37th Anniversary of National Night Out to be held of October 6th



On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, citizens throughout Front Royal are invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the “37th Anniversary of National Night Out” (NNO) crime and drug prevention event. National Night Out, is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and co-sponsored locally by the Front Royal Police Department and the Front Royal Police Foundation.

“We look forward to hosting this great event every year, but due to COVID-19 restrictions and safety concerns, we have had to cancel the “block party” style event that we usually hold on the Town Commons,” said Front Royal Chief of Police Kahle Magalis. “This year we are going to take National Night Out mobile and caravan to different locations throughout the town and meet up with our citizens in smaller groups in areas where we can practice social distancing.”

We will host neighborhood visits throughout the Town with police officers, foundation members, and our other law enforcement partners. The evening will begin at the Front Royal Police Department with opening remarks starting at 5:00pm and the start of the parade at 5:20pm. The route will continue through town and will utilize 5 stopping points along the route and conclude at the Town Gazebo at 8:00pm.

National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight to build a safer nation. “Events like National Night Out are necessary to help strengthen the partnerships between the community and law enforcement,” said Brendan Murphy, Front Royal Police Foundation Vice Chair. This is the police department’s fourteenth year hosting NNO and without this partnership, law enforcement’s battle against crime would be limited.

Please watch for more information about times and locations on our numerous social media outlets.

Lastly, stop by the Front Royal Police Department and pick up blue lightbulbs and thin blue line flags, while supplies last, to help show your support during the parade!

Parade Route Stops

5:00 – 5:20  Front Royal Police Department
5:30 – 5:50 Warren County Skate Park
6:00 – 6:20 Ressie Jeffries Elementary School
6:30 – 6:50 Warren County High School
7:15 – 7:35 Marlow Heights Baptist Church
7:45 – 8:15 Town Gazebo


FRPD, R on Virginia Ave, L on 1st, R on Union, R on W. Main, SKATE PARK, R on Kerfoot to W. Criser to E. Criser, L into RESSIE JEFFRIES, R on Beeden, L on Hill, R on South St., L on Westminster to WCHS, L on Westminster, R on Walker, L on John Marshall, L on Leach Run, L on Oden, L on Ewell, R on Imboden, R on Happy Ridge, L on Goodview, L on Meadow Court, R on Lewis, L on Happy Creek, L on Manassas Ave to MARLOW HEIGHTS BAPTIST CHURCH, L on Happy Creek to Laura Virginia Hale into TOWN GAZEBO.

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Community Events

Shred your sensitive documents at Community Shred Day on October 17th



Have you been de-cluttering during the pandemic? Come shred your sensitive documents at our Community Shred Day on October 17th! There is no limit to the amount you can shred. Come out and take advantage of this service, and watch this video to learn more:

  • WHEN: Saturday, October 17, 2020 · 10 AM – 1 PM
  • WHERE: Front Royal Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department
  • WHO: Open to the Public · Hosted by Rotary Club of Warren County
  • EVENT LINK: Facebook
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This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of September 25th



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! We are continuing to practice “6 Foot Social Distancing” with 50% capacity reserved seating in all auditoriums.

Here is a list of this week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of Friday, September 25:

• Friday: 6:45
• Sat & Sun: 4:00 & 7:10
• Mon – Thurs: 6:45
Rated PG13  |  Run Time: 2 hour 30 min

• Friday: 7:00
• Sat & Sun: 4:10 & 7:00
• Mon – Thurs: 7:00
Rated PG13  |  Run Time: 1 hour 53 min

• Friday: 7:15
• Sat & Sun: 4:25 & 7:20
• Mon – Thurs: 7:15
Rated PG13  |  Run Time: 1 hour 35 min

Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Adult: $9
  • Child (under 12): $6
  • Military: $7
  • Student (college): $7
  • Senior: $7
  • Matinees, All Seating: $6

Other movies coming soon to Royal Cinemas:

  • “Infidel”
  • “Black Widow”
  • “007: No Time to Die”
  • “Soul”
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Constitution Day at Commonwealth Senior Living Facility



On September 17, 2020, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution gave a reading presentation to celebrate the birthday of the Constitution of the United States at Commonwealth Senior Living Facility in Front Royal.  Dale Corey, Brett Osborn, Chip Daniel and Art LaFlam provided an oversight of the birth of the Constitution and an overview of what the original document means.

Dale Corey, Brett Osborn, Chip Daniel and Art LaFlam

The Articles of Confederation was the governing document for the federal government into the 1780s.  It was woefully inadequate.  It gave little power to the central government and lacked enforcement powers.  Decisions required unanimous approval of all 13 State legislatures.  Another problem was money.  They could print money, but it was worthless.  They borrow but couldn’t pay it back.  They had little ability to defend its sovereignty.  Many of the 625 man Army had not been paid, some were deserting and others were threatening mutiny.  There was  no international power to protect American interests from other nations.  Overall, it was a failed document.

In 1787, a convention was called at Philadelphia to propose a plan of government.  Original plans included 23 articles.  After considerable discussion and debate, a final draft was approved with seven articles.  By the end of July 1788, 11 States had ratified, and on September 13, 1788, a resolution was passed putting the new Constitution into operation.  The new government was in place effective March 4, 1789.  George Washington was inaugurated 8 weeks later as the first President of the United States.

There were 39 signers of the document, to include three from Virginia.  These were John Blair, James Madison and George Washington.  The Constitution with the Bill of Rights and the additional amendments are the basis of the governments structure and law and order in the United States of America.

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Able Forces Foundation hosting Department of Veteran Services



Military and Veteran families are welcome to come by if you have issues with VA benefits, or need assistance or guidance on support.  Andre Miller, of the Department of Veteran Services, and Danielle Cullers, our area’s Homeless Advocate, will be at our office from 9 AM to Noon on Friday, September 25, 2020.  Please call for an appointment if possible: 540-631-9600.  Our office is located at 115 Chester Street, Suite B, in Front Royal.

Strict COVID protocols will be followed.

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2020 Hands & Harvest Festival offers a virtual event and in-person weekend to celebrate fall in the mountains



Monterey, VA – Celebrate the beauty and bounty of fall with the annual Hands & Harvest Festival in Highland County, Virginia!  Held from Thursday, October 8, through Sunday, October 11, this year’s festival offers a unique hybrid of both virtual and in-person offerings.

The festival kicks off on Thursday, October 8, from 6 to 8 pm, with the first ever Virtual Hands & Harvest Festival, hosted by online event platform, BoothCentral.  Anyone in the world with an internet connection and email address has the ability to go online to discover, browse and shop with participating festival organizations and businesses.  The virtual event includes a video stream that highlights many aspects of the festival, including exclusive tours and special moments with the unique people and destinations of this rural, mountain community.  In addition, guests can directly interact with participating vendors at their own pace in their online vendor “booths.”  Tune in any time between 6 and 8 pm on Thursday, October 8, at this Virtual Hands & Harvest Link to learn all about what Highland County has to offer.  Preregistration is not necessary, although guests who register ahead of time will receive an email reminder on the day of the event.

In-person offerings will begin Friday, October 9, through Sunday, October 11, dispersed throughout Highland County.  See the full schedule and details at  Here are some highlights of the sights, sounds and tastes of the season:

  • Activities for all ages include scaling over 100 steps on Sounding Knob Fire Tower from sunrise to sunset, watching the Valley AeroSpace Team’s amazing rocket launches, and visiting a mini equine sanctuary
  • Outdoor entertainment on Saturday at The Highland Center with their “Maple Tap Room” serving up craft and domestic beer and Big Fish Cider, followed by live music with Lynda Smith and 7th Street, an eight-piece party band that highlights Motown, disco, beach and classic rock
  • The freshly updated Highland County Barn Quilt Trail, including a chance to visit the barn quilt studio where many of these colorful quilt designs on wooden blocks are created
  • Several of Highland County’s Maple Syrup Sugar Camps will be open, with a chance to get your passport stamped after a tour as part of the new Virginia Maple Syrup Trail at participating camps.  If pure maple syrup isn’t enough of a draw, some camps will even offer delicious apple butter or cider, warm winter wear, pumpkins, BBQ, bluegrass music, hiking trails and more!
  • Instead of the Monterey Courthouse, arts and crafts vendors will be set up with one-of-a-kind gifts and treats at locations around the county like Monterey Presbyterian Church and The Church at the Old Oak.

“This hybrid event offers visitors the option to take part in the festival online even if they are unable to make it or if they feel uncomfortable with travel at this time,” says Executive Director of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, Chris Swecker.  “Whether online or in person, people will get to experience what makes our rural community so special at this time of year.”

The 2020 Hands & Harvest Festival is sponsored by Big Fish Cider Co., the new HighlandCountyVA Blog, and The Highland Center.  The festival is brought to you by The Highland County Chamber of Commerce.

For both your safety and for the safety of others when traveling, please adhere to current CDC and Virginia Department of Health guidelines regarding the coronavirus.  To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, please observe social distancing of at least six feet from other visitors, wear a face covering when indoors or when you are in close proximity to others outdoors, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or apply hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.  Please stay home if you are sick, if you have signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has had COVID-19.  Prevention tips can be found at

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

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Front Royal
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Wind: 1mph S
Humidity: 67%
Pressure: 29.99"Hg
UV index: 4
min 55°F