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Front Royal Embraces Public Power Week with Community Festivities

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Highlighting the Significance of Community-Owned Electricity and its Benefits.

The Town of Front Royal is set to join over 2,000 community-based, non-profit electric utilities in the grand celebration of Public Power Week, slated for October 1-7. This week-long festivity recognizes the community-owned electricity services, emphasizing their pivotal role in powering 49 million Americans across the nation.

Public Power Week isn’t merely a tribute to electricity; it embodies the spirit of community. Carey Saffelle, the Director of Energy Services, reflected on this essence, saying, “Public power puts the people of Front Royal first… Our service is reliable and safe, and we take pride in serving our friends and neighbors.”

This special week presents an opportunity for local residents to grasp the nuances of public power and its advantages. Front Royal’s Department of Energy Services has planned an exciting day for the community on October 5th, from 5 pm to 8 pm at the Downtown Commons. This complimentary event promises to be both informative and fun. Electric demonstrations will be paired with education sessions, enlightening attendees on the various facets of electricity. Children are in for a treat with a dedicated area featuring a bounce house, face-painting activities, and other entertaining endeavors. Attendees can also look forward to exclusive giveaways and much more, making this event a blend of learning and leisure.

The American Public Power Association (APPA), based in Washington, D.C., plays a vital role in orchestrating Public Power Week on a national scale. Representing the voice of non-profit, community-focused utilities, the APPA champions the cause of public power utilities across the country. Beyond just representing these utilities, the association also serves as an advocacy platform, lending its voice to the 49 million beneficiaries of public power and the 96,000 employees in the sector. The association’s commitment extends to advising on electricity policies, the latest trends, training, operations, and technology. Their dedication to enhancing communities through excellent service, citizen engagement, and fostering pride in community-owned power can be further explored on their official website, www.PublicPower.org.

Public Power Week is more than just an annual celebration; it stands as a testament to the role of community-driven, non-profit electric utilities in empowering towns and cities. As Front Royal gears up for its celebration, the message is clear: community-owned power is a vital pillar of local development, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose among residents.

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Remembering Matthew Shepard: Selah Theatre Project Revives “THE LARAMIE PROJECT”

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A Tribute to Acceptance, Love, and the Confrontation of Hate.

Twenty-five years have passed since the tragic death of Matthew Shepard, a poignant moment in American history that sparked nationwide discussions on love, hate, and acceptance. In commemoration of this somber anniversary, the Selah Theatre Project collaborates with the AIDS Response Effort to present THE LARAMIE PROJECT. Directed by the talented LaTasha Do’zia, this play offers an intimate glimpse into the soul of Laramie, based on more than 200 heart-wrenching interviews the Tectonic Theater Project team conducted in the wake of Shepard’s demise.

Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project captured the voice of Laramie’s residents in THE LARAMIE PROJECT, revealing the transformation of an entire town coming face to face with its own reflections on bigotry and compassion. This revival, under the careful direction of Do’zia and co-director Sarah Millard, assembles a diverse ensemble of 14 actors. Spanning teens to adults and hailing from various corners of the Shenandoah Valley, the cast brings authenticity and depth to the narrative.

The cast of THE LARAMIE PROJECT

Notable performances are expected from Aidan Carnell, Naomi Greenwalt, Eric Ibarra, and Danielle Juratovac, among others, ensuring that the audience will be treated to a rich tableau of emotions and perspectives.

Selah Theatre Project has a history with THE LARAMIE PROJECT, marking this their third presentation. The play’s enduring significance isn’t lost on Do’zia, who passionately remarked, “The story continues to be relevant. I believe every possible perspective is represented in this theatrical work. It is immersive and promotes great conversation about human kindness.”

THE LARAMIE PROJECT opens its curtains on October 13, 2023, and runs for three consecutive weekends until October 29. With tickets priced at $15, the play promises to be accessible to a broad audience. An opening night reception will be held on October 13th, and an enlightening Q&A session with the AIDS Response Effort team is scheduled for October 21st.

For those interested in being part of this significant event, tickets can be procured from the Selah Theatre Project’s website or by calling their booking hotline at 540-684-5464

In an era where discussions about acceptance, identity, and love are as pertinent as ever, THE LARAMIE PROJECT remains a touching beacon of hope and a sobering reminder of past tragedies. The Selah Theatre Project’s revival promises to be a poignant tribute to Matthew Shepard and an encouragement for dialogue and understanding.

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Boots, Bourbon, and Big Hearts: Rotary Club of Warren County Gears up for Annual Fundraiser

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Warren County Fairgrounds Set to Host Popular Event.

The calendar flips, and autumn leaves whisper the return of the Rotary Club of Warren County’s annual “Boots and Bourbon” fundraiser, an event that last year had the town talking and feet stomping. This year, the much-anticipated event finds a new home at the expansive Warren County Fairgrounds, promising more space and even grander festivities. This event takes place on September 30th from 6 to 10 p.m. Special event at 5 p.m. with Judge Ron Napier.

A history that only spans two years, “Boots and Bourbon” has quickly become a staple for locals looking for good times while contributing to a greater cause. The Rotary Club, always keeping the community’s youth at the forefront, aims to raise funds to award five $3,000 scholarships to Skyline High School students. Two of these scholarships are specifically designed for students pursuing community college or trade school, reflecting a growing recognition of the importance of diverse educational pathways.

While the scholarships take center stage, there’s also mention of book vending machines for elementary schools – an initiative introduced last year. Schools have embraced these machines, further motivating students to dive into the world of reading. The success of this project saw active participation from community members like Dr. Craig Zunka, Kiwanis, and Rotary themselves.

For attendees, the evening promises a flurry of activities. From testing grit and balance on a mechanical bull – where staying on the longest might line your pockets with a cash prize – to getting groovy with a line dancing instructor, the fun is unending. A private VIP bourbon tasting, curated by the bourbon connoisseur, Judge Ron Napier, precedes the main event. Here, attendees can savor five exquisite bourbons while Judge Napier unravels the stories behind each.

As for the cuisine? Chef Devin Smith’s mouthwatering brisket and creamy mac and cheese are set to tantalize taste buds. Add to this an open bar featuring select bourbons, and the stage is set for an unforgettable evening. Silent and live auctions, with alluring prizes ranging from ocean-view vacations to gourmet bourbon dinners, offer another avenue for attendees to contribute.

Behind all the festivity is the Rotary Club’s unwavering dedication to serving the community. With sponsors like Jean’s Jewelers, Bill Long Auto Care, and Warren County Veterinary Clinic, among many others, this event stands as a testament to Front Royal’s spirit of unity and generosity.

For those still contemplating, Kathy Napier, one of the key organizers, offers an invite: “It’s always so much fun. Many don’t participate, and they’re really missing out on some of the camaraderie.” Tickets are available at Jean’s Jewelers, Turning Leaf Realty, On Cue, and the club’s official website.

This year, as the cool September wind ushers in the “Boots and Bourbon” event, the Warren County Fairgrounds won’t just be a space for festivities but a confluence of community spirit, commitment, and celebration

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Kids’ Day Moves Indoors but Fun Remains Unshaken

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Warren Coalition partners with local agencies to adapt and enhance the celebration.

As the first raindrops fall and the sky turns a shade darker, Warren County residents might be revisiting their weekend plans. But, those looking forward to the Celebrate Kids Day have nothing to fear, as the event will go on without a hitch. This event is from 1 pm to 4 pm on Sunday, September 24.

Thanks to quick thinking and a community that rallies behind its children, the Warren Coalition, in collaboration with Warren County Parks & Recreation, has made suitable adjustments. The event, initially planned outdoors, will now be majorly hosted inside the 15th Street Gym at the Health & Human Services Complex and the Diversified Minds Conference Room. This change, aimed at dodging mud and incoming light rain, comes after Diversified Minds graciously opened its space for the celebration.

Despite the change of venue, the day’s line-up remains as exciting as ever. From inflatable rides and pumpkin painting sessions, for the first 200 children to face painting and a plethora of games, children are in for a treat. Additionally, the music, performances, and cake walks promise a day full of energy and laughter. Local agencies have come on board, amplifying the joy and ensuring an array of fun-filled activities for children of all ages.

For those who don’t mind a sprinkle or two, the pitch burst, and pony rides are still on the roster, along with a petting zoo to add that extra touch of delight. As forecasts suggest, the rain should recede by the afternoon, giving ample time for these outdoor activities to shine.

Yet, this spirit of adaptability isn’t just seen in the Coalition’s event planning. The Celebrate Kids Day is more than just an event; it’s a testament to Warren County’s commitment to its children and the community at large. Rain or shine, the county proves once again that the spirit of celebration cannot be dampened.

Warren Coalition’s “Celebrate Kids Day” Has New Home This Year

 

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A Step Back in Time: George Mercer and Winchester’s Historic Weekend

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Reliving the 1750s: Mercer’s Legacy and Winchester’s Pivotal Role.

Winchester, Virginia – It’s not every day that one gets a chance to walk through history and meet some of its iconic figures. On Oct 7 and 8, 2023,  at Abram’s Delight, history enthusiasts and curious locals alike will get just that chance as members of George Mercer’s Company of the Virginia Regiment prepare to recreate life from the mid-1700s.

Tony Elar Jr., a captain of the Mercer’s Company re-enactment group, points out that George Mercer wasn’t just any historical figure. “Mercer was Washington’s aide-de-camp at Fort Loudoun, effectively becoming his right-hand man,” said Elar. The fort, which stands as a testament to Winchester’s defense strategies during the French and Indian War, was also a hub for repairing weaponry and offering soldiers some much-needed rest.

One might imagine the fort as a quiet place, but Elar paints a different picture. “The Virginia Regiment sometimes had about 500 men in town, stationed at the fort. And these soldiers? Well, they had their share of fun, often sneaking off to local taverns,” he chuckles, recalling the many letters Washington had to pen to local innkeepers, asking them to keep his men away from alcohol.

Fast forward nearly 270 years, and George Mercer’s legacy is alive and kicking. Thanks to Elar’s group, which was formed in 2015, the history of the Virginia Regiment and their authentic 1756 uniforms (shipped from none other than England!) are showcased at regional events.

Beyond the reenactments, the weekend promises more than just a visual treat. As visitors explore the camp at 1340 S. Pleasant Valley Road, they’ll get a sense of the clothing, culinary arts, and weaponry of the period. “We camp out overnight, with tents set up exactly as they would have been back in the day,” added Elar, admitting that the busy South Pleasant Valley Road corridor makes for some noisy nights.

And for those wondering about the heavy woolen attire in potentially scorching weather? Elar laughingly remarked, “Once you start sweating in wool, it’s almost like having an air conditioner!”

But the weekend’s highlight? Engaging tales of Winchester during the French and Indian War. With no battles on record here, the spotlight is on Fort Loudoun and how French officers, upon surveying the fort, deemed it “too powerful, too strong” to attack.

Furthermore, visitors are in for a special treat. Middletown Mayor Charles Harbaugh IV will bring a young Col. George Washington to life, with whispers of a surprise visit from General Edward Braddock, the colonies’ commander-in-chief at the war’s beginning.

Winchester isn’t just a location. It’s a time machine to the 1750s, bringing forth the tales, sounds, and sights of a bygone era. An era of resilience, strategy, and iconic figures. All are invited to this journey, with no admission fee for the ceremony, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday at Abram’s Delight.

Click here for more information on the ceremony.

Abram’s Delight is open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: Adults $6.00; Seniors $5.00; Students K-12 $3.00

Click here for more information on Abram’s Delight.

 

 

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Experience fall in the mountains at the 2023 Hands & Harvest Festival

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Highland County’s annual Hands & Harvest Festival returns with county-wide fall fun during the weekend of October 6 – 8, 2023, 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, making apple butter, or picking pumpkins at local farms and 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 – get them while you can before the trail program ends on March 31, 2024 (www.virginiamaplesyrup.com.)

Community activities include an exciting 5K Fall Color Run, Valley AeroSpace Team Rocket Launches, the restored Sounding Knob Fire Tower, popular annual sweater and used book sales, historic Monterey walking tours starting from the Highland Inn, and more.  New attractions like the Charles Pinckney Jones House Museum, the working cattle farm of Hazy Hollow Farm, and the grand opening of the local artist gallery The 3rd Space add to the opportunities to create lasting memories.

Free entertainment in Monterey is available for the entire family!  Kick off your weekend on Friday afternoon with bluegrass music at the Highland County Courthouse Lawn from Eyes on Him while you shop.  On Saturday starting at noon, children can take a ride on Andy’s Bug Train that is sure to bring smiles.  On Sunday afternoon, join in the excitement of an old-fashioned Street Dance on Spruce Street with one of Virginia’s oldest clogging groups, the Little Switzerland Cloggers, as well as local square dance callers Ellen and Eugene Ratcliffe for a rollicking performance and interactive fun.

Get an early start on holiday shopping at the Arts & Crafts Vendor Market located on the courthouse lawn.  Complete your shopping needs by visiting an old general store or unique venue nestled among the countryside like Sugar Tree Country Store, Blue Grass Mercantile, Jenny Wren Gatherings, Ginseng Mountain Farm & Store, The Church at the Old Oak, or the new Highland Roots Market.

Bring your appetite, because there will be abundant food options available around the county.  The Friday Highland Farmers’ Market, Puff’s BBQ, and Martinez Kitchen will be open on the courthouse lawn.  Fall-themed menus at local restaurants with expanded hours are sure to please.  Whether you visit traditional staples like High’s Restaurant and Hull’s Hideaway Restaurant & Tavern or newer establishments like Claire’s Cakes & Café, The Curly Maple, or the Monterey Inn, your tastebuds will thank you!  Plus, Big Fish Cider, Co. will be open with their award-winning craft ciders in Monterey.

Many adventures await with a visit to Highland County, Virginia.  The full schedule, details, and addresses of all the festival happenings can be found at highlandcounty.org/hands-harvest-festival.  Maps with daily schedules 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 Bath Community Hospital, Fair Lawn Farm, and the Highland County Arts Council.


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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Lake Frederick Annual Veterans Association Picnic & Fundraiser 2023

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Last week, the Lake Frederick community gathered to honor veterans from all over, including the guest of honor Captain Dale Davis, US Army Retired. Captain Davis has served on the Lake Frederick Veterans Association as President for the last seven years. He was celebrated at the picnic and thanked for his efforts through the years.

At the event, the Randolph-Macon Academy Drill Platoon commanded by Cadet 1st Sergeant Michael Hays ’25, and Color Guard commanded by Cadet 1st Lieutenant Kamila Yusupova ’24, opened the event with the long-standing military tradition of pass in review and presentation of colors. Winchester Pipes and Drums did an amazing job assisting the ceremony. The Association has 307 veteran members from Lake Frederick and the greater Lake Frederick area!

After the ceremony, R-MA cadets were invited to join Lake Frederick residents, guests, and families during the picnic. Music by Robbie Limon Band created a fun atmosphere for the rest of the day!

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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

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Mountain Creative Consulting

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Jamboree LLC

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 Independent Business Alliance

Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Treatment Center

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jean’s Jewelers

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

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

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

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Arc of Warren County

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

Warren County DSS Job Development

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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Upcoming Events

Sep
30
Sat
10:00 am Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth C... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth C... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sep 30 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth Connections Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. Join professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch to learn about the remarkable seasonal wild edible and medicinal plants of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This full-day hike will cover native and[...]
Oct
4
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 4 @ 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
7
Sat
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 7 @ 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 showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Oct 7 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
New Bluegrass and traditional music jam the first Saturday of each month starting Feb. 4th, from 1pm till 4pm. All levels of playing invited to attend.
Oct
8
Sun
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 showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
Oct
11
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 11 @ 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
14
Sat
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 14 @ 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 showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
6:00 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 14 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Discover our International Dark-Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA’s Jet Propulsion[...]
Oct
15
Sun
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 15 @ 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 showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
Oct
18
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 18 @ 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[...]