On Saturday, November 19, with leadership and oversight from Front Royal’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC), local community groups and volunteers came together to help plant a 200 meter section of Happy Creek’s riparian buffer, between South Street and Short Street. More than 30 volunteers participated in the planting, including representatives from the Tree Stewards, Beautification Committee, Izaak Walton League, Piedmont Environmental Council, as well as community members. Volunteers planted more than 450 whips (young seedlings) of seven different varieties of native, flowering, riparian shrub species. Species included: Red Chokeberry, Black Chokeberry, Witchhazel, Winterberry, Northern Bayberry, Elderberry, and Arrowwood Viburnum. Species and planting densities were approved by the DEQ.
As part of ongoing restoration efforts for Happy Creek, this section of the riparian buffer had been designated a high-priority area in which an abundance of invasive and undesirable vegetation had begun to establish. In early November the Department of Public Works removed the undesirable vegetation, clearing the way for a full-scale riparian planting. Jim Osborn, Chair of ESAC and the Town’s Environmental Specialist, explains more: “We were excited to create such a positive community event centered around helping restore an important section of our local watershed. Happy Creek is an invaluable asset, landmark, and resource for our Town, and we need to be the good stewards it deserves.”
Volunteers kept warm through the chilly morning hours with coffee, muffins, and good comradery. Those that hadn’t planted before were given lessons by ESAC and Tree Steward members. While many were actively shoveling out holes in the stream bank, members of the FR-WC Anti-Litter Council and the Izaak Walton League used the time to help remove litter from the stream and its banks. Additionally, a set of volunteers helped prune several existing Sycamore trees that naturally recruited over the past couple of years. “Sycamores are a beautiful native tree whose foliage and bark offer an aesthetic appeal throughout all four seasons,” says Melody Hotek, President of the Tree Stewards. “They are also the look and feel of our beloved Shenandoah River, and so having them adorn Happy Creek is a perfect fit.”
Justin Proctor, ESAC member and local conservation biologist, reminds us the value of planting native. “Planting natives is a win-win across the board. These plants are adapted to handle our local climate and soils, they help build back our beneficial insects and pollinators, they provide food for wildlife including native and migratory birds, and their deep root systems stabilize river banks and help clean out pollutants.”
Taylor Clatterbuck, ESAC student representative, is excited about Spring. “I can’t wait to see all of these riparian shrubs leaf out and start blooming next year. Every time I walk, cycle, or drive by, I will be able to look out over something that I can be proud of.”
All watersheds need good, ongoing stewardship, and Happy Creek is no exception. Stay tuned for additional watershed projects in 2023.
American Legion Community Band will hold combined concert with Clarke County Community Band on February 28, 2023
The American Legion Community Band will present a Combined Concert with the Clarke County Community Band on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at 7:30 pm in Melton Gym at Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, Va.
The concert is free, and everyone is welcome.
The American Legion Community Band, located in Front Royal, Va, was formed in 1986 and has been playing concerts in the area ever since. The conductors and band members are all volunteer musicians from the local area, and new members are always welcome.
The band performs at various concerts and community festivals throughout the year. All performances are free and open to the public. The repertoire is versatile and traditional, from classical to popular, marches and operatic overtures to modern works for bands. The band is sponsored by the Giles B. Cook Post #53 of the American Legion.
The conductors are Ed Richards, Ronald Dye, and Mark Malechek. All rehearsals are held on Tuesdays from 7:30 – 9:00 pm in the Fulton Fine Arts Complex band room at Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, Va. Anyone who plays an instrument and would like to join is welcome to attend. The American Legion Community Band’s performance season extends from September through July each year, with public performances both indoors and out.
Middleburg’s 12th Annual Winter Weekend Sale
Join the town of Middleburg on February 17, 18, 19 and 20 for the 12th annual Winter Weekend Sale. During the Winter Weekend Sale, visitors will be able to hunt for wonderful gifts for themselves and others while experiencing the small-town charm of Middleburg. The sale, sponsored by the Town of Middleburg and the Middleburg Business & Professional Association, will be held Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday – Monday as posted by shops.
Many of the unique shops in the village will have discounts on everything from shoes to children’s clothes to fall and winter fashions, as well as specials in some of the local restaurants. Bargain hunters can arrive early to get the best deals or stay over at one of the inns in town. The Red Fox Inn, 540-687-6301, Goodstone Inn, 540-687-3333, and Salamander Resort & Spa, 844-303-2723, are accepting reservations.
White and blue balloons will be located outside participating stores. Shops with fantastic bargains include Zest (clothing and accessories), Lou Lou (accessories), Crème de la Crème (pottery, ceramics, linens, etc.), English Country Classics (men’s and women’s clothing), Tully Rector (shoes, clothing, accessories and beauty products), Chloe’s of Middleburg (women’s clothing boutique), Loyal Companion (pet supplies), The Lucky Knot (clothing and accessories), The Christmas Sleigh—and many more one-of-a-kind stores you’ll never find in a mall.
At the west end, The Fun Shop (children’s clothing, party goods, decorative gifts), Middleburg’s answer to the department store has several rooms full of wonderful things. Brick and Mortar Mercantile (unique gifts), J.Mclaughlin (clothing and accessories), Mystique Jewelers, PLAYroom (toy store), Highcliffe Clothiers (men’s and women’s clothing), The Artists in Middleburg Gallery, Gum Tree Farm (handmade wool clothing, accessories, and home goods), and Stitch (needlepoint shop) are also located on the west end of town. Le Boudoir (lingerie), and the Community Store (consignment) are located on Madison Street. The Tack Box and the Middleburg Tack Exchange will be offering discounts on equestrian related products such as riding gear and gifts.
The National Sporting Library & Museum on The Plains Road and Middleburg’s fine restaurants scattered along Washington Street and Federal Street offer a lovely respite from bargain hunting. Restaurants in town include, The Red Fox Inn (contemporary American food), Cuppa Giddy Up (coffee and tea), King Street Oyster Bar (Seafood-focused menu and fresh oysters), Side Saddle Café (breakfast and sandwiches), Knead Wine (wine shop and gourmet pizza take-out), Middleburg Common Grounds (coffee, tea and sandwiches), Thaiverse (authentic Thai cuisine), Red Horse Tavern, Market Salamander (gourmet market and café), Middleburg Deli (sandwiches), Wild Hare Cider Pub, Teddy’s Pizza (pizza and subs), Best Thai Kitchen (authentic Thai cuisine), Red Bar Sushi, Upper Crust Bakery (baked goods and sandwiches), The Bistro at Goodstone Inn, Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill (contemporary American steakhouse) and Gold Cup Wine Bar at Salamander Resort & Spa.
About the Town of Middleburg
Located approximately 50 minutes west of Washington, D.C. in Virginia horse country, the Town of Middleburg has approximately 800 residents. Established in 1787 by Revolutionary War Lieutenant Colonel and Virginia statesman, Levin Powell, the Town was previously called “Chinn’s Crossroads.” Powell chose the name Middleburg because of the town’s location midway between Alexandria and Winchester on the Ashby Gap trading route (now Route 50). Middleburg remains a charming town frequented by visitors who flock to its luxury resort and historic inns, walkable tree-lined streets, signature shops, wineries, cidery/distillery, and chef-driven restaurants. Middleburg was recognized in 2008 for its historic preservation efforts by being designated a Preserve America Community. For more information, visit MiddleburgVa.gov.
SAR recognizes Senior Living Facilities
During the month of January 2023, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution presented Certificates of Appreciation to three Senior Living Facilities. These facilities had the chapter provide presentations to the residents throughout 2022.
The presentations provided were the Battle of Cowpens (January), George Washington (February), National Vietnam Veterans Day (March), Patriots Day (April), Armed Forces Day (May), Memorial Day (May), Flag Day (June), reading the Declaration of Independence (July), the Constitution (September), Siege of Yorktown (October), Veterans Day (November) and Crossing the Delaware (December).
Compatriots from three chapters had participated during the year to provide educational and historic information about the colonial era. From the Colonel James Wood II Chapter, Dale Corey, Thomas “Chip” Daniel, Allan Phillips, Marc Robinson and Richard Tyler were joined by Bill Schwetke of Culpeper Minutemen and Barry Schwoerer of Sgt Maj John Champe.
The ceremonies consisted of an opening prayer, the pledge of allegiance and the historical presentation. Compatriots took turns relating information and answering questions. At the end of the ceremony, all would join in singing “God Bless America”. This was followed by a question and answer session. The senior residents appreciated the efforts and often kept the members beyond the allotted time frame.
In recognition of their support to the Sons of the American Revolution and our educational goals, Certificates of Appreciation were provided to Commonwealth, Greenfield and Hidden Springs Senior Living Facilities. Hidden Springs was represented by Mary Poe and given the certificate on 12 Jan. For Commonwealth, Andrea Williams, Executive Director received the certificate on 20 Jan and on 21 Jan a certificate was presented to Meda Patton, Executive Director of the Greenfield facility.
The members of the SAR are greatly appreciative of the participation of the organizations.
This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of February 3rd
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, February 3:
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult: $10
- Child (under 12): $7
- Military: $8
- Student (college): $8
- Senior: $8
- Matinees, All Seating: $7
- “Ant Man And The Wasp: Quantumania”
- “Creed III”
- “Scream VI”
- “Dungeons And Dragons: Honor Among Thieves”
SAR commemorates Peter Muhlenberg in Woodstock
On January 21, 2023, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted a commemoration for Peter Muhlenberg’s final sermon in Woodstock, as he was recruiting the 8th Virginia Regiment for the Revolutionary War.
Johann Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg had grown up in Trappe, Pennsylvania, the son of a Lutheran Minister. As a young man, he enjoyed fishing and hunting more than studying and wanted to join the military. His father was intent on Peter and his brothers becoming ministers, and they were sent to Germany to study at the University of Halle to obtain an education in theology. His mentors recommended he not be trained in ministry, but in commerce. He was then apprenticed to a merchant in Lubeck. Shortly after arriving, he decided he was not meant for that occupation.
After three years, he enlisted in the Royal American Regiment of Foot in the British Army. He was fluent in both English and German and served briefly with the German dragoons. He was assigned as a secretary to a British officer with whom he returned to Philadelphia, gaining a honorable discharge in 1767. He then decided to become a minister and received an education from the Academy of Philadelphia. He was ordained in 1768 and given a Lutheran congregation in Bedminster, New Jersey. He was approached by James Wood, Jr. to serve the congregation at the Lutheran Church in Woodstock, Virginia. To preach in Virginia at that time, you were required to be ordained in the Church of England. He was ordained into the priesthood of the Anglican Church in 1772 and returned to serve in Woodstock.
Peter was a follower of Patrick Henry, whose ideals led him to election to the House of Burgess and as Chair of the Committees of Safety and Correspondence for Dunmore County. In 1776 he served as a delegate to the Virginia Convention. He was asked by George Washington to return to the Shenandoah Valley to raise and command the 8th Virginia Regiment. From 1776-1783, he served as Colonel, Brigadier General and Major General for the colonial forces during the War for Independence. During the war, he saw combat at Sullivan’s Island, Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, Yorktown and in 1780 he was given command of the militia troops in Virginia. His units were known for discipline and their fighting ability. He received praise throughout the war from his superiors. As a young senior officer, he recognized what he did not know and worked will with others. He became friends with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other stalwarts of the American cause, developing lasting friendships with all.
Peter was an unsung hero of the Revolutionary War, one of a legion of firm, steady commanders who were indispensable in winning the fight for American independence. After the war, he did not return to the ministry and went into politics in his home state of Pennsylvania. He surveyed military bounty lands assigned to Virginia veterans and became a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council. He was next elected to the U.S. Congress from Pennsylvania, managed Thomas McKean’s campaign for governor of the state and assisted in the election of Thomas Jefferson as President. He was then appointed supervisor of revenue for Pennsylvania and customs collector for Philadelphia. He died October 1, 1807, his 61st birthday in Gray’s Ferry, Pennsylvania. A true patriot and great American.
The ceremony was emcee’d by Dale Corey with assistance from the Right Reverend Larry Johnson. A Virginia State Color Guard with members from the Colonel James Wood II, Sgt Maj John Champe, Fairfax Resolves, Culpeper Minutemen, George Mason, General Daniel Morgan, Colonel William Grayson and Fort Harrison Chapters of the SAR presented and posted the colors. The DAR had members from the Narrow Passage, Lane’s Mill and Montpelier Chapters. Members of both organizations presented wreaths to honor Peter as well as one from the Order of Founders and Patriots of America and the Black Robed Regiment. Participants included Brian Bayliss, Bryan Buck, Ken Bonner, Dale Carpenter, Paul Christensen, Dave Cook, Dale Corey, Forrest Crain, Doug Hall, Tom Hamill, Larry Johnson, Pat Kelly, Erick Moore, Patrick Moore, Ken Morris, Brett Osborn, Paul Parish, Dennis Parmerter, Allan Phillips, Will Reynolds, Marc Robinson, Bill Schwetke, Barry Schwoerer, Jim Simmons, Mike St Jacques, Richard Tyler, Steve Van Deusen and Mike Weyler from the SAR.
Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival’s first annual Casino and Cash Party a sold-out success
On Saturday, January 21st the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® held its first annual Casino and Cash Party at the Elks Lodge in Winchester. The purpose of this event was to raise money to recruit bands for our two parades and to also set funds aside as we plan for the 100th Festival in 2027. Brad Veach, Executive Director stated, “The evening was a sold-out success netting the festival nearly $25,000. This will be a huge boost to our parades and a great start to planning a blockbuster event for our 100th festival.” The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival continues to be so grateful to this community for its years of support in sponsorships and attendance at our events. In an effort to give back to the community, Festival President Sharen Gromling and Veach took advantage of the evening to present a check to the emcee, Charles Harbaugh, Executive Director of Access Independence and Mayor of Middletown, Virginia. This $1,000 check was given as a thank you for his long-time support of the Festival, Access Independence’s assistance in making all our events more accessible, and to purchase accessible ramps to help community members who are mobility-impaired. Gromling stated, “Apple Blossom is trying to be more visible throughout the year and to support the efforts of the local nonprofits serving those most in need in our community.”
Make plans now to join us for the 96th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® on April 28 through May 7, 2023. For more information about the Festival, visit us online at www.thebloom.com.