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Online shopping: support local initiatives



For good reason, e-commerce has become a significant part of our daily lives. After all, it can be very convenient to make purchases with a few clicks on your computer, tablet or smartphone, and have the products you need to be delivered right to your door. However, it’s important to maintain a commitment to supporting local businesses, even if you shop on the internet. Here are a few tips to help you find the online stores of merchants in your area.

Online directories
An increasing number of websites are being launched as search engines designed to help you find merchants in your area who offer the products you want. Some of these directories even allow you to refine your search based on whether you’re looking for food, gifts, or other goods.

Once you’ve identified a local business that sells what you need, you’ll be redirected to their online sales platform to make a purchase or browse their selection.

Social media
Many businesses have a presence on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, your municipality and other local organizations may share posts about these retailers on their own social media pages. You can also use the messaging feature on these platforms to get information and recommendations.

While it might take a bit more effort to find online retailers in your area, supporting these businesses is a great way to boost the local economy.

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How to choose greener toys



Do you worry about your environmental impact when buying gifts for your children? Fortunately, finding eco-friendly toys is easier than you think. In fact, green toys contain fewer harmful materials and can raise awareness in your children of the importance of caring for the environment. Here are some tips to help you select “greener” toys.

Choose natural or renewable materials
Buy toys made of untreated and unvarnished raw wood or painted with natural substances. On top of being full of character, these toys are durable and can be handed down to future generations.

Natural rubber is excellent for soft toys, whereas their plastic counterparts often get their softness from the addition of harmful substances. It also makes sense to look for natural and organic fabrics and materials, such as cotton, hemp, and linen.

Go for reclaimed materials
Look for eco-conscious brands and logos specifying that the materials used in the manufacturing process come from reclamation. Buying guides specializing in environmentally-friendly products can help you find the most conscientious brands.

Avoid plastics and perfumes
As much as possible, limit the number of plastic toys your child is exposed to. This precaution is crucial for children under three who tend to put things in their mouths. Some plastics, such as PVC, are particularly problematic. Scented toys are also not advisable.

Don’t hesitate to ask the merchant or manufacturer for more information about a toy that interests you.

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4 good reasons to install a natural pool



Natural pools are gaining in popularity. Here are four good reasons to install one on your property.

1. Environmentally friendly
Natural pools don’t contain harsh chemicals and often feature beneficial aquatic plants like water lilies, pond sedges, and perennial grasses. This attracts more flora and fauna, like birds, butterflies, and small marine creatures.

2. Low maintenance
The aquatic plants in natural pools help clean, oxygenate and regenerate the water naturally. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about keeping up with intense maintenance. Only the central swimming area requires a filter and skimmer.

3. Affordable
The cost of designing and building a natural pool is equivalent to that of an in-ground concrete pool. However, natural pools are much cheaper to use and maintain than traditional pools.

4. Easy to care for
Natural pools don’t require much effort. Simply clear away fallen leaves and debris, prune the aquatic plants in the fall and add phosphorite or bacteria to prevent algae. Moreover, you must empty the filtration pipes before the first snowfall so that they won’t crack. That’s it!

Consult a professional landscaper if you want to create a beautiful natural pool in your backyard.

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What to bring for a day of cycling



There’s more to a successful bike ride than just your bike. Here’s a checklist of essentials to ensure you’re prepared for any eventuality.

• Clothing. Choose light and bright clothing appropriate for riding, like bike shorts that protect your thighs and prevent chafing. Stay away from loose-fitting clothing that can get caught in the bike chain. Don’t wear cotton socks, as they retain moisture, or footwear like beach sandals that don’t provide adequate support. Also, be ready for any weather by bringing a windbreaker or raincoat.

• Water and food. Make sure you have enough water for the duration of your ride. Additionally, pack nutritious snacks like energy bars, crackers, cheese, and fresh or dried fruit, which keep well in different temperatures.

• Repair tools. Pack a few hex keys, a small wrench, a puncture repair kit, and a spare inner tube to ensure you don’t get stranded on the side of the road.

• First aid. It’s a good idea to carry a few first-aid items like adhesive bandages, gauze, disinfectant pads, latex gloves, and round-tipped scissors to treat minor injuries.

• Protection. Always wear a helmet and frequently apply sunblock. Moreover, the right pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from the bright sun, wind, dust, and insects.

Have a great ride!

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6 advantages of camping



Are you still deciding on accommodations for your summer vacation or weekend getaway? Here are six good reasons to choose camping.

1. It’s affordable. Camping is generally less expensive than other summer accommodations like cabins.

2. You can tailor your vacation to your preferences and comfort level. There are camping accommodations for everyone, from tents and motorhomes to yurts and treehouses. What’s more, it’s easy to find pet-friendly facilities.

3. You and your family can meet new people. Moreover, campgrounds are ideal for group vacations, so your friends can easily join in on the fun.

4. Campgrounds offer a variety of facilities like tennis courts, swimming pools, and game rooms. Some facilities organize thematic evenings and friendly tournaments to keep you entertained. There’s also typically a playground for children.

5. You and your family can improve your cooperation and communication skills because camping requires you to be organized and adaptable.

6. Spending time in nature is a great way to relax and recharge your batteries. You can also enjoy picnics, barbecues, campfires, and evenings under the stars. Depending on your location, you can take advantage of hiking trails and water sports.

Lastly, camping is an excellent last-minute getaway because you can often pick up a site without a reservation.

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The joys of cycling



Cycling is an affordable activity that’s good for your health, gentle on your joints, and above all, a lot of fun. What’s more, this eco-friendly activity is suitable for people of all ages. Here are three good reasons to get on your bike and ride.

1. Recharge your batteries
Cycling is one of the best ways to get fresh air and make the most of a sunny day. You can burn calories and fill up on vitamin D, all while having fun. Studies show that the psychological benefits of exercise increase tenfold when done outdoors, thanks to the calming effects of nature. Cycling gives you joy in the moment, plus a lasting feeling of well-being.

2. Enjoy the sights
Riding your bike through the forest, in the mountains, along the water, or over rolling hills allows you to admire enchanting landscapes that you wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to see. You may also get to rediscover familiar places from a new perspective and find your own little corner of paradise. Don’t forget your camera.

3. Visit new places
Cycling is a great way to explore a new city or region at your own pace. You can spend quality time with family or friends, explore new places and make lasting memories. You can also take your bike on a wine or historical buildings tour or ride to the ocean to watch whales. Just make sure you’re prepared for windy or rainy weather.

Are you itching to take a ride?

Good to know
You can use to find unique cycling routes across the United States. The route maps also identify bicycle-friendly inns, campgrounds, shops, and essential services along the way so that you can travel with confidence.

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A guide to choosing the right paint finish



Do you want to repaint one or more rooms in your home? When choosing paint, the finish is just as important as the color. Here are some things to consider when choosing a matte, satin, velvet or semi-gloss finish.

What are paint finishes?
The term finish indicates how the paint will look on the painted surface and how much light it’ll reflect. Finish designations like velvet, platinum, satin, and pearl vary from one paint manufacturer to another. It’s therefore essential to ask about the sheen of the product before making your choice.

Here are the most suitable finishes for the different rooms and surfaces in your home:

• Ceilings. Matte finish is most suitable for ceilings. If applied evenly, it can hide imperfections.

• Living room and bedrooms. Consider matte and satin finishes for consistent and elegant results. Keep in mind that matte finishes aren’t as easy to clean. For easy cleaning, pearl and semi-gloss finishes are more suitable options.

• Bathrooms and kitchens. Shiny and glossy finishes are best for high-maintenance rooms that require moisture resistance. For areas that need occasional polishing, choose a semi-gloss finish.

• Woodwork. Velvet, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss finishes are suitable for woodwork and moldings. The same goes for doors. However, it’s best to choose a finish that’s easy to clean.

Visit a paint retailer in your area to stock up for your next project.


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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:


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

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
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Upcoming Events

6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
May 25 @ 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[...]
8:00 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 28 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 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 Jet Propulsion[...]
7:00 pm 2022 Memorial Day Community Band... @ Gazebo
2022 Memorial Day Community Band... @ Gazebo
May 30 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
2022 Memorial Day Community Band Concert @ Gazebo
2022 Memorial Day Concert by Front Royal Community Band Monday, May 30, 2022, 7pm, at the Gazebo on Main St. (sponsored by American Legion Post #53)
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 1 @ 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[...]
10:00 am Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 10:00 am – Jun 5 @ 11:00 am
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Overnight Parking Lot. Ready to try backcountry camping? Spend 24 hours in nature learning backcountry skills and survival techniques with professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch. With Sky Meadows’ Backcountry Campground as the[...]
10:00 am Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Boston Mill Road Trail near the Park Office. Learn how fences and tree plantings improve water quality at Sky Meadows State Park. Stop by our Explorer Outpost table along the Boston Mill Road Trail where[...]
10:00 am National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 10:00 am – Jun 5 @ 12:00 pm
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the intersection of Boston Mill Road Trail and Hadow Trail. Get your hands dirty as we work to improve the hiking experience on Hadow Trail. Join park trailblazers as they work to enhance[...]
11:00 am Gospel Music Festival @ Gazebo
Gospel Music Festival @ Gazebo
Jun 4 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Gospel Music Festival @ Gazebo
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Settle's Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Log Cabin in the Historic Area. Follow your nose to the Log Cabin to see what tasty treats are cooking on the hearth. Watch as a Sky Meadows volunteer dons historic clothing and cooks delicious[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and are ready to show[...]