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Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival Tribute Parade to be televised and streamed on Saturday, May 2, from 1:00-3:00 pm

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Just like other local businesses and organizations, the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® is struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inclement weather had a devastating impact on Festival finances in 2018 and 2019, and the recent postponement of the 2020 Festival has placed our organization in uncertain times. Regardless of the situation, the Festival and its partners are resilient, and stand committed to providing our loyal fans with opportunities to celebrate the arrival of spring and the beautiful apple blossoms – even it if
means doing it from home this year.

Join us on Saturday, May 2, 2020, at 1:00 pm, as the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, in partnership with Shenandoah University airs a two-hour Tribute Parade showcasing the Festival’s rich history and giving fans an opportunity to help the Festival through an on-line giving campaign. Supporters are encouraged to keep the Festival spirit alive by hosting a family social distancing parade party at home, decorating your homes in pink and green, dressing up in your best pink and green outfits, sharing your favorite Apple Blossom stories, photos and videos on social media and inviting family and friends from out of town to tune in to the tribute parade on WDVM TV25 or stream the parade on-line at thebloom.com.

Each year the Festival and its volunteers rely on ticket sales, sponsorship and merchandise sales to cover costs. The Tribute Parade celebration includes an opportunity to support the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® financially through an on-line giving campaign. 2020 has proven to be financially disastrous, and we need your support as we make plans for 2021. Each year, the Festival provides a positive economic impact to our local economy and many local charities rely on Festival events to raise funds. These worthy organizations include local church youth groups, scouts, civic clubs and other non-profits. Without your support and generosity, we cannot guarantee future Festivals or the type of springtime celebration that we are normally accustomed to.

You may be asking, what should I expect if I tune in to watch the Tribute Parade on May 2? The Festival has years of parade video and photography along with candid celebrity interviews. Our Tribute Parade will include a mix of old and new footage packaged together that encompasses all things Apple Blossom.

How do I support the Festival during these hard-economic times? We know that many organizations and businesses are hurting financially right now, and they are all deserving of your help. As a Festival that has been around for 93 years, we have touched the lives of millions of festival-goers over the years, and we want to be around at least another 93 years, but we cannot do it without your support. As you consider contributing, think about family and friends who have traveled to our community in the past to celebrate with us and ask them for $10, $20, $50 or $100 towards our cause. Ask your friends to form a team to raise funds for the Festival through our GoFundMe account or mail in a tax-deducible contribution to the Festival office at 135 North Cameron Street, Winchester, VA 22601. All of these options are available, and we appreciate your support and generosity. The top fundraiser will receive a landscape makeover valued at $1,500 just before the next Festival in April 2021 compliments of our friends at C&J Lawn Care and Grand Feature Parade seats and catering for up to 10 friends.

Even if you are unable to contribute towards our on-line giving campaign, we want you to enjoy the Tribute Parade on May 2 in the comfort and safety of your home. In uncertain times like these, we are all seeking normalcy and there’s nothing like celebrating 93 years of family, fun and tradition that is the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®.

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Constitution Day at Commonwealth Senior Living Facility

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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

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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

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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 highlandcounty.org/hands-harvest-festival.  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 vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/prevention-tips/.


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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Online auction to support St Luke Community Clinic

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Fundraisers have been difficult for our local non-profits this year. Please consider participating in St Luke Community Clinic – Online Auction starting September 21. Watch this video to learn more. Visit St. Luke’s site to see all items available!

Any items that would like to be viewed in person can be done in a private viewing by calling St. Luke Community Clinic at 540-636-4325. They will be happy to arrange a time for you to come look at any item you are interested in. The auction starts on Monday, September 21, 2020, at 7:00 am and ends on September 26, 2020, at 6:00 pm.

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Meet the local candidates Friday night at the Gazebo at 6 pm

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Meet our Mayoral and Town Council candidates (along with some current members) in a town hall forum setting outdoors.

Bring your questions! Let’s all get to know those who are making our decisions a little better. Friday, September 18th at the Gazebo at 6 pm.

** Rain venue will be the large tent behind the Virginia Beer Museum

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Town Talk: A conversation with Jerry Sarchet, WCHS Football Coach – golf tournament scheduled September 25, 2020

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In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Jerry Sarchet, the new WCHS Football Coach. When the school shut down last March, all sports programs also ended, along with the fund-raising by the Warren Wildcat Athletic Association. The WWAA provides support to the WC football program and is sponsoring a golf tournament on September 25, 2020, at the Bowling Green Golf Course.

This event is an 18 hole scramble with a shotgun start including a box lunch and two drink tickets. There will be the longest drive contest and a chance to win a new car (valued up to $20,000) on a par 3 hole. There will be a pay to play 50/50 putting contest. There also will be a silent auction. There is still room for players and sponsors.

Contact Kevin Glascock (540) 660-1190 or the coach: jsarchet@wcps.k12.va.us

Click here to download the brochure.

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com

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