Stephens City is revving up for Memorial Day with two days of activities kicking off Friday, May 27 and Saturday May 28th. The 30th Newtown Heritage Festival is centered around the historic Newtown Wagon. In the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth centuries, Stephensburg became prosperous as a crossroads village with small scale industries, featuring production of the renown Newtown Wagon.
This immense wagon, which in strength and durability of material and workmanlike finish, was not surpassed. The wagon rivaled their famous prototypes, the Conestoga wagons of Pennsylvania. Spacious enough to carry all that the six powerful horses could draw over the rough roads and strong enough to sustain the weight of four tons, the Newtown Wagon became legendary for its sturdiness among both Virginia farmers and settlers migrating to the far West, including the Gold Rush of 1849.
Blacksmiths, wheelwrights, tanneries, saddle and harness makers, silversmiths, timbermen, machine shops and other skill mixes were established to support the wagon making industry. The Newtown Wagon logo reflects the story of the ordinary people who lived, worked and prospered here and personifies the festivals spirit.
All events are free and open to the public.
The festivities begin Friday evening at 6:30 PM with the Newtown String Band at the Stage on the Commons. The bluegrass band, based in Lexington is self-described as Acoustic/ Bluegrass/Americana genre band. The Newtown Band is followed by a Main Street Family Night movie featuring “The Sandlot” at dusk (about 8:45 PM). The Sandlot is a genuinely sweet and funny coming-of-age adventure. This movie will capture your attention with its memories of what really matters when you are 12 years old. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy the music and movie.
The main events happen Saturday, with a full schedule of music, a car show, tours, museums, food, crafts and scintillating fireworks. A parade at 2 PM through town will include numerous floats, bands, antique cars, tractor-drawn wagons, firetrucks, military vehicles, dignitaries and local civic groups.
A Veterans Observance will take place on the Memorial – Old Stephens City School at 8 AM. The featured speaker is Mariah Smith, Town Council member and retired Army combat veteran.
A car show will occur at Old Stephens City School from 9 AM – 1 PM. Best of Show award.
The Commons will open at 10 AM with a festival information booth, commemorative sales, pie-eating contest registration, town history trolley tour tickets, craft tents and food vendors. The festival will once again be offering our traditional gray and blue Grandville Hollow pottery. The 2022 piece is a 7” barrel stein and the 30th anniversary special is a limited edition 8 ¼ “ tall pitcher.
Craft vendors will be hawking their wares from 10 AM to 5 PM. About 20 craft vendors will be on hand selling hand-made jewelry, artwork, homemade crafts, bags and wood crafts. Food vendors will be serving customers from 10 AM to 9 PM to include traditional festival menu items such as hamburgers, hot dogs, gyros, fried and teriyaki chicken, Italian sausage, kettle corn, pizza, ice cream and funnel cake. Food and craft vendors will be selling items from 10 AM to 9 PM.
Three local museums will be open from 10 AM – 4 PM in honor of the festival: Newtown History Center Transportation Museum – Old Stephens City School, Steele & Brothers Store – 5353 Main Street and Newtown History Center – 5408 Main Street.
People generally attend the festival to sample their favorite food, music, artisan tents and remain for the fireworks. However, for additional Stephens City history, folks may take an 11 AM or 4 PM trolley tour presented by Rick Kriebel, Stone House Foundation Manager of Collections and Programs. titled “Up along Mulberry.” The one-hour tour will depart from the Capon Valley Bank and identify pertinent buildings along Mulberry Street. Reserve your free ticket(s) by emailing NHE30th@gmail.com.
A Museum Hamlet will be located in the side yard of the Newtown History Center. The following organizations will be set up for displays; The Stewart Bell Archives, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, The French and Indian War Foundation and The Sons of the American Revolution.
There will be Famous Barbeque Chicken drive through and takeout from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM at Stephens City Volunteer Fire and Rescue – 5346 Mulberry Street. It is a firehouse secret recipe.
The 2 PM north-south Main Street one-mile-long parade highlights the hometown festival. Families schedule reunions around the event each year, old friends are back in town and children are mesmerized by the experience. The casual ambiance emanating from the parade promotes a hometown feel. There is an excitement in the air come 2 PM when residents leave their homes, sit on the curb in lawn chairs, only a few feet away, and become interactive with the parade participants.
Everybody knows each other personally, and the intimate nature of the parade makes it easier to laugh and converse with one another among an enthusiastic crowd. The parade gradually evolves into an electrifying fun packed; family filled get-together. It is what makes small towns the heart and soul of America.
Festival Committee member Donna Steward provided a summary of parade entries. “The Frederick County Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard will carry the flags and the Stephens City Boy Scouts will lead with the Festival Banner. Other participants include Sons of the American Revolution, antique cars, including those from the car show on the south end of town, Mayor of Stephens City Mike Diaz and Festival President Tootie Rinker, Newtown Beauty Pageant winners, Shenandoah Valley Gas and Steam Club and VFW Post 2447 Rider’s Group from Edinburg. Italia Performing Arts, Gore’s Meats and several churches will have floats and there will be numerous walking groups,” Steward said.
Judging will be done by festival past president, Adrian O’Connor. “Plaques will be awarded for the following, Best Display of Heritage, Best in Originality and Best Overall Appearance,” Steward concluded.
A first-time, all day Selfie Tour around the Stephens City area will feature stand up and hand-held cutout boards which portray you as Mona Lisa, American Gothic, big apple with a worm, Nellie the Cow, a Conestoga wagon, ice cream cones and gourds. Receive a map of exact locations at the Information Booth or on our Facebook page.
A Pie-eating contest (youth and adult divisions) will take place in front of the Stage on the Commons at 6 PM. Pre-registration is required at the Festival Tent.
According to Festival Committee member, Adrian O’Connor, Souled Out, Crosswinds, and the acoustic ensembles from the Newtown Music Center were the first bands he invited this year. “These bands were selected because they are local, thus providing a true hometown feel to the first in-person festival held since the COVID shutdown. The bands came out to support the festival when we put on the “virtual” streamed concert last year. We are all so happy they accepted our invitations again this year,” O’Connor said.
The following entertainment will perform Saturday at the Stage on the Commons:
- The Virginia Rain Bluegrass (new to the festival) is based in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where bluegrass roots run deep, traditional and true, from Noon – 1:45 PM.
- Crosswinds is based in Frederick County, and perform today’s Country Hits… and the Classics that count, from 4 PM – 6:30 PM.
- Souled Out, a funk/soul/dance band is based in Winchester, VA from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM.
- The evening will close with a 9 PM massive fireworks display.
For further information on Festival Times and Events, call the Town Hall at 869-3087.
The Declaration of Independence: What Does it Say?
On 2 July, at 11:30, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution read the Declaration of Independence on the porch of the Archives at the Warren Heritage Society. The Chapter Color Guard also fired a three-volley musket salute to commemorate the signing of the document.
Participating Compatriots: Sean Carrigan, Paul Christensen, Dave Cook, Jim Cordes, Dale Corey, Chip Daniel, Jim Heflin, Marc Robinson, Bill Schwetke, Jime Simmons, Mike St Jacques, and Richard Tyler.
Visit the Warren Heritage Society at 101 Chester Street in Front Royal for more information on the Virginia signers of the Declaration of Independence.
The National Archives provided us with the following:
The Declaration of Independence was designed for multiple audiences: the King, the colonists, and the world. It was also designed to multitask. Its goals were to rally the troops, win foreign allies, and to announce the creation of a new country. The introductory sentence states the Declaration’s main purpose, to explain the colonists’ right to revolution. In other words, “to declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” Congress had to prove the legitimacy of its cause. It had just defied the most powerful nation on Earth. It needed to motivate foreign allies to join the fight.
These are the lines contemporary Americans know best: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.” These stirring words were designed to convince Americans to put their lives on the line for the cause. Separation from the mother country threatened their sense of security, economic stability, and identity. The preamble sought to inspire and unite them through the vision of a better life.
List of Grievances
The list of 27 complaints against King George III constitute the proof of the right to rebellion. Congress cast “the causes which impel them to separation” in universal terms for an international audience. Join our fight, reads the subtext, and you join humankind’s fight against tyranny.
Resolution of Independence
The most important and dramatic statement comes near the end: “That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States.” It declares a complete break with Britain and its King and claims the powers of an independent country.
Note: The following text is a transcription of the Stone Engraving of the parchment Declaration of Independence (the document on display in the Rotunda at the National Archives Museum.) The spelling and punctuation reflects the original.
In Congress, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Georgia – Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
North Carolina – William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina – Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Massachusetts – John Hancock
Maryland – Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia – George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
Pennsylvania – Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware – Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
New York – William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey – Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
New Hampshire – Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple
Massachusetts – Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island – Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut – Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire – Matthew Thornton
Youth Empowerment Conference aims to help students find their paths
The 2nd annual YES Conference (Youth Empowered for Success) will be held at the Stimpson Auditorium at Shenandoah University on August 1, 2022, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and is open to rising Seniors and Juniors in the Warren County Public School system. Reaching Out Now is partnering with Shenandoah University to provide students with a series of presentations and interactive panels around wellness, networking, and leadership skills necessary to succeed in their personal lives, academics, and professional careers. Students will also be able to take a tour of the college grounds. This year’s theme is “Finding Your Balance”.
Registration is $15. Transportation will be available to Winchester from Skyline High School. Continental breakfast will be provided and lunch will be served at the University’s Allen Dining Hall, all are included in the registration costs.
Interested students can register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/364921117887
About Reaching Out Now
Reaching Out Now supports under-resourced youth to be the best version of themselves with preparedness to face the world with hope, purpose, and optimism. Serving students and their families in need of support in the school system through engaged community partners and a volunteer network. Through its programs, they provide opportunities and new experiences for all involved to reach their full potential.
Help replenish the blood supply after holiday weekend
All are invited to the next Front Royal Community Blood Drive on Wednesday, July 6th, from 8am-1pm, at the Front Royal Fire Hall (221 N. Commerce Ave) to be a hero and give the GIFT OF LIFE! Please visit redcrossblood.org for more info and to register (appointments are required).
While not required, you can speed things up by completing your RapidPass® (if you choose to, please note that it must be completed on the same day as your donation). The process is simple – just 4 steps, and takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Get started with some initial information, read through the pre-donation materials, answer your health history questions, and print, download or email your RapidPass® to yourself, and bring it with you.
- One pint of blood can save up to 3 lives!
- Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S.
- Nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S.
WHY give blood?
- You don’t need a special reason to give blood. You just need your own reason.
- Some of us give blood because we were asked by a friend.
- Some know that a family member or a friend might need blood some day.
- Some believe it is the right thing to do.
- Some do it for the free cookies and juice, cool sticker and time off from work.
- But EVERYONE enjoys the great feeling of helping save lives!
WHAT are the general Blood Donor Requirements?
- Be in good general health and feeling well.
- Be at least 17-years-old in most states (16-years-old with parental consent in some states).
- Weigh at least 110 pounds. Additional weight requirements apply for donors 18 years old and younger and all high school donors.
- Have not donated blood in the last 56 days.
Download the BLOOD DONOR APP to save time!
THANKS for joining us in helping to replenish the blood supply by donating! If you can’t give, please take a moment to invite someone else to donate! Sometimes, all it takes is a heartfelt ASK and a person will become a blood donor for LIFE, and YOU can be a part of saving countless lives by inspiring a new donor!
This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of June 30th
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 Thursday, June 30:
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult: $10
- Child (under 12): $7
- Military: $8
- Student (college): $8
- Senior: $8
- Matinees, All Seating: $7
- “Thor: Love and Thunder” premiering Thursday, July 7th, @ 4:15 & 7:00
- “Paws of Fury”
- “DC League of Super Pets”
- “Bullet Train”
- “Easter Sunday”
Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center Annual Fireworks Show
The Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center is pleased to again host the 2022 Independence Day Celebration. This year’s event will be on Friday, July 1st, at the 4-H Center; 600 4H Center Drive, Front Royal.
Parking will open at 5:00pm and festivities will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will continue throughout the evening, including live patriotic music performed by the American Legion Community Band. Also, food trucks will be set up so guests can enjoy some dinner while listening to the band until the capstone event of a professional fireworks display – which is sure to produce many “oohs and ahhs!”. Food trucks include: Fearless Eats (burgers and hot dogs), Rutz BBQ, Mike’s Concessions (pizza, funnel cakes, and cotton candy), Sugar Creek Snowy & Sweet, and Lemon Squeezers.
Parking will be available and Warren County Sheriff Department will be present for security and egress traffic support. A voluntary donation (recommended $5 per vehicle) will be requested at the gate to help offset the cost of the event.
New 4-H Center Director Katie Tennant says “We heard such great feedback about last year’s show that we contracted with the same vendor to provide another spectacular event! I am excited to help host this annual celebration for the community and meet more of the residents and businesses who support us throughout the year. This event would not be possible without the generous sponsorships we receive.”
The Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization with a mission to facilitate experiential learning programs for youth, families, and adults. Since 1981, the 4-H Center has offered year-round, research-based programming to the youth and families of Northern Virginia. In addition to nine weeks of summer 4-H camp, the Center offers a full range of day and overnight camps, environmental education and team-building programs, and conference and meeting facilities and services. The 4-H Center provides meals and lodging for campers and adult guests, as well as access to the Appalachian trail, a challenge course, outdoor pool, pond fishing, sports fields, and horse stables.
Winchester SPCA’s Dog Days of Summer Jam
City National Bank presents… the Dog Days of Summer Jams to benefit the Winchester SPCA.
Stop by the Winchester SPCA Campus on Featherbed Lane every Thursday evening in July, from 4:30pm-7:30pm. Jam sessions will include food trucks, lawn games, refreshments, live music, raffles, art show, tours of all SPCA campus facilities, adoption specials, and thrift shop sales! Save the dates and come jam at the Winchester SPCA on July 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th. There will be something for everyone at the Dog Days of Summer Jam!