By Alex Bridges -- email@example.com
Activity-seekers can start celebrating Earth Day early and take a hike this weekend.
Warren County and Front Royal plan to host an all-day celebration Saturday in honor of the localities' designation as an Appalachian Trail Community. The program recognizes communities which promote awareness of the trail as a local and national asset, according to Virginia.org.
Activities begin at 9 a.m. at the Village Commons on Main Street in historic downtown Front Royal. A shuttle leaves from the commons for a 3-hour, 5 1/2-mile hike along the Appalachian Trail led by members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. The site advises the hike path goes mostly downhill.
Free activities offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. include outdoor games and crafts, community-designed treasure hunts or "questing," live music and picnicking.
Thru-hiker presentations at the Chamber of Commerce take place at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Actress Betsey Means, of WomanLore, performs the role of Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts of America during an interactive campfire talk at 2 p.m. Members of the Boy Scouts of America plan to present an honor guard at 3 p.m., followed by a proclamation ceremony featuring local and state dignitaries as well as superintendents from the Appalachian Trail and the Shenandoah National Park.
Contact the Front Royal/Warren County Visitor Center, 414 E. Main St., at 635-5788, or visit www.discoverfrontroyal.com, frontroyalatcommunity.blogspot.com for more information about the event. Go to www.facebook.com/VisitFrontRoyal and click on Front Royal Appalachian Trail Hike to sign up for the trek.
The weekend slate of events keeps people outdoors as the Browntown community of Warren County holds its 10th annual Redbud Festival. All events are free. Activities begin at 9 a.m. and continue to 4 p.m. at the Browntown Community Center and the Fellowship Hall of the Browntown Baptist Church, 96 Browntown Road. The rain date for the festival is Sunday.
Activities include an antique car show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., craft sales, a silent auction, plant and flower sale, moon bounce, a photo contest and music performances. The Gooney Creek Duck Race will be held at noon. The Browntown Museum also will be open during the festival.
Those activity-seekers looking for more rigorous exercise can participate in the Mid-Atlantic Civilian Military Combine held Saturday at Bryce Resort. Bryce hosts the event in which participants compete by running up the resort's mountain -- twice -- as well as traversing water and an obstacle course.
The competition is broken down into three components to test strength, endurance and agility, according to the combine's website. Race day structure will consist of the lifting element into a 5-mile mountain race with strategically placed military obstacles.
Visit www.bryceresort.com or www.civilianmilitarycombine.com/events/mid-atlantic/ for registration and more information about the event.
The Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum continues its birthday celebration with "Go Green Sweet 16" with Earth Day events on Sunday. Activities which begin at 1 p.m. in the museum, 54 S. Loudoun St., focus on keeping the environment "sparkling clean and green," according to a press release. Museum workers suggest visitors come dressed in "colors found in nature."
The event is free for museum members and $6 per person for non-members.
Those attending can make totes out of tank-tops, pots from paper and plant seeds. Visitors also can check out a "weird science" area, see magic, balloon sculpting and have their faces painted.
Events at the museum include appearances by Michael "Recycle" Neese, from refuse and recycle division of the city's public works division, author Kathryn Starke to present her book "Amy's Travels." Carolyn Wolfe, also a local author, will present her series "The Unhappy Little Dragon." The Discovery Story Theater plans to perform "Race Away Home."
Call 722-2020 for more information.