By Josette Keelor -- email@example.com
Fall will be in full swing throughout the area this weekend, with festivals highlighting music, food and the outdoors.
The 4th Annual International Children Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in Jim Barnett Park's gymnasium. The event will go on rain or shine.
The free event, presented by Blue Ridge Kiwanis Club, will offer area children many interactive opportunities to learn about the cultures represented in this area as well as other countries around the world. Educational exhibits will represent various countries, and throughout the day, live cultural entertainment, an international food court with food available for purchase and a mini World Explorer Obstacle Course will offer fun for all ages.
Represented countries will be France, Germany, China, India, Ghana, Egypt, South Korea, Scotland, Thailand, Colombia, Russia, Poland, Canada, Pakistan and the U.S. territory Puerto Rico.
The Independent School of Winchester will host a "Clues and Blues" fundraiser from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday. The $50 entry fee will include two drink tickets, light appetizers, admission to see Jimmy Cherry at Union Jack Restaurant and Pub and a scavenger hunt on the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall in Winchester. For the hunt, eight teams of six people will work together to decipher clues leading to different locations on the mall. Each location will offer a different challenge, which will require completing silly, embarrassing or difficult tasks. Prizes will go to the winners, and those failing or declining to complete a challenge will have to pay $25 to the Independent School.
Winchester's Main Street Agricultural event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, the first of many Main Street Agriculture events the Farm Bureau is planning to reacquaint Main Street with local agriculture.
Farmers and vendors will provide local foods, and educational displays and activities for children, cooking demonstrations, advice for gardeners and live animals will be available throughout the day. The George Washington hotel will host a wine garden from 4 to 6 p.m.
During the morning, The Apple Election for Kids will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at Winchester Book Gallery. Inspired by the book, "The Caramel Apple Election," by Vanessa Purdom, the mock election for children will decide whether red or green apple make the best caramel apple, and participants will get a caramel apple and an "I Voted" sticker for their time.
Purdom will sign books and host the Caramel Apple Election from 10 a.m. to noon at Winchester Book Gallery, at 185 North Loudoun St.
For more information about the book, visit http://www.caramelappleelection.com/ For information about the book signing and election, call Winchester Book Gallery at 667-3444. For information about the agriculture event, call Dee Cook at 869-8650 for information about Winchester's Main Street Agriculture. Annual Autumn Conservation Festival
The Apple Harvest Festival at Marker-Miller Orchards, at 3035 Cedar Creek Grade, will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Music will be from 1 to 3 p.m. each day, with pick your own apples and pumpkins, apple cobbler and apple caramel sundaes for sale. A cow train, a playground and wagon rides will be available.
For more information, visit www.markermillerorchards.com.
On Sunday, Pickin' in the Park will take place at Clearbrook Park from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. Music will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. and will feature Linda Lay & Springfield Exit and The Hot Seats opening for The Grascals, whose new album "Life Finds a Way" and its single "Pretty Melody" just hit number one on the bluegrass charts.
The six-piece bluegrass band, from Nashville, Tenn., was founded in 2004 and has gained a level of notability by playing at the Grand Ole Opry and in bluegrass festivals around the country.
Admission to Pickin' in the Park is $20 in advance or $25 at the gate. Children under 8 can get in free.
A full meal menu will be available on site from Jordan Springs Market.
For more information, visit www.jordanspringsmarket.com.
At Sky Meadows State Park, off U.S. 17, the 8th Annual Fall Farm Festival, will take place each weekend in October, kicking off this weekend with its Wildlife and Habitat event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, to spotlight the natural resources of the park.
Activities will include an Audubon-led bird walk, fall color walk, a build a bird or bat house workshop, a turkey caller workshop, Ghosts of Mount Bleak House tours, Discovery Backpacks, blacksmith demonstrations and a story time. Live music by Kitchen Gorilla will take place on the front porch of the log cabin on Saturday, and harpist John Kovac will perform with handmade harps on Sunday.
Throughout the month, the festival will offer live music, interpretive programs, living history demonstrations, ghost tours and food.
The second Art Show at the Edinburg Mill from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. An artists reception will take place Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m.
Presented by the Edinburg Heritage Foundation, the art show will feature works in the following mediums: painting, drawing, sculpture, pottery, etching, jewelry, photography, wood carving, wood turning and glasswork in a wide range of prices. A portion of each sale will go to the Heritage Foundation's Save The Mill Fund.
For more information, call 984-8400.
On Saturday, Liz Morgan will host a The Belgravia Beer and Wine Festival fundraiser for Earth Korp at Belgravia Manor, at 1466 Belgravia Road in Edinburg, from noon to 6 p.m. The fundraiser, which will help with Shenandoah River cleanup, will include crafts, brews, food and music by Shakedown, Travelin' Hillbilies and Steal the Prize.
Admission will be $15 or, for beer tasting, $25. For more information, call 335-8144.
The Autumn Conservation Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, at 1500 Remount Road in Front Royal.
Fall is the only time of the year when the gates to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal are open to the public, and visitors may tour the grounds and a peek at some of the endangered animals that reside at institute.
New this year, guests will have the opportunity to learn about the partnership between the Zoo's Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and George Mason University, which established the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation.
The weekend will include live music, children's activities and an exclusive behind-the-scenes look of the rare animals of SCBI. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Guests must have a car pass to attend the festival. SCBI Club members and donor-level members are entitled to a car pass. Other guests may purchase a car pass, which admits up to six guests, for $30. Additional passengers will be charged $5 each at the gate.
For passes or more information, visit http://nationalzoo.si.edu/ActivitiesAndEvents/Celebrations/ACF/ or the Front Royal/Warren County Visitor's Center, located at 414 E. Main St. in Front Royal.
Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or firstname.lastname@example.org