By Josette Keelor
This Sunday, the Shenandoah County Tourism office will present Gardens, Galleries and Grapes, an all-day countywide event that will stretch from Strasburg south to New Market.
It will include wine tastings, garden tours, musical performances and activities for children, said Natalie Wills, director of tourism and marketing for the county.
"We wanted to do something to celebrate spring, and it's been a long winter," she said. "We wanted to celebrate those things that are unique about Shenandoah County."
One unique aspect she said is the county's name itself, which easily leant itself to the naming of the long-anticipated O Shenandoah County Artisan Trail. Wills said the county will launch the trail in early September.
"We're really using [Shenandoah] in our branding and marketing," she said. "We're doing it on our own and so far we have about 50 participants signed up."
Sunday's event will include area businesses, non-profits and even private residences in a preview of what the artisan trail will include.
For Sunday, Wills said, participants are teaming up to offer more than what they normally would.
"It's more than your average event," she said.
"We just wanted to celebrate all the things that are in the title," Wills said. "It's gardening time, and people can learn gardening tips."
Live music, hay rides under apple blossoms and basket weaving are other options, she said.
With a lot going on around the county, Wills encourages those interested to plan ahead. The participating sites are as follows:
Woodbine Farm Market, 5199 John Marshall Highway, Strasburg
Phoenix Fitness and Aquatics, 35 Brandi Court, Strasburg
Shenandoah Valley Art Works, 234 W. King St., Strasburg
Cristina's Café, 219 W. King St., Strasburg
Sharpe and High Gardens, 262 Sharpe St., Strasburg
Strasburg Emporium, 160 N. Massanutten St., Strasburg
Country Gardens, 1043 Country Brook Road, Toms Brook
Natural Art and Garden Center, 27358 Old Valley Pike, Toms Brook
Posey Thisisit Llama Farm, 754 Harrisville Road, Toms Brook
North Mountain Vineyard, 4374 Swartz Road, Maurertown
7 East Gallery, 123 S. Main St., Woodstock
Woodstock Café and Shoppes, 117 S. Main St., Woodstock
All Things Virginia @ The Farmhouse, 125 N. Main St., Woodstock
Fort Valley Nursery, 1175 S. Hisey Ave., Woodstock
Mowery Orchard, 24247 Sedeno Road, Woodstock
Shenandoah Vineyards, 3659 South Ox Road, Edinburg
The Edinburg Mill, 214 South Main St., Edinburg
Wolf Gap Vineyards, 123 Stout Road, Edinburg
Bowman-Shannon Cultural Arts Center, 5998 Main St., Mt. Jackson
Cave Ridge Vineyard, 1476 Conicville Road, Mt. Jackson
The Yellow Barn, 261 Caverns Road, Shenandoah Caverns
The Valley Wine Cellar, 277 W. Old Cross Road, New Market
All entertainment is free except for wine tasting, Wills said.
"We want people to come out and just spend the day with us and have fun, learn about all we offer."
For more information, call the tourism office at 459-6227 or visit www.shenandoahtravel.org. Information also will be available at the Hupp's Hill visitors center and at the Edinburg Mill.
Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or firstname.lastname@example.org>