Kicks off unofficial start of summer with festival, music, swimming

By Josette Keelor

This weekend, spend time with family and friends as community pools open their gates, the scents of festival foods fill the air and music rises from the valley for the unofficial start of summer.

The Newtown Heritage Festival will celebrate its 21st year in Stephens City with several new events, including the Children’s Carnival from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Old Stephens City School.

After the carnival was rained out Wednesday night, town manager Michael Kehoe said Thursday he was hoping for better weather this weekend.

“We’ve been trying to get the carnival to come back,” he said. The carnival was at Strasburg’s Mayfest last week.

“So we’re glad they’re back,” he said. “We’re just hoping they get a break because of the weather.”

He said Saturday will be the “big day,” beginning with the Inaugural 5K Fun Run at 9 a.m. at the Stephens City baseball diamond next the town office. Registration begins at 7 a.m.

A transportation exhibit and Old Time Quilt Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the old Stephens City School. They will feature a wagon on loan from Luray Caverns for the weekend and a show of quilts from the Northern Shenandoah Valley Quilters’ Guild, which also will hold a quilt raffle.

There will be music at the Commons, beginning with the Sherando High School Jazz Band from 10:30 to 11 a.m. and ending with the Robbie Limon Band from 7 to 9 p.m. before fireworks at dusk.

The Back Creek Valley Boys will perform from noon to 2 p.m., Linda Lay and Springfield Exit from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and the Happy Feet Cloggers from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. The festival parade along U.S. 11 begins at 2 p.m.

Food and crafts vendors will be located at the Commons, and free wagon rides will make stops at museums and other places of interest.

In the evening, as another festival first, author Jason F. Wright of Woodstock will hold an author’s reception at the Stephens City United Methodist Church.

Kehoe said all of the events except the carnival rides are free.

What he seemed most excited about Thursday was history that the festival evokes through its wagon ride tours to the Newtown History Center, Stone House and Steele & Brother Store.

In the store, he said, “It’s just like walking back in time.”

“It’s a walk through nostalgia.”

For more information, call 540-869-3087 or visit http://tiny.cc/6jyjxw.


Friday evening in Woodstock, The Instigators will kick off the Woodstock ROCS Riley Outdoor Concert Series with a performance from 7 to 9 p.m.

The family friendly event, previously known as Music on Main, includes a summer-long schedule of country, rock and roll, blues, jazz and soul music.

Shenandoah Valley dance band The Instigators will perform for the first of five concerts in the Woodstock ROCS’ temporary location in the W.O. Riley Park while a new event space is being constructed.

Other concerts this summer will feature The Acoustic Burgoo on June 14, Just 4 Fun on July 19, Vinyl Tracks on Aug. 9 and John Richards and the Virginians on Sept. 6. On July 13, KIDS ROC will perform.

Woodstock ROCS is free and open to the public. The concerts will be near the soccer field below the playground. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets to sit on and a picnic dinner.

For more information, call the Woodstock Town Office at 459-3621 or visit http://tiny.cc/dmyjxw.

Pools open

Area pools celebrate Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, many with weekend hours only until summer officially begins in June.

Clarke County

Area pools will open for the summer season this weekend, most offering shortened hours until June.

The Clarke County Swimming Pool Complex, at 255 Al Smith Circle in Berryville, will be open this weekend, from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday through Monday, and will resume hours June 1, from noon to 6 p.m. until June 17 when it will be open noon to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and noon to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday, until Aug. 8. For more information, call 955-5140 or visit http://tiny.cc/yxyjxw.

Frederick County/Winchester

Memorial Day weekend, the outdoor pool at Jim Barnett Park will be open to the general public from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and will continue on weekend hours until June 16 and from Aug. 19 to Labor Day. From June 17 to Aug. 18, general public hours will be from noon to 6 p.m. every day. For more information, call 667-2699 or visit www.winchesterva.gov/parks.

Clearbrook Pool and Sherando Pool will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday through Monday and will continue on weekend hours until June 9. Regular hours are from 12:15 to 5:15 p.m. Monday to Thursday June 14 to Aug. 23, and noon to 7 p.m. weekends until Sept. 2. Friday hours will be noon to 7 p.m. June 14 to Aug. 23.

For more information about Clearbrook Pool, at 3300 Martinsburg Pike, five miles north of Winchester, call 665-5678 or visit http://tiny.cc/uzyjxw. For more information about Sherando Pool, at 185 S. Warrior Drive, Stephens City, call 665-5678.

Shenandoah County

Edinburg’s Madison District Pool on Park Road will be open for regular season hours starting this weekend, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday to Saturday, and from 12:30 to 6 p.m. on Sunday. It will continue on weekend hours until June 9. For more information, call 984-8521 or 984-4884 visit http://tiny.cc/50yjxw.

Mt. Jackson’s Town Pool, at 326 Wunder St., has hours from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Monday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. The pool will be open on weekend hours until June 8. For more information, call 459-6777 or 477-2121 or visit http://mountjackson.com/living.htm.

Starting this weekend, the New Market Community Pool, at 9670 Cadet Road, will be open weekends only until June 10. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will continue on weekend hours until June 4. For more information, call 740-3432 or visit www.newmarketvirginia.com/parks.htm.

The Strasburg Community Pool, at 295 Park Road, will be open weekends only until June 8. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and from 12:30 to 7 p.m. on Sunday. It will continue on weekend hours until June 8, when hours will be 1 to 6 p.m. through Aug. 26. The pool will be closed Aug. 27 to 31, reopening for Labor Day weekend. For more information, call 465-9197 or visit http://strasburgva.com.

The regular season hours a at Woodstock’s W.O. Riley Park pool, at Summit and Park avenues and Washington St., are noon to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 1 to 7 p.m. on Sunday. It will continue on weekend hours until June 8, when normal hours will be 1 to 7 p.m. For more information, call 459-3045 or visit www.townofwoodstockva.com.

Warren County

The Claude A. Stokes Jr. Community Swimming Pool, at Gertrude E. Miller Community Park on Bing Crosby Road in Front Royal, will be open on weekend hours of noon to 5:30 p.m., including Memorial Day on Monday, until June 7. Normal operating hours will be noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and noon to 6 p.m. weekends. For more information, call 635-7750 or visit http://tiny.cc/d3yjxw.

The Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center, at 600 4-H Center Drive, will be open this weekend, with regular season hours starting after June 1. Hours are noon to 3 p.m. and 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, and noon to 7 p.m. Thursday to Sunday. For more information, call 635-7171 or visit www.nova4h.com/pool-info.

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com