Area festivals to extend long weekend

By Josette Keelor

This weekend area events will charm residents out of doors for festivals and good old family fun.

Stephens City’s 22nd Newtown Heritage Festival, Delaplane’s 21st Annual Strawberry Festival and a walking tour for the First Battle of Winchester will honor past, present and future on a weekend dedicated to preserving freedom.

Continuing through Sunday, the Newtown Heritage Festival will showcase history with fun for all ages.

Friday night the Battle of the Bands will perform. Then Saturday will offer what Town Manager Mike Kehoe called “a full day of entertainment.”

Performances at the Newtown Commons will include the Sherando High School Jazz Band at 10:30 a.m., Honky Tonk Blues at noon, the Robbie Limon Band at 3:30 p.m., the Happy Feet Cloggers at 5:45 p.m. and Blue Moon Rising at 7 p.m. A parade will march down Main Street at 2 p.m., and fireworks begin at dusk.

Saturday and Sunday crafts and food vendors will be at Newtown Commons

Kehoe said it’s mostly “the same old regular entertainment,” with recent hits like the second annual 5K Fun Run at 9 a.m. Saturday and the Transportation Exhibit & Quilt Show, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Old Stephens City School House that he said was well attended last year.

Including the old school house in the festival offers a nice chance for area residents to visit the building again, he said. “A lot of people in the area did attend that school.”

The Steele & Brothers Store, open once a year on the festival weekend, also offers a peek at Stephens City’s past. Though it closed in the 1930s, Kehoe said, “It’s almost like [when] you go in, it closed yesterday.”

For more information, call 540-869-3087.

Also this weekend:

The 21st Annual Delaplane Strawberry Festival at Sky Meadows State Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday will include hayrides, trail hiking, a petting farm and a monkey, dancing and music, magic and storytelling, crafts and face painting, an antique car show, a bake sale, cake walks, old-fashioned field games and a corn hole tournament. The cost is $25 per car and leashed pets are welcome. Information: 540-364-2772 or

The First Battle of Winchester program from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday will discuss the battle at the Winchester-Frederick County Convention & Visitors Bureau, 1400 S. Pleasant Valley Road, Winchester. The program will include a tour following a historical overview. Driving maps are available, and tickets for $10 for caravan or carpooling tours can be purchased at the Winchester-Frederick County Convention & Visitors Bureau 11 a.m. to noon the day of the event. Information: 540-542-1326

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

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