By Josette Keelor
Last year's Wine and Trotter Festival in Woodstock didn't let rain dampen its spirits.
It's a rain or shine event, said General Manager Tom Eshelman, and "we had almost 700 last year with it raining."
Despite forecasted rain this weekend, Eshelman expects an even bigger turnout this year.
Other area festivals also plan to put on a show whatever the weather brings.
Belle Grove's "Of Ale and History" Beer Festival in Middletown expects more beer vendors than ever before, and the first ever Ole Glory & Bluegrass event in Strasburg will offer an afternoon of music and food.
According to Second Vice Commander Dan Pesta, "We're praying for good weather."
With proceeds benefitting community programs at the American Legion's Shenandoah Post 77, the inaugural bluegrass event boasts a steady lineup of music Saturday afternoon, barbecue from Jordan Springs Market and beverages including beer and soda.
Stony Creek Bluegrass Band will perform at noon and 4:15 p.m., with Circa Blue at 1:30 and 5:15 p.m. and Five of a Kind at 3 p.m.
Tickets for the event are $16 in advance and $18 at the gate, with children 12 and younger admitted free. Gates open at 11 a.m. at the Shenandoah Post 77 river lot, where U.S. 11 meets Funk Road south of Strasburg. Coolers are prohibited, but chairs encouraged.
At the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds, 300 Fairground Road, Woodstock, the Wine and Trotter Festival will be bigger and better than last year's, Eshelman said.
Last year there were eight wine vendors, and this year he expects at least 10.
The number of craft vendors and artisans has almost doubled, too, with 20 expected depending on weather, and they plan six horse races.
Food will include Scrumptious Suppers in Bridgewater, Shaffers in Woodstock and Rutz's Backyard BBQ in Maurertown, with olive oil tastings, funnel cake and coffee from other vendors.
"It's a great pre-mother's day event," Eshelman said.
Rain or no rain, he's "very confident that we'll grow the festival."
At 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown, vendors for the Of Ale and History Beer Fest will include the Griffin Tavern in Flint Hill, Smokin Willy's BBQ and Grill in Purcellville and Patsy's Pastry Pizzas in Winchester.
Wine tasting opens at noon, and music will feature Souled Out and Cazhmiere, according to outreach and volunteer coordinator, Chelsea Kashani.
An estimated 60 different beers will be on tap, "so way more than we've had in years past," she said. Tickets are $25 for tasters and $10 for drivers.
The historic manor house will offer tours throughout the day, and festival pre-ticket sales have indicated a large crowd for the festival's 19th year.
"We're gearing up for it to one of the biggest ones ever."
For more information, visit Shenandoah Post 77 at shenandoahpost77.wordpress.com or call 540-465-8167; visit www.bellegrove.com or call 540-869-2028; call the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds at 540-459-3867 or visit www.shencofair.com
Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or email@example.com
Also this weekend:
Blandy Experimental Farm
Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Info: Annuals, perennials, small trees, berry bushes, boxwood garden art, garden tools, pottery, clothing, children's activities, animals and more.
Contact: 540-837-1758, www.blandy.virginia.edu
Bing Crosby Stadium, Crosby Road, Front Royal
Saturday, 6 to 11 p.m.
Info: The Fraternal Order of Police carnival includes rides and games for adults and children, with food provided in part by The Human Society of Warren County.
51st Doc's Apple Blossom Meet
Front Royal and Winchester
Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m.-noon
Info: Free to attend, the annual gathering of Hudson automobile enthusiasts includes an antique car show Saturday in Jim Barnett Park, Winchester, and a car show and flea market Sunday at Skyline Caverns, 10334 Stonewall Jackson Highway, Front Royal.
Contact: 540-364-1770, cbc.hetclub.org/images/CBC_Events/Docs2014.pdf