Music, festivities to raise funds, spirits this weekend

By Josette Keelor

Festivities around the valley this weekend will encourage residents to tune in for music of all genres, games, food and family festivities.

Kicking off its first of several summer weekends, the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival in Orkney Springs will host a capella band Straight No Chaser performing Friday night and Grammy-winning country artist Rosanne Cash Saturday.

Straight No Chaser, a 10-member all-male choir that combines humor with arrangements of contemporary pop songs, had its start in 1996 at Indiana University with its breakout quirky version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” that brought them national fame through YouTube. Performing songs from its four albums, the group will take the stage at 8 p.m. today.

Tickets are $39 for adult lawn seats or $10 to children younger than 18. Advance online tickets are $55 and regular pavilion seats are $49.

At 8 p.m. Saturday Roseanne Cash, the daughter of country legend Johnny Cash, will perform a mix of country, rock, roots and pop music with John Leventhal. Lawn tickets are $34 in advance and $38 on the day of the event, or $10 for children younger than 18. Reserved pavilion tickets are $39 in advance or $43 on the day of the event.

Both concerts will go on rain or shine. Gates open at 6 p.m. Information: 540-459-3396, www.musicfestorg.

The Front Royal Fireman’s Carnival will continue from 3 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Bing Crosby Stadium, 50 Stadium Drive, Front Royal. Expect food, fun and the famous fireman’s relish. Information: 540-635-2540, email frvfddbb@comcast.net or visit www.frontroyalfire.com.

Front Royal’s Gazebo Gathering from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday will feature Troy and Paula Haag performing their skilled song writing, acoustic picking and harmonizing at the corner of Main and Chester Streets. The concert is free.

Completing its third of four summer musicals this weekend, the Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre will perform Rogers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” through Sunday. Starring Russell Rinker of the Blue Man Group as the king of Siam. Jenna Pinchbeck plays English schoolteacher Anna. The musical will continue Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $28. Information: 540-665-4569, shenandoahsummermusictheatre.com.

Winchester Little Theatre’s WLT for Kids program will begin its second summer musical this weekend with Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Tickets are $9.99. Performances will be at at 2:30 and 7 p.m.Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, and 1 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday through July 26. The Saturday night and Sunday afternoon performances this weekend are sold out, as is the July 24 morning performance. Information: 540-662-3331, www.wltonline.org.

Friday Night Live will take to the streets of Old Town Winchester from 5 to 11 p.m. today in its second summer event. Usually attracting up to 3,000 visitors, the event on the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall will feature the Robbie Limon Band of Middletown on the main stage at the Hable Street parking lot and Push to Start beginning at 5:30 p.m. Illusionist Mario Orsini of Bunker Hill, West Virginia, will perform on the stage between the two bands.

Beer and wine will be on sale with some funds going to benefit the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winchester, Frederick and Clarke. Tickets for the main stage are $5 in advance or $10 at the door. Advance tickets are available online at OldTownWinchesterVA.com or in person at the Espresso Bar and Café or Old Town General Store, both on the walking mall, the Community Federal Credit Union at 1700 S. Loudoun St. and at Jim Stutzman Chevrolet-Cadillac at 2700 Valley Avenue. Information: 535-3660.

The 15th Annual Winchester Blues House will benefit the Habitat for Humanity for the seventh year running, offering a day of music and games from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the outdoor pavilion at the Winchester Eagles Club, 700 Baker Lane, Winchester.

It’s Habitat’s biggest fundraiser of the year, said festival Chairman Joe Boyd, of the Blue House Committee. Last year the festival raised more than $26,000 for Habitat and over the last seven years $150,000.

“I’m extremely proud of that because Blues House and Habitat are two separate entities,” Boyd said. “Blues House is a small group of friends that puts on a festival to help a local nonprofit.” For the last seven years, that nonprofit has been Habitat for Humnity.

The festival will feature what Boyd called “an international vibe,” with Hunter Wolfe and ARE performing from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.; Paul Pfau of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, from 12:35 to 1:40 p.m.; The Ori Naftaly Band, of Tel Aviv, Israel, from 2 to 3 p.m.; headliner Bernard Allison from 3:25 to 4:55 p.m. and Selwyn Birchwood from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saxophonist Ron Holloway, winner of 42 Washington Area Musicians Awards, will perform with each of the bands. Warren County 14-year-old singer Charlee Allman will perform the National Anthem.

Enjoy food and fun, rain or shine. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the event. A poker run is $25 for the driver and $20 for each passenger and includes festival admission, and a cornhole tournament costs $20 per team.

Information: 540-974-6616, winchesterblueshouse.com, habitatwfc.org or winchesterblueshouse.com. Contact 202-309-2672 for information on the poker run.

The Winchester Pet Appreciation Day will offer children’s activities and awards for the best-dressed pet and pet talent from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Round Hill Ruritan Club, 164 Poorhouse Road, Winchester. A K-9 demonstration, rabies clinic and rescue adoptions will take place, with treats for pets and vendors selling pet items. All sales will benefit local shelters. Information: 540-877-3260, roundhillruritan.webs.com

In Kernstown, the 150th Commemoration of the Second Battle of Kernstown will host guided battlefield walking tours, live period music, fashion shows and living history demonstrations with sharpshooters and cavalry units from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Kernstown Battlefield, 610 Battle Park Drive. The Civil War 150 HistoryMobile will be open and light refreshments will be available for purchase. Information: 540-869-2896, www.kernstownbattle.org.

Sunday in Strasburg, Mary and the Wolf will perform soulful folk music with guitar, vocals, bass and percussion at the Strasburg Hometown Park. The concert from 5 to 7 p.m. is free. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Information: 540-465-3252, hometownstrasburgva.com/music

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com