Multicultural weekend set to provide many diverse offerings

By Ryan Cornell

Two festivals on Saturday will give visitors an international exposure to German and Latino cultures, while another event farther east will educate guests on wine culture.

Last October, the Society for Diversity in Leadership kicked off its inaugural Hola Shenandoah Valley Festival, billing itself as the first multicultural festival held at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds.

The weather delivered no favors and attendance was lower than expected, according to society founder Jorge Gutierrez, but he said he has learned quite a bit since then.

He’s cut the admission price from $10 to $5, with kids below 12 and veterans entering for free, scheduled the event a month earlier and found a good cause to support.

The festival will benefit Veterans Community Resources, with 35 percent of proceeds from concession stand sales going to support the nonprofit organization.

The Hola Shenandoah Valley Festival, held at the fairgrounds from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, will feature live salsa and merengue music, a horse show, folklore dancers from Mexico and Colombia and Colombian, Mexican, Italian, Polish and American cuisine.

“The goal is to bring awareness of how diverse the culture within our community is in the Shenandoah Valley,” Gutierrez said.

The Shenandoah County Fairgrounds is located at 300 Fairgrounds Road in Woodstock. For more information, visit

There’s no need to fly to Bavaria to partake in Oktoberfest. The valley’s fourth annual GermanFest features traditional German folk music, bratwurst, wiener schnitzel and sauerkraut right here in Toms Brook.

GermanFest, hosted by the Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum, will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

The festival will offer Civil War and Patsy Cline songs, German and American foods, a beer and wine garden with Yuengling’s seasonal Oktoberfest beers, crafters, skill demonstrations and children’s activities.

One new feature to this year’s GermanFest is the addition of Richard Stickles, who will bring his three Percheron draft horses, some young cattle learning how to carry a yoke and German chickens as well as his antique farm machinery. Stickles will demonstrate mowing hay at 11:30 a.m., plowing the ground at 2 p.m. and tedding hay at 5 p.m.

His horse-drawn wagon will offer rides and the kids can pose for photos with the horses.

Across the homestead, a walking tour led by a park ranger will highlight the Civil War action that took place at the Battle of Toms Brook 150 years ago.

Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under 12.

The festival is located on the Hottel-Keller homestead at 11523 Back Road in Toms Brook. For more information, visit or call 540-459-5199.

Oenophiles can make their way over to The Plains for the 39th annual Virginia Wine Festival this weekend.

The festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Great Meadow Event Center.

A tasting tent will feature samplings from nearly 50 Virginia wineries, including Barboursville Vineyards, Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery and The Williamsburg Winery, while a seminar tent will provide educational programs ranging in wine pairings, wine judging and using the right wine glass.

Musical guests include Indecision, Jr. Cline and the Recliners, the Gabe Morales Trio and a James Brown tribute.

General admission to the event is $30 in advance and $35 at the gate and includes a commemorative wine glass, all-day samplings from participating wineries and entry to a full schedule of seminar tents.

The Great Meadow Event Center is located at 5089 Tavern Road in The Plains. Tickets for the festival are available at or by calling 888-813-3787.

As organizers apply the final touches to the Taste of Front Royal event held next Friday, they have selected the Front Royal-Warren County Congregational Community Action Project to receive donations from ticket sales and contributions.

The organization, C-CAP, serves more than 1,500 families and about 11 percent of the Warren County population with foods, clothing, children’s school supplies, medical supplies and financial aid for utilities and shelter preservation.

Other events include:
Skyline Indie Film Fest — Now in its second year, the independent film festival will show more than 50 movies in multiple venues throughout WInchester from today through Sunday. Most of these movies are undistributed and have been released within the past two years. For more information, visit

Virginia Air Show — Hosted at the Front Royal-Warren County Airport Saturday, the seventh annual air show will showcase World War II’s P-51D Mustang fighter plane as well as a bevy of other aircraft and aerobatic performances. A USO Show and Dance will commence following the air show, with ’40s-style music and performances from the Hub City Lindy Hop dance troupe. For more information, visit

Shentel Under the Stars — The cable and internet company will host a customer appreciation event at Woodstock’s W.O. Riley Park this evening with an outdoor screening of “Muppets Most Wanted” beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Feed sacks and chicken linen — Retired Cooperative Extension Agent Nancy Thompson will deliver a lecture on feed sack manufacturing and how families from 1930 to 1950 used feed sacks to make clothing and household textiles. The lecture is at 3 p.m. Saturday at the New Market Area Library.

Duck race — Adopt a rubber duck for a chance to win prizes at the duck race held from 1 to 2 p.m. tomorrow at Gertrude Miller Park in Front Royal. Prices are $5 per duck or $20 for five ducks. All proceeds will benefit the Warren County Youth Cheerleading Association. For more info, call 540-974-6484.

Guided Civil War Walking Tours — Guided tours of Old Town Winchester and Middletown will lead visitors on a trip through history to understand the Civil War from a civilian’s perspective. The Winchester tour is conducted at about 6 p.m. Saturday, and begins and ends in front of the Kurtz Building at 2 N. Cameron St. Reservations are required by calling the Winchester-Frederick County Visitor Center at 540-542-1326. The tour is $5 per person. The Middletown walking tour begins at 5 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Main and First streets. For reservations, call the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park at 540-869-3051. There is no charge for the Middletown tour. Each tour is expected to last about one hour.

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