Halloween festivities fill weekend

By Ryan Cornell

A number of Halloween events are on tap for this weekend. Several towns are inviting kids and their families to safely celebrate Halloween at these trick-or-treating locations:

Downtown Front Royal hosts Hometown Halloween from 6 to 8 p.m. today on the stretch of Main Street from Royal Avenue to Blue Ridge Avenue.

The street will be closed to traffic so kids can stroll along and collect treats in a safe and controlled environment.

The New Market Area Library also hosts trick-or-treating and story time from 5 to 7 p.m. on today.

The library is located at 140 E. Lee St. in New Market.

An event at the Bowman Library invites teenagers to come dressed in their Halloween best for a dance-off, music, games, food and a scary movie.

The library, located at 871 Tasker Road in Stephens City, will hold Teen Halloween from 5 to 9:30 p.m. today.

Lady Jean Darklighter serves as a guide for a ghost tour of Winchester’s George Washington Hotel starting at 6 p.m. Friday.

Tickets are $15. For more info, contact 540-827-9948 or visit http://www.goo.gl/iuya9p.

A ghost tour of the Bright Box Theatre will let guests explore exclusive spots closed to the public with professional, state-of-the-art ghost hunting equipment. The event begins at 11:55 p.m. today and wraps up at 4 a.m. Saturday.

Tickets are $60. Reservations can be made at 540-827-9948.

Seven locally made short horror films will be shown at Royal Cinemas in Front Royal for the 2014 Mirandum Pictures Haunt Collection.

The hourlong program will be shown twice, at 9 p.m. today and Saturday. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased online at http://www.goo.gl/iRp6qs.

The Virginia Lovers’ Gourd Society celebrates its 12th annual Virginia Gourd Festival at Richard’s Fruit Market in Middletown.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, the free-to-attend festival includes live bluegrass music and gourd crafts.

Richard’s Fruit Market is located at 6410 Middle Road in Middletown.

The Belle Grove Historic Plantation will hold its annual Antiques Appraisal and Traditional Crafts Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

A panel of experts on textiles, furniture, documents and Shenandoah Valley and Civil War artifacts will be available to offer detailed appraisals and explanations on family treasures and heirlooms.

Verbal appraisals are $10 per item or $25 per three items.

Admission into the festival, which features quilting, needlework, spinning, blacksmithing and apple cider pressing, is $5 for adults and children 7 and older.

For more info, visit http://www.goo.gl/meg4uc.

In Shepherdstown, five venues will be showing movies as part of the American Conservation Film Festival this weekend.

The festival runs through Sunday and features a diverse range of short and feature-length conservation films.

Day passes to the festival are $18-$20 and full festival passes are $36-$40.

For more information, visit http://www.goo.gl/KHJUpU.

Other events include:

Taste of Shenandoah — A farm-to-table event at Cave Ridge Vineyards pairs wines with food samples from local farms and producers. // 1476 Conicville Road, Mount Jackson; 1-4 p.m., Saturday; $20; 540-477-2585; http://www.goo.gl/LY1EXa

Heritage Day — Reenactors and living history demonstrations fill the Burwell-Morgan Mill. // 15 Tannery Lane, Millwood; 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday; $5-$10; 540-837-1799; http://www.goo.gl/gBcXLl

Shenandoah Jamboree — Nadine, of “Larry’s Country Diner,” brings her comedy to the Yellow Barn. // 470 Caverns Road, Quicksburg; 7 p.m., Saturday; $20-$25; 540-477-2432; http://www.goo.gl/WPur9A

Outside the Lines — The Art Group Gallery hosts an opening reception for artist Carol Williams’ collection of abstract mixed media, collage and stained glass. // 5998 Main St., Mount Jackson; 5-7 p.m., Saturday; Free; 540-477-4131; http://www.goo.gl/vES61d

Wit ‘n’ Waiter Wahoo — The annual buffet and auction benefiting Response Inc. returns to the Woodstock Moose Lodge. // 152 Moose Road, Woodstock; 5:30 p.m., Saturday; $45; 540-459-5599