Art reception, Chocolate Escape on tap

We might be in for six more weeks of winter, though it appears this weekend isn’t one of them.

Warmer weather and sunny skies forecasted to blanket today and Saturday provide a perfect opportunity to finish some early Valentine’s Day shopping or burn off the post-Super Bowl gut with a jog.

There’s no need to visit The Big Easy this month for Mardi Gras when festivities are happening right in your own backyard.

Cave Ridge Vineyard in Mount Jackson hosts a Mardi Gras celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday with jambalaya and Cave Ridge hurricanes for $15, as well as live music from Bill Vaughan.

For more info, visit the vineyard’s website at or call 540-477-2585.

The Tin Top Art and Handmade gallery hosts an opening reception for its “True Love and Broken Hearts” exhibit from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday.

The reception features artwork from local and regional artists, including Sabrina Barnett, Julie Miles, Daniel Rioux, Robert Carlos Rosas, Charmaine Shaw, Neil Stavely and Dana Thompson.

The reception is free to attend. Tin Top Art and Handmade is located at 130 N. Loudoun St. in Winchester. For more info, visit

Valentine’s shopping specials and chocolate samples return to Downtown Winchester for its second annual Chocolate Escape from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

A full list of participating restaurants and businesses is available online at

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in Edinburg, a selection of local organizations and nonprofits will be at St. John’s United Methodist Church for the Festival of Missions.

Organizations include Family Promise, the Free Clinic and the Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter. Music will be performed by the Grove Youth Band, Lion of Judah and The New Creation Choir.

St. John’s United Methodist Church is located at 116 S. High St. in Edinburg.

Other events include:

SpongeBob Beach Party — A free party celebrating the release of the new SpongeBob SquarePants movie will be held in the lobby and parking lot of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, featuring an activities table, photo booth, face painters and a SpongeBob bounce. // 181 Kernstown Commons Blvd., Winchester; 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; Free

Nappy Roots — Party like it’s 1999 when Nappy Roots brings the jams to Winchester. Also performing is Waynesboro group The Mad Anthonys. // Bright Box Theater, 15 N. Loudoun St., Winchester; 9 p.m. Saturday; $15-$20;

The Elephant Man — A man’s severe disfigurement makes him a star of the traveling freak show circuit — Bradley Cooper leads the Broadway version — in this play presented by the Shenandoah Conservatory’s Theatre Lab. // Glaize Studio Theatre, 620 Millwood Ave., Winchester; 8 p.m. Friday, 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday; $5-$10;

Tara Mills — The Charlottesville bluegrass musician graces Cristina’s Cafe with her “Blue Ridge Mountain folk.” // 219 W. King St., Strasburg; 7 p.m. Friday

Variety and Vaudeville — The second show in the weekly series features comic juggler Michael Rosman. // 200 N. Braddock St., Winchester; 10:30-11:45 a.m. Saturday; $7-$9;

Hite of Excellence — The Belle Grove Plantation starts the season with its annual kickoff party revealing its themed dinners and special events for the year ahead. // 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown; 6-8:30 p.m. Saturday; $25; 540-869-2028;

Living Fields — An exhibition of five female illustrators: Shannon Durbin, Paige Vickers, Sarah Schneider, Ambyr Deanna Hodges and Jacintho, comes to the Gray Gallery this month. // 43 S. Cameron St., Winchester; Through Feb. 28; 845-915-0250;

In the mood for a drive? Check out these road trip ideas:

Black Hawk Down in Harrisonburg — Lt. Brian McCroskey, a former U.S Army Ranger shot down in Somalia while on a rescue mission later retold in “Black Hawk Down,” serves as guest speaker at Harrisonburg First Assembly of God. // 1310 Garbers Church Road, Harrisonburg; 10 a.m. Sunday;

Randy Houser in Charles Town — Country chart-topper Randy Houser performs at the Hollywood Casino’s Event Center. // 750 Hollywood Drive, Charles Town, West Virginia; 8 p.m. Saturday; $50-$70;

Pro Wrestling in Inwood — The Great Hiro Morimoto and Robbie Paige rumble in the ring at this wrestling match. // Randy Smith Rec Center, 126 Excellence Way, Inwood, West Virginia; 7 p.m. Saturday; $10-$15;

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or

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