Bloom begins with weekend festivities

Rides, rock ‘n’ roll and sampling sessions of Virginia beverages will herald the start of the 2016 Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival this weekend.

Powers Great American Midways will open up carnival rides at 2215 Valley Ave. at 5 p.m. today. Wristband admission for all rides is $25. The carnival will be open most afternoons or evenings through May 1 except on Monday, when it will be closed off.

United Bank will host a celebration of Virginia wines and craft brews at its Bloomin’ Wine Fest from 3 to 11 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Old Town Winchester. Ticket admission for one or both days – $25 or $40 at the gate, respectively – includes a souvenir wine glass and access to tastings. Non-alcoholic passes are also available.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dance at the Winchester Moose Family Center will feature Rick K and the Allnighters performing from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $25 and the doors will open at 6.

Tours and tastings at Winchester Ciderworks are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday after a successful debut last year.  Cidermaker Stephen Schuurman said this year’s tastings will include live bluegrass music and feature a full flight of flavors – including the Pious Pear cider that’s been in the works.

“A lot of people have been looking forward to that one coming out,” he said. “This will basically be a taste test.”

Tickets for the event are $10 and include tours of the orchard, with juices available for those younger than 21.

Fancy footwear will walk the pink carpet from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Monday at the George Washington Hotel ballroom for the Pumps and Pearls Ladies Party. Tickets are $100, which includes full bar service and hors d’oeuvres.

Bloom brunches, luncheons, parades and parties will continue in Winchester through May 1. For more information on Apple Blossom events and to purchase tickets, visit http://thebloom.com/events/.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com