Weekend to feature festivals, parades, fireworks

Fireworks displays and celebrations held around the region this weekend will include music, activities, fireworks and parades.

In Shenandoah County, the Fort Valley Ruritan Club will sponsor a Fourth of July parade at noon Monday that it’s calling the first of its kind in 25 years. The parade will start at the White Chapel Church on Woodstock Tower Road and turn onto Fort Valley Road, continuing past the Fort Valley Country Store and fire department, and ending at the Church of the Brethren.

The Fort Valley Volunteer Fire Department will have a display of their equipment and will be recruiting new members. The Country Store will also have a special menu for the day, including barbecue chicken dinners and hot dogs.

Also Monday, Strasburg will hold its usual Fourth of July festivities at the town park, with a fireworks show that Amy Keller, town office and human resources manager, recalled past attendees calling the “best kept secret in the valley.”

Throughout the years, the town has tried a variety ways to bring people to the fireworks event, Keller said.

Starting at 5 p.m. Monday, the celebration will include a food court, children’s amusements starting at 6:30 p.m., music provided by Shockwave, a cruise-in of classic trucks and cars, and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

A pool party will be held from 10 to 11:15 p.m., with $1 admission. The rain date is Tuesday.

“We are one of the few communities that continued to have fireworks throughout the recession years,” Keller said.

Winchester’s Rockin’ Independence Eve event offers events for the whole family from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday in Old Town Winchester.

The free community event is in its fourth year, said Dario Savarese, event coordinator for Old Town Winchester through Full Circle Marketing. It’s on the eve of Independence Day to help reduce conflicts with other events taking place on Monday, he said.

Events include cornhole tournaments and a Snow White Grill burger eating contest. Children’s activities on the Old Courthouse Civil War Museum lawn include puppet shows, a patriotic scavenger hunt and live music. The first 50 people to finish the scavenger hunt will receive a prize.

People can also enter to win a free tailgate party provided by Bojangles.

Live music includes the Clarke County Community Band, Cabin Creek, Reckless Island and Country Current. Street performers will also be performing at the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall. These include a caricaturist, balloon artist, magician, dunk tank, photo booth and a stilt walker.

The fireworks display will begin about 9:15 p.m. and last between 20 to 25 minutes, Savarese said.

Old Town Winchester has had an “exceptional” turnout in past years, he said. A crowd of around 5,000 people is expected for the fireworks display.

Admission is free. Beverage purchases will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Virginia.

Also around the valley this weekend:

Warren County:

Front Royal
The Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center will host this year’s fireworks display beginning at 4 p.m. today. There will be family activities, food and vendors. Music will be provided by the American Legion Community Band, and admission is free.

Frederick County:

The annual Fourth of July celebration begins with a parade at 5 p.m. Monday, followed by a fireworks display at dusk at the Middletown Community Park. Live music, children’s activities, food and craft vendors will be available.

Middletown Mayor Charles Harbaugh said the town will have the only parade in a 50-mile radius.

“We have Dexter Manley as our grand marshal, Miss Virginia as our honorary grand marshal, and Abby Major from Master Chef Jr. will also be in attendance,” he said.

There will be five bands, 34 crafters and 11 food vendors, he said, along with games, a magician, a bounce house, softball tournament and a cornhole tournament.

Stephens City
The Fourth of July celebration begins at 5 p.m. Monday at Sherando Park, with the fireworks display at dusk. There will be music, food and deejay. Admission is free, but no pets are allowed. The rain date is Tuesday.

Shenandoah County:

A fireworks display will be held at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds. Gates open at 8:30 p.m., with fireworks beginning at 9:30 p.m. Monday. Admission is free, and the rain date is Tuesday.

New Market
The Rebels Fireworks Association will hold a fireworks display and activities at the New Market Community Park beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Kelli Penstock, fundraiser and event director for Rebel Fireworks Association, said at their first annual event, there will be live music, food and drink vendors, and activities including a homerun derby and dunk tank. A fireworks display will begin at 9:30 p.m.

The public has rallied behind the association and given their full support for the Fourth of July celebration, Penstock said.

“It’s going to be a great weekend.”

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com