Belle Grove opens for 2017 on Saturday

Belle Grove Plantation will celebrate its 2017 season opening day on Saturday with discounted admission for guided tours.

The plantation opens at 10 a.m. Saturday and admission that day will be $5 for visitors 12 years old and older. All Belle Grove members will be allowed on tours for free. Visitors who purchase or renew membership on opening day will receive $5 off and can immediately use their benefits, including free admission and a 10 percent discount in the museum’s shop.

Kristen Laise, Belle Grove’s executive director, said about 12,500 people visited Belle Grove last year and the annual range is between 12,000 and 14,000 people, depending on special events.

Saturday’s guided tours will be offered at 15 minutes and 45 minutes past the hour,  with the first tour beginning at 10:15 a.m. and the last tour beginning at 3:15 p.m. A Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park Ranger will present a free program “Cedar Creek and Belle Grove in a Box” at 11:30 a.m. on the front lawn.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of Belle Grove Plantation operating as a historic house museum. The formal dedication of the museum was on Aug. 13, 1967. This year, on Aug. 13 from 1 to 5 p.m., Belle Grove will be open for free with ice cream, cake and behind-the-scene tours.

Belle Grove and the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardeners are working together to host monthly lectures and workshops from April to October on home gardening tips. The first class will be offered April 30. Most workshops are $25 per person. Visit www.bellegrove.org/calendar for additional information and to register.

Belle Grove will also host special events, such as the “Of Ale and History” beer fest on May 13, Garden Fest on June 3, Art in the Barn from June 23-25, Wine Fest on Aug. 26, and Battle of Cedar Creek Commemoration weekend from Oct. 14 to 15.

Belle Grove will also host the National Sheepdog Finals from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1. A detailed list of events can be found at www.bellegrove.org/calendar.

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