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Weekend activities abound

By Jeb Inge -- jinge@nvdaily.com

Scattered showers may be threatening the forecast, but they aren't enough to put a damper on the many events happening throughout the region this weekend.

Belle Grove Plantation opens its doors for the first time in 2012 on Saturday. The plantation will be offering tours of the house and grounds free of charge from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Representatives from the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, the Rodeo Bee Company, the National Sheepdog Trails and resident blacksmith Jonathan Ross will be on site joining the festivities. The NPS program "Jackson's Valley Campaign in A Box" will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., while sheepdog demonstrations will be held at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. More information is available by calling 869-2028 or by visiting www.bellegrove.org.

In addition to the opening of Belle Grove, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park will be hosting a battlefield cleanup at 9 a.m. Saturday. Sponsored by the Cedar Creek Battlefield Association and the Civil War Trust, volunteers will assist in the removal of graffiti and help with the maintenance and improvement of walking trails. Volunteers are urged to bring work gloves and meet at the Cedar Creek Battlefield Visitor Center at 8437 Valley Pike, Middletown. For more information, call John Christiansen at 869-2064.
Shenandoah University will be hosting a day hike in Shenandoah National Park on Saturday. The moderately difficult hike will traverse roughly six miles on the Three Falls Loop near Big Meadows. The group will depart from Shenandoah's campus at 8 a.m. and will return around 8 p.m. Participants are urged to bring their own food. To sign up, email suoutdoors@su.edu.

A number of concerts are being held locally this weekend for those seeking a musical experience. The Shenandoah Conservancy Brass Ensemble will be performing a free concert at 8 p.m. in Goodson Recital Hall. On Saturday, students from all three Shenandoah County high schools will perform in the All-County Band and Orchestra concert at Strasburg High School. The event is free of charge and will kick off at 3 p.m.

Warren County public schools and the Blue Ridge Arts Council will host their 2nd annual Fine Arts Festival Saturday at Warren County High School in Front Royal. The event, being held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., will showcase student artwork and will include choral and band performances, student art exhibits and soloist performances throughout the day. The event is free to the public.

An Easter egg hunt will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday on the Pedestrian Mall in Winchester. Sponsored by the Old Town Winchester Business Association, the event will feature live entertainment, a chance to meet the Easter bunny and lots of surprise-filled eggs waiting to be found. Participation is free and the hunt will be held rain or shine in front of the Old Court House.

The Wayside Theater in Middletown will be performing "Greater Tuna" on Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. More information can be found by calling the box office at 869-1776.

"The Hunger Games" phenomenon continues at the Alamo Drafthouse through the weekend, along with other popular movies "21 Jump Street" and "The Lorax." More information on showtimes and upcoming special shows can be found at www.drafthouse.com/winchester or by calling 313-4060.

Washington continues to celebrate 100 years of the Cherry Blossom Festival with a number of events, including the 46th annual Cherry Blossom Rugby Tournament, which features rugby teams from around the country. On Sunday, more than 15,000 running enthusiasts will participate in the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-mile run and 5K walk.
For more information and a complete listing of Cherry Blossom events, call 877-442-5666 or visit www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.

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