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Civil War War walking tours start Monday

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

Starting Memorial Day, tourists can walk their way through Civil War history in the Northern Shenandoah Valley.

Walking tours will be offered in Old Town Winchester starting Monday, according to a news release from the Winchester-Frederick County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

This is the first year the city tours are being offered on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day, according to the release.

The tours, which start and end in front of the Kurtz Building at 2 N. Cameron St., begin at 6 p.m. on the first and third Fridays of the month through Oct. 19, the release states. The holiday tours are at 10 a.m., however.

The bureau coordinates the tours, which are a Winchester-Frederick County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee project, according to the release.

Walking tours are being offered in Middletown at 5 p.m. on the third Saturday of the month from June 16 to Oct. 20, and in Stephens City at 10:30 a.m. on the fourth Saturday of the month, from June 23 to Oct. 27, the release states.

Guided walking tours are also offered at the Kernstown Battlefield at 10:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. the third Saturday of the month from June 16 to Oct. 20, according to the release.

Cedar Creek Battlefield offers two-hour guided driving tours at 2 p.m. the first Saturday of the month from June 2 to Oct. 6.

"They're all unique, they're all different," said Sally Coates, executive director of the convention and visitors bureau. "The ones that are held in downtowns are extremely popular, and so are the ones in the battlefields."

The battlefield tours are free, as is the Middletown tour, she said, "and that's because the park ranger is doing that program. Everything that they do is free to the public."

The other tours are $5, and usually take about an hour, the release states.

"Each experienced tour guide helps participants understand the Civil War from the civilian's [perspective]," the release states. "Stirring stories of the townspeople, their homes and businesses are featured."

For reservations for the Winchester tour, call the bureau at 542-1326. Reservations for the Stephens City tour can be made by calling 869-1700. The Middletown and Cedar Creek Battlefield tour can be reserved by calling 868-9176. Schedule the Kernstown Battlefield tour by calling 869-2896.

For more information, call 542-1326.

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