Mayfest, Virginia Wine & Craft Festival, Battle of New Market Reenactment offer a variety of entertainment
By Josette Keelor
Area residents have plenty of entertainment from which to choose this weekend, from the 31st annual Mayfest in Strasburg to the 27th Annual Virginia Wine & Craft Festival in Front Royal to the 149th Battle of New Market Reenactment at the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park.
The 31st annual Mayfest will cake the streets of Strasburg this weekend, inspiring street dancing Friday night with band Souled Out, a parade Saturday afternoon and a Womanless Beauty Pageant Sunday. Art, crafts, food, games, pony rides, magic shows, clown performances and music will offer a fun time for any age.
Festival chair Rich Orndorff said many of the weekend's events are not festival-sponsored but will enhance the fun nonetheless -- like the Lions Club's carnival in the town parking lot, which Orndorff said has been a Mayfest staple for over 50 years.
"There are a lot of things that don't actually have anything directly to do with Mayfest," he said. "It makes Mayfest itself just that much bigger and better in having the various activities, but it also helps the organizations. They can piggy back onto Mayfest."
On Friday, a book sale at the Strasburg Library will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Afterward, food stands will open at 5 p.m. on South Holliday Street, and Souled Out will play the street dance from 7 to 10 p.m.
"They do draw such a large crowd," Orndorff said. The event will be free.
Saturday, events begin at 9 a.m. with the Mayfest Pottery Sale and Auction at the Strasburg Museum. Also at 9 a.m. the Kiwanis Classic Car Show will roll up to the Strasburg High School, and the Red Tent Extravaganza will take place at the Mennonite Church on High Street.
Starting at 10 a.m., a sale of ducks and prints, magic shows in the First Bank parking lot and Massanutten tractors at BB&T bank will mingle with children's activities on North Holliday Street, arts and crafts throughout downtown and the continued book sale at the library.
Music will begin in the First Bank lot at 11 a.m., and the parade will begin on King Street at 3 p.m. Ordorff referenced "an exciting new entry for the parade," but kept mum on the subject.
"I don't want to spoil the surprise," he said. "...But it's a new entry and we've never had it before. It should be a nice attraction," he said.
Sunday's attractions will begin at 11 a.m. with arts and crafts stands and food concessions. A duck race will be at the Town Run at 2 p.m., and the Womanless Beauty Pageant will support Relay For Life at the high school old gym at 3 p.m.
"We're very excited, we're excited about the weekend," Orndorff said. "I'm very optimistic that the thunderstorms will not visit Mayfest."
For more information or a full schedule of events, call the Strasburg Chamber of Commerce at 540-465-3187 or visit www.mayfeststrasburg.com.
Virginia Wine & Craft Festival
The 27th Annual Virginia Wine & Craft Festival will take place in downtown Front Royal from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and will feature seven blocks of various craft and food vendors, children's games, musical entertainment and more.
The festival, sponsored by the Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, will offer wine tastings from 20 Virginia wineries. Artists and crafters from all over the East Coast will bring fine handmade jewelry, hand-painted wine glasses, handcrafted musical instruments, pottery and ceramics, clothing, artwork and antiques.
Admission for wine tasters is $20 in advance or $25 at the gate. To purchase tickets in advance, call 540-635-3185 or visit the Chamber of Commerce at 106 Chester St., Front Royal, or the Front Royal Visitor Center at 414 E. Main St. For more information, visit www.wineandcraftfestival.com.
Battle of New Market Reenactment
In New Market, the reenactment of the Battle of Second Winchester will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, and the reenactment of the Battle of New Market will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
Stacey Nadeau, supervisor of historical interpretation for the Virginia Museum of the Civil War, said New Market chose to do the second battle of Winchester because of this year's sesquicentennial celebration of the battle. Last year, the museum reenacted the Battle of First Winchester.
"We do choose the battles that will set well with the terrain that we have," she said. The goal is to give the most accurate representation of each battle that they can.
She noted that there will be a ranger program called the "Avenue of Invasion" at 1 p.m. Saturday. Admission for those age 10 and older is $10 per day, and 9 and younger are free.
"And all New Market residents are always free," Nadeau said.
Other activities during the weekend event includes artillery and signal corps demonstrations on Saturday. The grounds are open to the public each day at 10 a.m.
Saturday's first-ever Adventure Camp, which is from 9:30 a.m. to noon, is full, but Nadeau said sessions for the museum's summer camps are still open for registration and will include similar activities for children ages 7 to 12.
The Adventure Camp sprouted out the successful summer camps, she said.
"During Adventure Camp, they're going to learn how to drill," she said. It will be as if they're newly enlisted officers, and they'll also learn the background history of the Civil War and how Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Virginia Plan directly affected New Market.
"Trust me, the kids eat it all up, because it's interactive," Nadeau said.
"We'll be doing some games. They're going to be talking about Civil War medicine," she said. They'll also learn what life was like on the Bushong Farm, where the battle took place.
"So we're really packing a lot into 2 1/2 hours," she said.
For more information about Adventure Camp, summer camp or the reenactments, call 866-515-1864 or visit www.vmi.edu/newmarket.
Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or firstname.lastname@example.org