Valley to spend three days celebrating the Fourth

By Josette Keelor

In honor of Independence Day this year, area towns, counties and organizations will celebrate with three days of fun-for-the-family festivities.


Front Royal will hold its Independence Day Celebration at the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center, 600 4-H Center Drive. The American Legion Community Band will perform patriotic music under the direction of Ron Dye, and with John Vance as narrator. Front Royal Oratorio Society, directed by George Amos, will join the band.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, and the fireworks display will begin at dark. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. For more information, call 540-635-6828 or visit www.alcband.org.

Winchester‘s Fourth of July celebration kicks off with its Rockin’ Independence Eve from 5 to 9 p.m. Instead of its usual Fourth of July fireworks, the city will offer a fireworks display at 9:20 p.m.

Musical entertainment will include the band Father’s Honor, and various activities for children and families will take place along the walking mall.

The Great American Corn-hole Tournament will hold a local competition downtown, and a beer garden will be available for visitors 21 and older.

Fireworks will be launched from in front of Mount Hebron Cemetery and will be visible from locations in old town and along North Kent Street.

For more information, call 540-722-7576 or visit http://tinyurl.com/ohjfgba.

Massanutten Resort will hold its Summer Jam event from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, with music by Sons of Pirates from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Rollerblades from 7 to 8 p.m. and J Roddy Walston & the Business from 8:30 to 10 p.m.

Children’s activities will include arts and crafts, face painting, a hoop dance and corn hole. A beer garden and wine also will be available.

Fireworks will begin at 10 p.m.

Prices are $20 at the gate. Children younger than 8 get in free. Tickets do not include food, beverages and some children’s activities. The event will be held rain or shine, but in case of rain the ski lodge can be used for shelter. No outside food or beverages are permitted and no pets or coolers allowed. One unopened, sealed bottle of water per person is allowed.

For more information, call 540-607-0264 or visit www.massresort.com/summerjam.


In Winchester, the 16th annual Liberty 5k and Kids Run will begin at 8 a.m. Thursday at the Kiwanis II pavilion at 1001 E. Cork St. in Jim Barnett Park. The 5k course consists of a single loop around the park, through the grounds of Shenandoah University using roads and sidewalks, according to the event’s website, svrunners.org. There will be a 45- minute time limit.

Awards will go to the top three men and women overall, the top three in various age groups, the first place runners in the 40 and older “masters” categor, and first place “grand masters” 50 and over runners.

The Kids Mile & Fun Run, held after the 5k, is for children ages 6-12, with awards for the top two male and female runners in the following age groups: 6-8, 9-10 and 11-12. A 100-yard dash will be open to children ages 2-5. The top two runners in this race will win an award.

Entry fees for participants are $25 for all runners on race day. Children pay $15 for the Kids Run. T-shirts will be available on a first-come basis. Registration will be from 6:45 to 7:45 a.m. Thursday. Show up early to get a T-shirt.

Bicycles, skateboards, strollers, roller skates, inline skates, animals and radio headsets will not be allowed on the course.

For more information, call Rosie Shiavone at 540-667-0252, email rosieshiavone@comcast.net or visit www.svrunners.org.

Also in Winchester, the Patsy Cline Historic House will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, with free admission given to activity military with identification. Prices for adults are $8; seniors are $6; children ages 11 to 18 are $4. The Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center, 1400 S. Pleasant Valley Road, Winchester, will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday.

For more information, call the museum at 608 S Kent St, Winchester, at 540-662-5520 or visit celebratingpatsycline.org.

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance will offer its full-day festival Valley Fourth, beginning with a run at 8:30 a.m. that lets you pick your distance and the charity you wish to support. Sign up at valley4thrun.com.

Food, music and entertainment for the whole family will take place throughout the day, with the Grillin’ at the Pavilion Cook-off from noon to 8:30 p.m. at the Turner Pavilion and Park, followed by Beers N Cheers at 4 p.m. with music by the Hackensaw Boys from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and Love Canon from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $5 for five tasting tickets and they can be purchased from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Turner Pavilion information booth. The people’s choice sampling will be from 4 to 7 p.m. while supplies last.

Children’s activities will include face painting, a dunk tank, the “Ooey Gooey Poetry Party” puppet show at Court Square Theater and inflatables at the First Presbyterian Church.

A parade will begin at 6 p.m. and participants are encouraged to wear hiking gear. The get outdoors-themed parade is part of a celebration of Harrisonburg’s 2011 designation as an Appalachian Trail Community. Participants will be entered to win a $5,000 gift certificate to Walkabout Outfitter and Sierra Club travel gear, or T-shirts. For more information, call 540-478-3677 or email Ralph.grove@gmail.com.

A fireworks finale will be at 9:30 p.m., with the best view offered at the Turner Pavilion and Park. Bring a blanket and chairs, claim your spot early and enjoy the music.

For more information about Valley Fourth, visit www.downtownharrisonburg.org/valleyfourth.

Strasburg will hold its Fourth of July festivities from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the town park. Children’s amusements will be free, except for pony rides. A food court will offer hamburgers, barbecue, hot dogs, Italian ice, kettle corn, ice cream, funnel cakes and more.

Music will be provided by John Richards and the Virginians, and the Cruise In of Classic Trucks & Cars will be sponsored by Valley Cruisers of Winchester.

Fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m., with a pool party to follow from 10 to 11:15 p.m. The pool party will charge $1 for anyone entering through the gate. Pool passes will not be accepted for the party. The rain date for the day’s celebration will be Saturday.

For more information, call 540-465-9197 or visit www.strasburgva.com.

Woodstock’s Independence Day fireworks display will be held at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds. Gates will open at 8:30 p.m, and fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m. In the case of rain, fireworks will be rescheduled for 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

In Middletown, Independence Day will be a daylong celebration, beginning with a softball tournament from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Starting at noon, 16 crafters, six food vendors and various children’s games will keep families entertained until a parade at 5 p.m., said Mayor Charles Harbaugh. The parade’s grand marshal will be Grant Javersak, and Ray Steele has been named Citizen of the Year.

The band Souled Out will perform from 6:15 p.m. to dusk, when fireworks will begin.

“We have a good bit of events for the family,” Haubaugh said. “Every year it gets a little bit bigger.”

Events will take place at the Middletown Community Park, 7850 Senseney Ave., Middletown. For more information, visit 540-869-2226 or visit www.middletownva.gov.

In Berryville, The Bank of Clarke County will sponsor a fireworks display at the Clarke County Ruritan Fairgrounds. Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. with an old-fashioned family picnic and games at the fairgrounds, followed by a performance by The Clarke County Community Band at 8:30 p.m. Fireworks will begin at dusk.

For more information, call 540-955-1099 or visit www.berryvilleva.gov/.

In Washington, D.C., , the annual National Independence Day Parade will begin at Constitution Avenue and 7th Street at 11:45 a.m., and ends at 17th Street.

Fireworks will be that night, with the recommended view from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Barry Manilow will headline a concert at 8 p.m. with Darren Criss from “Glee,” Megan Hilty of Broadway in New York City and the cast of “Motown The Musical.” The show will be aired on PBS and NPR for those who can’t attend. After the concert, Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” will announce the start of the fireworks.

The Metro transportation system has announced it will operate extra trains during the evening Thursday to help passengers get to and from the National Mall for the fireworks display. More than 500,000 people are expected to take the Metro on Independence Day. Metro will open on a weekend schedule, at 7 a.m. instead of 5 a.m., but it will stay open until midnight. From 6 p.m. to midnight, trains will operate at near rush-hour service levels.

Riders should try to use stations other than Smithsonian or Federal Triangle, which often see the heaviest patronage for National Mall events. There will be no scheduled track work on the system for the holiday.


Frederick County has had to postpone its Independence Day Celebration at Sherando Park in Stephens City to Friday.

The event will follow the same schedule as it would have followed on Thursday, with the park and pool remaining open until 8 p.m., and food and amusements available for purchase beginning at 5 p.m. The DJ will begin playing music at 6:30 p.m., and visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner or snacks. Fireworks will begin at dusk.

The event is free to the public, and parking will be available for free at Sherando High School.

Karen Vacchio, public information officer for Frederick County, said the schedule change happened because of an issue with the original fireworks vendor the county had hired.

“We were able to find another vendor who could do it on the fifth,” she said. “There was absolutely no [one] available for the Fourth at the 11th hour like that.”

Despite the vendor change, she said she expects “a good fireworks show.”

For more information, call the county at 540-722-8307 or visit www.fcva.us.

All town and county offices will be closed on the Fourth of July.

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com