Old Town Winchester schedule of events released

WINCHESTER — The City of Winchester and the Old Town Development Board announced the 2015 schedule of events this week.

At news conference at the Bright Box Theater, Dario Savarese, of Full Circle Marketing, said there will be 16 events held from May to December this year in Old Town Winchester.

Savarese said the schedule will “continue to build off of good staples” such as the Rockin’ Independence Eve, Holly Jolly Celebration and Friday Night Live, as well as new events, such as four Sunday summertime concerts at the Taylor Pavilion.

“With the new Taylor open, we’re working hard on bringing new programming … so, with four Sunday concerts there, creating the opportunity for people to attend service, enjoy dining and have quality time with their families while listening to music,” Savarese said.

Savarese said another new event would be a classic movie night at the Taylor on the second Saturday of June, July and August.

“We’re working with the Magic Lantern to find some good family classic movies,” Savarese said. “When people think about classic movies, at least when I do, I tend to think about Casablanca, but there’s so many others out there.”

Jennifer Bell, the downtown manager, said the events are part of a major revitalization effort launched in 2013, when she took the position with the city. Bell said she has been tracking how the events affect the walking mall by tracking how many cars parked in city garages and meal tax revenue.

“I can certainly attest to the increased numbers of attendance at these events, the increased vitality, the testimonials from folks visiting the downtown, but I also have hard numbers to back it up, such as the $5 million in increased meals tax revenue since the beginning of 2013,” Bell said.

Bell said marketing has been key to promoting downtown events.

“It’s one thing to hold great events, but it’s another thing to get the word out that something exciting is happening in downtown Winchester,” Bell said. “We’re reaching out to people more, people like what they see and they are responding.”

Both Bell and Savarese have credited the success of Old Town Winchester, particularly events, to the Old Town Development Board.

“By having a board specific to recommending to City Council issues and solutions to do with downtown … City Council has a lot of competing interest to deal with,” Bell said. “City Council really had a vision when they moved downtown to the top of their strategic plan.”

Here’s the list dates and sponsors of this year’s 2015 calendar of events:

  • May 16: KidzFest sponsored by UVA Children’s Hospital
  • June 13: Taylor Pavilion Classic Movies
  • June 19: Friday Night Live
  • June 21: Concerts at the Taylor Pavilion sponsored by United Bank
  • July 3: Rockin’ Independence Eve sponsored by Edward Jones
  • July 11: Taylor Pavilion Classic Movies
  • July 17: Friday Night Live
  • July 19: Concerts at the Taylor Pavilion sponsored by United Bank
  • Aug. 8: Taylor Pavilion Classic Movies
  • Aug. 21: Friday Night Live
  • Aug. 23: Concerts at Taylor Pavilion sponsored by United Bank
  • Sept. 11-12: Downtown Tailgate sponsored by Jim Stutzman Chevrolet Cadillac
  • Sept.20: Concerts at the Taylor Pavilion sponsored by United Bank
  • Oct. 16-17: OctoBeer Fest
  • Dec.12: Holly Jolly Celebration
  • Thursdays throughout June and July: Family Movies on the Mall

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or hculvyhouse@nvdaily.com