Edinburg festival celebrates landmark year

When the Edinburg Ole Time Festival’s 35th year coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War ending, it’s bound to make for a special celebration.

Edinburg’s weekend of entertainment for both young and old will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday with an opening ceremony featuring a special 35th year slideshow of photos from past years, which will later be on display for viewing at the Edinburg Mill.

In honor of the anniversary, the Saturday night dance will bear a Civil War theme once more, with live music by the Shenandoah Valley Minstrels and pre-dance lessons by the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Era Dancers. The dance will begin at 7 p.m. at the Charterhouse School gym and tickets will be $5 per person.

Festival chair Libby Rocco said that with the whirling swaths of gentlemen in waistcoats and ladies in full dresses, this year’s dance theme will mean a sight to behold.

“It’s beautiful to watch even if you don’t dance,” she said.

The weekend will be rich with historical events that will provide some cultural learning opportunities. Richard Kleese and Evelyn Swensson will give historical presentations on Saturday covering the ending year of the Civil War and memories from Woodstock in the 1930s. Attendees can also experience Civil War Living History demos on Saturday and Sunday.

Performances will include some ole time music and dancing that Rocco said can be enjoyed by serious festivalgoers and children alike.

“We do have wine tasting and some fabulous entertainment this year, something for everyone: rock, country, bluegrass, a little gospel and some Americana type stuff,” she said.

Festival performances at the festival’s three stages will include Meows, Bill Vaughn, 2nd Maryland Fifes and Drums, AltoSham, Thrashen Hollar Bluegrass Band, Instigators, ODM, Brenda Bladen and John-Robert Rimel.

Concessions available during the weekend will range from the traditionally boiled and churned apple butter to the modern wonders of fried Oreos. Rocco said the Pioneer Breakfast at 7 a.m. Saturday brings attendees out early for a wholesome breakfast with the works.

Following the breakfast will be a new Dash for Dogs at 8 a.m. Saturday, where owners can take their mutts – on a leash and dressed to the nines for a shot at some fun awards – on a 3K walk or run for a $25 entrance fee. The Mount Jackson-Edinburg Rotary Club will put the proceeds from the Dash toward the new dog park in Mount Jackson.

The March Through Town Parade on Saturday afternoon will be sure to draw a crowd, as well as the Old Timers baseball and basketball games and races. Various nonprofits and more than 90 artisans will have tents set up and the Antique Car Show will be open for perusal Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Between the tranquil event settings of Stony Brook, the Edinburg Mill and the town itself, Rocco said she knows the festival will continue to be a homecoming of sorts for those who call the area home.

“Some people really enjoy seeing family members…many people come back just for this weekend,” she said. “It’s kind of remarkable that a town of 1,000 can pull this off for 35 years.”

Learn more about the festival at http://tinyurl.com/bu8kxw5.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com