The following are some of the area events that will be held this weekend:
Shenandoah Downs at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds in Woodstock will host a family fun weekend with bounce houses, magic shows, a clown, a face painter and costumed characters.
Pari-mutuel harness racing begins at 2 p.m. Saturday with an 11-race program.
Saturday is also the “Own a Horse For a Day” promotion in which five fans will be drawn from the crowd at random to “own” a horse and keep the purse money their horse wins in a $4,000 race.
Racing and family themed activities resume at 2 p.m. Sunday. Musician Ed Barney will perform acoustic favorites both days in the party tent. Admission and parking are free. Information: 540-459-3867 or visit www.shenandoahdowns.com.
Oktoberfest Strasburg Style, hosted by the Strasburg Chamber of Commerce, will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday on North Holliday Street.
The event will feature German and American food, a beer and wine garden, and Anthony Jr.’s Funfest Kids Zone.
There will be music from noon to 3 p.m. by the Rock Bottom Band and 3 to 6 p.m. by the Con Burch Band.
Other activities include a hot dog eating contest (adult and children), a wood-carving demonstration by Billy Jenkins, arts and crafts and business displays.
The entry gate is at the intersection of King and North Holliday streets. Entry fee is $3 per person. Children age 16 and under are free. Information: www.strasburgvachamber.com.
The inaugural Shenandoah Valley Book Fest will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in Old Town Winchester. The fest will feature authors from all genres throughout the Shenandoah Valley, Northern Virginia and West Virginia.
Activities include free workshops and information sessions, author talks, book discussions and signings and a children’s story time. The festival will also be raising money to support literacy.
Free Museum Day
Belle Grove Plantation south of Middletown and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley will celebrate Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day on Saturday with free admission and tours.
Belle Grove will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst St., Winchester, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Women making history and female trailblazers in the arts, sciences, innovation and culture will be celebrated. A guided tour highlighting works by female artists will be held at 2 p.m. Tickets, which are required, are available online at www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday.
Other museums participating in Museum Day are the Patsy Cline Historic House and the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum in Winchester, and the Newtown History Center in Stephens City. Visitors must present a Museum Day Live! ticket for admission. Download a ticket at https://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday.
The Town of Strasburg will host a cornhole tournament from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the new Events Center. Tickets, available at Town Hall, are $10 per person or $20 per team. Information: 540-465-9197.
The annual Fall Fling will be held from 10 a.m. to about 5 p.m. Saturday at the New Market Fire and Rescue. There will be about $100,000 in prizes raffled off, including a 2018 Ford Escape and 2017 Ford Focus. Food and beverages. Information: 740-8904 or 740-3432.
A free Latin-Caribbean festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday in Old Town Winchester. Featured will be cultural vendors, traditional dance, live music and food. Information: www.celebracionwinchester.com.
Winchester Little Theatre
Winchester Little Theatre will present the mystery “Sleuth” and hold a special tribute to Sam Shepard this weekend at 315 W. Boscawen St. “Sleuth” will be performed at 8 p.m. today and Saturday. Tickets are $15.50 to $19.75.
A Readers’ Theater will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sunday with a reading of Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize winning play “Buried Child.” Admission is $5 or free for WLT members.
Information: 540-662-3331, Valerie O’Keefe at 540-336-2357 or www.wltonline.org.
Selah Theatre Project will present August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony-Award winning play “Fences” this weekend at 400-B Kendrick Lane, Front Royal.
Performances will be held at 7 p.m. today and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday and again Sept. 28-30. Information: 540-686-5185 or www.selahtheatreproject.org.
Author and historian William Connery will be the speaker at the Col. John S. Mosby Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans ceremony commemorating the 1864 murders of seven rangers of the 43rd Virginia at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Front Royal.
Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane will celebrate National Public Lands Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Children’s Discovery area.
Children will help build new bluebird nesting boxes and learn how to establish a nesting box in their own community, and join a hike from noon to 3 p.m. to refresh nests along the trails and roadways in the park.
Information: 540-592-3556 or visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks.
– Daily staff
National Public Lands Day
Monarch butterflies will be set free on the 25th National Public Lands Day at Shenandoah National Park on Saturday.
This year’s event starts at 9 a.m. at Byrd Visitor Center, mile 51 on Skyline Drive.
Multiple activities will be available, including a milkweed seed collection from 9 a.m. to noon, a kid’s activity table from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then the monarch butterfly release at 4 p.m. Entrance fees to the park will be waived for the day.
– Laine Griffin, For The Northern Virginia Daily