Shenandoah County Fair bets on its future as the newest venue for Virginia parimutuel harness racing
The 2016 Shenandoah County Fair may be just one year away from it's centennial, but celebrating agriculture in the county tradition goes back even farther than that.
As early as 1887 the existing Shenandoah County Agricultural Society started an annual festival that included all kinds of horse racing. It took place on a dirt track laid out in the middle of some orchard fields on the west side of Woodstock, Va.
But it was not until 1916 that local organizers officially began the annual Shenandoah County Fair. Today the fair is the only remaining county fair in Virginia that still features harness racing. The horses continue to run on that original track location, which now overlooks Interstate 81.
Shenandoah County Fair harness racing still has a lot of local flavor. Folks return to the old grandstand year after year to view the daily races. Many are likely to either be related, know each other, or “know somebody who knows somebody.”
Whenever it comes to betting on these afternoon races, it's more like “honor between friends and family,” says Shenandoah County Fair Director Tom Eschelman. “There will be old-time sunflower seeds, or jelly beans, or peanuts up in the grandstand.”
In the Shenandoah Valley, we’re wild about the month of May
It’s pretty here at any time of the year, but oh, when the wildflowers of May are blooming... May is Wildflower Weekend month at Shenandoah National Park. The State Arboretum at Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, the Edith J. Carrier Arborteum on the campus of James Madison University and other park lands are busy with special outdoor programs. Or, hike a quiet trail in George Washington National Forest. Find your very own way back to nature in this beautiful region.
Weekly Tuesday evening bingo in Shenandoah, Va. Shenandoah Volunteer Fire Company, Shenandoah Community Center. Doors open at 5 p.m. Games start at 6:30 p.m.Farmers Market in Martinsburg, W.Va.
Orrs Farm Market, 682 Orr Dr. Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fresh produce and fruit, homemade goods, jams and local and state wines and spirits. For more information, visit www.orrsfarmmarket.com.
Visiting this website, you've just landed in the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, USA. ShenandoahValley.com is owned and operated by a small, independent business located right here in the region. We know the place. Our mission is to showcase its visual beauty, but we've also got some things to share about the people who live here, the culture and, of course, some really rich history and heritage.
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Each month we feature a Home page feature story and video that highlights something special about events, history and people.
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Ginko grove in the Fall at Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, Virginia
The Blandy ginkgo grove is one of the largest collections of ginkgos outside the tree’s native China.
About Blandy Experimental Farm-Tim Farmer
Tim J. Farmer is the Public Relations Coordinator at Blandy Experimental Farm and is an expert photographer.