The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
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.”

But the harness racing game has suddenly gotten bigger for the fair host Shenandoah County Fair Association, after Eschelman led the development of a state-wide partnership with the Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA) and Virginia Harness Horse Association (VHHA).

In the Shenandoah Valley, we’re wild about the month of May
Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia

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.

  Happening today

The Art Group First Friday at Bowman Shannon Cultural Art Center in Mt. Jackson, Va.

Bowman Shannon Cultural Art Center. Live music by Scott Murray. Food and beverages available. Original art work for sale by local artists. Bring food to add to the refreshment table - not required. Free admission. For more information, call 540-477-4131 or visit

Music and Dancing in Raphine, Va.

Clarks Ole Time Music Center, located at Clarks Lumber Co., 1288 Ridge Road. longtime Friday-night tradition of old-time music and dance from 7:30-10 p.m. Admission: $8 per person, $15 per couple. For more information, call 540-377-2490.

Theater production at Winchester Little Theater in Winchester, Va.

315 W Boscawen St. Dancing at Lughnasa. Drama. Runs May 6 through May 21. Thursdays and Fridays 8 p.m. Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and 2 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets: $15.50 - $19.75. For more information, call 540-662-3331.

Gallery Walk in Lexington, Va.

Downtown Lexington. Tour Washington St. art galleries. April 1, May 6, June 3, July 1, Aug. 5, Sept. 2, Oct 7, Nov. 4 and Dec. 2 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Free admission.

First Fridays Downtown in Harrisonburg, Va.

Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center. For more information, visit

Bluegrass and BBQ Series concert at Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, Va.

95 Chalmers Ct. Bud`s Collective. Local BBQ available for sale at 7 p.m. Concert Starts at 8 p.m. For more information, call 540-955-2004 or visit

Blues Music concert at Bright Box Theater in Winchester, Va.

15 N. Loudoun St. Corey Harris Band. Blues with reggae, soul, rock and West African music influences. For more information, visit

First Fridays Art Walk in Winchester, Va.

Artists with special gallery events, live music at restaurants and cafes, late shopping hours. Sponsored by the Old Town Winchester Business Association and the Winchester Main Street Foundation. For more information, visit

Acoustic music festival in Martinsburg W.Va.

Moose Acres, 1063 Douglas Grove Rd. May 6-8. Concerts, camping and BBQ. Featuring Blue Highway, Trinity River Band, Jim Hurst and Circa Blue. Rain or shine event. Stage is covered by a 400 seat pavilion, surrounded by tree-shaded seating. Rough camping and bath houses available. Benefits local children services. For more information, visit

Guided tours in Staunton, Va.

Meet at Staunton Visitors Center. Guided trolley and walking tours. Year-round. For more information, call 540-208-1741 or visit

Salvage Art Show and Auction at George Washington Hotel in Winchester, Va.

103 E. Piccadilly St. Art pieces created from salvaged materials. Hors d`oeuvres, dessert, and drinks included. Benefits Habitat for Humanity. Open to the public. For more information, visit

Theater performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Julius Caesar. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit

Art exhibition at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau will present works from the Dhawan Collection, Los Angeles, one of the largest collections of Alphonse
Mucha work in the United States, in a traveling exhibitioin. Changing Exhibitions Gallery. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit

National Public Gardens Day at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. Guided garden walks at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Garden yoga at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., and 1 p.m. kids-only session. Poesies of Spring, performances of poetry by local university students from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Mucha exhibition gallery talk at 2 p.m., Flowers and the Art Nouveau Artist. Make sketches in the gardens, garden buttons, look for ahidden garden gnomes. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-662-1473 or visit

Food festival in Luray, Va.

Luray Downtown Intiative Chicken Chow Down Weekend. May 6-8. For more information, visit

Barn dance in Luray, Va.

Luray Caverns, Burner Barn. Luray Downtown Intiative Burner Barn Dance For more information, visit

Art exhibition in Staunton, Va.

Upstairs Gallery in the R.R. Smith Center for History and Art, 20 S. New St. Art, A Path to Recovery, works by consumers of mental health service. May 6 through May 31 call ahead for availability times. Opening Reception on May 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  For more information, call 540-885-2028 or visit

Outdoor yoga in Luray, Va.

Ruffner Plaza. Yoga on the Greenway. Fridays in May from 6-7 p.m. For ages 12 years and older. Sponsored by Page Memorial Hosptital Fitness and Luray Parks and Recreation Dept. Free admission.

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Visiting this website, you've just landed in the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, USA. 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.

Visit this place and it can seem like you are coming home. Our website background photos are provided by a select group of photographers from across the region who share their own love of the Valley through the lenses of their cameras.

While we provide a regional events listing that is always up to date, is not an encyclopedia about the Valley or a travel guide. In fact, we're not really selling anything on here. You can find location-specific tidbits about the Valley, particularly on our events page.

Each month we feature a Home page feature story and video that highlights something special about events, history and people.

Much of what is on here simply comes from our love for this world-reknown spot, the Daughter of the Stars, O Shenandoah, Shenandoah River... Shenandoah Valley.

If you like our website, consider making a donation ...we'd certainly tip a glass of Virginia-made beer or wine to your kindness! Either way, we're glad you stopped by. Come back to see us again!

Summer on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road that offers over 400 miles of scenic beauty. The northern tip meets the Skyline Drive near Waynesboro, Virginia.

About Burton R. Floyd

Burton Floyd is photographer and graphic designer in Lexington, Virginia who loves to experience and record the beauty of Virginia‘s Shenandoah Valley. by Burton R. Floyd