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).Read more...
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.
101 Maury River Drive. Annual Guy Carawan Bluegrass Jam Rally May 1-7. For More Information, call 540-261-7321 or visit www.glenmaurypark.com
Armstrong Concert Hall, 1460 University Drive.Shenandoah Conservatory Saxophone Ensemble. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit www.su.edu
Armstrong Concert Hall, 1460 University Drive. Shenandoah Conservatory Clarinet Choir presents works by Hersant, Jeanjean, Carter, Defaye and more. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit www.su.edu
I 41-F Court Square. A Hologram For The King. Drama. Shows continue on May 5 at 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. May 4 at 4:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Theater members save 20 percent and get free popcorn. Tickets: Adults, $9.50. Senior and students, $8.50. Matinee Before 5 p.m., $8. For more information, visit ValleyArts.org
15 Tannery Lane. Art at the Mill: Spring Show. April 23-May 8. Artists and buyers from over a dozen states. For more information, call 540-837-1799 or visit www.clarkehistory.org/art-at-the-mill.html
901 Amherst St. Meet at the garden entrance. Guided garden tour. Weather permitting. Admission: Museum members admitted free. All others $20. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-662-1473 or visit www.themsv.org
901 Amherst St. Actors from Shenandoah Conservatory read poetry while strolling through the museum gardens. For all ages, picnics encouraged. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-662-1473 or visit www.themsv.org
95 Chalmers Ct. Howard Means, author of book about the Kent State Shootings: 67 Shots - Kent State and the End of American Innocence. Reservations requested. Free admission. For more information, visit www.barnsofrosehill.org
95 Chalmers Ct. Thru the Garden Gate Art Exhibit. Garden-themed multimedia exhibit featuring paintings, sculptures, photographs, textiles and pottery by artists from Clarke County and beyond. Artwork will be for sale. Runs through May 28. Presentation by Suzann Smith Wilson on April 23, from 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Free admission. Open to the public. For more information, call 540-955-2004 or visit www.barnsofrosehill.org
10 S. Market St. The Life of King Henry the Fifth. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com.
Berkeley Art Works Gallery, 116 North Queen St. Special Exhibit Gallery at the Berkeley Art Works. Shenandoah Clay, by members of the Shenandoah Potters Guild. Sponsored by The Berkeley Arts Council. Runs May 4-June 4. Also exibiting in Back Space Gallery: Off the Shelves, hand-made clocks by local mixed media collage artist and clock maker. For more information, visit www.berkeleyartswv.org.
Staunton Public Library, 1 Churchville Ave. Virginia Women in History celebrates past and present female Virginians. Part of a year-long tour of cultural institutions across the state. Runs through May 14. Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m. Free admission. For more information call 540-332-3902 or visit www.stauntonlibrary.org
Blue Sky Bakery, 16 Lee Ave. Live bluegrass music every Wednesday morning. Bring a musical instrument to jam with, or just listen.
Wharf Lot. Runs every week hrough November. Saturdays: 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesdays: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Producer-only market with fresh foods, baked goods, plants and more. Free parking available. For more information, visit www.safarmersmarket.com
Historic Photos Then and Now Centennial Project. Shenandoah National Park is recruiting volunteer photographers to choose an historic photo from an online gallery and produce a 2016 image of that same place or feature as closely as possible to the historic one, to produce a collection of Then and Now photos. The Shenandoah National Park Association will use selected photos on upcoming publications. Rules and application information are involved. For more information, call 540-999-3500, extension 3183 or visit www.nps.gov
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.
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, ShenandoahValley.com 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!
Hugh Morrison Jr. photographed the people and places of Shenandoah County, Virginia, during the first half of the 1900s, until 1950. He compiled an immense body of work, now archived by the Shenandoah County Historical Society. The collection includes more than 25,000 digital images.