Shenandoah Valley Music Festival marks 30th year
The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary this season. What began as a single symphony concert back in 1963 has expanded into a concert season that stretches from mid-July until Labor Day. In addition to outdoor concerts, the festival includes arts and craft shows, a children's program and old-fashioned ice cream socials. The setting is an ++ open-air pavilion on the grounds of the historic Orkney Springs Hotel, a turn-of-the-century spa and mineral springs resort in the small mountain village of Orkney Springs, Va.
The season opens this evening at 5 p.m. with patriotic music and marches by the City of Fairfax Band. Future programs include classical masterworks, symphony pops, big band, folk, jazz and a children's program, the Bob Brown Puppet Productions presentation of "Peter and the Wolf" on July 25 at 2 p.m.
New this year are two mini-festivals. The first is a jazz festival Aug. 15 featuring the Skip Gailes Quartet, DC Dixie, Ronnie Wells and the Ron Elliston Quartet, and the Charlie Byrd Trio. The second is a folk festival Sept. 5 with Madeline MacNeil, a folk vocalist and hammered dulcimer player; the Irish Breakdown Trio, Midwinter Spring, acoustic folk music and Robin and Linda Williams, folk and country musicians.
Additional attractions are ice cream socials, sponsored by local church and civic groups, before every concert, and arts and crafts shows, before the symphony concerts July 24, 25, 31 and Aug. 1. Buffet dinners are served at the hotel, or you can bring your own and picnic on the lawn before concerts.
Tickets range in price from $9 to $13.50; the mini-festivals are $15 and $10. Tickets can be bought at the gate on a space-available basis. Take Exit 273 off Interstate 81 at Mount Jackson, Va. For information, call (703) 459-3396.
The Hungry Mother Arts and Crafts Festival is a three-day event held at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, Va. This year's festival will take place Friday, Saturday and next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sponsored by the Art League of Marion and the Smyth County Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Virginia division of state parks, it is the first event of its kind to be held in a Virginia state park.
About 110 artists and craftspeople from several states, representing almost every traditional and contemporary art form, will exhibit and demonstrate everything from needlework to wood carving, flute making to potpourri crafts. There will be continuous craft demonstrations and a full schedule of entertainment, including mountain music, cloggers and folk music. Children can attend a variety of workshops in art, music, singing and clogging, and a music seminar will feature a "Dinosaur Workshop and a "Dr. Seuss Workshop," clown and puppet shows, and a story hour.
A large mountain lake is located within the park, and there are facilities for swimming, boating, horseback riding, picnicking and camping.
Admission is free, but parking costs $2.
In the evening, the town of Marion offers various activities. On Friday evening there will be tours of the Lincoln Theatre beginning at 5:30 p.m., and at 7:30 a piano concert will feature selections of classical, show tunes and ragtime music. The Marion Summer Festival will be held Saturday night beginning at 6 p.m. Activities include a barbecue dinner, bluegrass music, country dancing and games.
The park is on state Route 16 north, just north of Marion, off Exit 17 of Interstate 81. For information, call (703) 783-3161.
The annual Old-Fashioned Games Day will take place this afternoon at Steppingstone Museum in Havre de Grace from noon to 5 p.m.
The young and young in spirit can enjoy the games their parents and grandparents played: roll-the-hoop, tip cat, marbles and jacks, along with some new games. Those who bring their turtles frogs can enter them in the turtle races and frog jumping contests. There will also be eating contests, storytelling, puppet shows, hayrides, pony rides and a petting zoo. Pit beef, hamburgers, lemonade and home baked goods will be offered for sale.
Admission is $4 for adults, which includes admission to the museum; free for children 12 and under. The museum is in Susquehanna State Park at 461 Quaker Bottom Road. For information, call (410) 939-2299.
Fiddle and banjo contests
Fiddle and banjo lovers will gather in Friendsville on Saturday to hear musicians from all over the region compete in the 28th annual Old Time Fiddlers Contest and the 4th annual Banjo Contest.
The competition brings amateur fiddlers and banjo players from Ohio, West Virginia and other states to compete for money and trophies awarded in age categories. Sponsored by the Friendsville Rotary and Lions Clubs, the event is on the outdoor stage at Friendsville Elementary School from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.