New Year's Eve 2012: Where to Party in the Panhandle

Posted by  | December 21, 2012  at 11:19 AM  

As promised in yesterday's post, here are some other great places to party this New Year's Eve. If I could clone myself, in addition to the Former Champions, Shack Band, Moogatu show at the Tally Ho, I would definitely be hitting up some of these shows. For those of you attending any of these other events, I expect a full report!

Here are the things I've stumbled across thus far, but I'll be adding to this list as I see additional events pop up on my radar. Of course, your suggestions are always welcome!

Opera House Live, Shepherdstown
$25 - Advance
$30 - Door
McFarland House, Martinsburg
Hollywood Casino, Charles Town
(no cover)

Barns of Rose Hill, Berryville
$40 - Advance
$50 - Door
Old Town Mall, Winchester

Sweet Carolines, Winchester
$10 - General Admission
$15 - Reserved Seating


Great Gatsby New Year's Eve Party
LJ's and the Kat Lounge, Hagerstown
Cafe 611, Frederick
$30 - Advance
$35 - Door

A New Year, a New Venue: Spend NYE at Tally Ho Theatre with Former Champions, Shack Band, Moogatu, & ME!

Posted by  | December 20, 2012  at 4:58 PM  

Tally Ho Theatre in Leesburg, VA, has been recently re-opened after a major renovation--it's new, improved, and ready to host some serious live music. This New Year's Eve don't snooze along to "Auld Lang Syne" as you choke down stale champagne. Instead, put on something foxy and trot down to Tally Ho so you can "GTFD" with Former Champions, The Shack Band, and Moogatu!

Even if you aren't familiar with these bands, if you like crazy lights, dancing (without judgement), and a crowd of strangers that you'll find make fast friends, this show is for you. For just a teeny glimpse of what to expect, check out my write up on the Former Champions over at Appalachian Jamwich.

Should you find you've over-spent this holiday season and are looking to save some cash monies, tickets for this show start at a modest $18. VIP Tickets for this show are still a steal at $40, and provide you with a prime viewing area and a comfy seat. Then there's the $850 VIP Balcony Box. Now, before you start hyperventilating, listen to what this package includes: you get 25 tickets for your own special seating area, 4 bottles of local wine or champagne, and two appetizer trays. Being the savvy shopper that I am,  justifying/rationalizing big scary price tags is sort of my expertise ;) So if you take that scary number, divide by 25, you're looking at only $34 per partier! So while the general admission ticket is budget friendly, the real deal is the VIP Balcony Box.

Tickets of all shapes and sizes are available for purchase online HERE.

To follow the happenings at the Tally Ho Theatre, "Like" them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!

Twitter: @TallyHoLeesburg

NYE with Former Champions, The Shack Band, and Moogatu

December 31, 2012

Tally Ho Theatre
19 West Market Street
Leesburg, VA  20176

$18-$850 (otherwise known as $34 per person)

(Photo: Tally Ho Theatre)

Check back tomorrow for my round up of other local NYE events!

Dear Santa, Shop Local & Lighten Rudolph's Load

Posted by  | December 11, 2012  at 1:20 PM  

In my travels throughout the Panhandle region, I find a lot of things I that I like. Sometimes it's a real test of willpower to not buy all the pretty things I see, but that's what Christmas lists are for, right?! All jesting aside, here are some things I've spotted that I think would make excellent gifts for that extra nice gal or even guy on your list. While shopping local has TONS of benefits, it's also quite handy for all you pretty procrastinators out there ;)
So for those of you looking for local gifts, here are some suggestions! 
 Subscription to Appalachian Jamwich
(Image: Appalachian Jamwich)
The Woodshedders Vinyl
Trinkets & Treasures Necklace
(Photo: Plum)
This Bracelet

This Skirt
Snazzy Tie-Dyed Hoodie (or anything tie-dyed)
(Photo: Milky Wave)
Polo Lessons
Stand-up Paddle Boarding Lessons
(Photo: River Riders)
Coffee, Coffee, and More Coffee
(Photo:Black Dog Coffee)
Gift Certificate for a "You Know What"
(Image: BS Tattoo)
Soap:to Clean up my act ;)
(local, homemade, natural)
 (Photo:OSO Soaps)

A Night of reFINEment in Shepherdstown

Posted by  | December 5, 2012  at 4:06 PM  

Thursday, December 6,  at reFINEments in Shepherdstown, WV, Judi Platz of reFINEments and Carol Blessing of Green Bamboo Quality Skincare will be hosting a lovely little soiree just for the ladies. This is the perfect opportunity to escape from hectic holiday prep and enjoy some quality girl time. Treat yourself to some pampering, do a little shopping for yourself, and perhaps indulge in a cocktail or two.

On the agenda for the evening? Mini-manis & pedis, seven minute facelifts (how long it takes, not how long it lasts), martinis--need I say more?! Actually, there is more! reFinements will be offering special discounts as well as giving out "surprise gifts for surprise reasons." Sounds awfully intriguing, doesn't it?

A Night of reFINEment

Thursday, December 6, 2012
7:00 PM

123 West German Street
Shepherdstown, WV 25443

(the rest is between you and your budget ;) )

ROAD TRIP: VIP Campfire Jam II

Posted by  | November 28, 2012  at 9:09 PM  

Larry Keel & Toubab Krewe
November 1, 2012, I said sayonara to Romney, Ryan, Sandy, et al. as I packed up the Mini, unplugged from the real world, and found myself southbound on I-81 for VIP Campfire Jam II. Held at Stoney Creek Resort in Greenville, VA, this Big Poppa Productions event was the perfect way to close out the 2012 festival season. I left VIP Campfire Jam II with almost enough of that post-festival feeling to tide me over 'til the spring thaw.

Was it cold? Most definitely. Did my toothpaste freeze? You better believe it. Did I care? Not in the least. From the second I saw Larry Keel clad in pirate gear and his wife Jenny dressed proudly as Lady Liberty, I knew it was going to be both a wonderful weekend and a weekend full of wonders.

As Thursday night's bands were warming up, VIP guests (which at this festival is everyone) migrated toward the heated tent which housed the main stage. However, in order to enter said heated tent, festival-goers first had to pass through a tunnel lined with black light 3D paintings by AEB Creative Works. No matter how many times I traversed the tunnel, I always found myself stopping to stare at something new. Adding to what was already a very colorful experience, Thursday night you were the odd man out if you weren't wearing a costume. Even the bands for the evening were decked out--instead of Larry Keel and LEATHal Matter it was more Peg Leg Larry and LEATHal Mario. True, it was the night after Halloween, but would that really have even mattered?

Masquerade mayhem is tough to top, but Friday's festivities did not fail. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong kicked things off on Friday and they never fail to make a fashion statement ;) Their early afternoon set gave night owls a chance to catch some slumber before they flocked to the stage as the first strains of Funk E. Zekial filled the brisk mountain air. The birds were followed by the blues (or something like it) as People's Blues of Richmond took the stage, and from there it was a steady stream of amazing music including more Larry Keel and LEATHal Matter. As Friday segued into Saturday, the music never really stopped. At the VIP Campfire Jam, it was guaranteed that at any hour of the day, whether on stage, by a campfire, or in a cabin, someone was playing some tunes.

Every night (or early morning as was often the case) as I cocooned myself into my sleeping bag, I fell asleep thinking nothing could possibly top that day's experiences, but then every day brought something even better. Saturday's musical line-up was astounding: David Via, Danny Knicely, more Nate Leath, Rolling Green (who had the most a-mazing rugs on stage), Toubab Krewe (more crazy percussion instruments than you could shake a stick at [pun intended]), Acoustic Syndicate (wow), and then there was Larry Keel on stage with everyone! At one point I counted around 17 people on stage--tell me that isn't insane in the most brilliant way possible?!

VIP Campfire Jam II, was better than any VIP experience I've ever had, even rivaling the Special Guest Pass I won to Bonnaroo 2007. VIP Campfire Jam was a place where lobsters were flown in from Maine, frosty beverages were topped with glitter sprinkles, and introductions were paired with a hug instead of a handshake. After my weekend at VIP Campfire Jam II, even Monday morning didn't look so scary; although, it probably helped that my inbox was freshly filled with Facebook requests from all my new friends. :)

For a more musical, band-by-band review, check out Becca Cranwell's post over on the Appalachian Jamwich blog:

For more of my pictures from VIP Campfire Jam II, CLICK HERE.

P.S. Be sure to check out Milky Wave Tie-Dye for some really amazing pieces! I snagged a couple of his tie-dyed bandanas that I will most definitely be sporting at festivals all summer long :)

P.P.S. Because you can never get enough Larry Keel, be sure to catch him on Friday, November 30, at Opera House Live in Shepherdstown and on Friday, December 14, at Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, Va!

The Venus Effect

Posted by  | November 22, 2012  at 9:09 PM  

Fight4She will be hosting "The Venus Effect" at The Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Shepherdstown, WV this Saturday, November 24, 2012

“The Venus Effect”, created by Fight4She , wishes to raise awareness and support for people who have suffered domestic violence, the event will benefit the Shenandoah Women’s Center in Martinsburg, WV. This event will be a fabulous and empowering for any woman to attend. 

Every woman will enjoy herself at this high energy, New York-style fashion show, twenty-five models will strut their stuff in head-to-toe creations donated by local designers, makeup artists and hair stylists.  Music will be provided by DJ Ranch, acoustic singer/songwriter Kipyn Martin and Shepherdstown’s own Ruckus Revival.  A cash bar will be available to ensure that a fantastic time is had by all.  There will be a silent auction, with all proceeds benefiting the Women’s Center.

Admission is $10.00 or $8.00 if accompanied by a donation from the SWC wish list, which includes pre-paid phone cards, grocery cards and gift cards from Martin's, Wal-Mart, Food Lion and Sheetz.  The complete wish list is available on the Fight4She page on Facebook. 

The Venus Effect

November 24,2012

Shepherdstown, WV


Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday: Post-Thanksgiving Shopping Specials in the Panhandle

Posted by  | November 21, 2012  at 12:38 PM  

And because the big box stores won't be serving mimosas ;) 
All jesting aside, as you finish (or perhaps start) your holiday shopping this weekend, I encourage you all to do some exploring. Maybe there's a window display that's caught your eye while strolling down the sidewalk or sitting at a stoplight--go, shop, spend! Now is the time to support your local economy before that store you've always wanted to check out isn't there any more. By shopping small, local businesses, you will experience superior customer service and you will find great, unique gifts; however, it's about more than just goods and services. When you shop small, you're supporting families and friends; you're investing in your community, your future.  
 Here are some great places to start...
FREE pair of natural stone or glass earrings! (great stocking stuffer)
When you spend $50 or more!
NO RUSH FEE on ALL holiday custom orders all weekend long!
FREE Knit flower when you purchase a knitted hat
ONE:. Order a custom piece made by Cari Rosen!

TWO: Present your receipt from any of Shepherdstown shops listed below to receive 10% off of your ENTIRE purchase (excluding consigned work) at PLUM on Black Friday and/or Small Biz Saturday: Grapes and Grains Gourmet, ReFINEments, Steppin Out Shoes, Two Rivers Treads

Plum is collecting canned goods, new toys, new clothing, coats, and essentials for children in need in our local Shepherdstown community. PLEASE HELP! These donations will be going directly to our local elementary school for holiday distribution to families in dire need of these items. It is with many thanks and much gratitude that Plum,accepts these donations, in response to your kindness Plum will give 10% off of your entire purhase during both weekends of Christmas in Shepherdstown. You can drop off your donation(s) ANY DAY, ANY TIME during business hours (Mon.-Thurs. 11-6, Fri.-Sat. 11-7 and Sun. 10-6) in return, you'll receive a coupon for 10% off to be used on Nov. 23, 24, 25. and 30, and Dec. 1 and 2. PLEASE HELP!!!!

Small Business Saturday!
Be sure to register your American Express Credit Card at
to get $25 credit to spend at Plum

Cyber Monday!
Free shipping at when you enter the code freemonday
Open 'til 6PM on Small Business Saturday with Holiday Stollen for only $24.95!
 Sky's the Limit (Shepherdstown, WV & Frederick, MD)
Black Friday Early Bird Clothing Sale:
9AM-10AM: 30% off
10AM-11AM: 20% off

SquarePegMeg (Shepherdstown, WV & Online)
Thanksgiving Day-Cyber Monday: 20% off your entire purchase with code "Holiday2012" when you shop SquarePegMeg's Etsy store ( ) or mention this code when you visit her at the Shepherdstown Men's Club Holiday Bazaar
10% off of Fair Trade Products ~ Black Friday AND Small Business Saturday ... MUST MENTION THEY SAW IT ON FACEBOOK
Small Business Saturday: receive a 25 credit if you use American Express for checkin or checkout on Saturday, November 24.
"SHOP SMALL EXTRAVAGANZA" - FREE gifts to the first 30 customers - FREE chocolate chip cookies - ALL CLOTHING will be 20% off - and a Special SHOP SMALL Sale Section featuring 
some of our finest jewelry at AMAZINGLY GREAT sale prices!

Black Friday Fun!!!
6am Mimosas, Muffins & Discounts
Main Store:
frasier fir candle gift w/any purchase
10% off 6-8am
and our 1st Annual
"Black Rack Attack"
50% off the lowest price on our sale rack
of Lilly Pulitzer & other lines 6-10am only
kids store:
6-7am 20% off
7-8am 15% off
8-10am 10% off
Posh Pets (Winchester, VA)
All Day Plaid (Black) Friday Specials include:

Plush black or pink pet beds with fleece blanket for $19.99 (50% off)
  Pink or brown fluffy pet blankets for$18.99
All designer beds 25% off
Select Fleece outerwear 25% off

Morning Specials from 9am-1pm: All iced cookies and bully sticks 25% off
Evening Specials from 4pm-7pm: All car magnets 25% off
All Christmas pet toys 25% off

25% off your purchases from 9 am til 1 pm on Black Friday, 15% off from 1 pm til 7 pm and then 15% off all day Saturday
Scarpa Alta (Winchester, VA)
Black Friday Discounts:
9AM - 11AM: 40% off
11AM - 5:30PM: 20% off

Jordan Springs Market (Stephenson, VA)
 Buy 1 lb of BBQ on Saturday and get a side of homemade potato salad or cole slaw free for Shop Small Saturday.
Upcycled T Shirt Ruffle Scarves for buy 2 get 1 free. Total cost $30 for all 3 plus s/h of $5. These are your choice of up to 3 colors for each scarf. You choose the colors!

Editors Note: I will be adding to this list as I see new deals pop up, so be sure to check back!

The Gilded Flea of Harpers Ferry

Posted by  | November 8, 2012  at 6:17 PM  

Five seconds after entering The Gilded Flea, I had a Jaws-esque moment as I thought to myself "I'm gonna need a bigger boat" or in my case, a bigger Mini Cooper. Located on the outskirts of historic Harpers Ferry, WV, and housed in an old funeral parlor (creepy, yet oh so cool), The Gilded Flea is a true 24-carat find.

Ample parking alone (a rarity in Harpers Ferry) gives The Gilded Flea some serious bonus points, but the real thrill is once you cross the threshold. Upon entering the store, it's like you've traversed quite a few decades and perhaps a century or two. You'll find yourself surrounded by so many amazing things that you kind of don't want to leave, but when you eventually do, I guarantee you're not walking out empty-handed!  

Plan on spending some time at The Gilded Flea--not because the store is so stuffed you feel like you're suffocating, it's just that you'll want to take your time to make sure you've checked out every single nook, cranny, and crypt (kidding!). After I finished mentally redecorating my entire house with The Gilded Flea's stash of mid-century furniture, I was super ecstatic to stumble upon their music and game room! Vinyl records are one of my many weaknesses and The Gilded Flea's inventory did not disappoint. Should you feel like taking one for a spin, there's even a turntable on hand, so you can test drive your tunes.

In addition to all the awesome antique and vintage pieces, you'll also find one-of-a-kind creations made from various combinations of reclaimed wood and other re-purposed goods. Pretty sure I desperately need a new coffee table or two. Did I mention I will be stealing my brother's truck for my return trip??? 

Just when you think you're probably going to need to give up a kidney to fund all of your great finds, you will be pleasantly surprised when you give the price tags a flip. The prices at The Gilded Flea are extremely fair, making it a great place to not only shop for yourself, but the perfect place to pick up gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list. ***hint, hint, hint***

The Gilded Flea
970 Washington Street
Harpers Ferry, WV
304.579.7119  25425

More pics after the break...

Friday Night at Opera House Live: Grand Opening of the Upstairs Lounge Featuring the Art of David Rosen & Halloween Costume Party with Sacred Grove!

Posted by  | October 25, 2012  at 2:40 PM  

Friday, October 26, Opera House Live in Shepherdstown, WV, will debut the new Opera House Upstairs Lounge/Bar. This grand opening event feature an exhibit of town masterpeices by Shepherdstown artist David Rosen, as well as complimentary wines and cheeses to enjoy as you peruse his captivating collection.

Opera House Upstairs will be a cozy wine and draft bar where everyone is welcome to settle in and get comfortable. The Upstairs will be open during live events and provides entertainment-goers with an "extended-lobby/lounge" where they can have a few drinks and chat while still enjoying a live audio and large video feed of the performance downstairs.  

Following the upstairs affair, head down to the main floor for the Halloween Costume Party with Grateful Dead cover band Sacred Grove!

"Get your party on for the first Halloween Costume Party of the weekend!! Prizes for the Best Costumes. Be creative, put on your dancin shoes and let's have a blast! Best costume wins 2 free movie tickets and a popcorn!"

Tickets for this event are only $5 and available online here:

Grand Opening of the Upstairs Lounge
Halloween Costume Party!
October 26, 2012
7PM to 8ishPM - Grand Opening
9PM to Mightnight - Costume Party
Opera House Live
131 West German Street
Shepherdstown, WV  25443
Grand Opening - FREE
Costume Party - $5

First Annual Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival

Posted by  | October 24, 2012  at 10:10 AM  
Stacy Grubb & The Clay Hess Band

 October 5-6 marked the premier of the Outer Banks Bluegrass FestivalThis event is destined to become a yearly pilgrimage for fans of bluegrass, gospel, and a wholesome good time. Held in historic Manteo, NC, the festival grounds (fondly referred to as "Bluegrass Island") provided a postcard-esque backdrop for the bands on stage as sailboats cruised the Roanoke Sound and the setting sun cast shades of magenta and amber across the crowd.
The Hickory Project
Aside from the presence of yours truly, West Virginia and the Panhandle region were well-represtend on this Road Trip. Drymill Road, Stoney Creek, Stacy Grubb, and The Hillbilly Gypsies showed the crowd what it means to be both wild and wonderful. It appears that people were impressed too since many of these bands are being welcomed back next year with arms wide open!

The Hillbilly Gypsies

While I went into this event partial to the Panhandle contingent, I came out quite fond of a few Outer Banks bands. To any local festival organizers reading this, be sure to add Banjo Island and Drifting Sands to the short list for your next event. They may have the beach to tempt us their way, but we've got the mountains (moonshine), right?!

Other shows deserving of shoutouts include The Hickory Project, Nothin' Fancy, Nu-Blu, and The Whiskey Rebellion, who even managed to cause a mini-rebellion as the VIP section turned into a bit of a dance party :)

For a first-year festival, things were pretty flawless. Aside from a few shuttle sagas, some confusion with a rule or two, and the loss of my press pass, my complaints are few. Planning for an even better Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival in 2013 is well underway as bands are booked and VIP tickets are already selling like crazy! For more information on next year's festival "Like" the new Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival  on Facebook and check out their website at:
Drymill Road
    Stoney Creek                                        Whiskey Rebellion
Doyle Lawson

For more pictures from the 2012 Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, visit Pretty in the Panhandle on Facebook: 

2012 Watermelon Park Festival

Posted by  | October 19, 2012  at 11:02 AM  

Del McCoury
It was watermelons gone wild at the 2012 Watermelon Park Fest: they were floating, dancing, and I'm pretty sure I spotted a few filled with something extra fun (and that was just the fruit!). This event not only boasted one of the best line-ups in the region, but also ensured that everyone was kept entertained all weekend long.
Morning Slow Jam with Mike Ward
For many, mornings at The Melon started out with a slow jam hosted by Mike Ward. Friday morning when I first walked up to the jam, I was greeted by the familiar chords of Country Roads and took it as a sign that it was going to be a great weekend. Whether you played banjo, bass, or even a box, you were welcomed into the jam no matter what your skill level or weapon of choice. Unfortunately, I had left my tambourine and spoons back in WV, but next year I'm coming prepared be it with flatware or *fingers crossed* a fiddle.

Boomtown Hoops
The "official" tunes weren't slated to start until mid-afternoon, which gave festival-goers the opportunity to participate in some workshops, take the kiddos out for crafty time, or perhaps just catch a quick cat nap. Workshops for the weekend ranged from flat-footing to song-writing, to hooping with Boomtown Hoops . Youngsters were kept busy (a key element for those afternoon nappers) with a variety of arts and crafts including foam sword sculpting and the highly-anticipated watermelon carving/boat race.

Now let's get down to business and talk about the tunes! The Melon had three stages: Main, Side, and THE Dance Tent. The Side Stage was the site for this year's Watermelon Park Fest Band Competition (almost as highly-anticipated as the watermelon boat race). This year's competition featured bands from as far as way as Australia! The Green Boys took home first prize, but 2nd place (and my personal pick) went to Chelsea McBee & The Random Assortment from Shepherdstown!

My favorite part of the Main Stage shows were the musical medleys and melding of musicians. The only thing better than seeing one great band, is lots of great bands joining together to do what they love for a crowd that loves what they do. Del McCoury, Larry Keel, Tim O'Brien, Bruce Molsky"Fiddlin" Dave Van Deventer--at several points there was so much musical talent on that stage, sending out such great vibes, you felt like you could burst from happiness.

Larry Keel
THE Dance Tent was a-mazing. After the Main Stage affairs came to an end, you knew that the party was just getting started. Dance Tent acts included The Whiskey Rebellion, The Hot Seats, Dirty Bourbon River Show, and The Woodshedders. To say The Dance Tent lived up to its name would not be doing that crowd justice. There was enough energy inside that tent to light up Berryville for at least month.

The Woodshedders
Dirty Bourbon River Show
Dirty Bourbon River Show
The next Watermelon Park Fest may not be 'til September, BUT Watermelon Park Campground will once again be home to the Shenandoah Riverside Festival in June, and I've heard they have quite the party planned! To keep up with everything, I highly recommend you "Like" the following pages on FacebookWatermelon Park Campground, Shenandoah Riverside Festival, Earth Korps, and of course Watermelon Park Festival!

For more pictures from the 2012 Watermelon Park Festival, visit Pretty in the Panhandle on Facebook