Pickin' in the Panhandle 2012: Get Your Tix for "Picks and Licks in the Sticks"

Posted by  | August 28, 2012  at 11:30 AM  

Hillbenders on the Main Stage at Pickin' 2011

The 6th Annual Pickin' in the Panhandle Bluegrass and Barbecue Festival will be held September 7-9 at Lazy A Campgrounds. Located less than 10 scenic miles off I-81, between Inwood and Hedgesville, WV, this festival is easily accessible to Panhandle patrons and city-folk alike.

Between the tunes and the tastings, Pickin' VI, has something to satisfy even the pick-iest of palates. This year's fest will feature over 30 bands on 3 stages with sounds ranging from traditional bluegrass to modern country meets rock-ish-esque and lots of variations in between. We'll talk tunes more in a bit, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the eats, as this fest is home to the official KCBS West Virginia State BBQ Championship!

55 Irons BBQ at Pickin' 2011
Along with the KCBS competition and the Backyard BBQ Cookoff, back by popular demand to this year's Pickin' is the Tastin' Tent, which will allow those less musically inclined a chance to do some pickin' of their own. For a small donation guests can sample a variety of barbecue and then vote for who takes home the "People's Choice" title. I highly recommend a stroll through the barbecue tents--the people are super nice, the decor interesting and you may even snag a sample and a frosty brew or two ;)

This will be my fourth Pickin' in the Panhandle, and I'm just as excited for this one as I was for my first! From that first day trip during my DC days to last year's adventures of mud-bogging in the Mini, every Pickin' holds a new adventure with nary a dull moment. For this year's festivities, I'll be camping all weekend in the Taj maTent, perfecting my campsite cuisine. As for my Pickin' picks, here are some of the bands that are on the top of my to-do list (but in no particular order):  Half Bad Bluegrass Band, Back Creek Valley Boys, Clay Hess, Colebrook RoadCirca Blue, Speakeasy Boys, Stoney Creek, Joe Taxi, Lonesome Highway, Cumberland River, Stacy Grubb, Lonesome River Band, Dry Mill Road, and last but definitely not least, Doyle Lawson! I'm always on the lookout for new tunes, so leave a comment below with the band you're looking forward to seeing most, and I'll be sure to check them out!

For the full schedule CLICK HERE!

Tickets are available by phone (304-264-8801 or 1-800-4WVA-FUN), web, or click here for a list of places to pick them up in person. You can purchase day or weekend passes, and don't forget you'll need a camping pass if you plan on overnighting!
I'll be posting updates on Facebook and Twitter throughout the weekend, so be sure to "Like" Pretty in the Panhandle on Facebook and follow me on Twitter at @richelecole and look for the hashtag #Pickin
Pickin' in the Panhandle
September 7-9, 2012
Lazy A Campgrounds
317 Kathy's Lane
Hedgesville, WV
$60 for a 3-Day Weekend Pass
$25 for a 1-day Pass

The Right Place at the Right Time: Dr. John & the Lower 911 Presented by Opera House Live

Posted by  | August 14, 2012  at 6:23 PM  

This September, Opera House Live will up the ante for the local music scene as they present a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see legendary, New Orleans music man, Dr. John, right in Shepherdstown, WV. Forget any so-called songs of the South, with his gravelly, mysterious voice and funky beats, Dr. John is  the sound of the South.

For the Shepherdstown show, Dr. John will be performing with his band The Lower 911. Their album "Locked Downwas recently released to rave reviews by Rolling Stone Magazine, so the crowd can expect new jams along with their funky faves. I like to think of it as some things old, some things new, some things Bonnaroo'ed and definitely some blues!

Like many of my favorite events, this one is for a good cause:  proceeds will benefit the New Orleans Musicians Clinic, which is the only health care program in the country that addresses the needs of working musicians. Currently this program is facing major funding shortages and needs some serious help, so please keep that in mind as you make your ticket purchase.

Tickets for this event are $85 for General Admission or $150 for VIP. The VIP package includes a pre-party in the upstairs Opera House Lounge (with a buffet and beverages), drink tickets, premium seating, and a live feed of the show. All tickets for this event are limited, but there are only 30 VIP tickets available. This show is expected to sell out, so don't dilly-dally or you'll have to be content with watching it on the telly.

Did I mention this show is being filmed for a Smithsonian Channel special?! Guests will need to sign appearance releases and are asked to wear non-branded clothes--you'll also probably want to practice some of your dance moves ;)

Tickets are available online HERE

Dr. John and the Lower 911 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012
(6PM for VIP's)

Opera House 
131 West German Street
Shepherdstown, WV  25443
$85 (Regular)
$150 (VIP)

Photo Courtesy of The Houston Press

Nautical Knot Headband Giveaway Brought to You by Bellwethers Upcycled and Eco-Friendly Goods

Posted by  | August 10, 2012  at 8:43 AM  

As promised in last week's Bellwether's post, here are details on the latest "Pretty Present" up for grabs!

One lovely, randomly selected reader will receive one of my latest must-have accessories-- an upcycled, nautical knot headband, custom-made in a color of the winners choosing!

I truly cannot exclaim enough over how much I absolutely adore these headbands!  Often I find headbands (especially wide turban-esque ones) are either too tight and cut off those few remaining brain cells or are too loose and end up looking like a blindfold. Currently I am in possession of a pale pink one, but I have a navy and hot pink awaiting my pickup :)

You will have the chance of acquiring up to 3 entry slots. Just leave a comment below with your name, email, and what you've done to enter--it's knot difficult, I swear ;)

+1 Like Bellwethers and Pretty in the Panhandle on Facebook
+1 Follow Plum (@bellwethersdb) and Pretty in the Panhandle (@richelecole) on Twitter
+1   Tell us about something you've upcycled
(no matter how simple or elaborate and you'll get an additional entry if you send a pic of your upcycling project)
Richele Cole
  - Liked both on FB
- Followed both on Twitter
-I use old tires for strawberry planters!
Contest ends at 11:59PM, Friday, August 31
Good Luck!!!

Identity Crisis 2012--Come as Anyone, BUT Yourself!

Posted by  | August 7, 2012  at 6:09 PM  

This Friday, August 10, Shepherdstown, WV, will be the place to be seen, but it won't be you they're seeing. In three short days the town will be totally overrun by a bunch of people having a major, mid-summer IDENTITY CRISIS!

For the 2012 Identity Crisis Fundraiser, participants will be paying tribute to the decades (and centuries) of yore in honor of Shepherdstown's 250th birthday celebration. This year's event will be benefiting the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, which is a local charity whose goal is to make sure that no woman goes through the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer alone.

So, how does this fundraiser work? First, get decked out in duds from your decade of choice (I'm a swingin' 60's gal myself). The crazier you're ensemble, the better--we're talking faux eyelashes, wigs the works. Prizes will be awarded for “Most Outrageous”, “Best Representation of an Era”, and “Best Overall Transformation”!

Next, perfect your paparazzi pout. Shepherdstown will be scattered with photographers playing paparazzi for the evening! AND because, you can never have too many pictures of your alter ego, Picstacheo Photo Booth will be set up at Tony's Pizza upstairs from 9pm to 1am taking donations that will also go to the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation.

Last, but not least, PARTY! Almost all of Shepherdstown's dining and drinking establishments will be participating. These businesses will be having their own identity crises as they will hosting not just the party of just the decade, but a decade as well. Cover charges for the evening will double as donations, which is one of the primary ways in which this event raises the funds for the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation.

So, the only question left to ask is who will you be???

Identity Crisis 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012
6PM to 2AM

Shepherdstown, WV

Varies per business, but please be generous :)

P.S. I'll be tweeting updates from the Identity Crisis, so follow me on Twitter (@richelecole) and look for the hashtag #IDCrisis !!!

Middleburg's Upscale Sidewalk Sale is ALL Weekend!

Posted by  | August 3, 2012  at 4:52 PM  

This weekend Middleburg, VA, will be hosting their 6th Annual Upscale Sidewalk Sale!  Today, August 3, through Sunday, August 5, the lovely little boutiques of Middleburg, will be cleaning out their inventories (and my bank account) by offering major discounts: up to 75% off! Things start up at 10AM and last 'til 5PM, but I recommend arriving bright and early to snag the best steals, I mean deals!
At less than an hour drive for many Panhandle residents, Middleburg, is one of my favorite destinations for a quick get-a-way. The drive is beautiful, the shopping is dangerous, and there are some excellent restaurants for a little mid-shopping snack.
Here are some of my must-visit destinations for a day in Middleburg!

Lou Lou (I & II)
Tully Rector
The Tack Box & Tack Exchange (for horsey shopping)

Cuppa Giddyup (or "The Giddy" )
Upper Crust Bakery (Cow Puddles are TO DIE FOR)
Hunters Head (Upperville, right off Rt. 50)

For more information visit: http://www.middleburgonline.com

Pictures courtesy of Timmie Jane

Annual Hagerstown Restaurant Week

Posted by  |   at 12:04 PM  

August 5-18 over 20 restaurants from Hagerstown, MD, (and several from surrounding areas) will be participating in the Annual Hagerstown Restaurant Week For those that are afraid to try something new and use expense as their excuse, the next two weeks are the perfect time to try those places you always wondered about! Prices range from $15.01 to $30.01 for a full 3-course meal. Most establishments have a pre-set menu for the restaurant week specials with several options to choose from for appetizers, entrees, and desserts. It is not required to make a reservation to this event, however, it is going to be very popular, so it might best to make that quick call! 

Aqua 103-Hagerstown, MD
Barefoot Bernies-Hagerstown, MD
Bonnie's at the Red Bird-Keedysville, MD
Bulls and Bears-Hagerstown, MD
Captain Bender's Tavern-Sharpsburg, MD
Hard Times Cafe-Hagerstown, MD
Hempen Hill BBQ-Hagerstown, MD
Nick's Airport Inn-Hagerstown, MD

Bellwethers Upcycled & Eco-Friendly Goods

Posted by  | August 2, 2012  at 3:15 PM  
Upcycled t-shirt scarf
T-shirts and ties are not objects I tend to find terribly exciting, but when they're fashioned into detailed accessories?! That's a different story, and that is part of what makes Bellwethers a business that gets the "Pretty" seal of approval. This Jefferson County-based business likes their goods green, and we're not talking color. Bellwethers specializes in upcycled and eco-friendly products that are a "must" in any household.  Bellwethers may be best known for their wool dryer balls, but trust me, there's more to this company than lamb's wool and laundry aids.
Before I discuss Bellwethers' extensive inventory, you may have some questions. For instance, what is upcycling? How is upcycling different from recycling? And what exactly is a dryer ball? Here's my Cliffs Notes version:

You know the phrase "one man's junk is another man's treasure"-- that's upcycling.

Upcycling vs. Recycling
When something is recycled, it is broken down to a base substance (paper, plastic, glass, etc.) and then created into something new. Upcycling is all about re-purposing without the pulverizing.

Dryer Balls
Dryer balls are felted wool balls that are used in place of dryer sheets or fabric softener when doing laundry. Dryer balls have many advantages over these products but the big bonuses are that they're both re-usable and chemical free! For more information on Dryer Balls check out the Bellwethers' FAQ page: http://www.bellwethersdryerballs.com/p/dryer-ball-faqs.html

Now that you know the lingo, let's talk shop[ing]. Bellwethers currently offers quite the range of products including felted pet balls, lavender eye pillows, herbal bath salts, rosette bracelets (made from old ties), scarves (made from t-shirts), and of course the dryer balls. They also make these A-mazing nautical knot headbands, that I absolutely adore!

Since I happen to think the nautical knot headband is the best thing since sliced bread (or a sliced t-shirt as the case may be), I believe that every girl needs at least one, if not one in every color. To help you get started with your collection, Pretty in the Panhandle will be partnering with Bellwethers for the next giveaway!!! Entry details will be posted next week, so keep your eyes peeled!

Bellwethers' products can be purchased online, but you can frequently find them set up at local farmer's markets and festivals should you want to do your perusing in person. I've listed all of the products they currently carry after the page break.

Twitter: @bellwethersdb