Week of December 9-15, 2013
It's a winter wonderland in Berkeley Springs both inside and out. The atmosphere is right for steam to hover above the springs channels, everything is decorated up to an inch of its life, and Dickens of a Christmas is fired up for their second weekend.
Many folks will be coming to town midweek for a rare major concert at the Star Theatre on Wednesday night. America's Got Talent winner, and ardent West Virginian, Landau Murphy is bringing his Christmas Crooners Concert to town. There are a few tickets left online via Landau's website. Doors open at 7pm, concert starts at 8. Ticket holders bringing food for Morgan County's BackPack project which feeds hungry kids are invited to a 6-7pm meet-and-greet with the famously sweet and gentle star at the Ice House where photo ops are staged against the backdrop of more than 2 dozen fantasy decorated Christmas trees.
Speaking about Dickens and especially Treefest -- everyone is talking about how wildly charming and enchanting it is in this its first ever staging. Activities among the trees at the Ice House begin at 11am both Saturday and Sunday, finishing at 7:30pm on Saturday and 5pm on Sunday. Music, storytelling, vendors and Santa and Mrs Claus are on the program for both days. Out on the street, costumed characters from Dickens are gathering up folks to bring them to the Ice House and many shop owners are also dressed in costume especially the gang at Hunters Hardware, open until 7:30pm on Saturday -- a very rare opportunity to shop for dad.
Supporting activities are also spread all over town. Friday at 6pm there is music, storytelling and refreshments at the Library in the center of town. Saturday night is busy with BlackCat Music having a free concert for all ages from 6-9pm with BandAna Muse, Electric Factory and Kate Evans. Cacapon State Park adds to the festivities with a 7:30pm live performance of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol staged in Reader's Theatre Style and featuring the glorious Gene Worthington, and Karen Vuranch. Make reservations NOW! You can make it a night of dinner and the theater with a full menu available at the park's restaurant. There are hiking and craft activities that day as well. Crafts and Santa are part of a Christmas Spectacular at Rankin Fitness on Saturday from 11am to 4pm.
The Museum of the Berkeley Springs is open on Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm offering an authentic look at the history and geology of town and springs. Horse and carriage rides leave from the Country Inn regularly from 11am to 4pm both days. Kids carol on the Courthouse steps Saturday at 1pm and there's a traditional Yule Log on Fairfax St. near the park starting at 5pm on Saturday. You can take part in the magical Christmas tradition of throwing a sprig of holly into the fire and making a wish. Wishes are a big part of Treefest also where there's special tree on which you can tie your wish.
Friday and Saturday nights at 7pm you can enjoy a presentation of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" at the Refuge Community Church. A community choir concert is scheduled at Berkeley Springs High School on Sunday at 7pm while earlier in the afternoon, at 2 and 3pm the schools bands stage their holiday concert.
Shopping remains the major sport of the weekend and we promise more distinctive gifts than you can imagine -- and you can still be shopping small, owner-operated businesses. This weekend only shopping adventures include a visiting jewelry designer at Tari's Cafe Friday, Saturday and Sunday. At Portals, you can buy unique hair wrap jewelry priced by length.
Jules, Enchanting Gifts and Collectibles invites you to shop like Santa providing homemade cookies while you explore her gift array. Other shops like Black Cat Music, Nature Niche and Lions Lair have special promotions. Visit every shop from the Berkeley Springs Antique Mall at the end of Fairfax Street around the corner and down some decorated blocks to the Old Factory Antique Mall. In between you'll find everything from teas, vintage clothing and crystals to Himalayan artifacts, BS and WV logoed items, local books, lotions and oils. A nationally recognized art town, Berkeley Springs has several fine galleries filled with local and regional artists from Mountain Laurel and the Ice House Co-op to Heath Studio Galleries. Head on out to Frog Valley Artisans for art shopping and classes on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Gift certificates are HOT holiday treats and in Berkeley Springs you can find them for spa treatments -- after you sample that massage, facial or scrub yourself -- as well a fabulous dining at locales like Lot 12, Tari's Cafe and Panorama at the Peak. A handful of Earth Dog Cafe gift certificates are a great treat for breakfast lovers since they serve it all day. Ask at our dozen or so other excellent eateries. All will be open this weekend so you can stage your own dining tour and decide which you want for your gif tees -- maybe all.
Another great gift idea is a certificate to come for the weekend and stay at our wide selection of places to lay your head. For you -- or your family or friends -- check out the newly re-opened Country Inn, elegant B&Bs in town and a long list of cabins, log houses and vacation homes out along the ridges and rivers. Whether you choose a place with a wood stove or one with a hot whirlpool tub in the rooms, the result is the same -- a wonderfully relaxing getaway from the bustle of the holiday season. Berkeley Springs was featured among the top 10 mountain town getaways IN THE WORLD by USA Today because of what you find here every weekend tied up with a special bow on top for Christmas.