Week of March 10-16, 2014
This weekend is devoted to celebrating Berkeley Springs' absolutely exclusive attraction -- George Washington's bathtub! And the town goes all out making sure George's face still means something. Both the bathtub and the celebration are firmly rooted in historic truth. On March 18, 1748, George Washington first visited "ye fam'd warm springs." Several times over succeeding decades he returned to bathe, claiming the waters would make a cure for him. The actual tub? Well, like the unfounded report of a secret meeting between George Washington and St. Patrick...it may have a bit of spin about it.
Hear about George Washington : Fact, Fiction & Legend on Saturday. It's the season opening of the Museum of the Berkeley Springs. Doors open at 11am then at 2pm it's the annual reading from George Washington's papers. Perennial readers John Douglas and Jeanne Mozier are informed and amusing -- and happy to field questions about George, the water, other notable visitors and events....and just about anything else Berkeley Springs. Other Museum highlights include the 800 lb. Oriskany sandstone crystal, George Washington' rock and a splendid display of historic bathing costumes. Enter at the giant MUSEUM sign on the second floor of the historic Roman Bath House in Berkeley Springs State Park. Regular hours are Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm.
Nightlife fun includes a St. Pat's karaoke and Costume Party at Earth Dog Cafe on Friday at 9pm. Earlier at 7pm, the 19th Hole celebrates the '80s -- a good decade for GW…the 1789s, that is. For Friday night, it's the 1980s w/ DK, more karaoke and '80s finery.
The Star Theatre is selling an unbuttered box of their world famous popcorn for just a buck Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8pm. They are showing "3 Days to Kill" with Kevin Costner who won an Emmy for playing Devil Anse Hatfield but never had a role as George Washington.
On Sunday afternoon, BlackCat Music ignores all the themes and hosts an all-ages African Drum workshop with Anne Hamilton from 3-5pm.
Shopping specials prove that Washington's face still means something in Berkeley Springs with dollar related discounts and sales. Jules is having a President Party with $1 off all Pot Belly Box Figurine Presidents while Nature Niche offers a dollar off every item you buy. Berkeley Springs Memories is celebrating George's Bath Salts by giving a 15% discount on all their BS logoed products and anyone who comes in wearing a BS logoed item gets another 10% off. Lunar Herbs is selling organic bath products that George would have found familiar, and they're doing it from their new location on Washington St. in a grand Re-Opening. The R.A.G. Shop lets you select any item in the store and get 25% off.
Cacapon State Park also gives the nod to St. Patty with two afternoon workshops making a wishing wand and leprechauns then racing those little green scamps on balloons. Head for the golf course and watch to see if George and St. Patty take time out for a "hitting to the green." The big activity at Cacapon is sponsored by the Audubon Society. George Washington spent most of the first half his life in the saddle and a lot of that time meant eating on the road which in those days meant kill it yourself. On Saturday, starting at 10am at the Nature Center, there's a fascinating hike learning to identify wildlife signs when found in the woods.
In his journals, Washington praised the food he found during his visits to the springs. Panorama at the Peak is offering serving peanut soup, one of George's favorites as well as a favorite colonial dessert treat, meringues with local strawberries for just a dollar. Out the window, you'll see the fabulous panorama view that was a favorite ride of his (on horseback -- you get to drive) during George's visits to the springs.
Atasia Spa goes for the green with a special Blarney Stone Massage and Leaping Leprechaun foot treatment soaks in green tea. You can also dabble your toes in George's outdoor bathtub in Berkeley Springs State Park any time.
If you want to know more about George and his many connections with the area, drive the self-guiding Washington Heritage Trail that stretches more than 50 miles through the county from George's favorite rest stop at Spruce Pine Hollow Park, past his lots in downtown Berkeley Springs to the Paw Paw Tunnel along his favorite short-cut to Cumberland.
One thing George did complain about was having no place to stay when he came to visit. A problem NO LONGER! Berkeley Springs has so many pillow-types to offer, even Martha would be happy. There are elegant B&Bs and inns. There are log houses and cabins and fully equipped vacation homes. There are name-brand inns and bargain inns and inns out in the country. When you leave after this truly memorable weekend, you'll thank George for his 18th century choices and plan to return as he did --over and over again.