Local Events

2022 Gloucester Daffodil Festival

 

Daffodil Festival Plans Full Return for 2022

 

The Gloucester Daffodil Festival is planning to return in its full form in 2022, according to Debbie Wesolowski, Festival Coordinator.

The festival’s theme will be “In Full Bloom,” celebrating both a full return and the history of the popular event. The 2022 festival is planned for April 2-3, 2022, and registration for various activities surrounding the event have already opened.

According to Wesolowski, all local artists are currently invited to enter the Juried Art Show for the official 2022 Daffodil Festival Print. For more information, or to fill out the application, visit the festival website, www.daffodilfestivalva.org.

In honor of the festival’s history, organizers are looking back to the very beginning of the event, which were the Daffodil Tours that took place in 1939-1942 in Gloucester and Mathews counties. As part of this “look back,” organizers would like to recreate a photo taken for the 1942 National Geographic
article that highlighted the festival. The photo, which shows about 30 women in Dutch hats picking daffodils, connected how the daffodil tours began and one of the themes used, back to Holland. The re-created photo will be featured in a future edition of the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal.
To re-create this moment in history, the festival will offer a one-time sponsorship opportunity targeting smaller local businesses that have not had the opportunity to be a sponsor before. More information on
how to be a part of this affordable sponsorship opportunity can be found on the festival’s website.

Wesolowski said she is also looking for descendants of the first three Daffodil Tour Queens, Delta Osborne in 1939; Harriet Miller in 1940, and Mary Tyler Chadwick in 1941. If anyone is related to either of these past three Queens, they are encouraged to contact Wesolowski at 804-693-2355 or dwesolowski@gloucesterva.info.

Finally, the festival is inviting girls from Gloucester County ages 6-10 to enter the Little Miss Daffodil Contest once again. Entry forms will be available on the festival website beginning in February 2022.

To keep up to date with the latest Daffodil Festival information about sponsorship opportunities, vendor
applications, the Daffodil Festival Print, Parade, Queen applications, scholarship applications and more,
visit
www.daffodilfestivalva.org.

DAV Chapter 58 Gloucester

The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 58, located in Gloucester, at 6265 Professional Drive directly behind XTRA99.

Their certified claims service officers can assist ALL Veterans and their dependants with submitting claims to the Veterans Administration. No appointment necessary, you'll need a DD214. Their hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 804-695-1558 for any information.

Middle Peninsula R.A.C.E. Open Enrollment

Middle Peninsula adults, don't let COVID derail your plans.

You can start today: Open Enrollment

  • Teacher facilitated subject specific instruction
  • Distance and Hybrid options
  • NorthStar Digital Literacy Test for certification
  • CDA Certification

Don't Delay, Register Today! All you have to do is:

  1. Call MP R.A.C.E. at 804-769-1156.
  2. Register for FREE Adult Education class. (ABE, ELL, GED)
  3. Study with us and get a scholarship to take the GED Test($120 value)
  4. Enroll in Digital Literacy or English language class.
  5. 2021 Career Pathway: (Child Development Associate Certification)

Call 804-769-1156 or visit mprace.org for enrollment and more information.

 

 

Newport News Park

12 Things You May Not Know About Newport News Park 

In 1966, the City of Newport News created a watershed around Lee Hall Reservoir to protect the quality of its water. That watershed was developed into Newport News Park. Since then, it’s been a gem in our city, providing trails, shade, a huge variety of wildlife, and much more. So much more, that you probably don’t even know about all this amazing park has to offer. We’ve outlined the Top 12 things you need to know about Newport News Park that will get you planning your next trip there as soon as possible!

1. It’s HUGE

One of the largest municipal parks in the United States, Newport News Park is nine times larger than New York City’s Central Park! At 7,711 acres, Newport News Park is an oasis in the middle of a large metropolitan city. The park is so large that it has its very own campground! 

2. It’s a great place to camp

Campers and outdoor enthusiasts find Newport News Park’s campground the perfect retreat. Its 188 campsites are spaciously arranged throughout the park’s natural woodlands. Camp here and you’ll be surrounded by many of the comforts of home, including electricity, heated showers, a laundry room, a small store for food and supplies, and 24-hour security. And, needless to say, pets are welcome, too!

3. It has an aero-model flying field 

Did you know that Newport News Park has an aero-model flying field? What’s that, you may ask? It’s a place for model aviation enthusiasts to fly their radio-controlled aircraft. The busiest flying times are usually Saturday and Sunday afternoons, weather permitting. The field has a paved 400-foot runway and a spacious 30-acre flyover area, along with bleachers for visitors and spectators.

4. It has miles of trails

The park also offers more than 30 miles of trails through forest, field, and marshland – with many native species to observe in their natural habitat. As you can imagine, the park is home to an incredible variety of native wildlife – deer, fox, raccoon and beaver, to name a few – all found in a thriving setting filled with lush woodlands, flowering meadows, and shimmering lakes. 

5. It has a center to rehabilitate wildlife 

The park even has a state- and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitation program, located at the Discovery Center. The staff there provides care to hundreds of injured or orphaned animals annually, enabling the animals to return to their natural environments, healthy and self-sufficient. We like to think of the Discovery Center as a “temporary haven” for wildlife when they’re most in need. The center also has numerous educational exhibits on display, which are open to the public.

6. You can rent a bike for $3

If you enjoy cycling, bring your own bike or rent one from the campsite office to hit the park’s popular 5.3-mile hard-packed, flat-surface multi-use trail. Newport News Park shares a long stretch of border with the Colonial National Historical Park and several of the park's biking and hiking trails cross over into this historical area.

7. It has ties to the Civil War

Speaking of history, did you know that Newport News Park is the site of some of the best preserved Civil War fortifications, earthworks and redoubts in Virginia? During the American Civil War, the park was the site of Battle of Dam No. 1. In the days prior to the battle, Confederate forces constructed rifle pits and other earthworks from which they held off the Union Army.  Because of this, the park is a designated stop on the official Virginia Civil War Trails network.

8. It has numerous playgrounds and horseshoe pits

Families with small children will be happy to know that Newport News Park has FOUR playgrounds, including one specifically made for younger children (found in Picnic Area 2). With four certified courts for horseshoes, there’s no better place than Newport News Park to play horseshoes, too, especially if you want to keep your own lawn back home pristine! Just remember to bring your own horseshoes, as the park does not provide them.

9. It boasts archery, golf, and a Japanese Peace Garden!

Additionally, it has an archery range, two 18-hole golf courses, and an 18-hole championship disc golf course in the arboretum area. Floral gardens at the park include a Japanese Peace Garden with an authentic tea house!

10.  It’s a great place to go fishing

For water enthusiasts, fishing is permitted in two large freshwater lakes, along with canoe, paddleboat, and Jon boat rentals. And don’t worry about bringing your own paddles, oars, or personal flotation devices – they’re all included in the rental.

11.  There’s a team-building course 

Organized groups looking for a physical and a mental challenge are invited to make a reservation to take the park’s “Ropes & Initiatives Course.” It features a progression of more difficult tasks, similar to an obstacle course. It can be a powerful tool for enhancing group dynamics.  

12.   There are lots of FREE programs there

 

OK, now that we know what Newport News Park has to offer, let’s talk about the many FREE programs scheduled there on a regular basis! Who knew the park offered the following activities?  

1. Archery Safety Lessons – A park ranger presents this one-hour presentation to teach general archery safety tips and discuss the rules and regulations specific to Newport News Park. You’ll also learn more about the art of archery. Call 757-888-3333 for dates and to register.

 2. Bird Walks – Since 1965, the Hampton Roads Bird Club has monitored the park’s bird population on a regular basis. Join club members in the parking lot of Picnic Area 1 at 7 a.m. every first and third Sunday of the month for some early morning birding. Take a stroll through the park and see what interesting species of birds live here. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars!

3. Friday Night Adventures – Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you can bring your family to the Discovery Center at Newport News Park every Friday evening to learn about some of the amazing living creatures that make their homes in and around the park. Meet a park naturalist to discover facts about some of the park’s natural and historical features through nature walks, themed presentations, and hands-on activities. Topics range from beavers, snakes, and owls to bats, opossums, deer, raccoons, and other creatures inhabiting the park. 

4. Hayrides – Hop on a Saturday evening hayride to explore the park’s beautiful and diverse forest habitats. These family friendly adventures are led by park staff. Hayrides, which depart from the campsite office, are offered on select Saturday evenings between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Rides are free, but tickets are required and distributed at the Campsite Office on a first-come, first-served basis starting 30 minutes before each departure time.

5. Story and a Walk – Enjoy a fun nature story at the Discovery Center in Newport News Park and then take a short walk to discover what you can find around the park. Targeted toward preschool children and their caregivers, this program is held at 10 a.m. every second Wednesday of the month. 

6. Walking Club – This free walking program was created for adults over age 55 who want to get fit or stay fit. Walk through some of the parks most beautiful trails at 10 a.m. every Friday. Call 757-812-7905 to register.

Obviously, the only challenge you’ll have in visiting Newport News Park is selecting among all the fun programs and numerous things to do there! If you opt for one of the programmed activities, call first because a few of these activities are only offered during the summer months. For questions or additional information, call Newport News Park at 757-886-7912.

 

Riverside Hospice Agencies

Riverside Hospice Agencies are looking for volunteers for the Tappahannock and Gloucester offices. They are in need of patient companion volunteers, bereavement and spiritual support volunteers. 8 hours of free training is required and broken up in to two 4 hour days. Criminal background check and Tuberculosis test(covered by Riverside) are also required.

Becoming a hospice volunteer is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself and others.

For more information call Frannie Bernard @ 804-443-6130, 804-693-1111 or email to frances.bernard@rivhs.com.

Newport News Tourism

Newport News Tourism adds Bike Trails to its Website

Cycling is a hobby that can be enjoyed year-round in Coastal Virginia! As such, Newport News Tourism is happy to announce that a new online resource is now available for cyclists to find a variety of bike trails in the city. The trails, which have been added to our website, are separated into three categories: Road biking, Recreational biking, and Mountain biking.

 The trails cover many miles of local terrain, with varying degrees of difficulty. From a leisurely 2-mile paved trail in Riverview Farm Park to the beginner/advanced/expert mountain bike trails in Harwood’s Mill, there is something for all outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy!

A brief description of the six trails is provided, each elaborating on the scenic river views, wooded parks, historic homes, museums, lakefront areas, bridges, and urban streets you’re likely to encounter. 

Maps are available in two formats: Downloadable PDF files that can be printed and online/interactive maps accessible from the web.  The maps can be useful for planning your route in advance and include the following:

Road biking Route 1 – Local Favorite – 8 miles Route 1 – City Tour – 21 miles

Recreational biking Riverview Farm Park – 2 miles Newport News Park – 5.3 miles

Mountain biking Lake Maury Natural Area – 5 miles Harwood’s Mill – 5.9 miles

To make sure everyone takes the typical precautions when biking, we’ve also included a “Bike Safety” tab on the website, which includes basic bicycle rules of the road and cycling tips. For more information, click on “Bike Trails” from the home page of our website at www.newport-news.org.

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