Local Events

Red Cross Blood Drive

There will be a Red Cross Blood Drive on Tuesday December 1st at the Piankatank Ruritan Building on Route 198 in Hudgins from 2-7PM. An appointment is required so please go to redcrossblood.org or call 725-2485 to make one. All types of blood are needed, so bring your mask and start the holiday season by giving the gift of life. The American Legion Post 83 and Mathews Women's Club are sponsoring the event.

Gloucester's 2020 Virtual Holiday and Christmas Parade

Gloucester’s 2020 Holiday and Christmas Parade to be held Virtually this Year

 

Gloucester County’s Christmas and Holiday Parade, “Hometown Holiday” will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of the public. Though the event will not be held in-person, public participation is still encouraged.

 

This year, participants are invited to decorate a shoebox-sized float for their group, organization, family, school, etc. These will then be filmed in front of a backdrop and will include commentary from an emcee, just like the real thing.

 

The parade will be broadcast on Gloucester Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s Facebook page, (https://www.facebook.com/GloPRT) and the website (https://www.gloucesterva.info/pr) on Saturday, Dec. 5 beginning at 3 p.m.

 

To enter, visit the PR&T website and click on the “Hometown Holiday” graphic. An entry form must be filled out for each float. Floats must be dropped off at the PR&T office, located at 6382 Main Street by Tuesday, Dec. 1 at noon. All floats should depict this year’s theme, “Hometown Holiday,” and prizes will be awarded for the most creative interpretation.

 

Floats should be approximately 9”L x 4”H x 4”L (rectangle tissue box) to 12”L x 9”H a 9”W (women’s size 11 or men’s size 9 shoebox). The bottom of the float must be flat so it can be pulled. Working wheels are okay but not required. The parade will travel left to right across the screen, so participants are asked to decorate accordingly.

 

“The year 2020 has challenged us to come up with innovative ways to bring our community the much-loved traditions we all have to come to look forward to, especially during the holiday season,” said Katey Legg, Gloucester’s PR&T Director. “Even though we are unable to celebrate this tradition in-person this year, we hope you will consider celebrating with us virtually.”

 

For more information, call the PR&T office at 804-693-2355 or e-mail prt@gloucesterva.info.

Yorktown Market Days

After a seven-week temporary drive-thru model at McReynolds Athletic Complex, Yorktown Market Days is excited to return to its regular time and location at the waterfront from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The transition back to Riverwalk Landing is an exciting one for vendors, artists, and staff alike.

“I feel people and their pets are ready for some fresh air, fresh produce and foods, and that one-on-one interaction with the farmers and small business owners. It’s all part of the Yorktown Market atmosphere!” says Market Manager Mark Medford.

Customers who have not yet shopped the market this season will notice a few changes, some of which will carry over from the drive-thru operations, including required spacing between vendors and a setup to avoid congestion in typically high-traffic areas. Vendors and staff who are engaging with customers will be required to wear face coverings. There will also be no open sampling of any foods and live entertainment has been put on hold. Hand sanitizer stations will be set up as you enter as well as signs stating that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days, is permitted to shop the market.

Many vendors say they plan to continue to offer pre-order, pre-payment, and pickup options, although it will be up to those individual businesses to communicate plans and to make arrangements with customers.

Yorktown Market Days is a proud participant in the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as well as Virginia’s Fresh Match Program which gives qualifying customers one dollar for every dollar they spend on fruits and vegetables. The cap has been temporarily waived so families can put as much of their money as they’d like toward produce under the Fresh Match, using their EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP card. This includes the one-time benefit called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT.

 

2020 Themed Markets
November 21: Harvest Festival (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
December 12: Mistletoe Market (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

 

Yorktown Market Days runs Saturdays through the end of October, rain or shine, with the exception of October 3. Once the weekly season ends, there are three special holiday markets that include favorite Thanksgiving foods, visits from Santa, and plenty of shopping opportunities!

Free parking is available at the Riverwalk Landing parking terrace, York Hall, York-Poquoson Courthouse, County Administration Building, and other designated public parking lots. The complimentary, wheelchair accessible Yorktown Trolley will be available, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with several convenient stops throughout town.

 

Additional Information

 

 

Special thanks to the 2020 Cultivator Sponsors State Farm Agent Mark Irwin and  Langley Federal Credit Union. Additional recognition goes to Harvester Sponsor Amory Funeral Home for entertainment and Seed Sower Sponsor Parks Orthodontics for providing all the kid-friendly activities.

GCPS Screenings for Preschooler's

Do you have concerns regarding your preschooler's development?

Gloucester County Public Schools conducts screenings for preschool children as part of their Child Find Activities throughout the school year. Parents/Guardians should consider having their children screened if they are experiencing difficulty walking, talking, playing, and meeting developmental milestones.

The screening will take place at Thomas Calhoun Walker Education Center. If you are interested in having your child screened, please call the Special Education Office at 693-7880 or 693-7944 to schedule a screening appointment.

Dates are listed below and are subject to change.

 

 

Blood Donation Information

We now face a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak. We encourage healthy individuals to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.
 
To find a Blood Drive near you please visit: www.redcrossblood.org/give
 
Blood donation remains a safe process.  Do not hesitate to give and receive blood even during  this time of social distancing.  
 
At each blood drive, Red Cross employees are following thorough safety protocols. In addition to standard procedures, you will notice the following at your local blood drive:  Pre-Temperature Screening: All donors will be asked to have their temperature taken before being permitted into the blood drive. If a donor has a temperature greater than 99.5°F they will be asked to return to donate when they are healthy & asked to leave the drive.

Enhanced Disinfecting: Hand sanitizer will be at check-in, health history & refreshment areas. Donors will be asked to use hand sanitizer prior to using tablets & laptops. Donors beds will be sanitized between each & every donor.

Social Distancing: Implementation of separated drive set up to allow as much distance as possible between donors.

Staff Wellness and Protection: All staff members will have a temperature check before presenting to work, and they've been asked not to come to work if they are feeling sick. Staff will wear gloves throughout entire blood drive, changing gloves between every donor.

2020 Gloucester County Tuesday Blood Drive Schedule

Be a part of a lifesaving journey. Donate blood. The 2020 Gloucester County Tuesday Blood Drive Schedule is listed below.

To schedule an appointment please visit redcross.org and enter sponsor code GCVa or call Mary Beth at 757-876-7046.

 

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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