We pre-recorded today’s conversation via Zoom with Kristen Laise, Executive Director for Belle Grove to get the details about holiday tours and their Kris Kringle Outdoor Market happening on Saturday, December 5, 2020 from 10am – 4pm and Sunday, December 6, 2020 from 1pm – 5pm. The event will feature local artisans and makers on the grounds and upper level of the Beverley B. Shoemaker Welcome Center.

Holiday tours began today (December 4, 2020) and will run through December 30, 2020. Guided Tours: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (last tour 3:15 p.m.) and Sundays, 1-5 p.m. (last tour 4:15 p.m.) Christmas by Candlelight (self-guided tours): Friday and Saturdays 4 – 8 p.m. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Kristen explained the safety protocols in place for visitors which includes a modification to timing in order to accommodate physical distancing. There is a limit of ten guests per tour and admission is sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Masks are also required. Tours will include indoor and outdoor portions. She also reminded us that there are self-guided brochures of the grounds and outdoor signage that interpret the property; plus, there are picnic tables (placed at safe physical distance) that guests are welcome to use.

Visitors to Belle Grove can also view their exhibit – Shenandoah Valley Tapestry – a community stitching project that was spearheaded in 2015 by the Winchester Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America and the Multicultural Club College of Frederick County. It depicts in embroidery the painting Winchester and Frederick County, Virginia by Page Huff Dillon, which was in turn, was inspired by the book Defend the Valley by Margaretta Barton Colt.

Eighty-one stitchers of all skill levels and ages, from across five states and from abroad worked on the Tapestry. Through community outreach events, 1,400 community members also made one stitch in this unique artwork. The Tapestry is on view on the lower level of the Beverley B. Shoemaker Welcome Center during Belle Grove’s open hours through December 30, 2020. Guests are also invited to “take a stitch” in a new embroidery piece depicting Belle Grove’s historic Plantation Office and Store building.

For more information about Belle Grove, including memberships and upcoming events, visit their website: https://www.bellegrove.org/ and follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BelleGrove/ and Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/BelleGrove/