For the past several years, visitors to Old Town Winchester have grown accustomed to a familiar tradition of summer events. Faced with the continuing spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and a host of public health recommendations from the Governor, the City has decided to cancel major public events through September. However, there’s still plenty to love in Old Town Winchester—especially with the new addition of engaging, socially-distant programming on the Loudoun Street Mall weekly throughout the summer.
Instead, visitors to Old Town Winchester’s Loudoun St. Pedestrian Mall can expect to enjoy performers, artisans, and other entertainment every week as they shop, dine, and explore. During the week, nearly all businesses are open regular hours for in-person or pickup shopping while the restaurants offer patio seating under the summer sun—and on weekends, the temporary Boscawen Street traffic closure opens up even more room to spread out, breathe freely, and take in street performances by local artists and musicians.
“Like everyone else right now, safety is our number one concern,” says Community Arts and Vitality Manager Alex Flanigan. “And that means changing the way we think about entertainment. We can’t do large crowds or show-stopping concerts right now, but what we want people to know is that the things they’re looking for—art, music, great recreational experiences and shared memories—are right here in Old Town already, and there’s so much to discover just by coming down to explore on your own time.”
This safe, socially-distant alternative to typical event programming is Old Town Winchester’s Summer Vibe series, and includes regularly programmed live entertainment as well as promotion of local businesses and spontaneous art engagement. Performances will run through the summer, on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays during the Boscawen closure period, while weekdays will offer a quieter, casual pedestrian experience.
The Old Town Special Event Coordinator, Full Circle Marketing, will be scheduling performers at differing times and days every weekend to create a sense of variety and spontaneity, and to promise a unique Old Town experience to visitors no matter how many times they return. Members of the community will be able to enjoy live entertainment and an engaging atmosphere while limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus. To that end, Old Town Winchester asks that attendees uphold social distancing guidelines and best practices, including the use of face coverings and regular handwashing, and that anyone with symptoms or known exposure to please stay home to help protect our community.
Additional information on the Summer Vibe series and other 2020 Old Town Winchester events will be released as it becomes available. Always follow Old Town Winchester on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news.
For more information regarding the events and participating as a performer, artisan, vendor or volunteer, please contact Dario Savarese, Special Event Coordinator, at 540-722-8700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.