Festival Organizers are well aware of the extremely high demand for a wide variety of Festival get-togethers in the midday period on Festival Friday. The “original” Festival-Friday-Midday event, founded many years ago, was the Ladies’ Horticultural Luncheon. With the immediate and lasting success of this event, the men of the community wanted involvement, too; and, soon after, the Stag Luncheon was born. The Stag Luncheon was always a bit “noisier” in tone than the Ladies’ Luncheon; and, eventually, a group of younger ladies wanted to do an event that was a bit “noisier” than the Ladies’ Luncheon; and, thus, the Bloomers’ Luncheon was born. About twenty years ago, the idea was brought to the Festival to create a religiously-oriented Brunch on Festival-Friday; and, the Prayer Brunch came into being. Next, as the Stag Luncheon got bigger, bolder and more music-oriented, a group of local businessmen wanted a smaller, quieter event; an event with more of a business and political flavor; and, at that point, the Men’s Commonwealth Luncheon split away from the Stag Luncheon, and became the event of choice for the male “Movers and Shakers” in the Land of Pink and Green.
But, by 2016, it had become increasingly obvious that, with a female Winchester City Manager in Eden Freeman, a female Frederick County Administrator in Brenda Garton, a female President at Shenandoah University in Tracy Fitzsimmons [just to name three examples], there was an abundance of female “Movers and Shakers” in the community as well. A suggestion was made to Festival Organizers that, just as the Stag Luncheon and the Bloomers’ Luncheon are, in essence, a pair, there should be a pairing for the Men’s Commonwealth Luncheon; and, the Festival set out to create that pairing. The new ladies’ event went through a series of potential names; but, in the end, it was decided to give it a very obvious name, to give it a name that described exactly what it was: the “Ladies’ Commonwealth Luncheon.” This was later shortened to “Ladies’ Commonwealth” because, technically, it is not going to be a luncheon; and, the Festival didn’t want to mislead.
Festival President, Mike Stanfield, is pleased to announce that the inaugural United Capital Ladies’ Commonwealth Presented by Winchester Weightloss will be held at 11:00am on Friday, May 5th, 2017, in the elegant Ballroom of the George Washington Hotel. Glenne White [Event Co-Chair along with Kay Ross] gives this thumbnail description of the new event: “Ladies’ Commonwealth is a quick two hours of high-style networking and socializing for the leading ladies of Bloomtown 2017.” There will be three bars serving a variety of soft and adult beverages. The food selected will be a mixed brunch of finger foods and desserts, some served from stations, others passed through the crowd. High-top tables and a few chairs will be scattered around the room; but, the idea is not to “sit in the corner.” The idea is to get a beverage and a snack, and mix, move and mingle cocktail party style. The lost art of conversation is the key, with no formal program or speeches. A deejay will be playing classics from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s; and, a photo booth will add to the fun. An apple blossom pin, specially designed for this occasion, will be presented to each attendee.
Glenne continues: “The beautiful old world charm of the Ballroom at the George Washington Hotel will complement the gathering of up to 200 ladies in their Bloom attire. Come and join us for this inaugural event. Our generous sponsors will have small displays, but all are invited to bring their business cards. Who knows what new connections can be made!!” Advance Ticket Orders may still be placed at ABHQ; but, that will be cut off fairly soon; and, after that, on Friday, April 7th, all ticket sales will transfer to the Official Festival Souvenir Store and Ticket Outlet located at 212 East Cork Street [same convenient location as last year].