A new view for festival goers

Published 7:17 pm Tuesday, April 24, 2018

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Visitors to Windsor Castle Park have likely noticed that an area is being cleared down the hill from the newly constructed storage and maintenance buildings. 

The area is being cleared, at the expense of Smithfield VA Events, because several trees were in danger of falling on the new buildings after being choked by English ivy, said Smithfield Parks and Recreation Director Amy Novak. 

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Also, the green shaded space provides more places for event participants to relax and enjoy the property, said Novak, adding that the clearing also has allowed debris and trash to be removed. 

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“This was unsightly and could contaminate this vulnerable area adjacent to the waterway.  There is still a large portion of this wooded area remaining so the wildlife will still have a home at the park,” said Novak.

The newly constructed storage barn closest to the clearing has a porch that that will accommodate convection ovens to cook bacon during the Bacon, Bourbon and Beach Music Fest in October, Novak said. 

The other storage barn will include a laundry area to be used by Smithfield VA Events, said Novak. It will contain a high capacity washer and dryer for the large amount of linens that SVAE uses for the three festivals, said Novak. 

The barns are part of the 15-year lease agreement between the town of Smithfield and Smithfield VA Events, which was signed last year. The barns, estimated to cost about $257,000, will be used by Smithfield VA Events, which in turn would pay $27,000 a year in lease payments to pay for the barns and use of the caretaker’s house, across Jericho Road from the Windsor Castle Manor House.

The former caretaker’s house is now considered the “Command Center” for the festivals that draw thousands of residents and visitors to the park. 

The nonprofit Smithfield VA Events puts on three festivals a year at Windsor Castle Park — the Wine and Brew Fest in April, the Bacon, Bourbon and Beach Music Fest in October and the BOB Fest (Bloody Marys, oysters, Brunswick stew and barbecue) in January. 

The organization provides local volunteer and civic organizations with an opportunity to raise money by volunteering, as well as giving out grants each year to a number of local organizations. As of last fall, SVAE had donated more than $623,000 to organizations in Smithfield and Isle of Wight.