Groundbreaking Exhibition to Open to All at the MSV on Friday, August 30; Three Days of Opening Festivities Follow and Include Boots, Beer & BBQ (August 31); Big Band Sunday (Sept. 1); Patsy Cline Day (Sept.2)

Winchester, VA, 8/09/13…To celebrate the upcoming opening of Becoming Patsy Cline—an exciting new exhibition telling the story of Virginia “Ginny” Patterson Hensley before she became music icon Patsy Cline—the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) will present three, fun-filled days of festivities over this Labor Day holiday.

The exhibition will open to all at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 30. The opening-event festivities begin on Saturday, August 31. That evening, from 6 until 9 p.m., the MSV and exhibition underwriter Shenandoah Country Q102 will present Boots, Beer & BBQ. The radio station’s popular morning duo, Chris and Rosie, will host this country-music celebration, which will include southern-style food from Bonnie Blue, country music from the North Carolina band Tim Hall and Buffalo Country, and a “Best Boots” contest hosted by The Total Image and Workingman’s Store. The person judged to be wearing the best boots of the evening will win a $100 gift certificate to The Total Image and Workingman’s Store.

The Boots, Beer & BBQ menu includes barbecued pork, southern fried chicken, sweet-corn fritters, Carolina-style coleslaw, buttermilk biscuits with Virginia ham gravy, and tarts and cookies for dessert. Additional beer and wine will be available for purchase at the event for $5 per glass.

Tickets for the event—which include food, music, gallery admission, a commemorative cup, and two complimentary beer tickets—are $40 per person for MSV Members and $45 for all others or $75 per MSV-Member couple and $85 for all other couples. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the MSV. Those interested in attending are encouraged to purchase tickets early, as the event is expected to sell out quickly and tickets will not be available for purchase at the party.

Area residents also will have the opportunity to win tickets to Boots, Beer & BBQ by participating in free drawings at Bonnie Blue and The Total Image and Workingman’s Store, both located a short distance east of the MSV on Boscawen Street, Winchester. Those interested in entering the drawings may do so now until 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 25; winners will be notified on Monday, August 26. In addition, five lucky listeners of Q102 will receive free tickets through on-air and on-line contests. Listen to 102.5 FM or refer to for details. 

Next in the festivities lineup, on Sunday, September 1, the MSV will host Big Band Sunday, a special afternoon tribute to Patsy Cline’s days fronting a Big Band in the 1950s. The Yesterday Swing Orchestra will play Big Band hits from 1 to 3 p.m., and from 1 until 4 p.m. the Museum Store will host a special sale of the book Patsy Cline: The Making of an Icon, with author Douglas Gomery on hand to sign all books. Gomery, the official historian for Celebrating Patsy Cline, is serving as guest curator for Becoming Patsy Cline. The author of 21 books and more than 500 academic articles, Gomery has taught the history of mass media at a number of universities and is now the Resident Scholar, Special Collections, Mass Media and Culture, at the Library of American Broadcasting, located at the University of Maryland.

Rounding out the festivities, on Labor Day, Monday, September 2, and thanks to exhibition underwriter Grove’s Winchester Harley–Davidson, the MSV will present Patsy Cline Day, with free admission to all to the new exhibition and the entire site from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.  

Along with free gallery and garden admission, the day will include a variety of free, 1950s-era games for children and families in the lawn between the Museum and the gardens. Those attending may play games such as Pickle Pitch, Blue Ribbon Cow Pies, Spill the Milk, and Ring Toss. In addition, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., visitors may enter a Count the Kernels contest to guess the number of popcorn kernels in a jar. The person with the closest guess will win the jar of popcorn and a one-year Family Membership to the Museum (value $75). Guests also may play cornhole (a bean-bag toss lawn game) throughout the day, and three children’s cornhole tournaments will take place. Ages 6 to 9 will compete at 11 a.m. (registration from 10 to 10:30 a.m.), ages 10 to 12 at noon (registration from 11 to 11:30 a.m.), and ages 13 to 15 at 1 p.m. (registration from noon to 12:30 p.m.). Winners of each tournament will receive a Patsy Cline t-shirt, two free passes to the MSV, and a hat. In addition, from 1 until 3 p.m., Shenandoah Valley musician Bryan Shepherd and his band will play country classics, along with original music.

About Becoming Patsy Cline

The most ambitious exhibition the MSV has organized to this date, Becoming Patsy Cline will be on view at the MSV through February 2, 2014. Acknowledged by many as the most popular and influential female country singer in recording history, Patsy Cline (1932–1963) was the first female solo artist inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Despite a career that was cut short by her tragic death at the age of 30, Patsy Cline recorded 102 songs and three, full-length albums. Her recordings have sold millions of copies worldwide; she has a star on Hollywood Boulevard and her own stamp with the U.S. Postal Service. Patsy Cline also has received numerous posthumous honors and has been the subject of biographies, musicals, plays, and a feature film. Nearly fifty years after her death, the popularity of her hit recordings, such as “Crazy,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces,” and “Sweet Dreams,” endures today.

Patsy Cline spent most of her life in the Shenandoah Valley. Here she began to realize her dream of becoming a professional singer. Becoming Patsy Cline uses objects, rare photographs, and clothing—much of which is on first-time public display—to illustrate Patsy Cline’s Shenandoah Valley story. The exhibition describes the singer’s family history, examines her early influences, and introduces the people—most importantly, her mother, Hilda Patterson Hensley—whose support and guidance helped Patsy achieve her dream.

To organize Becoming Patsy Cline, the MSV has collaborated with Winchester-based Celebrating Patsy Cline, the not-for-profit organization that owns and operates the Patsy Cline Historic House in Winchester. According to Dana Hand Evans, MSV executive director, Becoming Patsy Cline, which has been years in the making, is being made possible with the support of Patsy Cline’s husband Charlie Dick and their son and daughter, Randy Dick and Julie Fudge. Evans also notes that the MSV received critical underwriting support for Becoming Patsy Cline from Grove’s Winchester Harley–Davidson, Shenandoah Country Q102, and Winchester Printers, Inc.

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV complex—which includes galleries, six acres of gardens, and the Glen Burnie House—is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Museum galleries are open year-round; the gardens are open April through October. The Glen Burnie House is now closed until 2014 for a preservation project. Daytime admission includes access to the gardens and the galleries and is $10 or $8 for seniors and youth ages 13 to 18. Admission is always free to youth ages 12 and under, to MSV Members, and to all every Wednesday from 10 a.m. until noon.

Additional information about the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Becoming Patsy Cline, and MSV events and exhibitions is available at or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235.