The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) is getting ready for 2024 by inviting artists of all ages to participate in the annual First Night Winchester Coloring Contest and offering free family-oriented entertainment throughout the day on December 31. In addition, admission to the Museum’s galleries and gardens will be by donation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

On December 31 and in the galleries building, magic shows will take place at 10 a.m. and noon, the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center will present programs at 2 & 4 p.m., and balloon animal making & face painting will take place from noon to 3 p.m. While the entertainment is free, tickets are required for the magic and animal shows. Those interested in attending may get tickets at As space is limited, early registration is encouraged. Tickets are not required for the face painting or balloon activities.

Now underway and going through December 28, the First Night Winchester coloring contest is open to all ages and offers the opportunity for artists to win prizes. Drawn by Shenandoah Valley artist John Burns, the coloring sheet celebrates the superheroes on view in the Marvelocity exhibition at the MSV and the 2.4-mile New Year’s Day Fun Run taking place on The Trails at the MSV on January 1. Beginning at 9 a.m., the run is being organized by the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival and advance registration is required. Registration details may be found online at

One lucky participant from each age group competing in the coloring contest—tot (4 & under) child (5–7), youth (8–12), teen (13–17), adult (18–59), and senior (60+)—will win a one-year family membership to the MSV ($90 value), merchandise from the Museum Store, a package of McDonald’s® gift cards, and two tickets for a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse Winchester.

Those interested in participating in the coloring contest may pick up free coloring sheets at the MSV Guest Services Desk (Tuesday–Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.), and coloring sheets may also be downloaded online at To be eligible to win a prize in the contest, participants must bring (or mail) completed coloring sheets to the MSV by 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 28, 2023. Contest winners will be contacted on December 30. The six winning entries will be on display in the MSV lobby on December 31.

To celebrate New Year’s Eve, the MSV will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 31 offering admission by donation.

Along with family oriented First Night activities, the MSV is offering admission by donation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 31. New Year’s Eve marks the final opportunity for visitors to tour the Museum’s Glen Burnie House and gardens before they close for the winter season. The Trails at the MSV will be open from 7 a.m. until dusk on New Year’s Eve.

A regional cultural center, the MSV is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV includes a galleries building that presents permanent and rotating exhibitions, the Glen Burnie House, seven acres of formal gardens, and The Trails at the MSV, a free-admission art park open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk. Additional details about the MSV are available at or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235.

About Marvelocity: The Art of Alex Ross:

At the MSV through February 18, 2024, Marvelocity presents the original art of world-famous comic book artist Alex Ross (b. 1970). For nearly 30 years, Ross has revitalized classic superheroes into fine art by illustrating characters including Spider-Man, Captain America, the Black Panther, and many others. The exhibition includes more than 40 original paintings, lifelike three-dimensional head busts, and several of Ross’s childhood drawings.

Marvelocity: The Art of Alex Ross was developed by the Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County and the exhibition’s MSV display is sponsored by Shenandoah Oncology P.C. and iHeartMedia Inc.