Planning for Back Alley Tour and Tea set
With the promise of an early spring, the Shepherdstown Community Club (SCC) is launching planning for this year’s Back Alley Tour and Tea. Each year the popular event that showcases many of Shepherdstown’s unique features draws over 500 visitors. Many come from far and wide to enjoy the gardens, stroll through the back alleys and enjoy an old-fashioned high tea in the War Memorial Building.
The Friday Painters join in to offer an exhibit of their art work created over the preceding year. Other participants are town folks, neighbors and frequent visitors from the Eastern Panhandle who simply turn out to spend a relaxing day savoring Shepherdstown’s ambiance. An added feature will be an opportunity to share in another activity in the year-long process of celebrating the 250th anniversary of the granting of Shepherdstown’s official charter as a town here on the banks of the Potomac.
Tom Huddleston, newly elected president of the SCC commented, “I am “anxious to ensure that this traditional event lives up to expectations and that it continues to grow. To that end I would like to involve as many elements of the community as possible including town residents, gardeners, local businesses, Shepherd University and the numerous other organizations in our community. I hope that anyone who is interested in participating in the planning and conduct of the BATT or simply has suggestions will give me a call or send me an email. We should all share in a sense of ownership in this important event.” Mr. Huddleston can be reached at 304-267-0406.
Mike Austin, last year’s BATT coordinator, commented that, “No other event engages the greater Shepherdstown community as extensively and show-cases as well the wonderful mix of historic sites, unique architecture, traditional gardens and marvelous food that we enjoy. By the time you add up all of the property owners, docents, merchants, volunteer bakers, teen-age servers, artists and town as well as volunteer support personnel involved in logistics, it can be overwhelming. But this is one of those cases where the more people are involved, the better it gets.”
An added bonus this year will be an opportunity to take advantage of the new edition of the Shepherdstown Walking Tour recently completed by Professor Jerry Thomas.
The Historic Shepherdstown Commission has significantly enhanced their valuable guide so that participants can use it in conjunction with the BATT route map to appreciate other sites as well as those officially on the tour. Austin commented that it almost turns the tour into a treasure hunt.