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Staunton has an architectural advantage over most other cities in the Shenandoah Valley as it escaped the Civil War relatively unscathed. Many 18th and early 19th century homes and buildings still stand today and are wonderfully preserved.
Staunton’s downtown district is compact, walkable, and often cited as “One of the Best Main Streets in America.” The city boasts six historic districts and is the home to the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater. Other arts & cultural offerings include the Heifetz International Music Institute, which brings the best advanced string students from around the world to perform in Staunton every summer; the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum pays homage to our nation’s 28th president; the Frontier Culture Museum, an outdoor, living history museum explores the origins of the earliest immigrants to America; and Sunspots Studios showcases glass artisans at work daily.
Special events are also a big draw to Staunton. The Queen City Mischief & Magic annual event draws 10’s of thousands of Harry Potter fans to downtown Staunton in the fall. And for over 20 years, the Staunton Music Festival has attracted thousands of classical music lovers to descend on the city in late summer.
Our location in the Shenandoah Valley means lots of wide-open spaces for outdoor recreation, with close proximity to Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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The AgustaWestland AW139 is a 15-seat medium-sized twin-engined helicopter developed and built by AgustaWestland (now part of Leonardo). It is marketed at several different roles, including VIP/corporate transport, offshore transport, fire fighting, law enforcement, search and rescue, emergency medical service, disaster relief, and maritime patrol. In addition to AgustaWestland's manufacturing facilities in Italy and the United States, the AW139 is produced in Russia by HeliVert, a joint venture between AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters. The AW139 was originally designed and developed jointly by Agusta and Bell Helicopters and marketed as the Agusta-Bell AB139, being redesignated AW139 when Bell withdrew from the project. Since entering service in 2003, the AW139 has become one of AgustaWestland's most influential products; it has been subsequently developed into the enlarged medium-lift military-orientated AW149.
Waynesboro (formerly Flack), is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 21,006.The city is surrounded by Augusta County and is named for General Anthony Wayne. Waynesboro is located in the Shenandoah Valley, near many important historical markers of the Civil War and Shenandoah National Park. A portion of Interstate 64 falls within the city limits of Waynesboro, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive, and the Appalachian Trail are less than 5 miles (8.0 km) away. Norfolk Southern Railway trackage runs through the east side of the city. The South River, a tributary of the Shenandoah River, flows through the city. A large former DuPont plant and the associated Benger Laboratory where spandex was invented (under the brand name Lycra), as well as a large textile mill called Wayn-Tex (now owned by Mohawk Industries), were significant employers for residents through much of the 20th century. The DuPont plant was later sold to Koch Industries as part of the subsidiary company Invista. In January of 2019, the plant was again sold to Chinese luxury apparel firm Shandong Ruyi Group and rebranded as The Lycra Company. A General Electric site on the northeast side, which made relays and later computer printers, was also a substantial employer. Waynesboro was home to the corporate headquarters of nTelos (a regional wireless and telecommunications company serving Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio) before that company's merger with Shentel. Tourism, industrial production, and retail remain vital to the Waynesboro economy. The Generals of the Valley Baseball League play there. Waynesboro is a principal city of the Staunton-Waynesboro Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Augusta County and the independent cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.
Harrisonburg is an independent city in the Shenandoah Valley region of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. It is also the county seat of the surrounding Rockingham County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. As of the 2010 census, the population was 48,914, with a census-estimated 2019 population of 53,016. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Harrisonburg with Rockingham County for statistical purposes into the Harrisonburg, Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a 2011 estimated population of 126,562.Harrisonburg is home to James Madison University (JMU), a public research university with an enrollment of over 20,000 students, and Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), a private, Mennonite-affiliated liberal arts university. Although the city has no historical association with President James Madison, JMU was nonetheless named in his honor as Madison College in 1938 and renamed as James Madison University in 1977. EMU largely owes its existence to the sizable Mennonite population in the Shenandoah Valley, to which many Pennsylvania Dutch settlers arrived beginning in the mid-18th century in search of rich, unsettled farmland.The city has become a bastion of ethnic and linguistic diversity in recent years. Over 1,900 refugees have been settled in Harrisonburg since 2002. As of 2014, Hispanics or Latinos of any race make up 19% of the city's population. Harrisonburg City Public Schools (HCPS) students speak 55 languages in addition to English, with Spanish, Arabic, and Kurdish being the most common languages spoken. Over one-third of HCPS students are English as a second language (ESL) learners. Language learning software company Rosetta Stone was founded in Harrisonburg in 1992, and the multilingual "Welcome Your Neighbors" yard sign originated in Harrisonburg in 2016.
The Shenandoah Valley () is a geographic valley and cultural region of western Virginia and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia in the United States. The valley is bounded to the east by the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the west by the eastern front of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians (excluding Massanutten Mountain), to the north by the Potomac River and to the south by the James River. The cultural region covers a larger area that includes all of the valley plus the Virginia highlands to the west, and the Roanoke Valley to the south. It is physiographically located within the Ridge and Valley province and is a portion of the Great Appalachian Valley.