The following information is from the Travel Berkeley Springs office:

Berkeley Springs is all about water this weekend and we're not talking about the weather! It's the 20th anniversary of the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting at the Country Inn with a fabulous day of tasting on Saturday. The public is invited to this ticketed event. Free tickets are available at lodging places and the visitors center.

More than 130 waters are participating this year -- the largest number ever! The public can taste along with media judges and it's the public that chooses the packaging winner. The tasting begins in the Country Inn's Park View Garden room at 2:30pm when the municipal waters are rated followed by purified; at 6:30pm it's the bottled waters --still and sparkling. The awards ceremony and reception begins at 8pm. Once the world's best waters are named, plus two special awards this year for the biggest winners of the past 20 years, the world famous water rush begins. The audience gets to take home thousands of bottles of water on display and experiences a whole new meaning to the nearly three century old custom of coming to Berkeley Springs to "take the waters." For true water groupies, there are exhibits and on Friday from 1 to 5pm, a fascinating afternoon seminar where experts from around the country chat about important water issues.

The Water Tasting is the BIG event but everyone in town wants to get on board with other activities to entertain you once you've made your choice for best waters.

Since tasting is the theme of the weekend, let's start with all the special tastes available. There are two wine tastings on Saturday. Wilkes St. Wine Shop showcases "Turning from Water to Wine Tasting" from 1pm to 5pm on Saturday while La Luna Wine Bar and Gallery tastes wines of the world from 3 to 5pm.

Panorama at the Peak has created a special Farm Fresh tasting menu for the weekend served tapas style on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for lunch and dinner. The tastes are irresistible from baby lamb chops and turkey croquettes to WV trout cakes and goat cheese and basil ravioli. The foods are local and the view is spectacular.

Creekside Creamery, famed for it's ice cream treats, is staging another type of tasting on Saturday and Sunday afternoons beginning at noon. Come in and sample their fruit butters and condiments up to 4pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday. While there, browse for all their special gift sales including a fabulous poster of Panorama at the Peak's view for only $1!

Sales are also on the agenda at Himalayan Trading Company (20%) as well as Nature Niche (25% purchases of $50 or more except for Wild Delight Bird Feed.)

Once you are done with the water tasting on Saturday night, you'll be ready to cut loose for some great music and dancing. There are two choices of live bands playing on Saturday night. Roadhouse is playing for country dancing at the Troubadour Lounge while 40 West is at the Earth Dog Cafe. Both places also offer dining options with the Troubadour drawing crowds for their Steak Night and karaoke on Friday night. Earth Dog is home of the all-day breakfast and great barbecue.

The Star Theatre boasts a perennial best taste award with its world class popcorn served with real butter. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at 8pm, the Star is showing Clint Eastwood's compelling drama. "Invictus" starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as captain of the 1995 South African rugby team.

We may only draw waters from around the world for tasting once a year, but the warm water of the famed Berkeley Springs are celebrated every day of the year in the spas of town. Once you have tasted water, find a perfect place to soak in it and then be rubbed, scrubbed, buffed, wrapped and stuck with needles in spas and private offices around town. Check out the Five Sense Spa at the Country Inn and never have to leave the home of the water tasting. See the spa page for all the other spa options. Dining is another pleasure in Berkeley Springs. Again, the Country Inn offers fabulous food from their new chef without having to leave the water tasting. Or stroll the historic streets to Taris Cafe or Lot 12 or Temptations or Maria's Garden or any of a half dozen other eateries. Read about them all and check their menus on the dining page.

You cannot savor the full flavor of Berkeley Springs unless you stay the weekend. Check our lodging page for special packages and choices ranging from fully equipped vacation homes in the mountains to elegant B&B rooms in town. The Country Inn has a water tasting package that cannot be beat and you get to stay "in the flow." Wherever you stay this weekend, as a bonus, all our lodging places can offer you FREE TICKETS to the water tasting events including the water rush.

Come this weekend and see why people have come to "take the waters" here since the 1740s and "taste the waters" since 1991!