Trees are in bloom -- even redbud which is TOO early. You'll have to come now to see it. Life is awake and happening in Berkeley Springs all weekend long especially with art.

Creativity, like spring, is busting out all over, especially at the Ice House. Saturday at 8pm, noted playwright Frank Gagliano reads his part-fantasy, part social commentary, all witty one-man play, "My Chekhov Light." Tickets are available at the door but if you want an in-depth experience -- call Panorama at the Peak and make a reservation for the 7-course Russian tasting dinner that includes dining with the playwright. The tasting dinner is ONLY Saturday at 5pm and includes a ticket to the reading; Russian specials including borscht and Russian meatballs in vodka are available all weekend at the restaurant.

On Sunday afternoon at 2pm, come back to the Ice House for the Extreme Costume Challenge free Runway Show that presents the fantasy costumes made in the weekend class. As a special bonus for this spring runway show, members of the acting improv class will be .....improv-ing. If you REALLY want to let your creativity out, come for the class -- Saturday and Sunday, 10am-3:30pm. Materials, instructor, sewing machines, duct tape, staples and more are all provided as part of the class fee. If you want to plan ahead, bring some materials of your own. While you are at the Ice House, check out the youth art that fills the walls and gallery with wildly creativity visions. Then do some serious shopping at the Ice House Co-op where local artists offer their work. You'll leave understanding why Berkeley Springs is counted as a top art town.

Even in an art town there is a place for Hollywood and in Berkeley Springs that's the vintage Star Theatre, this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8pm showing Denzel Washington in the spy thriller, "Safe House." The movie is rated R; the popcorn is rated D for Delicious! More nightlife is at the Troubadour Lounge where the hot young band, Band Ana plays for country dancing on Saturday night starting at 9pm.

Berkeley Springs is also a place devoted to the local food movement and this is the weekend to experience that. On Saturday, Glascock Farm is staging a free tour of their operation which was named 2011 WV Conservation Farmer of the Year. It's a gorgeous place nestled along the foot of the Sleepy Creek Mountain range -- those are the ones to the east. If you cannot make the tour, come to the center of town on Sunday morning from 10am to 2pm and meet the folks of Glascock's and all the other local growers as they launch the season of the Berkeley Springs Farmers Market. Special fun for the day is PAINT A POT FOR YOU! Flower pots, paints and brushes are provided so everyone can decorate their very own special pot! Weather promises to be warm.

Now that you're all excited about local food, try it at several of our fine eateries that make it the centerpiece of the their menu. Both Lot 12 Public House and Panorama at the Peak won the coveted Snail of Approval from Slow Foods Washington for their use of local source ingredients -- the only two restaurants in WV to do so! Chef-owner Damien Heath at Lot 12 is also WV's only chef on the James Beard regional list. His cuisine is legendary so make a point to stop by for dinner some night this weekend. Berkeley Springs is also well supplied with other eateries offering special fresh treats like Fresh Fish Frenzy at Temptations on Friday night, and always remarkable specials at Tari's Cafe. Temptations Too features a special cupcake of the day and freshly made breads. Check our whole dining menu for the place that meets your fancy -- and know that no matter how many times you eat out this weekend, you'll not be able to taste every great meal in town. Mark out time Saturday afternoon for wine tasting at Wilkes St. Wine Shop and fabulous half price appetizers at Ambrae House's Happy Hour from 4-6pm.

And then there is shopping --check out two antique malls and several antique shops. Search for the perfect book or crystal or Tibetan treasure or previously owned clothing and jewels, or art. While you are checking out Portals make an appointment with Lynn Lewis for a past life reading.

Bingo is big in Berkeley Springs. Regular games are Wednesdays 6:30pm at the American Legion and Saturday 7pm at South Morgan Fire Hall. A special handbag and basket benefit bingo is scheduled for 2pm on Sunday at the Legion.

In between all the special activities take time out to relax and enjoy the most famous attractions in Berkeley Springs -- its spas. Time for spring cleaning of that dead winter skin with a variety of rubs, scrubs and wraps; to freshen up your toes and nails with pedicures and manicures; and to generally soak and rub away those winter aches and pains with a bath in the famous spring water and any of a dozen difference massage or bodywork choices. Check the spa menu for more than 50 different items at a half dozen spas and individual practitioners. And remember -- folks have been coming to Berkeley Springs to "take the cure" since George Washington was a pup. We're an experienced experience in the spa biz.

The ultimate experience in Berkeley Springs is to stay the night, or two or three. That offers plenty of time to explore the shops and the countryside, to sample all the great restaurants, take a spa treatment or three and still have time for special nightlife fun. Whether you choose a B&B or historic inn located in town, or a cabin, vacation home or inn along the river or on a ridgetop -- spring will be your constant companion with birds chirping and the alluring aroma of flowering trees, Don't miss this chance to immerse yourself in spring while getting a great night sleep. Come visit Berkeley Springs this weekend -- we're not fooling when we claim it's closer than anywhere!

(Information courtesy of Travel Berkeley Springs)