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Archive for August, 2011

Worldly Music in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on August 19th, 2011

Meta4 String Quartet, performing in Staunton in 2010.

Meta4 String Quartet performed at Staunton Music Festival in 2010.

Classical musicians flock to Staunton today through August 27 for the Staunton Music Festival, an event flooded the works of big names – Strauss, Brahms, Mozart, Bach, Debussy, anyone? Purchase your tickets to see more than 40 talented musicians and singers from Germany, Russia, Canada, Finland, Austria, France, and the United States, performing at eight main-stage concerts and daily lunchtime concerts.

Saturday, August 20, the Big Stone Celtic Annual Celebration gets underway in Big Stone Gap, where Irish and Scottish roots run deep. Enjoy the music of the Welsh Choir and more, and then see the phenomenal dancing of The Stardust Irish Dancers. Sample cultural food, enjoy a sheepdog demonstration, a high tea, a British car exhibition, and so much more. This town-wide event is free, with the exception of Celtic Kitchen and the ceilidh dance.

Chamber music lovers will not want to miss the Kandinsky Trio at Roanoke College in Salem on September 17. Naumberg Chamber Music Prize winner, violinist Susan Waterbury, will join Michael Klotz, violist of the award winning Amernet Quartet.

Discover more musical performance across Virginia when you visit Virginia.org.



Events | Comments Off

Bring Love To Your Town

by Dave | Posted on August 17th, 2011

LOVE Sign - Virginia is for Lovers

LOVE Sign - Virginia is for Lovers

The Virginia Tourism Corporation is out to prove that love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation – in a big way!

21 Virginia towns nominated themselves for the VTC Bring Love To Your Town event. Fans of the Virginia is for Lovers Facebook page will decide which town will get the LOVE artwork – a 16 feet wide eight feet tall installation to promote family vacations in Virginia.

Vote for your favorite but hurry – the vote closes at 5 pm on August 18. VTC will install the artwork on August 31 in the winning locality where it will be on display through September.

UPDATE:

Thank you to all who voted in the Bring Love to Your Town event.  We appreciate your LOVE of Virginia’s travel destinations.  Out of the 21 towns who nominated themselves, Abingdon received the most votes and will display the LOVE artwork in September at the Barter Green.

Thanks to all the towns who nominated themselves to showcase that love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.

Waynesboro – Constitution Park              481
Kilmarnock – Town of Kilmarnock Town Centre              572
South Hill – In front of the Norfolk & Western Caboose next to the Depot          1,096
Bedford Area Welcome Center              324
Norfolk Visitor Information Center              236
Lynchburg – Blackwater Creek Trail          1,031
Virginia Beach Visitor Center              453
Lexington/Buena Vista – First Catch Fish Market              451
Fredericksburg – Riverfront Park          1,535
Bath County – The Jefferson Pools and Visitor Gazebo in Warm Springs              220
Abingdon – Barter Theatre Green          5,665
Franklin & Southampton – Parking lot of EVB Bank              501
Newport News Visitor Center              251
Gloucester County Visitor Center, Roane Building                61
Mathews County – Mathews Court Green                47
Chesapeake Convention & Visitors Bureau – Great Bridge Lock Park          1,267
Fauquier County – Barrel Oak Winery              469
Alleghany Highlands – Humpback Bridge          4,944
Smithfield & Isle of Wight – Windsor Castle Park              129
Rappahannock County Visitors Center                92
Roanoke – Gateway to Downtown          3,590



Virginia Destinations | 109 Comments

Wine Festivals Abound

by Casey | Posted on August 16th, 2011

Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival at Poplar HillNumbering just a few shy of 200, Virginia’s wineries pour their best blends at numerous festivals dedicated to the fruits of their labors. Far too numerous for this to ever be a comprehensive post, here are a few key events you’ll want to jot down. Don’t worry, you can dig further and fill up your days by visiting Virginia.org/WineFestivals.



Couples, Events, Food and Wine | 3 Comments

Signature Flavors

by Casey | Posted on August 15th, 2011

Carl's Frozen Custard

Carl’s Frozen Custard

When it comes to ice cream, do you go with a favorite (like chocolate, for me), or do you go out on a limb and try the signature flavor?

When hopping around Virginia in search of great ice cream, here are a few you should sample.

  • Carl’s Signature Neon Cone at Carl’s Frozen Custard in Fredericksburg. They’ve been featured on the Food Network (wink, wink).
  • It’s homemade, delicious goodness at Preston’s Restaurant at The Inn at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Their special ice cream creation is well-known as a hallmark of their menu.
  • Go for dessert first at Skyland Resort off Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. The mountain-high Blackberry Ice Cream Pie is unmatched.
  • It’s a sweet treat long sought from Zynodoa in Staunton … the mint ice cream! Depending on what’s fresh locally, Chef Harris (formerly of The Inn at Little Washington) offers it deliciously. Try making it  yourself!

2 quarts heavy cream          2 quarts + 2 cups whole milk
2 cups sugar                         20 egg  yolks
one large bunch of fresh spearmint, washed

Zynodoa's signature mint ice cream as a strawberry shortcake.

Zynodoa’s signature mint ice cream as a strawberry shortcake.

Mix egg yolks with half of the sugar and whip to ribbons. Heat cream, milk, mint leaves and remaining sugar    until it scalds. Cool hot cream mixture to 140 degrees; strain mint leaves. Temper this liquid into the egg mixture (by adding a small amount of hot liquid at a time, while stirring vigorously). Put in double boiler and heat to 170 degrees. Strain mixture into bowl with ice bath. Once chilled, refrigerate mixture for 24 hours. Pour into ice cream maker and proceed according to directions.

When you dine the traditional way (ahem, dessert last), then maybe a soup or appetizer comes first. If so, try these …

  • The peanut soup at Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke is renowned. In fact, they’ve recently shared the recipe with the world after holding it close to the vest for a long time.

2 quarts chicken broth          1 pint peanut butter
1 small onion, diced              1/2 cup ground peanuts
1/4 pound butter                     1/3 tsp. celery salt
2 ribs celery, diced                 1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. flour                            1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Melt butter in a stockpot and add onion and celery. Saute for five minutes. Do not allow to brown. Add flour and mix well. Add hot chicken broth and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from stove, strain and add peanut butter, celery salt, salt and lemon juice. Sprinkle ground peanuts on soup just before serving. Serves 10. Roanoke.com

What establishment’s signature flavor is your favorite? Share with us, and find more great eats at Virginia.org.



Food | 1 Comment

The Groove is in Your Heart

by Casey | Posted on August 12th, 2011

When you want to get down, come jam with us!

If you are a lover of music, Virginia has quite the selection of concerts and events to help you get down, get funky, and get your groove on.

Don't miss Donna the Buffalo at SunTrust Mountain Jamboree, September 4.

Don't miss Donna the Buffalo at SunTrust Mountain Jamboree.

The SunTrust Mountain Jamboree at Massanutten Resort is celebrating its second year with surprising names like Donna the Buffalo, Big Daddy Love, and Big Leg Emma. Grab the pre-sale rate by Friday, August 19 to save $5. Oh, and kids under 10 are free. It’s big and it’s happening on the mountaintops Sunday, September 4 from 3 to 8:30 p.m. If you can’t wait, get a video sneak peek (click the Video tab).

Amazing music rings out from The Filene Center at Wolf Trap in Vienna any ol’ time. Upcoming:

In Bristow is the Jiffy Lube Live stage where Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefer Band will take the stage on August 27.

If you’re into music for a cause, check out the Mike Aid 3 Festival in Martinsville, August 26 and 27. There are more bands taking to the stage than can be mentioned here and proceeds go toward the Micheal H. Calhoon Scholarship, a gift for a student who desires a collegiate future but needs a helping hand.

Whew! It’s about to get hot down in Norfolk. The 11th Annual AT&T Norfolk Latino Music Festival explodes with dance and amazing music on August 27. Shimmy, shake, salsa, and meringue all night long!

When you want to hear a little bit of everything, you make plans to check out The Verizon Wireless American Music Festival at the Virginia Beach oceanfront, September 2-4. It’s filled with rock, jazz, country, blues, R&B, and undoubtedly more. Expect to see a wide range of acts, from local bands all the way up to national acts (ahem, Stone Temple Pilots, ZZ Top, Bret Michaels, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?).

See way more music at Virginia.org.



Events, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off