The Richmond Folk Festival continues celebrating the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional craft and food.
The Richmond Folk Festival features more than 30 performing groups on seven live music stages with continuous music and dance performances, along with a Virginia Folklife demonstration area, children’s activities, a folk arts marketplace, regional and ethnic foods and more.
The FREE three-day festival is expected to be one of the largest events in Virginia, drawing visitors from across the country. The Richmond Folk Festival is produced Venture Richmond in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA).
Sometimes the best view of the foliage is beneath the canopy. Take to the trails this fall to see the leaves up close and personal.
1. If you have all day, the hike from the South River Picnic Area off Skyline Drive at milepost 62.8 to South River Falls might be the one for you. It’s 8.5 miles ’round trip with cool stuff along the way, like ruins, a cemetery, and of course, the waterfall. I need not tell you that a camera is pretty much mandatory.
Falling Spring, Alleghany County
2. Speaking of waterfalls, a three-mile hike along Crabtree Falls Trail will lead you to the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi – 1,200 feet by way of five major cascades and several smaller ones. It’s a site that’s worth the hike in Nelson County.
3. Down in the Blue Ridge Highlands where the Hokies play and the recreational opportunities are abundant, you’ll find Cascades National Recreation Trail – a two-mile hike that leads to the 66-foot Cascade Falls. The water drops dramatically into a natural pool. Keep that in mind for the warmer months.
4. Shenandoah National Park boasts several waterfalls, but the highest of them is Overall Run Falls at 93 feet. The fall and spring are perfect times to visit, as you perch along the rock ledges and enjoy the view of the rushing water. The hike is 6.4 miles, all said, and is a moderate to difficult hike.
5. Falling Spring in Alleghany County is visible from the road and an overlook provides information and a great view for photos. The spring waters keep this fall going year ’round, and its 80-foot drop is quite spectacular. So while not a hike, it’s a not-to-be-missed wonder, especially during autumn with stunning mountain foliage all around.
Fall in Virginia is for train lovers. Families and couples alike will love these upcoming railroad-themed events.
This weekend, October 8-9, is the Historic Appomattox Railroad Festival in downtown Appomattox. The event celebrates the Depot donated by Norfolk & Southern in 1973, and includes a street dance, parade, amusement rides, fine art show, and a brand new attraction – Masters of the Chainsaw. The festival goes on 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The round-trip Amtrak excursions from Roanoke to Abingdon, Bristol, and Bluefield, WV will sell-out quickly, so you’ll want to jump on these.
November 5: Depart Roanoke for Abingdon and Bristol. Passengers will have 3 1/2 hours to enjoy nearby attractions in Abingdon, including the brand new Heartwood Center. The train will continue on to Bristol and passengers can choose to ride down or be picked up on the way back. There will be no touring time in Bristol. Feel free to order a boxed lunch with your tickets.
November 6: Depart Roanoke for Bluefield, WV. The attraction on this excursion is the ride itself. Several bridges, tunnels, and amazing scenery await passengers. Several restaurants are within walking distance of the station in Bluefield, and will welcome you to dine before heading back to Roanoke.
Rates: $150/adult and $95/child. Dome class: $275. Lounge class: $215
Ashland Train Day, to be held November 5, is a family event with mini train rides, loads of model trains, a locomotive moon bounce, and many vendors, not to mention the real trains passing through all day long. You’re encouraged to look the part of a conductor and definitely bring your camera. Best of all? This is a free event!
The Fauquier County Farm Tour is this Saturday, October 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s a self-guided tour, meaning you can make your way to just one or all of the farms hosting demonstrations and sharing their animals. After all, what child doesn’t want to meet a kid? Included on tour is Molon Lave Vineyards in Warrenton and Seven Oaks Lavender Farm in Catlett. Print the Brochure
2. Take a Scenic Drive - Remember our “11 for ’11″ post from early September? Bookmark or print that thing and get movin’!
3. Hit the trail, wine trail, that is. Virginia has 17 trails and the drives are gorgeous! Some wine trails include mead and cider, while others include whiskey. Grab a designated driver and sip your way across Virginia.
4. Go big or go home. Whitewater season is currently in full effect at Breaks Interstate Park in Dickenson County. The water from John Flannagan Dam and Reservoir is released each Saturday and Sunday of October creating rapids of class two through six (yes, class SIX) through Breaks Gorge. Not for the faint of heart.
Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing in New Castle offers a 900′ zip line and other great activities for a fun fall day in the Valley. Open Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m. by reservation only. (540-864-6792)
German foods, biergartens, giant steins, and boisterous oompah bands are the things that come to mind when I think of Oktoberfest, and Virginia has plenty of all this month.
First, and before we even talk about festivals, Virginia includes strong German heritage dating from the first German arrivals to Jamestowne in 1608 and their eventual permanent settlement beginning in 1714.
German influence exists today in Virginia, and you can see it in Virginia wine (Gewurztraminer and Riesling), historic churches (Hebron Lutheran Church in Madison was built by German settlers in 1740 and is one of four wooden churches surviving since Colonial times), and German-flavored fun (Wohlfahrt House Dinner Theatre in Wytheville and The Rhein River Inn in Buchanan).
Now, back to the festivities …
A blow-out with German fare and beer, Oktoberfest Reston includes carnival rides and is as much fun for the kids as it is for the adults. It’s coming up this weekend, October 7-9 at Reston Town Center.
The oldest and biggest Oktoberfest in Virginia occurs in Richmond. This year the party roars October 21-22 at The Showplace. You’ll have your chance to polka and waltz, watch the folk dancing of Hirschjäger Bavarian Dancers, and fill yourself with food and drink.
German Oompah Band at Mountain Lake Hotel
“Quite the spread.” That’s what you’ll think when you see the immense buffet at Mountain Lake Hotelevery weekend through October 29. Roast pig, fresh-baked breads and pastries, beers, wines, ciders, dancing, and a really fun Oompah band make this a weekend you’ll wait all year to repeat. Accommodations available.
If you’re looking for a taste of German-inspired beers brewed close to home, make your way to Huddleston October 22 for Oktoberfest at Smith Mountain Lake where you can sample Legend Oktoberfest, as well as beer from Maryland and North Carolina. German fare and lively musical entertainment are on-hand as well.
Virginia’s biggest theme parks are definitely in the mix with the German-themed fun.
Kings Dominion invites you to an all-you-can-eat picnic meal with a German flare this Sunday, October 9. Beer is priced per cup, and your Oktoberfest admission includes the entire park plus HAUNT, if you care to stay for the scare.
Busch Gardens has an entire section of the park dedicated to all things German. During regular park hours catch “This is Oktoberfest” at the Festhaus. It’s an enthusiastic song and dance show with German eats and brews served alongside. Busch Gardens is open weekends through the month of October.
Ready to dive in? Make your travel plans at Virginia.org and hit the road!