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    It's #ThirstyThursday again during #Virginia #CraftBeer Month. Swing by your local #VA #brewery for your favorite pint or growler of #vabeer. Celebrate by tagging your photos with #vacraftbeermonth. #Cheers to @kmariedeegan with this great evening shot at @ardentcraftales. #loveva #drinklocal #rva #howisummer #photooftheday #thewaytoendanevening
    @shondagraphy has been capturing some really awesome nightscapes of #Richmond, including this one of the Cauthorne Paper Co Apartments on the #canal. Do you see the #geese gathered on the bank of the water and along the #traintracks? Tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVa for a chance to be featured here! #dusk #photooftheday #urbanwonderland #reflection #rva @visitrichmondva
    Here's a view of Carter Mountain #Orchard and #Vineyard in Charlottesville with their country store in the background. Now through the end of fall you can #pickyourown apples and taste their home-made apple cider and donuts. Tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here! #eatlocal #cville #photooftheday #howisummer #vawine @cartermountain #cartermountainorchard @vawine
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  • Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

    Peach Time: Festivals and Pick-Your-Own Orchards

    by Stefanie | Posted on July 30th, 2014

    It’s peach time! We’re in primetime peach-picking season, which means festivals, pick-your-own days at orchards and plenty of peach goodies to go around.

    Peach Ice Cream Days at Chiles Peach Orchard – Aug. 3-4
    Spend a day (or two) in Crozet at Chiles Peach Orchard’s Peach Ice Cream Days. Fresh, homemade peach ice cream is available at the orchard these dates only! Made by the Crozet Lions Club, this event is a fundraiser for their community service activities. Enjoy this special treat after picking your own peaches (or choosing from their fresh-picked selections). Peaches, nectarines, and local produce are also available.

    Winchester Peach Festival – Aug. 9
    Come to Marker Miller Orchards with an empty stomach and enjoy a day of sweets: peach cobbler, peach pie, peach turnovers, peach ice cream and of course, fresh peaches galore! Enjoy music from 1-3 p.m. while sitting on the front porch or in the picnic pavilion.  A variety of food will be available at the food building. Don’t forget to let the kids enjoy the cow train and the peaceful scenery during the wagon ride around the farm.

    Dog Days Peach Festival – Aug. 9-10
    Spend a weekend of peaches and pooches at the Dog Days Peach Festival at Great Country Farms in Bluemont. It may be the hottest part of the summer, but the Dog Days at Great Country are all about fun with the family and canine companions! Bring the whole family for a romp in the play area and to u-pick peaches in the orchard at the peak of perfection. Enjoy the Doggie Olympic Games and demonstrations that will keep tails a-waggin’!

    Richard’s Fruit Market Peach Festival – Aug. 17
    Peaches, peaches everywhere! Bring the family out to Richard’s Fruit Market Peach Festival in Middletown for a day of peachy fun. Haywagon rides, barrel train rides and all the jumps you can handle on the bouncy-bounce, plus music and a petting zoo, and peaches, of course! Peach ice cream, milk shakes, sparkling cider, smoothies, pies, muffins and more! Fresh from the farm food for sale includes our own burgers and plenty of tasty treats!

    The Peach Way, Delaplane
    The largest concentration of peach orchards in Northern Virginia, The Peach Way features five orchards within five miles: Virginia Perfection/Valley View Farm, Hollin Farms, Hartland Orchards, and Stribling Orchard. The Peach Way is near several wineries, Sky Meadows State Park and more—perfect for a day or weekend trip.

    Freestone Peaches at Saunders Brothers Farm Market, Piney River
    In response to market demands, Saunders Brothers started growing super tree-ripened peaches; including sub-acid white-fleshed peaches, many of which get great size, color, and flavor. These peaches complement the yellow-fleshed varieties and extend the season from June 15 until late September. The Farm Market offers a fun place for the whole family to enjoy. Not only can you find a variety of peaches, apples and vegetables from May through November, they also offer ciders, jams, relishes, and salsas. Be sure to try out the amazing peach ice cream and check out the on-site museum; one of the largest privately-owned collections of farm antiques in the state of Virginia.

    Ayers Orchard, Cana
    Ayers Orchard is located at the foot of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and offers pick-your-own peaches, as well as cherries, apples, nectarines and plums. The orchard also offers fresh-picked and picked-to-order. Hiking and picnicking are encouraged; all ages are welcome at the orchard.

    Additional Orchards and Markets for Peaches:



    Events, Family, Festivals, Food, Pick-your-own | 0 Comments

    Five Can’t-Miss Summer Events

    by Casey | Posted on July 23rd, 2014

    Some events know no end and we LOVE them! Annually occurring festivals are marked on our calendars a year ahead of time. They’re something to look forward to and yet another opportunity to make memories with the ones we love. Here are five upcoming “late” summer events that you can’t miss. Start a new tradition or chime in via the comments to tell us your favorite parts of these five.

    Assateague Island Pony Watching from the Assateague Channel

    Assateague Island Pony Watching from the Assateague Channel

    1. The Chincoteague Pony Swim from Assateague to Chincoteague Island has been happening at the end of July for nearly 90 years. That’s quite the tradition, and there are families who never miss it, making an annual pilgrimage to see the crossing, the parading, and the auctioning of the years’ foals. While you’re in town, be sure to visit Island Creamery, hailed the #1 ice cream parlor in America by TripAdvisor users.

    2. The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival is one of the mid-Atlantic’s longest running outdoor music festivals. This year’s session began on July 18 and continues with dates through August 31. Remaining on the schedule are acts like United States Air Force Strings, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, The Oak Ridge Boys and Eddie from Ohio. Centered around Shenandoah County’s Orkney Springs, the setting is bucolic with the Allegheny Mountains as a backdrop. Buy Tickets

    Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Image by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Image by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    3. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna is the place for summer concerts and family performances! This summer has included Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Ben Folds, Diana Ross, Pilobolus, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Sara Bareilles, The Fray and Lionel Richie with CeeLo Green. Yet to come (and tickets available for!) are  Sarah McLachlan, Darius Rucker, Heart, Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, Boney James and Eric Benet, YANNI, The Band Perry, Cirque Dreams – Jungle Fantasy and Colbie Caillat. Every summer season brings great acts that you won’t want to miss. Buy Tickets

    4. The still new but ever growing Virginia Craft Brewers Festival is held each August at Devils Backbone Brewing Company against Wintergreen Mountain in Roseland. Now in its third year, more than 40 of Virginia’s craft brewers have signed on to offer tastings and tout their upcoming flavors. You won’t want to miss the awarding of the Virginia Craft Brewers Cup. Devils Backbone has taken home the cup each year so far. Their Smokehaus Lager won in 2013 and their Schwartz Bier won in 2012. Buy Tickets and/or Reserve a Campsite

    Morven Park is the setting for Epicurience Virginia in Leesburg.

    Morven Park is the setting for Epicurience Virginia in Leesburg.

    5. Epicurience Virginia took by storm the culinary and wine scenes of Virginia, DC and environs when it debuted last year. Held at the beautiful, historic Morven Park in Leesburg, this event brings together the best tastes Virginia has to offer in an opulent atmosphere across three days at the end of August. The Grand Tasting is the second day and it’s the event you don’t want to miss with chef demonstrations and opportunities to meet Virginia winemakers and tastemakers. The rest of the weekend includes a Fabulous 1940s Party at Oatlands Plantation and various fine dining experiences. Buy Tickets

    >> Upcoming Festivals
    >> Virginia Craft Beer
    >> Virginia Wine
    >> Culinary Virginia

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    Arts, Events, Festivals, Food and Wine, Outdoors, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 0 Comments

    15 Festivals for the Adrenaline Junkie

    by Casey | Posted on April 22nd, 2014

    For some, it’s simply not enough to enjoy a festival atmosphere. Where’s the challenge or fun in that? Festivals must be experiential to really rise to the expectation of dedicated adrenaline junkies, and these 15 Virginia festivals do just that.

    Dominion Riverrock

    Dominion Riverrock

    River Fun The most rigorous, diverse outdoor festival in Virginia is Dominion Riverrock, and it’s held each May in Richmond. Riverrock brings kayaking, biking, bouldering, trail running, slacklining, paddle boarding and more for three days of challenging fun and spectator entertainment. Musical highlights for this year are The Infamous Stringdusters and Matisyahu.

    The Annual Smith River Fest in Axton is dedicated to those who live for and love the river life. Held each August, the festival centers around Smith River activities, from the 4.8-mile river race to the 5K mud run.

    Henricus Mudstock

    Henricus Mudstock

    Mud Fun

    The Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg is the venue for the Rugged Maniac on May 3. A little over three miles of muddy courses with 20 obstacles are yours for the conquering, while the festival area includes mechanical bull riding and music.

    Biking Fun

    Is it biking that really spins your wheels? Don’t miss the Cap2Cap Bike Event on May 10. The ride can be as long as you wish with quarter-, half-, full-century, and 15-mile fun ride options between Richmond and Williamsburg. Well-stocked rest areas, a delicious lunch and beer are promised.

    Appalachian Trail Days

    Appalachian Trail Days

    Hiking Fun

    May 16-18 is Appalachian Trail Days in Damascus, and it’s the place to be if you’re an avid hiker or lover of the AT. There’s lots of food and plenty of family fun available.

    Just Plain Fun

    XtremeFest of the Blue Ridge will be held May 31 in Waynesboro’s Constitution Park. BMX stunters will give adventure-seeking kids a thrill while the climbing wall lets them work off their energy. Put a kayak in the South River and enjoy the other opportunities of the festival at this family event.

    Where will the need for adrenaline take you this spring and summer? Go hard and go get ‘em!

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    Festivals, Outdoors | Comments Off

    10 Spring Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss

    by Casey | Posted on March 19th, 2014

    Between spring and summer, Virginia has hundreds of festivals to choose from, each with its own unique atmosphere, tastes and vibe. Here are ten festivals that either have a storied history or are rising stars in their genre. Plan a spring weekend around one.

    Daffodil Festival, Gloucester

    Daffodil Festival, Gloucester

    A true harbinger of spring, Gloucester’s Daffodil Festival is an annual two day extravaganza held in early April, just as the beautiful yellow blooms make their appearance. With floats akin to those of the Rose Parade, the festival kicks off with the Daffodil Festival Parade and the Daffodil Queen. The remainder of the festival is what you’d expect – magicians, face painting, artisans, live music, and tons of food. Saturday only, you’re invited to take a tour of Brent & Becky’s Bulbs to take place your order for genuine Gloucester Daffodil bulbs!

    The Virginia Hot Glass Festival is held annually in Staunton and hosted by SunSpots Studio. Not afraid to share their spotlight, SunSpots invites other glass blowers from around the region to demonstrate and show off their talents for these two late April dates. Take home a piece of jewelry, art glass marbles, or other hand blown glass item just after the artist has put the finishing touches on it. For the kids, a fire-breathing dragon and ray gun demonstration will be key highlights, along with the challenge the kids can present to the artists: create a blown glass rendition of a kids’ drawing. The Virginia Hot Glass Festival is the only festival of its kind in Virginia.

    A fairly new festival is the Rocktown Beer & Music Festival in Harrisonburg. Now in its fourth year, this festival celebrates craft beer from Virginia and beyond. Each brewery (30 so far) will have a representative on site serving their flagship beer as well as a rare or seasonal craft brew. Expect great food from the burgeoning restaurant scene of Harrisonburg, as well as fantastic live music to round out this spring day in late April. TICKETS

    One of Virginia’s largest and oldest festivals is the annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, held over 10 days at the end of April and into early May. Entering its 87th year, the festival has grown to include a wine festival, midway rides, a golf tournament, apple pie baking contest, a fun run and 10K, the coronation of Queen Shenandoah, the Queen’s Ball, fireworks, the world’s largest firefighters’ parade, and the official Grand Feature Parade, among other events with live music and food involved. TICKETS

    Chincoteague Seafood Festival

    Chincoteague Seafood Festival

    Salivating for fresh seafood? Wipe your mouth and head to the Chincoteague Seafood Festival in early May! Signature seafood dishes will be prepared for your consumption, including the famous Little Neck Clams that the festival is known for. Drinks are included with admission; beer is additional. Stay all day and graze while live beach music sets the vibe. TICKETS

    The middle of May is the perfect time to treat yourself (or mom for Mother’s Day!) to a day overlooking the Potomac River with a glass of wine at the Spring Wine Festival & Sunset Tour at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Sixteen Virginia wineries will be on hand for your tasting pleasure while the rarely opened wine storage of George Washington will be open for your viewing pleasure. This festival is very popular and often sells out in advance. Tickets available beginning April 1.

    Southerners love their fried chicken and no community knows that better than Gordonsville! Dubbed the “Chicken Leg Center of the Universe,” Gordonsville offers to you its annual Famous Fried Chicken Festival. The story of their fried chicken goes way back to the 19th century women who would greet passengers on the train as it stopped in Gordonsville, all while carrying platters of chicken on their heads. The hospitality of serving great fried chicken has never stopped and you can enjoy the flavors or offer your own at the cook-off. Wineries and artisans will be on hand to complete the festival environment.

    Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival, Martinsville

    Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival, Martinsville

    If you love multi-day music festivals, don’t wait until summer to get your groove on. Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival is four days of live music over Memorial Day Weekend. At the time of this writing, there are 35 bands lined up, including Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, The Infamous Stringdusters and Yarn. Held at the Blue Mountain Festival Grounds in Martinsville, this festival will include delicious food, children’s activities, and arts and crafts. Camping is available. TICKETS

    Portsmouth invites you to the Annual UMOJA Festival in late May. It’s the 24th year for this three day festival promoting cultural diversity and unity, and will open with a traditional African drum call and ceremonial processional. Great ethnic foods and artisans’ wares are a highlight along with a famed musical act. This year the UMOJA Festival welcomes Chaka Khan!

    The three day Clinch River Days Festival is held annually in St. Paul and celebrates the river life, heritage and culture of Southwest Virginia. Whatever your outdoor pleasure, you can likely enjoy it during this weekend of fun. Taste the food and wine flavors of the region as you learn about the railroad and river influence on this area.

    Find more fun festivals and events at Virginia.org/Events.

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    Festivals | Comments Off

    10 of Virginia’s Tastiest Fall Food Festivals

    by Casey | Posted on September 16th, 2013

    You’re right on time for fall flavors. Taste your way from the mountains to the shore this fall in Virginia.

    Graves Mountain Apples

    Graves Mountain Apples

    Apples

    The Apple Butter Celebration in Shenandoah National Park is Saturday, September 21 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Skyland Resort. Take the ride up the mountain to see the early turners and get your fill of fresh-from-the-kettle apple butter, apple smoked BBQ, apple salsa, granny apple cole slaw, caramel apples, apple cobbler, and apple cider. Various entertainers will keep the day lively. The Celebration is free; admission to Shenandoah National Park is $15 per car.

    The Apple Harvest & Apple Butter Festival at Drumheller’s Orchard occurs Saturday and Sunday, September 28-29 and October 19-20. Come out anytime from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for tasty fresh-picked apples, apple butter, cider, honey, and plenty of family fun. Apple sling shot, anyone?  Free parking and entertainment.

    Head to Syria for the Graves’ Mountain Apple Harvest Festival Saturdays and Sundays from October 5 through October 20, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 2013 marks the festival’s 44th year. Don’t miss out on the kettle-cooked apple butter, applesauce, apple cider, apple butter donuts, and apple pies. Feel free to pick your own apples, too! Entertainment includes Bluegrass musicians, cloggers, a hay maze, hay mountain, hayrides, and horseback rides. A taste of southwest Virginia is available here, too … Brunswick Stew! Free parking and entertainment.

     

    Bluegrass, Barbeque & Brew Festival

    Bluegrass, Barbeque & Brew Festival

    Barbecue

    A brand new event in Norfolk is Ribtoberfest! Held at Town Point Park this Saturday, September 21 from noon to 8 p.m., Ribtoberfest brings beer and BBQ into one delicious waterside feast. Blues musicians will keep the day hoppin’ while restaurants pull out the stops to serve up their best ribs, pulled pork and other barbecue creations. More than 20 breweries will be on hand with 40+ Autumn-style beers. Admission is free.

    Bands, Brews and Barbecue will be held Saturday, September 28 from noon to 7 p.m. on the Manassas Museum Lawn in Manassas. Purchase tickets to sample the brews (with a valid ID) and some great Virginia barbecue while the bands play away the day. Free admission.

    Patrick Henry’s Red Hill will host the Bluegrass, Barbecue and Brew Festival on Saturday, November 2 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Local grillmasters includes Drug Store Grill from Brookneal, True Q BBQ from Lynchburg, and Tater Bugs Barbeque from South Boston. Four Virginia craft breweries and one cidery will be pouring while Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia bluegrass musicians entertain. Admission is $10 for music only and $15 for those who wish to sample the beverages. Buy Now

     

    Chincoteague Island Oyster Festival

    Chincoteague Island Oyster Festival

    Seafood

    A beautiful view from Farley Vale Farm in King George is the icing on the Rappahanock Riverfest happening this Saturday, September 21 from 3 to 8 p.m. Riverfest is an all-you-can-eat Blue Crab and barbecue event with open bar, live entertainment and auctions. Tickets are $85 and available in advance only. Buy Now

    Historic Stratford Hall hosts the Stratford Hall Wine and Oyster Festival this weekend, September 21-22 beginning at 11 a.m. each day. A variety of oysters will be available, as will shrimp, clams, and the fine vintages of 13 Virginia wineries. Admission for oyster and wine tasting is $45 (in advance) and includes three oysters from each of the seven oyster growers, and a wine tasting from each of the wineries. A ticket for wine tasting only is $25 in advance; Non-tasting is $10 in advance; Children 6-12 are $5 in advance. Buy Now

    Head to the Shore for the Chincoteague Island Oyster Festival, Saturday October 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of oysters (half shell, steamed, fried, fritters …), crabs, hush puppies, clam chowder, and more. Admission is $40. Buy Now

    You don’t want to miss the Official Oyster Festival of the Commonwealth, the Urbanna Oyster Festival. The entire town of Urbanna turns into festival grounds Friday and Saturday, November 1 and 2, with oyster shucking competitions, a parade, oysters served anyway you like, and the crowning of the Oyster Festival Queen and Little Miss Spat. The festival is free and pay-as-you-go.

     

    +1! Late Fall Bonus Event:

    Sample the best of the bay at Taste by the Bay in Irvington on Saturday, November 23. Virginia wineries, breweries, and local restaurants will serve samples to ticket holders from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $30 in advance or $35 at the gate.

     

    Find more flavors to love at Virginia.org/FoodFestivals!

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    Fall in Virginia, Festivals, Food | 3 Comments