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Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

Spring Festivals in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on March 29th, 2013

Spring is officially here with the trees budding and flowers blooming. Festivals are one thing we LOVE about Spring in Virginia.

Daffodils are one of the first flowers to bloom and Gloucester has them by the thousands for their 27th annual Daffodil Festival, April 6 and 7. Take a tour of Brent & Becky’s Bulbs in between the parade, entertainment and vendors. It’s the perfect event to draw you out of the house and into the Spring season. There are plenty of activities for the kids – pony rides, clowns, face painting and games. The fun is from 9 to 5 Saturday and noon to 5 Sunday.

Burnside Farms Festival of Tulips - the largest pick-your-own tulip field in the country!

Burnside Farms Festival of Tulips – the largest pick-your-own tulip field in the country!

Tulip lovers will want to head to Haymarket anytime between April 10 and 28 for the Festival of Tulips: Holland in Haymarket at Burnside Farms. Walk through the largest pick-your-own tulip field in the country – 90,000 blooms from 50 varieties at only $1 per stem. It’s a beautiful opportunity for kids’ portraits, so bring your camera. $3 per person to enter the tulip field. NOTE: Due to the cold weather the opening date was pushed back from April 5 to April 10. Weekday visits are suggested.

Spring is also the time Virginia wineries pop their corks and take the fun outside of the tasting room.

April 13 is a good day for wine lovers. Choose from two festivals – Beaverdam Wine Festival or Smithfield Wine & Brew Fest.

The Beaverdam Wine Festival will be held at Pop’s Country Store Museum, just 30 minutes north of Richmond. The festival will include four wineries – James River Cellars, Lake Anna, Grayhaven and Mattaponi. Live music will set the atmosphere and up to 50 food, arts and crafts vendors will round out your day. Festival organizers state the fees as “$10 for designated drivers; $20 for imbibers.” Have fun and drink responsibly.

Smithfield Wine & Brew Fest

Smithfield Wine & Brew Fest

The Smithfield Wine & Brew Fest will be held at Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield. Participating wineries include Lake Anna, Cooper, Naked Mountain, Belle Mount, Horton, Rosemont and Saudé Creek. Virginia craft breweries include O’Connor, Smartmouth, St. George, Legend, Star Hill, Williamsburg AleWerks, Bold Rock and Devil’s Backbone.

The day is quite an extravaganza. The 2012 inaugural Wine & Brew Fest sold out and this one appears to be on its way. Tickets are $35 in advance for tasters with both wine and beer available for purchase by the glass, and Virginia wine available by the bottle. Designated drivers are $15, but tickets are available at the gate only. Ages 21 and older. Get your tickets now.

Ready to fly a kite? March 30 through May 5 is “National Kite Month,” and several fields of green are awaiting your lift-off.

The annual Kite Flying Festival in Stephens City is April 6. Don’t worry if you don’t have a kite because free kites will be given away while supplies last. The fun kicks off at 11 a.m. Expect to see members of the Richmond Air Force Kite Club discussing the science of kite flying and demonstrating some awesome kite tricks.

The Rockfish Valley Foundation Kite Flying Festival is held in Nellysford, just 30 miles west of Charlottesville, on April 14. This fifth annual event includes instructions, demonstrations by the Richmond Air Force Kite Club, a Duck Race, games, and a free kite to the first 150 children. Bring a picnic or enjoy food from the vendors on site. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

See more upcoming festivals at Virginia.org/SpringFestivals.

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Bite-Sized Fun at Virginia Food Festivals

by Casey | Posted on January 17th, 2013

Virginia is well known for its peanuts and ham, but what about tomatoes, strawberries and even oysters? Come taste the great Virginia flavors you’ve been missing out on.

Highland Maple Festival

Highland Maple Festival

The food festivals of 2013 kick off in Highland County (Virginia’s “Little Switzerland”) with the Maple Festival. Take a tour and see the trees tapped with buckets collecting the sweet goodness. Pancake breakfasts and much more make this a memorable trip and it all happens March 9, 10, 16 and 17.

Virginia’s oyster industry is experiencing a re-birth. On the Eastern Shore in Machipongo, the Barrier Islands Center is hosting an oyster roast on February 23. It’s fresh-from-the-sea goodness with live music, wine and beer. Later, travel to the little town of Urbanna the first weekend in November and you’ll be treated to oyster shucking contests and this succulent of the sea itself, cooked (or uncooked) anyway you like it.

Tour the town by your taste buds when Blacksburg rolls out its annual Fork and Cork festival April 27. More than 20 wineries and delicious foods from local restaurants will make this a one-day smorgasbord.

Sweet strawberries are the highlight of the Delaplane Strawberry Festival May 25-26. It’s a day of fun for the entire family with kids’ games, hay rides, fantastic food and delicious strawberries.

Hanover tomatoes ripen with the warm Virginia summer sun, and on July 13, you’re invited to enjoy the season’s yield and watch cooks compete with their tomato recipes. 35 years and still going strong.

August is peach season in Virginia and the Peach Festival at Marker Miller Orchard in Winchester promises the cream of the crop. Live music, a cow train for the kids and plenty of peaches in pie, ice cream or cobbler form await you on August 10.

You can’t be in two places at once, so October 10-12 will be a hard time for those who love Brunswick stew and shrimp. Go with the one you love the most – Suffolk on October 10 for shrimp or Alberta on October 12 for stew. Either choice is a win.

Dig into our calendar to find more food festivals to fill up on.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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Festivals, Food | 1 Comment

Warm Up with Brunswick Stew

by Casey | Posted on October 10th, 2012

Brunswick stew is a culinary tradition that dates back to 1828 on Virginia’s Nottaway River where Dr. Creed Haskins’ cook prepared a pot for a hunting party, utilizing fresh ingredients nearby … squirrel.

Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stew

The stew is historically made in huge cast iron pots over an open flame in quantities large enough to feed entire communities. Rest assured, however, that the meat base nowadays is chicken rather than squirrel.

For a taste of authentic Virginia tradition, make your way to one of these upcoming Brunswick Stew festivals. There will be more than enough to quiet your hunger on site as well as to take home for later.

  • October 13: Taste of Brunswick Festival & Cook-Off in Alberta, Brunswick County – This is the World Championship Brunswick Stew Cook-Off and as a taster, it’s you who truly reaps the reward. Pair this feast with a genuine festival atmosphere of arts and crafts, wagon rides, Bluegrass and antique tractors, and it’s a classic fall day in Virginia.girl eating brunswick stew
    • Stay the night at Alberta B&B! The innkeepers are including two quarts of Brunswick stew for you to take home after the festival. $300 for a two-night stay.
  • October 20: 3rd Annual Brunswick Stew and Classic Car Show in Gladys – Enjoy your stew here to benefit the local volunteer fire department. The kids will love seeing Smokey the Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog, as well as all of the emergency response vehicles.
  • October 27: Brunswick Stew Day in Nokesville – Brunswick stew will be cooked over an open flame and it’s “all you can eat” for as long as you’re there. One meal enough? Take home a quart and freeze it for later.
LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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Events, Fall in Virginia, Family, Festivals, Food | Comments Off

LOVE on Display at Neptune Festival

by Casey | Posted on September 20th, 2012

UPDATE – 9/27/12:

The LOVE sand sculpture is complete and on display.  Go check it out this weekend at Virginia Beach’s Neptune Festival.   Wonder how it was built?  Check out this video – 24 hours of sandcastle building compressed into two minutes!

Virginia is for Lovers is about love – pure and simple. For those who have traveled Virginia seeking LOVE artworks for photo opportunities, here’s a new artwork and perhaps our most unique yet.

Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend

Sandsculpture at a previous Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend.

On Monday, September 24, master sand sculptors will bring LOVE to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront in the form of a giant wave crashing and leaving the word LOVE behind. See the LOVE sand sculpture in progress from the Virginia Beach Boardwalk between 7th and 8th Streets and in its completed form for the duration of the Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend  (September 28-30) through October 7.

Beginning September 28, visitors can get close to the 5′ x 14′ sculpture with a $3 admission ticket to Neptune’s Kingdom of Sand (children 12 and under are free). Pose for a photo and then share it to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #LOVEVA, or post it on the Virginia is for Lovers Facebook page.

The highlight of the Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend is the signature, world-renowned North American Sandsculpting Championship, where more than 275 artisans showcase their talents along 35 blocks of the Boardwalk. It’s the largest event of its kind. Additionally, visitors will enjoy a variety of live music, a Grand Parade, Saturday night fireworks display over the Atlantic, volleyball tournament, surfing classic, Atlantic Sailing Regatta, and 8K and 5K runs. The entire weekend is a memorable family fun experience, one that truly puts LOVE at the heart of a Virginia vacation.

The Neptune Festival LOVE artwork is part of a statewide effort which began with the Virginia is for Lovers oversized LOVE artwork. The artwork has made stops at Virginia Welcome Centers, attractions and localities throughout Virginia.  It has become a favorite photo opportunity for visitors as well as local residents wherever it has gone. Photos taken by visitors from across the country can be seen at Virginia.org/LOVE.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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Beaches, Events, Fall in Virginia, Festivals | 1 Comment

Let the Wine Flow in September

by Casey | Posted on August 17th, 2012

Those who love a good glass of wine can find it every day of the week in Virginia. Winery tasting room staffs offer guests samples, explain how the wine was created, what smells and flavors should be recognizable in each and what food might pair well with each. Additionally, many of Virginia’s wineries host special events. Here are a few you can look forward to in September.

Rockbridge Vineyard

Rockbridge Vineyard

September 1

  • Celebrate the Labor Day Weekend at Fox Meadow Winery. Expect red, white and blue food pairs with the wine. Sept 1-3. Standard tasting fee of $5-$6 applies.

September 2

  • First Sunday of the Month Brunch at Prince Michel features wine tastings, self or guided tours, and of course, the brunch buffet. $25/adult; $12.50/child 12 and younger. 10:30-2:30
  • Yappy Hours at Keswick Vineyards is a time when dog owners can bring their pooch. Tastings are conducted both inside and outside. Leash your pet at all times. Held every Sunday 9-5.

September 3

  • Labor Day Lunch at Chateau Morrisette sounds like a great way to spend the day. The restaurant is open 11 to 2 and the winery is open 10 to 5.

September 7

  • Live Music Fridays is exactly what it sounds like. Go to Potomac Point Winery every Friday for music, wine and dining. $24.00/person. 6-9 p.m.

September 8

  • Music, wine and the great outdoors. That’s Starry Nights at Veritas Vineyards & Winery. Bring your blanket or lawnchair and have a relaxing evening under the stars. 7-11 p.m.
  • The Squealing Black Dog & Swine Festival at Chateau Morrisette promises to be a great time - BBQ pit masters, sauce competition, R&B, Blues and Country music, great wine, vendors and more. $25/person. 11 to 6.
  • Sans Soucy Vineyards invites you to their 3rd Annual Shrimp & Wine Festival featuring five wineries, great food, live music, and plenty of arts and crafts. $15 in advance; $20 at the gate. Designated drivers are $10. Children 16 and under are free. Noon to 6.
  • The South African Food & Wine Festival, now in its 7th year, is held at Grayhaven Winery. Exotic eats and Grayhaven’s wine are what’s up. The upbeat live music by JuxtaPower won’t let you sit still, so be ready for a great weekend in Gum Spring. General Admission: $20 in advance; $30 at the gate. + Wine Tasting: $25 in advance; $35 at the gate. Children 17 and under are free. 11-6
  • Blue Ridge Vineyards hosts a Summer Concert series twice per month, where guests can relax with fantastic music and even better wine. Hear the sounds of Preacher Woody & MWB Band from 5 to 9 p.m. Later, on September 22, SOLREVOLT brings the fun.

September 14

  • Have a seat on the deck at Lexington Valley Vineyards for their monthly Wine and Wags – a good Friday afternoon wind down with your best pet and a nice glass of wine. Noon to 6.

September 15

  • DuCard Vineyards’ fine wines are paired with a fabulous dinner during the Harvest Winemaker’s Dinner. Music, as well as opportunities to meet the chef and the winemakers, will make this a memorable night. $79/person. 6:30-9:30 p.m.

September 16

  • Taste Rockbridge Vineyards’ wine for free during Sunday Uncorked. Visit between 2 and 5 p.m. and enjoy a live band, too. If you like it, come do it again on September 30!

September 22

  • Afton After Hours is what Afton Mountain Vineyards calls their once-a-month Saturday evening wine and music event. No tastings, but wine for sale by the glass and bottle. 6:30-9 p.m.

September 28

  • Taste something new. North Mountain Vineyard is hosting a Bavarian Dinner right on time for Oktoberfest. 6:30-8:30 p.m. $25 pre-paid reservations only.

September 29

  • As the moon rises, DuCard celebrates! Sit a spell drinking great wine and waiting for the harvest moon to rise. 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Learn more about Virginia’s wineries and pinpoint their locations on our new map at Virginia.org/Wine.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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