Highroad Guide to the
By Deane and Garvey Winegar
Special Events, Fairs and Festivals
- Friday Nite JamboreeTraditional weekly barn dance at Cockram's
General Store in Floyd. Phone (540) 745-4563.
- Galax Mountain Music JamboreeTraditional mountain music and
dance, third Saturday night each month in Galax. Phone (540) 236-0668 or (540)
- Virginia Horse FestivalCompetitions in various styles of horseback
riding held throughout the year at Lexington Equestrian Center, Lexington.
Phone (540) 463-4300.
- Virginia Special OlympicsWith the help of volunteers, Wintergreen
resort in Nelson County hosts this annual snow-skiing competition for mentally
challenged athletes. January. Phone (804) 325-2200.
- African-American Heritage MonthThe Museum of American Frontier
Culture hosts this examination of black contributions to early American growth.
Held in February in Staunton. Phone (540) 332-7850.
- Highland Maple FestivalTours to maple sugar camps to see both
old and new methods of syrupmaking, Maple Museum, pancake breakfasts with
maple syrup, craft show. March. Highland County Chamber of Commerce, PO Box
223, Monterey, VA 24465. Phone (540) 468-2550.
- Mountain Empire Fly-Fishing SchoolThree-day school for beginners
on fly-fishing tackle, entomology, knots, wading, artificial flies, stream
lore, and casting techniques. Held at Hungry Mother State Park in March. Phone
- Whitetop Mountain Maple FestivalFestive event at Mount Rogers
National Recreation Area features live country and western music, tours of
maple tree tapping areas, pancake breakfasts where visitors can sample homemade
syrups, arts and crafts, storytelling. Two weekends in late March. Sponsored
by Mount Rogers Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad. Phone (540) 773-3711.
- Kids Fishing DayStocked trout fishing for children at Elkhorn
Lake, near Bridgewater. Sponsored by Dry River Ranger District, George Washington
National Forest. April. Phone (540) 828-2591.
- River Run and Bicycle RideAthletes face-off against the rugged
terrain near Breaks Interstate Park on the Virginia/Kentucky border. April.
Phone (540) 921-1544.
- Shenandoah Valley Apple Blossom FestivalDances, circus, luncheons,
parades, band competitions, arts and crafts show in Winchester. AprilMay.
Phone (540) 662-3863.
- Appalachian Trail DaysHikers are invited to Damascus, "the
friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail," during May festivities, including
square dancing, mountain music, costumed town folk, hiker talent show, rubber
duck races, barbecue, and parade. Phone (540) 637-6766 or (800) 446-9670.
- Delaplane Strawberry FestivalCelebrate the region's strawberry
season at Sky Meadows State Park with strawberry sundaes, eighteenth-century
dancing demonstration, Civil War brass band, crafts, hayrides, clowns, children's
games, pony rides, and petting zoo. May. Phone (540) 592-3556.
- Mount Rogers Naturalist RallyParticipants study natural history
and wildlife of southwest Virginia during workshops and interpretive hikes
at weekend retreat at Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Talks by naturalists,
hikes led by college professors. Sponsored by Mount Rogers Interpretive Association,
usually coinciding with Mount Rogers Ramp Festival, third weekend in May.
Phone (540) 783-2125 or (800) 446-9670.
- Southwestern Virginia Pioneer FestivalLearn how southwest Virginia
was colonized and developed at the Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park. Demonstrations
include basket weaving, wool spinning, and blacksmithing. Held at Tazewell
in May. Phone (540) 988-6755.
- Wildflower WeekendWildflower hikes into the surrounding Blue
Ridge mountains originate at the Hotel Strasburg. First weekend in May in
Strasburg. Phone (540) 253-9622.
- Wildflower WeekendShenandoah National Park celebrates the arrival
of spring with guided walks, exhibits, slide programs, and workshops during
the third weekend in May. Park headquarters is at Luray. Phone (540) 999-3482
- Wintergreen Wildflower SymposiumExperts in botany, geology,
herpetology, etc., conduct seminars and lead wildflower and bird walks at
Wintergreen in Nelson County. Mid-May. Phone (800) 282-8223 or (800) 325-2200.
- Bluegrass FestivalOpen-air concerts in June at Graves Mountain
Lodge on scenic Robinson River in Virginia's northern Blue Ridge mountains
featuring some of the nation's finest musicians. Lodge is near Syria in Madison
County. Phone (540) 923-4231.
- Grayson County Fiddlers ConventionMusic jamboree held at Elk
Creek last weekend in June. Free camping. Sponsored by Elk Creek Valley Volunteer
Fire Department. Phone (540) 773-3711.
- Wayne C. Henderson FestivalMusic festival and guitar competition
at Grayson Highlands State Park with prize of Wayne Henderson guitar. Sponsored
by Rugby Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad. Third Saturday in June.
Phone (540) 773-3711.
- Appalachian Trail ConferenceActivities include hikes, workshops,
children's activities, and evening entertainment. The conference is held at
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, for a week in late June or early July.
Phone (540) 981-0693.
- Bluemont Concert SeriesThis free outdoor concert series draws
hundreds to the lawn of the old Frederick County Courthouse in Old Town Winchester.
Features folk, Cajun, bluegrass, and other music under the stars on Friday
evenings in June, July, and part of August. Phone (540) 665-0079.
- The Shenandoah Valley Music FestivalLong-running series of
high-quality summer and fall concerts in rustic open-air pavilion at historic
mineral springs resort hotel at Orkney Springs. Phone (800) 459-3396
- Theater at Lime KilnMemorial Day begins the summer season at
Lime Kiln, an outdoor theater that is nationally recognized for presenting
original plays and musicals relating to Virginia's culture and history. Plays
and concerts take place under the stars in an enchanting setting: the ruins
of an actual lime kiln built in the 1800s. Plays are performed Monday through
Saturday until Labor Day. On Sunday nights, some of the best and brightest
in the music business perform jazz, blues, folk, and bluegrass music. Lexington.
Phone (540) 463-3074.
- Blue Ridge Heritage Festivalsouthwest Virginia's 19 counties
celebrate mountain music, arts and crafts, and attractions of the Blue Ridge
Highlands. Held at Fort Chiswell in July. Phone (540) 228-3111.
- Hungry Mother Arts and Crafts FestivalLongest-running state
park art and crafts festival in Virginia featuring more than 125 artisans,
musical programs, and children's programs at Hungry Mother State Park. Third
weekend in July. Phone (540) 828-2591 or (540) 783-3161.
- RiverfestCelebrate the great outdoors with a raft race down
the New River. Other highlights are a barbecue cooking contest, craft show,
and live music. Held at Radford on second Saturday following the Fourth of
July. Phone (540) 639-2202.
- Shenandoah Valley Bicycle FestivalBikers of all levels compete
at Bridgewater in races ranging from 5 to 100 miles. Bridgewater College hosts
the event, usually at end of July. Phone (540) 434-3862.
- Natural Chimneys Jousting TournamentHorseback jousting where
riders at full gallop attempt to spear series of tiny hanging rings. Event
started in 1821. Third Saturday in August at Mount Solon. Phone (540) 350-2510
or (540) 249-5729.
- Old Fiddlers ConventionOldest and largest in the world, the
four-day Old Fiddlers Convention is held at Felts Park in Galax on second
week in August, sponsored by Galax Moose Lodge. Phone (540) 236-2184 or (540)
- RiverfestSponsored by the Friends of the Shenandoah, this August
festival takes place at the confluence of the north and south branches of
the Shenandoah River at Front Royal. Activities include canoe races, fishing
tournament, river rodeo with tug of war, centipede canoe race, obstacle course,
and blindfolded canoe race. On shore are crafts, food, and live music. Phone
- The Virginia Highlands Arts and Crafts FestivalCelebrates revival
in old-time arts and crafts, streets filled with items by the area's finest
artists and craftspeople. Held in historic Abingdon in Washington County,
first two weeks in August. Phone (540) 676-2282 or (800) 435-3440.
- Apple Harvest Arts and Crafts FestivalHeld at Jim Barnett Park
in Winchester, festival features apple-butter making and pie contests, live
music, arts and crafts. September. Phone (540) 662-4135.
- Claytor Lake Arts and Crafts FairFamily Labor Day celebration
with many artisans displaying handmade articles under the park trees. Held
Labor Day weekend. Claytor Lake State Park, Pulaski County. Phone (540) 980-7363.
- Henry Street African-American Heritage FestivalCelebration
of African-American culture in neighborhood close to downtown Roanoke. Ethnic
food, music, entertainment, children's activities. September. Phone (540)
- "Spirit of the Indian" Pow WowLearn about the past
and present culture of Virginia's Native Americans at this gathering at Claudius
Crozet Park, 12 miles west of Charlottesville. Held in Crozet in early September.
Phone (804) 929-0334.
- Taste of the Mountains Main Street FestivalArtisans demonstrate
basket weaving, woodcarving, glass blowing, chair caning, furniture making,
quilting, spinning, bark-basket making, and beekeeping. Hear Appalachian tunes
on dulcimers and harps and watch the footwork of clog dancers. Petting zoo,
mountain-inspired food. Held in Madison in September. Phone (540) 948-3645
- Blue Ridge Folklife FestivalFerrum College hosts this popular
event the last Saturday in October. Widely attended, the festival showcases
regional traditions, with crafts workers showing time-honored skills, old-time
musicians, and traditional Appalachian competitions. Ferrum. Phone (540) 365-4416.
- Mountain Foliage FestivalCelebrates humor of mountain folk
with Grand Privy Race, the only outhouse race in Virginia. Contestants race
privies on wheels down Main Street of Independence, sending winner to national
event. Held second Saturday in October, sponsored by Town of Independence
and 1908 Courthouse. Phone (540) 773-3711.
- OktoberfestGerman beer, Virginia wine, food, and an oompah
band playing traditional German music make this a special festival. There's
also a Bach Bash presented by the Mid-Atlantic Chamber Orchestra as well as
arts and crafts displays. Held in Staunton in October. Phone (540) 886-2351.
- Virginia Fall Foliage FestivalTwo October weekends of fine
arts and crafts, apple-butter making, gem and mineral show, food booths, chili
cook-off. Held in Waynesboro since 1973. Phone (540) 949-8513.
- Monticello Holiday Open HouseIn early December, at the former
home of Thomas Jefferson, visitors are treated to candlelight tours of the
mansion, which is decorated in period ornaments. Traditional music nightly.
Refreshments in the gift shop. Charlottesville. Phone (804) 984-9828.
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Published (print): 1998, Published (Web): April 2001, Revised
(Web): November 2002, ISBN: 1-56352-462-7