Stuck in your Richmond office daydreaming about wide open spaces and cool mountain streams? Idling in traffic and wishing you were high above it all? Want to trade in that concrete jungle for a forest path? You’re only 90 minutes away from a rejuvenating getaway. Hop on I-64 West, set your sights on those Blue Ridge Mountains, and before you’ve finished your playlist, you’ll be in Waynesboro, VA, the playground of the Shenandoah Valley. Here are 6 reasons to jump in the car this weekend.
You may walk past them without even recognizing them—authors from the Blue Ridge region who have published books and even received national acclaim. And they’re gathering in one place for the 3rd Annual Author Fest at Waynesboro Public Library on May 6.
The public is invited to meet over two dozen of the area’s authors—from well-known to little-known—at an event that offers books, refreshments, and signings. Marta Grove, Publicity Coordinator of the Waynesboro Public Library, is excited by what the event promises. “Author Fest exposes the community to local writing talent and is an excellent time to broaden the horizons of readers. Book lovers will enjoy this time to meet authors and buy their books, and authors will benefit from the opportunity to expand their exposure.”
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the attendees:
Located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and snuggled in the arms of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, Waynesboro is the natural destination for those seeking a romantic night or weekend getaway. With award-winning wineries and breweries, farm-to-table culinary delights, world class entertainment, and scenic beauty at every turn, a visit to Waynesboro, Virginia, is an immersion of the senses.
#1 Hear Music Among the Stars
1. “B” is for “Brews and Food”
The Shenandoah Valley is nationally-renowned for its beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. But no matter how many trails you hike, bike, and paddle, no visit to Waynesboro would be complete without experiencing the Fields of Gold Farm Trail, the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail, and the new Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail, featuring 13 microbreweries.
2016 was certainly the Year of the Brewery for Waynesboro and the surrounding region! Not only did the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail open, but Waynesboro gained two new breweries. Taps are now flowing at all three of the city’s breweries: Seven Arrows Brewing, Stable Craft Brewing, and Basic City Beer Co. The Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail also connects craft beer lovers to the other treasures of the region – fresh foods, outdoor adventures, music festivals, and local communities.
2. “O” is for “Outdoor Adventure”
For the outdoor adventurer, there’s no place like Waynesboro. Through the Parks and Recreation Department’s Run the Valley Race Series, runners can challenge themselves throughout the year with 5K’s, 10K’s, and the award-winning Mad Anthony Mud Run.
Waynesboro is a destination for cycling enthusiasts as well. On-road and off-road routes abound in the region, providing opportunities for all levels. Serious cyclists won’t want to miss the annual Tour de Valley, a century and metric century autumn tour of the Shenandoah Valley.
And we mustn’t forget the wealth of hiking opportunities that abound around Waynesboro. As a designated Applachian Trail Community, Waynesboro understands hiking inside and out, and offers a wide-range of options for all skill levels of hikers, whether it’s just a peaceful stroll in one of its beautiful local parks, exploring a historic rails-to-trails path, or embarking on a more extreme outdoor adventure in nearby Shenandoah National Park.
Coming soon! A reconstruction project is also underway at the Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel, an abandoned historic railroad tunnel through Afton Mountain, linking Waynesboro to Nelson County. The project may be completed by the end of 2017, and once the tunnel is reopened, hikers and cyclists will have a new unique trail to explore!
3. “R” is for “River Adventure”
Nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Waynesboro’s downtown is graced with the meandering waters of the South River. The city has always been known for her natural beauty, and with the 2016 opening of the Waynesboro Water Trail, anglers and paddlers can now explore that beauty further. The 4-mile scenic water trail stretches from Ridgeview Park to Basic Park and was awarded the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award.
2016 brought new paving, trees, and a pedestrian bridge to the South River Greenway. Part of the city’s extensive park system, the Greenway is providing additional recreational opportunities and access to the South River.
Waynesboro has been called “Virginia’s Top Trout Town” and is a destination for anglers around the world. The annual South River Fly Fishing Expo is held at the city’s Constitution Park and will be attracting fly fishers of all ages and levels April 22-23, 2017.
On the following weekend, April 29, 2017, Riverfest will be celebrated at Constitution Park. This free annual event is dedicated to environmental conservation and watershed stewardship and offers hands-on activities like the popular stream safari, reptile shows, canoe rides, and the Great South River duck race.
4. “O” is for “Outstanding Performances” at the Wayne Theatre / Ross Performing Arts Center
2016 marked the Grand Reopening of The Historic Wayne Theatre. Originally built in 1926 as a vaudeville house, the theatre was saved from demolition and underwent a massive restoration. This virtual tour gives a wonderful overview of the extensive technical capabilities, rental opportunities, and unique features of the “new” Wayne. The theatre’s 2016 schedule was packed with entertainment of all genres and programming for all ages, including dance, music, lectures, film, art exhibits, and an Arts Education series. Visit the Wayne Theatre / Ross Performing Arts Center Calendar of Events for a glimpse of the exciting 2017 season!
With so much to taste and to do in Waynesboro, Virginia, how will you spend your vacation days in 2017?
Curling up with your favorite Christmas movie…finding a special gift…catching a glimpse of Santa…gathering with friends…caroling out in the snow. Treasured traditions build the anticipation and joy of the holiday season. And in Waynesboro, Virginia, you’ll find a community that knows how to celebrate!
Come stay in one of our cozy Bed & Breakfasts or join us for a festive day. While we can’t guarantee snow, we can promise you a showing of the classic White Christmas and holiday traditions that will make you feel right at home.
Ninety years ago, the historic Wayne Theatre opened its doors to the first surge of eager patrons waving tickets. This fall, history repeats itself, but now the theatre is sporting a new facelift and a new outlook.
The facelift has been taking place for years—ever since the late 1990s—when the theatre was a vacant twin cinema with pink-tiled bathrooms. Wayne Theatre Executive Director Tracy Straight at that time served as an elementary school music teacher and musical theatre director. She recalls brainstorming with Lillian Morse of the Waynesboro Players about forming a group of arts-minded citizens intent on saving the theatre. This fledgling group grew into the Wayne Theatre Alliance (WTA). Using a variety of tax credits and other capital, the alliance began overhauling the theatre in 2007. Even then, financial challenges forced construction to stop three times before the work was finally completed in 2016. The process was an arduous one for Straight and the WTA, but she asserts, “I am as engaged as ever!” Continue reading “Open Doors: The New Wayne Theatre Invites a Fresh Take”