Hikers of the Appalachian Trail may be surprised to find Waynesboro on their map twice—once in Virginia and once in Pennsylvania. Both are designated Appalachian Trail Communities (Waynesboro, PA shares its ATC designation with Washington Township and together they go by “Greater Waynesboro Area, PA”). Hikers visiting both locales can expect a warm welcome when they stop to resupply, and visitors taking a faster mode of transportation will be equally charmed by the small-town culture.
There’s chocolate by the bar, box, and pound—and then there’s chocolate by the pint. Liquid pint, that is. Feast your tastebuds on these chocolate-infused beers, all locally crafted in the Shenandoah Valley and ready to make your Valentine’s Day even sweeter. Get them while they’re on tap at these three Waynesboro-area breweries.
Don Miguel Ruiz declared, “Every human is an artist.” If that’s the case, more of us need to be offsetting our daily slog with the creation of beauty! Discover (or rediscover) the creative outlet that brings beauty and fulfillment into your life at these five Waynesboro DIY artist experiences.
Wood & Stain
Hand-lettered signs on reclaimed wood are all the rage now, but you don’t have to pay an artist to make one for you. Nail’d It DIY Workshop allows you to make your own in its charming downtown studio where a row of neatly hung smocks begs you to come play. The only problem will be deciding from the over 80 designs ranging from humorous quotes to monogrammed centerpiece boxes. Clients are also welcome to bring their own designs or choose a fun seasonal project. Then tie on a smock and get artsy with the 10 stains and 15 paint colors! Walk out with a handmade and heartfelt piece of art to adorn your living room or front porch. You can register online for a specific time or walk in during weekend open house hours. And just announced: Nail’d It is starting offering canvas projects, too! Decorate your own pillow cover or tote bag on February 7 at special introductory pricing!
Hours vary. Check the website for class times and open houses. Projects start at $45.
If you see one more showing of A Christmas Story, you’ll scream. What you’re ready for is a unique spin on the holiday season, fresh experiences that flavor the season with something other than cloves. Look no further than Waynesboro, Virginia, where out-of-the-ordinary holiday festivities come as naturally as the mountain vistas out our back door.
Since its humble beginnings in an Augusta County horse barn, the Wildlife Center of Virginia has been offering health care and emergency services to native wildlife for 35 years. While it’s not the only wildlife center in Virginia, it’s unique for its emphasis on education. Think of it as a teaching hospital with doctors on staff and patients in various stages of recovery. As such, the Center cannot allow visitors to walk in and interact with the patients. (These patients, in particular, would find that encounter highly stressful!) However, the Center schedules open houses throughout the year, and there are numerous ways to see the animals in action.
I recently spoke with Amanda Nicholson, Director of Outreach, and got the answers to some of my own pressing questions.
Have you mowed the lawn until the grass is sticking in your throat? Are you slaving over an outdoor grill, flipping hamburgers while the sweat trickles between your shoulder blades? Do you drive a car without air conditioning, peeling your thighs off the seats and sporting a windblown hairstyle? Then make a beeline to Waynesboro for one of these throat-soothing, spine-chilling frosty treats!
Micah’s Coffee. 1000 West Broad Street. When the weather turns hot, Waynesboro’s popular drive-thru coffee stand whips up cold espresso drinks and frappes. One of their most popular treats is the Frozen Mocha, blended with Ghiradelli chocolate, espresso and milk, topped with homemade whipped cream. Kids will enjoy a Frozen Hot Chocolate, the same recipe without the espresso.
2017 will mark the 45th year Waynesboro hosts the annual Fall Foliage Art Show, which draws over 150 fine artists and artisans from around the country to the City’s downtown in October. But the City is doing more than just bringing artists in; it’s producing artists of its own. A growing number of visual and dramatic arts venues promise the advance of creative expression in a community already rich with that heritage.
One of the advantages of living in a modestly sized city like Waynesboro is the abundance of hometown events that pull the community closer together. Often celebrated with regularity each year, these gatherings create space for multiple generations to rub elbows with each other, for a city’s culture to be shaped and maintained, and—inevitably—for adults to cross paths with their former middle school teachers.
May showcases some of Waynesboro’s best hometown charm! From local theater to music on the mountain, Waynesboro strives to make its citizens and visitors feel right at home.
Roller-skating, romance, and retro music—the royal combination for an entertaining stage production! Based on the 1980 movie starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly, this Tony Award-winning musical is sure to inspire audiences to dream big. Familiar hits like “Suddenly,” “Strange Magic,” and “Evil Woman” will have both young and old rocking in their seats. And if that’s not enough, each Saturday performance will be followed by a dance party!
May 6, 7:30 a.m.,Downtown Waynesboro
Now in its 24th year, the Blue Ridge Classic Soapbox Derby is a gravity car race that unites children, parents, and grandparents in a collaborative effort. Participants between the ages of 7 and 20 team up with family members and sponsors to create their own derby cars over the course of several months. On May 6, the cars are pitted against each other down the long hill on Main Street. Come out and cheer for the young competitors and their sponsors!
May 6, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., Waynesboro Public Library
The Blue Ridge region grows beautiful dogwoods this time of year, but it also grows literary talent. Over 30 published writers from the area will gather at Waynesboro Public Library to showcase their works and autograph title pages. Books will be on sale at the event so that you can support your new favorite writer. Read more about some of the attendees on our blog.
May 6, 1:00-4:00 p.m., Rosenwald Community Center
Meet the neighbors you never knew you had at this block party and potluck featuring fire trucks, inflatable bounce houses, face painting, and local gospel music. Hot dogs and drinks are provided by the City of Waynesboro, and the Rosenwald Community Center will be open for basketball.
May 14, 12:00-4:00 p.m., Coyner Springs Park
Let’s not forget that our community has furry members, too! Coyner Springs, the City’s designated dog park, rolls out the green carpet for your canine companion at an event that places dogs at the center of attention. Have Fido’s caricature made, treat him to a game of Musical Sit, and share lunch from any of the food trucks while you watch a jaw-dropping performance of The Marvelous Mutts. Donations are accepted, and all proceeds benefit Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center.
May 28, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Humpback Rocks Mountain Farm & Visitor Center, Milepost 5.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Not long ago, an Appalachian family might gather with neighbors on a Sunday afternoon to enjoy homespun music and fellowship. The Humpback Rocks Mountain Farm maintains this tradition by offering Sunday afternoon concerts on the farm grounds throughout the summer. May 28 marks the first concert of the season and features the band “Sunny Side.” Bring a lawn chair and a picnic and enjoy the shady trees while relishing authentic bluegrass music.
The hometown events don’t stop in May. Check out our full calendar of events for other celebrations throughout the summer!
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:
If a mouth-watering burger is what you’re hankering for, look no further than Waynesboro!
Jake’s Bar & Grill, 137 N. Wayne Avenue
Jake’s is a welcoming watering hole with a cozy, western flair, serving 100% all natural, locally raised, USDA ground beef burgers. Try their award-willing Tumbleweed Burger, featuring a beef patty topped with breaded jalapeño nuggets, cream cheese, apple jelly, and crunchy fried onion strips served on a glossy brioche roll. Once you’ve tasted it, you’ll know why it swept all three categories at the Staunton-Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce Burger Cookoff. Jake’s also won the attention of Scoutology as being among the best burger joints in the state!
Also try the Sagebrush, a beef patty smothered in grilled onions, peppers, and mushrooms with melted Swiss and homemade Coyote sauce.