This Getaway Weekend Sizzles with Variety

Are you a big believer that variety is the spice of life? The weekend of September 21-23 in Waynesboro, Virginia will fire you up with options! With a music festival, park adventure, craft-beer run, and gem and mineral show all packed into the same weekend, consider your life spiced!

Heat, Beats, & Beer

Virginia Chili, Blues n Brews Festival photo by Norm Shafer

There might be a nip in the air as fall approaches, but this festival puts some “heat” in the season change! Pro and amateur chili chefs compete for prize money and the title of People’s Choice. They’re joined by thousands of lovers of spice, music, and beer at the Virginia Chili, Blues n’ Brews Festival. Now in its 11th year, the downtown Waynesboro event is September 22 from 3-9pm. Staged against backdrop of the South River and sweeping mountain views, the festival promises a marvelous mashup of sensory experiences.

 Recharge at Shenandoah National Park

from Shenandoah National Park facebook page

Restoration and resilience are the focus of the 25th anniversary of National Public Lands Day on September 22, and if you’re looking to personally recharge, Shenandoah National Park is fee-free that day and filled with renewing vistas, waterfalls, or quiet glades. One of Virginia’s most beloved natural wonders, the 200,000-acre Shenandoah National Park boasts more than 500 miles of trails. Just three miles from the park’s southernmost Rockfish Gap Entrance, Waynesboro makes the perfect starting point for an exploration of its wild southern section.

A Run with a View—and a Reward

If a physical challenge is your spice, brace yourself for the Basic City Burn. Featuring a just under three-mile course that climbs a quad-burning 300 feet to the highest point in Waynesboro, the stunning view of the valley is just part of the event’s allure. Runners and walkers also get treated to cool swag and a post-race party with beer tastings at Basic City Beer Co. and food by Hops Kitchen.

 Not Just Any Old Rocks

from Shenandoah Valley Gem & Mineral Society facebook page

Second in age only to South Africa’s Barberton greenstone belt, the Blue Ridge Mountains are a perfect destination for rock hounds, nature lovers, and history buffs alike. The weekend of September 21-23 will allow you to feast your eyes on the fascinating and beautiful rocks and minerals found in the Shenandoah Valley (and beyond) at the 51st Annual Gem & Mineral Show. The whole family will be enthralled with the mix of unique shopping, treasure-hunting (for kids), educational talks, and demos like panning for gold and cabochon making.

Local Food & Fowl

The weekend options don’t stop there. Every Saturday through September 29, 9am-1pm, you can also visit the Waynesboro Farmer’s Market, both a marketplace and a community gathering space, in the heart of downtown Waynesboro. Visitors can shop, play along the river banks, or stroll along the nearby South River Greenway.

Autumn brings thousands of migrating raptors to the mountain pass of Rockfish Gap at the juncture of Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Manned by volunteers collecting raptor data for global research and education, the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch is open to the public and easily accessible without hiking or climbing. Novice birders can witness this awesome natural event between now and November 30, although the peak migration occurs mid- to late-September.

Flavor, Festivals, & Fitness – Top 3 Reasons to Visit Waynesboro, VA in 2018

Infuse more flavor, more nature, and more play into your new year!  If work-life balance is on your 2018 wish list, head to Waynesboro, Virginia.

The Shenandoah Valley: Your Passport to Flavor

Our craft beverage producers take “fresh” to the next level.  They’re using hops, grains, water and fruits sourced right here in the Shenandoah Valley.  And with a focus on conscious and sustainable practices, they make it easy for the rest of us to savor local flavor packed with purpose.

Take Blue Ridge Bucha, Virginia’s first kombucha producers.  With big flavor and a small footprint, the team at Blue Ridge Bucha hand crafts delicious, organic kombucha that is distributed in refillable bottles.  Just one of many sustainable practices, this commitment alone has saved more than 675,000 bottles…and counting.  You can find Blue Ridge Bucha on draft in over 50 locations in the Mid-Atlantic.  And in 2018, Blue Ridge Bucha is set to open a Waynesboro taproom complete with outdoor patio!

Continue reading “Flavor, Festivals, & Fitness – Top 3 Reasons to Visit Waynesboro, VA in 2018”

Waynesboro,VA: An Inspiring Playground for All Ages

School may be out, but recess is in!  If you’re an outdoor lover, there’s no better place to spend your summer than in Waynesboro, Virginia.  We’ve got the peaks, the valleys, the water, and all the good nature your body and spirit crave.  Can’t decide where to start?  Check out these summer events you won’t want to miss, then pack those hiking boots, bike helmets, or racing shoes and escape to the Blue Ridge Mountains for an adventure-filled getaway!

Continue reading “Waynesboro,VA: An Inspiring Playground for All Ages”

Live Like a Local: Hometown Events in May

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.

Xanadu the Musical rocks the Wayne Theatre May 5-14. Photo courtesy of the Wayne Theatre Facebook page.
Xanadu the Musical rocks the Wayne Theatre May 5-14. Photo courtesy of the Wayne Theatre Facebook page.

Xanadu the Musical

May 5-14

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!

The Blue Ridge Classic Soapbox Derby will take place May 6 in downtown Waynesboro. Photo by Norm Shafer.
The Blue Ridge Classic Soapbox Derby will take place May 6 in downtown Waynesboro. Photo by Norm Shafer.

Blue Ridge Classic Soapbox Derby

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!

Patsy Asuncion will be among the authors at Author Fest. Photo courtesy of the author's website.
Patsy Asuncion will be among the authors at Author Fest. Photo courtesy of the author’s website.

Author Fest

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.

Firetrucks join the festivities at the Rosenwald Community Block Party. Photo courtesy of Waynesboro Parks and Recreation website.
Firetrucks join the festivities at the Rosenwald Community Block Party. Photo courtesy of Waynesboro Parks and Recreation website.

Rosenwald Community Block Party

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.

Catch the amazing antics of the Marvelous Mutts at Petpawlooza. Photo courtesy of Marvelous Mutts.
Catch the amazing acrobatics of the Marvelous Mutts at Petpawlooza. Photo courtesy of the Marvelous Mutts.

Petpawlooza

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.

Humpback Rocks Sunday Concert: Sunny Side

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!

 

5 Romantic Date Night Ideas in Waynesboro, VA

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 Feel the Beat: Release Your Inner “Fred” or “Ginger”

Kick off your evening with pizzazz!  Nothing says classic romance like ballroom dancing, and experienced instructor Don Dollins  will help you learn (or brush up on) popular dances such as: the Foxtrot, Swing, Waltz, Cha-Cha and the Rumba. Two different level classes are offered each week, and there’s an open dance session the first Friday of each month.

After getting in a little foxtrot and rumba, swing over to Silk Road Asian Restaurant & Bar.  Savor a night of fine asian cuisine, an elegant atmosphere, and fresh cocktail concepts.

Photos courtesy of Silk Road.
Photos courtesy of Silk Road.

Close out the day by gazing out at the Shenandoah Valley from the comfort of your room or luxury cabin at the Iris Inn Bed and Breakfast. And talk about bliss – you can fall asleep knowing that when you awake, a chef has prepared you a decadent breakfast!

#2 Gather a Taste of Local

p-logwood-01
photo courtesy Cabin Creekwood

Enjoy the serenity that comes naturally in Waynesboro and our breathtaking Augusta County with a romantic retreat to Cabin Creekwood.  Choose from nine cabins conveniently located just one mile away from Sherando Lake.  Follow this checklist and then settle in for a quiet dinner and night away from the world.

“Luxurious”…”blissful”…”nourishing”…choose your word.  While you’re at it, choose a cabin and reserve this special time for the two of you!

#3 Feast Your Eyes

The Wayne Theatre. Photo by Kevin Blackburn/kevinblackburn.com.
The Wayne Theatre. Photo by Kevin Blackburn/kevinblackburn.com.

Another romantic date night in Waynesboro could mean sinking into the gracious Victorian comfort of Belle Hearth Bed & Breakfast.  Antique furnishings, gas log fireplaces, wraparound porch with swing, candlelit 3-course breakfast….Belle Hearth has all the trimmings you need for a relaxing getaway.

But once you take a look at this delectable lineup, we think you’ll rally and treat yourself to a night out on the town.  After a colorful and flavorful dinner at Osaka III, head over to The Historic Wayne Theatre.  Nationally known acts are routinely onstage at this beautiful performing arts center.  Music, film, dance, comedy, performance… there is always something new to experience at the Wayne! After the night’s entertainment, head back to your pillows at Belle Hearth. You can drift off knowing that leisure and deliciousness await you in the morning.

#4 Hear Music Among the Stars

Photo credit: Barren Ridge Vineyards
Photo credit: Harold Burnley Photography & Barren Ridge Vineyards

Nothing will make your partner’s heart flutter quite like an evening under the stars at  Barren Ridge Vineyards, a small, family-owned vineyard and winery along the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail.  Experience Barren Ridge’s award-winning handcrafted wines while soaking in the peace of the land.  For a truly memorable evening, plan your visit to correspond with Firelight Friday and Sunsets at the Vineyard!  Take live music, Barren Ridge wines, and delicious fare then mix in cozy fire, sunset, and an evening serenaded under the stars…Voilà!

#5  Don’t Miss the Aromas of “What Are We Smoking?”

Stable Craft Brewing
Stable Craft Brewing

If you’re keeping track of the senses, then you know we’ve hit #5 – the sense of smell. The folks at Stable Craft Brewing are masters at harnessing the power of all the senses, and with the smoker located right outside the taproom, you won’t be able to resist the day’s mouth-watering menu.  And not to worry if one or both of you are a veggie – the chef has you covered with savory scratch-made creations for all appetites.

Check out Stable Craft’s Event Calendar to plan your meat, beverage, or entertainment fix. In addition to “What Are We Smoking?” evenings, Stable Craft’s special events include tours of their organic hop fields, small batch beer releases, Sunday Craft Beer Brunch, and their Winter Craft Beer Dinner Theatre Series.  Or the two of you can simply kick back in their draft room with one of the 16 beers on tap and enjoy the beautiful mountain views.

A getaway to Waynesboro makes it easy to find romance, good nature, and fresh flavors at every turn.  Listen to your heart – plan your stay today!

 

Open Doors: The New Wayne Theatre Invites a Fresh Take

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”