Fall Fairs &
With cooler weather finally on its way, make plans to check out these great outside attractions, all gearing up to make this season special.
Throughout the crisp autumn season, Spotsylvania County Tourism invites you to “shop till you drop” at outdoor markets and bazaars while visiting its family-friendly parks, museums and National Parks. Each weekend through November, Belvedere Plantation’s Fall Festival offers more than 30 activities for kids young and old, including their Maize Maze and Pumpkin Patch. Or, grab that last batch of locally grown produce at Miller Farms Market in Locust Grove, where you’ll also find many heirloom pumpkin varieties. Craft beer lovers won’t want to miss the Courthouse Village Food Truck Rodeo on Oct. 6, featuring live performances by the Courthouse School of Ballet and Christian Youth Theatre. Aviation buffs will want to head to Shannon Airport for their Harvest Festival on Oct. 27, which includes fly-in for plane owners as well as an airshow.
Sept. 15-16, journey to the Northern Neck for Stratford Hall’s Wine and Oyster Festival, which combines fresh oysters and great wines with craft brews, live music, car shows, miniature farm animals, artisans and more! Or, savor the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the Blue Ridge foothills during the Culpeper Harvest Days Farm Tour. Start your self-guided tour with a stop at the Welcome Center on Route 29 for tickets and a list of participating farms that offer an array of hands-on activities and educational demonstrations.
Head down I-95 the weekend of Sept. 20-22 for the Virginia Peanut Festival. This family-friendly annual celebration of “goober peas,” centered at Veterans Memorial Park in Emporia, offers free parking and admission, live music, a car show, beauty pageants, Civil War re-enactments, carnival attractions, hay rides and more. Saturday’s parade gets underway at 11 a.m., with a gigantic fireworks display at 9 p.m. and live music until 11 p.m.
Now in its 26th year, Field Day of the Past in Goochland County from Sept. 21-23 offers living history demonstrations of old-time farming. Try your hand at shucking and then shelling corn with a hand-operated tool, watch sorghum get turned into molasses and cheer on tractor-pull contestants, all the while savoring tasty treats and listening to old-time music.
Mecklenburg County has it all! Enjoy the area’s vibrant downtowns that offer festivals and events throughout the year, not to mention miles and miles of trails to explore along Buggs Island Lake’s 850 miles of shoreline. Catch a live performance or catch a big fish. Either way, you’re going to love your time spent in Mecklenburg.
One of Mecklenburg County’s best known events is the South Boston Harvest Festival on Sept. 29. You’ll find three stages of continuous live music, along with pumpkin-decorating and scarecrow-making activities for the kids. Stroll historic downtown streets while checking out wares from more than a hundred local merchants, artists, restaurants and organizations.
Also on Sept. 29, feel like a kid again at the Coyner Springs Kite Fly near Waynesboro, where 300 free kites will be given out between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Pack a picnic basket and watch professional kite-flying performances, then clamber aboard an old-fashioned hay ride or try your hand at the apple-chuckin’ contest.
On Saturday, Sept. 29, make plans to head west and attend the Bath County Fair in Millboro, Virginia. Guests can enjoy exciting carnival rides, music, local craft and food vendors, and raffle prizes. Don’t miss out on the dog show and various contests including a sportsmen’s show. Fun for the entire family.
On Oct. 6, Charlotte County will host Miss Janie’s Sit & Sip Wine Festival, a fundraiser for the Barksdale Cancer Foundation. Held at The Gil-Har House in Phenix and named in honor of Miss Janie Gilliam, one of the home’s most colorful inhabitants, the festival will feature vintages from five Virginia wineries.
The weekend of Oct. 12-14, celebrate autumn and our agricultural heritage at Highland County’s Hands & Harvest Festival. Explore its farms, purchase local products, browse the used book sale, and enjoy live entertainment. You can even test your athletic prowess at Highland Hills Farm 5k Fun Run & Obstacle Course!
Oct. 13 is also the date for the Fauquier Farm Tour. This award-winning event offers self-guided visits to seven stops that showcase the county’s wineries, farmers’ markets, orchards, corn mazes and breweries.
Or, head south to Alberta on Oct. 13 for the Taste of Brunswick Festival & Stew Cookoff, offering authentic stew, free parking, and a full day of entertainment for the entire family, from stagecoach rides and a petting zoo to a classic car show.
Downtown Bowling Green will host its 29th annual Harvest Festival on Oct. 20, offering free parking and admission, antique tractor and car shows, a petting zoo and kids’ area and lots of great foods to sample and savor.
Want to squeeze in one last beach trip before winter? Currituck Tourism challenges you to “choose your experience” at North Carolina’s Outer Banks, from beach houses and family time, to the area’s famed wild horses to sports and adventure.
Those wanting to get away to a place where life runs at a slower pace will want to visit Edisto Island. After passing through South Carolina’s Low Country on a National Scenic Byway, you’ll be greeted by a live oak canopy and vast stretches of nature.
Whichever destinations you choose this fall, you’ll be sure to carry away warm memories to sustain you through winter’s dreariest days!