#LOVEstaunton

Category: Events and Festivals

Labor Day Weekend Brings Art to the Park

Are you looking for an amazing new painting to take center stage over your couch? Or how about just a little inspiration to spark your own creative fires? This Labor Day weekend marks the Staunton Augusta Art Center’s 54th annual Art in the Park festival in Gypsy Hill Park. Join the fun at this Staunton tradition where you’ll find community spirit, live music, food, and creative activities for the kids.

Before You Go

  • Art in the Park is happening Labor Day Weekend. Saturday, Sept. 4 from 10 – 5, Sunday, Sept. 5 from noon to 5.
  • The event is free
  • The event takes place in the shaded area in front of the bandstand
  • Public restrooms are available
  • Food vendors will be at the festival

What Kind of Art Can You Expect to See?

The Art in the Park festival is a juried art show, which means that potential artists are evaluated by a panel and chosen for their quality and appropriateness. This year’s show will have 30 local and regional artists and craftspeople displaying their work in a variety of genres. Expect to see photography, watercolor paintings, oil paintings, hand-made jewelry, stained glasswork, pencil drawings, hand-crafted clothing, metal sculpture, wood-turned sculpture, and much more. What’s nice about shopping for art at an art show is that the artists are on hand ready to answer questions and chat with you about their creative process.

Check out some of the wonderful, whimsical drawings by illustrator and graphic designer Phoebe West.

Looking for a unique gift? Ninika Gordon’s Phineas Rose Studios jewelry will be at the show. Inspired by nature, the pieces are made from argentium silver, gold bi-metal, fossils, and gemstones.

Jessie Rublee specializes in functional artwork in the form of bowls, mugs, dishes, planters, and more. Her stoneware pottery boasts clean lines and is partially unglazed for interest and contrast.

Look for the oil and acrylic portraits of people and animals from the brush of Marti Reed.

Other participating artists include Jamie Agins, Troy Argenbright, Mary Barnes, Cynthia Boteler, Angus Carter, Suzanna Garrett, Lisa Geiman, Karen Gellatly, Erin Harrigan, Wanda Hollberg, Barbara Coyle Holt, Teresa and Joel Howard, Meghan Kramer, 

Amy Snowden and Anna Lee, Shalom Lord, Georganne Ludt, Donald Lum, Chris Myers, Larry Parker, Mary Elizabeth Rowe, Allison Schroeder, Frank Shepard, Craig Snodgrass, Mike Sorge, Mae Stolle, Julia Vessey, also participate.

Is the Event Good for Families?

Art in the Park is a family-friendly event. Not only will kids enjoy looking at the art that’s on display for sale, but the festival will host fresh, creative activities. Live music from the bandstand will keep them dancing. The nearby duck pond and playground are perfect for après art fun.

What Next?

If you can’t wait until Labor Day for art, visit the Staunton Augusta Art Center’s website for information about current and upcoming online and gallery shows. You can also access an archive of art that’s appeared in the gallery in the past. For more art-related activities, check out our Guide to Arts and Culture.

It’s a very short stroll from Gypsy Hill Park to Queen City Brewing. Discuss your favorite art (or recent purchase) over a cold craft brew. Next, head downtown for a late lunch or dinner.

Several blocks of Beverley Street will be closed to traffic for the Shop and Dine Out Downtown program. This allows businesses without outside spaces to make use of Staunton’s sidewalks, street, and fresh air. Participating businesses include Laughing Bird Pho, Pampered Palate, 101 West Beverley – “The 101”, Clocktower Eats & Sweets, and more.

Craft Beer Month: How to Celebrate in Staunton

It’s August and time to celebrate Craft Beer Month across the state. Did you know that Virginia’s award-winning craft beer scene has expanded 400% in the past decade? Chances are that anywhere you are in Virginia, there’s a brewery close by. Stop in to enjoy the taproom atmosphere, or take some cans or a growler of your favorites to enjoy later. Staunton’s breweries are all close to restaurants and shopping and should be an important part of your Staunton experience. If you want to check out even more nearby breweries, visit all 19 breweries along the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail!

Staunton Breweries

Redbeard Brewing Company

Redbeard Brewing Company took advantage of the pandemic to update its taproom. You’ll enjoy the fresh space as you sample from 10-14 taps. All the beer is handcrafted using traditional techniques. Rather sit outside? There’s a beer garden, too. The brewery doesn’t serve food, but you can order in or bring snacks from home. 

Upcoming Events:

Newest Releases:

Top Untappd Rated Beers on Tap:

Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company

Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company first opened in 2012 as a home brew supply store. Since then, it’s opened and outgrown a taproom and moved to its present location on Beverley Street in 2017. You’ll appreciate the tasty beer, the cosy and pub-like atmosphere, and the location in the heart of Staunton’s downtown. Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company is part of the weekly Shop and Dine Out in Downtown initiative, which allows patrons to enjoy their beer outside.

Upcoming Events

  • Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co. regular live music. Check Facebook for what’s coming up!

Newest Releases:

Top Rated Beers on Untappd:

Queen City Brewing

Queen City Brewing is Staunton’s first brewery since Prohibition! Since 2003, it’s been serving an extensive selection of delicious craft beer to be enjoyed in the taproom or on the large outdoor patio. It’s convenient location next to Gypsy Hill Park makes is a great place to pop into after your evening walk or a round of golf. Hungry? Take advantage of regular food trucks or order delivery to the brewery. Oh, and you can get a bottomless order of popcorn for $2.

Upcoming Events:

  • Queen City Brewing hosts regular live music (see schedule)
  • Open mic nights every Wednesday. 

Newest Releases:

Top Rated Beers on Untappd:

Just a Short Drive Away

Skipping Rock Beer Company

Feeling stressed after a hard week? Head to Skipping Rock Beer Company for some delicious beer and a relaxing time. Kick back in the large beer garden around a fire pit, under a sun shade, or show off your wits during a round of pub trivia. Order dinner from the food truck and turn your ears to some live music.

Upcoming Events:

Newest Releases:

Top Rated Beers on Untappd:

Stable Craft Brewing

There are a number of reasons to visit Stable Craft Brewing. Not only will you find excellent craft beer made onsite using sustainable farming practices, you’ll also enjoy the brewery’s panoramic views of the mountains and location on a working horse and hops farm. The brewery is family-friendly with a  large exterior space, lawn games, fire pits for roasting smores, and horses to meet. Hungry? There’s on-site dining that specializes in farm-to-table fare like appetizers, dinners, and hand-helds. Follow Stable Craft Brewing on Facebook: there’s always something fun going on. Best of all, you can book onsite accommodations on the farm!

Upcoming Events

Newest Releases:

Top Rated Beers on Untappd:

Seven Arrows Brewing

Seven Arrows Brewing serves14 beers on tap as well as icy Slushies. Every Friday, Seven Arrows releases a new, seasonal infusion in the taproom. Hang out in the large taproom or on the deck. Keep the kids occupied with lots of board games and when you get hungry, order a bite from onsite Nobos Kitchen, which serves high-end pub fare that emphasizes local ingredients.

Upcoming Events:

Seven Arrows regularly hosts live music. See Facebook for what’s coming up.

Newest Releases:

Top Rated Beers on Untappd:

Staunton Restaurants Serving Craft Beer

While you are in Staunton, dine out at any of these restaurants that have a great selection of craft beers available – The Green Room, Table 44, Baja Bean Co., Byers Street Bistro, The Shack, Clocktower Restaurant & Bar, Depot Grill, Mill Street Grill, Shenandoah Pizza, Chicano Boy Taco, Yelping Dog, BLU Point Seafood Co., and Zynodoa.

How to Beat the Dog Days of August

We’ve all heard the term “the dog days of August”. It’s when dogs supposedly pass out from lying on the hot pavement and you can fry an egg on the hood of your car. The expression carries negative associations: drought, dangerous storms, rabid dogs, and just plain old bad luck. Though the term actually refers to the sun’s apparent location near the Canus Major “big dog” constellation, area kids are bummed that summer vacation is ending. It’s time to take a quick trip to Staunton and eke out a tiny bit more fun before the grind begins again. 

Dance to Roots Music

You don’t want to miss the dinner-concert Roots Music Events at the Frontier Culture Museum. You’ll hear bluegrass, blues, gospel, traditional Appalachian music and more during the five nights of concerts which “celebrate the influence of these musical roots genres on American frontier culture.” Grab dinner from onsite food vendor Island Wheels Caribbean Cuisine and listen to artists like Wound Tight Bluegrass and Southern Hospitality. Make a day of it by exploring the museum where you’ll learn all about the Valley’s earliest residents through living history farm exhibits, questions and answers with interpreters, and hand-on experiences. This museum is suitable for history buffs as well as kids, who can play historic games and check out cows, goats, pigs, and cats. 

Find Cheer with Craft Beer

August is Craft Beer Month, and fortunately most of our area breweries have areas that are family friendly. Redbeard Brewing Company is having a monthly outdoor concert series and on August 28, it will welcome the Findells. Come sing, dance, and enjoy some delicious craft beer. Skipping Rock Beer Company hosts live music most Friday and Saturday nights. Come get comfortable in their beer garden, grab a pint of your favorite brew, and get ready for a great night. Look for upcoming acts like VS., HoboJac, McHale & Justina, and more! Queen City Brewing sells “all kinds of beer in all kinds of ways.” Come check out their outdoor seating area and plan to come on a night where there’s something fun going on: trivia, live music, open mic nights, and more.

Splash Your Blues Away

Just because school is starting doesn’t mean it’s too late in the season to swim. Take the family to one of our area’s lakes or rivers for a day on the water. Good bets include spring-fed Sherando Lake and Todd Lake in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Both include sandy beaches, swimming areas, and restrooms. Paddlers will like the urban Waynesboro Water Trail and the more remote Goshen Pass, one of the top-rated kayaking spots in the area. For more on water fun, read Staunton’s Nearby Swimming Holes and Places to Cool Off.

The Best Way to Drive-Into Fall

If you’re sad because Staunton’s Movies in the Park 2021 season is over, you can still get your fill of the alfresco cinematic experience with a trip to Hull’s Drive In. Though it’s a bit of a drive, it’s worth it for the classic big-screen experience, the snack shop fare, and the community experience. Plus, it only costs $20 per carload of people for a double feature!

Dine out Downtown

There’s still plenty of time to dine out and shop in downtown Staunton. Each Friday night at 4 p.m., Beverley Street closes and stays closed until Monday morning. This lets restaurants in the busiest section of town use the sidewalk and street as dining, tasting room, and retail space. Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co., 101 West Beverley, Baja Bean Co., Shenandoah Pizza & Taphouse, Zynodoa, and more are all participating in the initiative. Stop by the Staunton Olive Oil Company, which is under new ownership, to taste some olive oils and vinegars on freshly baked 100% gluten-free bread, which we’ve heard tastes just like a normal French bread loaf. Follow this up with a selection of keto treats, which include blondies, power bars, brownies, and cheesecake bars. A map of the area with parking, pedestrian walkways, and restaurant take-out/pick-up spots clearly delineated is available here.

Pick Your Spirits Up

If your family hasn’t gotten enough fresh fruit pie from all the peaches you’ve been picking or buying, there’s still plenty of time to make more with bounty from the Staunton Farmers’ Market. Spend a Saturday morning perusing the stands, chatting with growers, and selecting the best fresh produce in the area. If you’d rather have a more hands-on experience, head to one of our nearby pick-your-own farms. Grapes and apples are coming into season at  Wenger GrapesSunrise Orchards, and Carter Mountain Orchard. School lunches always taste better with fresh fruit!

Just Let the Dogs out!

Nothing lifts our spirits like our pets, and since it’s the dog days of summer, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a nod to Staunton’s dog-friendly destinations. Let your pet work off excess energy at Staunton’s Bark Park in Gypsy Hill Park. Divided into separate spacious runs for small and large dogs, it lets dogs play and socialize while their owners do the same. Other city parks are stocked with doggy-bag stations and open to well-behaved dogs on leashes. Serious hikers might enjoy the Betsy Bell Wilderness Area and the trails at Montgomery Hall Park. Finally, reward a good dog with a treat at the Well-Balanced Paw. This shop carries treats and supplements and provides nutritional guidance and therapeutic massage.

What’s Playing Next? Staunton’s Summer Music Roundup

Picture kicking back on a blanket under the stars enjoying a picnic and listening to the Steel Wheels and other favorite artists. Or imagine relishing the sounds of Beethoven while the light shines through the stained glass at Trinity Church. Or how about celebrating the 4th of July virtually from the comforts of your own home? There are plenty of ways to get live music into your life this summer. Here’s a guide to your Staunton summer soundtrack!

Happy Birthday America Virtual

It’s still too soon to hold Staunton’s traditional Happy Birthday America Celebration with Wilson Fairchild. However, you can join in the fun with the virtual version by tuning into the Happy Birthday America YouTube channel. The virtual celebration will “feature guests, pictures and memories looking back through the years.” Musical guests will include Rhonda Vincent, The Malpass Brothers, Jimmy Fortune, Tony Jackson, and Mark Wills & Ruth Graham. Tune in online at 7:15 p.m. on Sunday, July 4.

Heifetz Institute’s Festival of Concerts

You’re in for a treat with this year’s annual Heifetz Institute’s Festival of Concerts! Choose from over 50 different concerts extending through August 6. Concerts range from chamber music, Fourth of July music, and multi-genre selections. See world-renowned celebrity guests in the Celebrity Series and Sunday Matinee Series. Heifetz students perform in the Stars of Tomorrow Series as well as the intimate Fridays in the Gallery series, which is set in a quiet gallery surrounded by Shenandoah Valley art. Anything goes in the Heifetz Hootenanny Series, which will occur in the Blackburn Inn’s new Great Hall.

Red Wing Roots Music Festival

Have you bought your tickets for the annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival yet? If not, you’d better hurry. The festival is coming up on July 9-11, and features some of the biggest names in folk music. Listen to The Steel Wheels, Tim Mavericks, Sarah Jarosz, Hiss Golden Messenger, Ragged Mtn String Band, and over 40 more as they play five stages. The festival will be staged at Natural Chimneys Park against the stunning 120-foot limestone towers. Besides the music, festival attendees can expect a beer garden, food and craft vendors, and lots of fun outdoor activities. Join bike rides, yoga, and lawn games for adults and kids alike.

Summer Stage at the Blackburn Inn

Spread out your blanket and get ready for a great night under the stars at the Blackburn Inn’s Friday night SummerStage concert series. The concerts will extend through Labor Day and they will showcase talent like The Quebe Sisters, David Wax Museum, Bonnie Bishop, Hackensaw Boys, Bryan Elijah Smith, and more playing in a wide range of genres. Along with the music, you can enjoy beverages from local vineyards, breweries, and cideries. There will also be food from the 2nd Draft Bistro. The grounds open at 6 p.m. and the music starts at 7 p.m.

Staunton Music Festival

You’ll experience classical music spanning over 600 years at The Staunton Music Festival (August 13-15 and August 18-22). Dozens of musicians will perform in both large and small ensembles. Performances will take place in in downtown Staunton in historic Trinity Episcopal Church, Blackfriars Playhouse, and First Presbyterian Church. Festival highlights include “Time Lost and Found,” which examines the philosophical issues of time in music, “Music Transatlantica,” and “Masters and Students.” While some events are ticketed, many are free.

Redbeard’s Summer Concert Series

Want to sip some delicious craft beer while you listen to music? From now until October, find a seat at Redbeard Brewing Company on the last Saturday night of each month for their Live Summer Concert Series. Favorite groups like The Judy Chops, Six Shot Rebellion, The Findells, and Drägön Wägön will headline. 6-9 p.m.

Stonewall Brigade Band at the Gypsy Hill Bandstand 

Staunton’s historic 70-member Stonewall Brigade Band is bringing big sounds to your Monday nights from now through August 30. The oldest-continuous community band in the U.S. was originally a marching band, but with the addition of woodwinds after the Civil War, it became a concert band. It first played in what is now Gypsy Hill Park in 1889. Concerts begin at 8 p.m. See the full schedule here.

Tuesday Nights: Praise in the Park in Gypsy Hill Park 

Head to Gypsy Hill Park on Tuesday nights in July and August to hear Linden Heights Baptist Church’s annual Praise in the Park concert series. You hear contemporary and southern gospel as well as gospel bluegrass. Better yet, there will be activities to keep the kiddos busy while you listen to favorites like Faithful Men, Sierra Losh & Just Us Country Band, Ed Pettersen & Streets of Gold Quartet, Brian Buchanan & Heaven’s Mountain Band, and Covenant Band. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. See the full schedule here.

Bluegrass in Gypsy Hill Park

Local and regional bluegrass entertainers will visit Staunton on Wednesday nights between July 7 and August 25. Most concerts include sets by two different groups. Get ready for some energetic tunes and banjo picking from  Mark Templeton Band, Southern Rail Express, Page County Ramblers, Donnie Mason and In the Tradition, and more. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. See the full schedule here.

Thursday Nights: Jazz in the Park 

Celebrate hot summer nights with the Jazz in the Park summer concert series. You’ll hear classic jazz standards performed by S.P.L.A.A.A.T. Quartet, amazing stride/boogie pianist William Hayes performing with The Boogie Kings, and trumpeter John D’earth, who has collaborated with greats such as Tito Puente, Dave Matthews, and Miles Davis. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. See the full lineup here.

Nearby Music

You might also check out Waynesboro Parks and Rec’s Groovin’ at the Greenway and Wayne on Main events, which allow visitors to get comfy outdoors while listening to live music.

 

Staunton Father’s Day Gift Guide

We get it. You love your dad, but he can be awfully hard to shop for! Before you add to his collection of #1 Dad mugs and sports-themed t-shirts, check out this list of cool Father’s Day gifts to let the father figure in your life know how much you care.

Breweries

Your dad likes to drink beer, right? What about taking him out for a day at the nearby breweries? You can connect over a flight or a pint. Redbeard Brewing Company and Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co. are just a short walk from each other. Queen City Brewing is about a mile away. All three offer the best local craft beer as well as regular entertainment (see their events listings). Pamper dad with beer merchandise like a t-shirt or a growler with his favorite brewery’s name on it. Or make a weekend of it: Stable Craft Brewing rents cozy and comfortable cabins. Not only does the brewery make excellent beer, there’s also first-rate food to be had as well as chances to listen to live music and play yard games like disc golf and corn hole.

Beverley Cigar Store

Help Dad celebrate the world’s reopening. Beverley Cigar Store sells cigars, pipes, pipe tobacco, and more, including smoking accessories, lighters and clothing like summer guayaberas. If you know what Dad likes to smoke, get him his favorite. Otherwise, pick out a selection of different flavors. If you smoke as well, take him to the store where you can kick back, socialize, and relax. On weekends, Beverley Street shuts down to vehicular traffic for Shop and Dine Out in Downtown, so you can chill outside in the fresh air.

CFO Trading Co.

CFO Trading Co. sells fine, casual men’s clothing from brands like Properly Tied Apparel, Duck Head, and Dearborn as well as accessories, grooming items, and gifts such as leather-bound traveler’s notebooks. They have an excellent selection of barware, as well as drink mixes and infusion cubes. CFO Trading Co. also carries pit barrel cookers, an excellent choice for someone getting into smoking food for the first time. Accessorize the cooker with a variety of tasty sauces.

Wilderness Adventure

We bet your dad would love a weekend camping trip with you (and the kids if you’ve got them). Reserve a weekend at one of our area campgrounds. Sherando Lake Recreation Area and Todd Lake Recreation Area let visitors camp, swim, hike, and fish. Shenandoah Valley Campground and Walnut Hills Campground are family oriented and offer amenities like pools and camp stores. Before you go, pick out an outdoor-themed gift at Wilderness Adventure. Experienced sales staff will guide you in picking the most appropriate clothing and gear for dad’s favorite outdoor activity, from hiking to paddling, and more. If Dad has troublesome feet, he might like a pair of OS1st socks. They’re designed to help with problems like bunions, plantar fasciitis, blister protection, and more.

Golf at Gypsy Hill Golf Club

Is Dad a golfer? Gift him a round at Gypsy Hill Golf Club. Not only is this a beautiful, challenging course, it also boasts some of the cheapest rates in the area. 18 holes with a cart costs just $25. That leaves plenty in your pocket to celebrate the 19th hole at nearby Queen City Brewing. And if you (or dad) need some golf school before hitting the links, Gypsy Hill Golf Club also offers one-hour private lessons.

Fishing

Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime! South River Fly Shop (Waynesboro) provides fishing supplies, guided trips, and instruction. Pick from a half or full-day (lunch included) guided float on the South, James, Shenandoah, or Jackson Rivers. No matter what your skill level, Mossy Creek Fly Fishing (Harrisonburg) can tailor fly fishing instruction to your specific needs. The classes are small with only four students per teacher. Mossy Creek also offers half and full day wade or float guided fishing trips.

Flowers, Candy, Etc.

Dads like flowers, too! Let him know you’re thinking of him with an arrangement from Honey Bees Florist. Does your father already have everything? Sweeten his day with a box of chocolate business cards from Cocoa Mill. Another good gift is the coffee break coffee and chocolate assortment, which includes over a pound of assorted chocolate-covered coffee beans, mocha bark, and more. H.L Lang’s fine jewelry selection includes engravable cufflinks. Crown Jewelers sells Citizen watches that wind themselves with the movement of your wrist.

Martial Arts

Has Dad been binging Cobra Kai and fantasizing about taking up martial arts? There’s no time like now to help him tone up his dad bod and add new belts to his wardrobe. Grandmaster Dong’s Martial Arts offers hapkido, karate, tae kwon do, kumdo and weapons classes for kids, families, and adults. Another good place to learn self-defense is Total Defense Martial Arts, where people of all ages can study western-style boxing, Filipino martial arts, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Top Things to Do in Staunton This Summer

After a year spent hiding in our homes it’s time to get outside and LIVE again. From live music to alfresco dining, here’s our roundup of fun things to do in Staunton this summer.

Shop & Dine Out Downtown

Celebrate summer by heading downtown to the Beverley Street area to dine alfresco during Shop and Dine Out in Downtown. Staunton closes Beverley Street from 4 p.m. Friday afternoon to 7:30 a.m. Monday morning so that restaurants and businesses can use space on the sidewalks and in the roadway for dining areas and merchandise displays. Customers can spread out and stay safe. Restaurants participating in Shop and Dine Out Downtown include: Laughing Bird Pho, Shenandoah Pizza & Tap House, Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company, Baja Bean Co., BLU Point Seafood Co., and more.

American Shakespeare Center at MBU’s Rose Terrace

Check out a performance by the American Shakespeare Center.  See the schedule for dates and showtimes of Macbeth, Henry V, and All’s Well That Ends Well. Some shows will be happening on-site at the Blackfriars Theatre, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s performance space. For a special summer treat, watch the Bard’s work under the stars on Mary Baldwin University’s Rose Terrace. Historic Rose Terrace has the distinction of once being the most expensive house in Staunton, and it appears on the National Registry of Historic Places. Its beautiful flat lawn makes a lovely, sheltered performance space.

SummerStage at The Blackburn Inn

How about kicking back on the lawn of the historic Blackburn Inn for a concert under the stars this summer? You’ll enjoy the sounds of Americana, roots, country, folk, and bluegrass bands during the weekly SummerStage series of concerts. The concerts will take place each Friday night from Memorial Day through Labor Day. You’ll be able to dine on a gourmet picnic box and enjoy beverages from local breweries, cideries, and vineyards. The series will feature artists like Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass, Fireside Collective, David Wax Museum, Bonnie Bishop, and more. Get your tickets today!

Get Your New Beerwerks T-shirt

Have you signed up for the Beerwerks Passport yet? As if you needed more incentive to try the 18 breweries along the Beerwerks Trail. Not only can you enjoy tasty craft beers, Valley views, and brewery entertainment like live music and trivia, but once you get your passport stamped at eight breweries, you can send it in for a free t-shirt. That’s high summer fashion! Start with Redbeard Brewing Company, Queen City Brewing, and Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co. right here in Staunton. Next, venture out of town to Skipping Rock Beer Company, Seven Arrows Brewing Co., and Stable Craft Brewing.

Nearby Swimming Holes 

Escape your stale house and take a break from the kiddie pool this summer! The Staunton area has several swimming lakes like Sherando and Todd Lakes with hiking trails, picnic areas, and sandy beaches.  Water seekers will also like hiking to waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park or the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. St. Mary’s Falls is a four-mile out-and-back hike that pays off with an icy mountain pool and scenic waterfall. For more splashy ways to beat the heat, check out our post on area swimming holes

Frontier Culture Museum’s summer events – Juneteenth, 4th of July, Roots Music

Make sure you visit the Frontier Culture Museum this summer for a living history lesson on the earliest settlers in our area. You’ll get to see how various groups lived, worked, and passed the time. Exhibits include Native American, African, German, Irish, English, and American farms. The museum is hosting a free Juneteenth Celebration (June 19). This year’s theme is “The Continual Evolution of JUNETEENTH” and it will feature live music and event speakers. Later, the museum teaches visitors how our ancestors celebrated 4th of July with demonstrations, games, and more. Come to the museum in August for a series of live Roots Music concerts. You’ll enjoy the music of Karen Jonas, Haze & Dacey, Wound Tight Bluegrass, Troy Breslow, and Southern Hospitality.

Staunton Parks – Gypsy Hill & Montgomery Hall

There’s lots to do at Staunton’s public parks. Jump in the pool or take your dog to the Bark Park in Gypsy Hill Park. Let your kids feed the ducks, play on the playgrounds, or ride their bikes around the 1.3-mile loop. Set up your blanket for live music Monday – Thursday nights at the bandstand. Montgomery Hall Park also offers a pool as well as playing fields and playgrounds. Of special note is the Nature Ridge natural playground, where kids are encouraged to explore and interact with nature. Bird lovers and mountain bikers will love the miles of trails winding through the woods.

Music Festivals – Red Wing Roots Festival, Heifetz, Staunton Music Festival

There’s no shortage of live music this summer, and that’s wonderful news after last summer’s silence. 

  • Add live music to your summer schedule with The Heifetz Institute’s Festival of Concerts. The festival, made up of 50+ concerts, includes performances by Heifetz students, alumni artists, celebrity faculty members, and special guests hailing from around the world. The music will range from chamber music, to Fourth of July music, to the multi-genre Heifetz Hootenannies. It all starts on June 29 and extends through August 6. 

  • The annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival (July 9 -11) is your chance to groove to wonderful music under the towering limestone Natural Chimneys. Listen to The Steel Wheels, Tim O’Brien Band, Son Little, Ragged Mtn String Band, and many more. Camp in the Natural Chimney’s campground and enjoy outdoor activities like daily group bike rides, hikes, morning yoga, fun runs, and activities for kids. Your entire family will have fun at this festival, whether you come for the day or the whole weekend.

  • The Staunton Music Festival (August 13-15 and August 18-22) is an “immersive classical music experience featuring more than 600 years of music” from the middle ages to world premieres. Dozens of musicians will perform during the festival in both large and small ensembles in a variety of locations throughout historic downtown Staunton. While some events are ticketed, many are free.

Music & Miniatures of Note in the Valley Exhibit at the R.R. Smith Center for History & Art

“Music & Miniatures of Note in the Valley” is a fun exhibit at the R.R. Smith Center for History & Art featuring the whimsical pairing of the region’s musical story with miniature scenes from the Valley’s past. The exhibit runs April 23 – September 6.

Augusta County Historical Society History Gallery in the R.R. Smith Center for History & Art
20 S. New St., downtown Staunton
Free & open to the public
Exhibit hours: W-F 1-4 p.m., Saturday 10-4

Watch for special events associated with this exhibit throughout the summer.

Pick Your Own Fruit & Produce 

Imagine a summer day in the fresh air soaking in the scenery and picking the freshest fruit and produce around. The entire family can enjoy this wholesome pastime away from the crowds. Consider Critzer Family Farm, which provides strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, peaches, plums, pumpkins, and fresh veggies, the “freshest, best-tasting and healthiest produce that you can find.”  The farm boasts environmentally-friendly methods and a commitment to educating kids and bettering the land and community. Enjoy your bounty in baked goods, canned for later, or by the handful on the car ride home.  Click here for our guide to more local pick-your-own fruit and produce farms.

 

Celebrate Juneteenth Staunton Style

Are you ready to embrace the warm weather and the loosening of Covid restrictions? Are you ready to celebrate community and learn about cultural heritage? Are you ready to dance? Read on for some local ways to enjoy  Juneteenth, the holiday to celebrate the end of slavery.

Juneteenth Celebration at Sunspots Pavilion

Get the Juneteenth party started early on Friday, June 18th at the Juneteenth Celebration at Sunspots Pavilion in the historic Wharf. The free event is from 6 – 10 p.m. and features a variety of vendors as well as music by Steve The Painter & DJ Adonis. Expect to hear old-school classic club hits from the 70s, 80s, and 90s as well as some sounds from South Africa. All that dancing will make you hungry, so grab a bite from one of the onsite food trucks, Wharf restaurants, or stroll over to Beverley Street to take advantage of dining opportunities. Beverley Street is closed to vehicular traffic on the weekends. 

5th Annual Juneteenth at the Frontier Culture Museum

In the past, the annual Shenandoah Valley Juneteenth Celebration was held at Montgomery Hall Park. This year, however, the Frontier Culture Museum is hosting the free family-friendly event on June 19, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s theme is “The Continual Evolution of JUNETEENTH” and it will feature live music and event speakers. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and plan to hang out. If you’re feeling competitive, join the 3-point shooting competition or the cornhole tournament. Food, jewelry, craft, and other vendors will be on site.

Visitors should also explore the rest of the 200-acre living history museum and learn about the early inhabitants of our area from costumed interpreters.  Of special interest will be the museum’s West African farm exhibit, which “explores the cultural contributions of African captives who were brought to Virginia in the 1700s.” Though enslaved peoples were captured from all over Africa and represented many ethnic groups, many were Igbo from the West African Coast. The clay farm exhibit demonstrates how the Igbo cooked, farmed, created crafts and pottery before enslavement.

Juneteenth After Party at the Pompei Lounge

DJ Adonis is back, this time at the Pompei Lounge at 23 E. Beverley Street on Saturday, June 19th, 10 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. This Juneteenth After Party is sure to get you dancing. The Pompei offers plenty of room to spread out over two floors with several unique spaces, a balcony, and an open-air terrace.

If you’d like to discover resources for gaining a broader understanding of our city’s African-American history, culture, and contributions, check out our post on African American History in Staunton.

Winter Wine Festival: February 22, 2020

Have you been dreaming of swirling your glass and exercising your wine tasting skills, right in downtown Staunton? Warm up and develop your palate by sampling and comparing some of Virginia’s best wine and cider at the 10th annual Winter Wine Festival. This event, hosted by the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in partnership with the Historic Staunton Foundation, promises to gather wines from more than a dozen vineyards hailing from both sides of the Blue Ridge. You’ll also enjoy live music and a concession area with food from local vendors.

Details

  • Saturday, February 22, 2020
  • Noon – 5 p.m.
  • Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center, 24 South Market Street,  Staunton, Virginia 24401

One of the perks of wine festivals is that they gather offerings from many different vineyards. Your tasting includes more than just different varietals. You’ll be able to taste wines from distinct areas of the state and note the differences caused by changes in soil, growing methods, and preparation. Look for tastes from 

Before You Attend

  • Tickets are $25 advance, $30 at the door.
  • Tickets include tastings, a souvenir glass, and a snack bag.
  • No outside food is permitted, but your snack bag and the delicious food for purchase in the concession area will keep your belly happy. Vendors include My Buddy’s Nuts, Staunton Olive Oil Company, and more.
  • Non-drinkers and designated drivers aren’t required to buy a ticket.

Winter Wine Festival Package

The Stonewall Jackson Hotel makes a fine backdrop for this popular event. Built in 1924 and restored extensively in recent years, the hotel offers modern conveniences and classic elegance. Look for original features like the one-of-a-kind 1924 Wurlitzer Organ and beautiful chandeliers and lighting fixtures. You can’t beat staying overnight at the Stonewall Jackson. Check out the  Winter Wine Festival Package, which includes:

  • Overnight accommodations
  • Two tickets to the wine festival
  • Breakfast for two and overnight self-parking

Why Not Extend Your Visit?

If you love classical music, extend your visit to attend the first concert in Heifetz Institute’s Beethoven Experience on February 24. This musical and educational experience marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and explores his 16 string quartets. A symposium “investigating the intersections between Beethoven and the intellectual, political, and artistic currents of his time” will introduce each concert in the series.

4th of July Happenings: 2019

Staunton combines a small-town vibe with some serious entertainment this 4th of July. Get your red, white, and blue on at one of these fun events.

Happy Birthday America

Wednesday, July 3 starting at 6:30 pm

Thursday, July 4 starting at 7:30 am

Gypsy Hill Park

Bring the family to Gypsy Hill Park this Independence Day for the free, family-friendly Happy Birthday America. The party starts on July 3rd with entertainment and a vesper service. Things will get going 7:30 a.m. on July 4th with the Firecracker 5K. Snag a spot along the park loop parade route for the Happy Birthday America Parade at 10 a.m. Spend the afternoon enjoying concessions, playing in community baseball games, and listening to the Stonewall Brigade Band. Look for music by local artists starting at 5 p.m. The headline performance by homegrown country group Wilson Fairchild joined by The Malpass Brothers will get underway at 7:30. This performance promises to be high energy and entertaining. Stick around after the concert for fireworks starting at approximately 10 p.m.!  See the complete schedule.

Independence Day Celebration

Thursday, July 4 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Frontier Culture Museum

Learn about our area’s history while enjoying the 4th of July at the Frontier Culture Museum’s  Independence Day Celebration. Living history interpreters will give demonstrations and lead hands-on activities. Check out a reading of the Declaration of Independence and follow it up by entering a melon seed spitting contest. Other historic activities and games include baking demonstrations, sack races, two-man sawing, pie eating contests, and much, much more. Rick’s BBQ and Smiley’s Ice Cream will be on site selling concessions if you get hungry. Entrance to the museum on July 4 is pay what you will.

11th Annual Pork and Cork

Thursday, July 4 from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Barren Ridge Vineyards

Visit Barren Ridge Vineyards for the 11th annual Pork and Cork. The vineyard will open to the public at 11 a.m. Music starts at 1 p.m. and continues through the night. Listen to the sounds of Jimmy O, Timeless, Sound Machine, and more. The barbecue feast by Valley Pig Pickin’ will be ready to eat at 5 p.m. Sip wine and enjoy the sunset.  A fireworks show concludes the evening. Tickets are required after 4 p.m. *Due to fireworks, dogs are not allowed to attend this event.*

Heifetz Festival of Concerts: Stars of Tomorrow

Thursday, July 4, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Heifetz Festival of Concerts: Stars of Tomorrow

Francis Auditorium at Mary Baldwin University

If you’d like to spend the evening of the 4th treating your ears to something special, buy a ticket for Stars of Tomorrow. Part of the annual Heifetz Festival of Concerts, the Stars of Tomorrow series showcases the work of Heifetz students, faculty, and alumni artists in residence.

The Virginia Hot Glass Festival: May 25 & 26

Looking for an unusual activity and an opportunity to purchase a unique work of art? Check out the 17th annual Virginia Hot Glass Festival on May 25-26 at Sunspots Studios in Staunton. This festival is Virginia’s only annual festival that exclusively features hot glass.

Sunspots Studios, located in the historic 1929 Klotz building in Staunton’s Wharf District,  has offered people the opportunity to browse a gallery of exquisite gifts and collectibles and watch live while artists blow and form hot glass into that art for 18 years.

On one special weekend each year, enthusiasts are in for an extra special treat at The Virginia Hot Glass Festival. Visiting artists gather at Sunspots to show off their skills and wow the crowd as they create exquisite crystalline objects. Visitors can watch demonstrations all weekend, as well as view and shop for finished (and cooled) pieces. Booths fill the entire second floor of the Sunspots building.  This work includes vases, jewelry, ornaments, glassware, paperweights, and beads.

Make sure to visit when featured artist Grant Garmezy, sculpts – rather than blows – his notable life-like animals out of 2000-degree glass. Garmezy is one of a rare few glass artists in the world who approach glass art in this way. Featured on the cover of Glass Art magazine, Garmezy creates “high-end realistic glass sculpture with distinctly Southern imagery.”  Garmezy, who lives in Richmond, has been sculpting in glass since 2003. He has demonstrated his art and technique all over the world. For a preview of Garmezy in action, check out YouTube for videos of him sculpting a dragon and a Siberian tiger.

Barren Ridge Winery will be offering tastings, and additional activities can be found at nearby Sunspots Pavilion, including exhibits and demonstrations by the Virginia Stone Carvers.

Details

Saturday, May 25, 2019 9:00 AM-6:00 PM and Sunday, May 26, 2019 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

202 S Lewis St

The Virginia Hot Glass Festival is free, located indoors, and handicapped accessible.

There is nearby parking.