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Savor Sweet Staunton Summer


With temperatures staying warm this week, it seems like summer is here to stay. The truth, however, is that there are only a few more weeks before the kids head back to school and days get shorter. Before we know it, fall with be arriving with its bright colors and packed sports and event schedules. Here’s how to slow down and savor the rest of the sweet Staunton summertime!

Country Fairs and Festivals

  • Head to the Rockingham County Fair from August 14-19 for more fair action. You’ll see music, a demolition derby, a rodeo, a tractor pull, and lots of rides. 
  • Staunton Augusta Art Center’s Art in the Park festival returns to the Gypsy Hill Park bandstand area on September 2-3. Meet the artists and peruse a variety of juried photography, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, wood turnings, and more. The festival also has food, live music, and activities for kids.
  • If you haven’t yet gotten your fill of fair fun, the Rockbridge Regional Fair and Expo will take over Glasgow on September 7-9 with music, rides, pageants, art contests, and more.
  • Learn some new spells and have a blast at the Harry Potter-themed Queen City Mischief & Magic Festival that will once again transform Staunton into the happening destination for wizards (and fans) on September 23-24.

Other Summer Fun

  • Explore the past at the Frontier Culture Museum’s Harvest Festival on August 6. The event features activities, vendors, and lots of interesting history. This is also the first night of the Roots Concert Series which will feature a local Staunton band, The Judy Chops!
  • There’s still time to catch live music at the bandstand in the park. Stop by for Monday night concerts by the Stonewall Brigade Band, Wednesday night bluegrass, and Thursday night Jazz.
  • Gypsy Hill and Montgomery Hall Parks both have pools. You can cool off through August 6.
  • Shop and Dine Out Downtown will continue to turn downtown into a weekend walking mall, creating a safe space for Stauntonians to shop, dine, and gather al fresco.

Fruit Picking

  • Pick your own blackberries and blueberries at Troyer Nursery. This Waynesboro-area farm also sells produce like sweetcorn, tomatoes, green beans, red beets, squash, zucchini, and onions. 
  • It’s blackberry season at Critzer Family Farm! Take the kids to pick seasonal fruits like raspberries, blackberries, cherries, and peaches. You can also buy pre-picked veggies. Finish the outing with ice cream churned with fresh fruit.
  • Concord and Niagara grapes start to ripen at Wenger Grapes at the end of August. Score a tasty and nutritious snack as well as some amazing photos.
  • Sunrise Orchards is a small pick-your-own apple orchard that offers Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Jonathan by the bag, peck, half bushel, or bushel from the end of August until the apples are gone. 
  • Pick apples at Carter Mountain Orchard then stick around to admire the show-stopper of a view. You can get pre-picked apples and other seasonal fruits at the farm market. Don’t skip a plate of apple cider donuts!
  • You won’t be in the actual orchard, but the fruit is just as fresh at the Staunton Farmers’ Market! Each Saturday morning through Thanksgiving, you can browse fresh produce, baked goods, and more.

Barbecue

  • Get some handheld “Texa-que” at Brisket Taco Co. Load up on flavorful smoked brisket tacos, quesadillas, and sliders for breakfast and lunch. Don’t skip a side of smoked mac and cheese.
  • Peck’s Bar-B-Que is a local favorite, known for Virginia-style smoked pork served chopped, sliced, or coarse. Get your meat on a sandwich or on a platter with sides like coleslaw and hush puppies. 
  • Valley Smokehouse specializes in seafood, barbecue, and steaks. Be on the lookout for events like all-you-can-eat seafood or scallops, prime rib, and tuna steak meals! 
  • Kline’s Hog Wild BBQ carries Carolina and sweet-style barbecue and sides for dining in and taking out. Stick around for ice cream.
  • Big Red Barbecue’s menu is packed with selections like pulled pork and fried catfish. Check Facebook for daily specials like jerk chicken and shrimp and grits. 
  • The Depot Grille and the Mill Street Grill serve slow-cooked ribs and homemade barbecue sauce.

Ice Cream

  • The Split Banana creates 24 fresh-made flavors of award-winning gelato from local grass-fed milk. Get a cone, cup, shake, or a pint to take home.
  • Stop by Kline’s Dairy Bar to taste this week’s can’t-miss special flavor. Kline’s makes its ice cream fresh every morning. 
  • Wright’s Dairy Rite has been serving ice cream desserts since 1952. The menu offers dipped cones, funnel cake fries, flurries, splits, milkshakes, malts, and drink freezes to cool off on a mighty hot day. Don’t miss their classic car cruise in on September 3!

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