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Savor the Sweet Staunton Summertime

(Published 07/28/2022)

The countdown to the start of the school year has started, and we only have a few precious weeks of family time left before the fall activities and sports schedules rule our lives again. If you’re back from vacation, and your school shopping’s finished, here are a few more ways to savor the sweet Staunton summertime! 

Country Fairs and Festivals

  • The Augusta County Fair is happening now through July 30. Gorge on carnival food and see rides, exhibits, livestock, sideshow performances, music, tractor pulls, and more! 

  • Pop over Afton Mountain on August 4-6 for family fun, carnival rides, food, games, music, pit cooked chicken on Saturday, vendors and lots more at the Rockfish Valley Volunteer Fireman’s Carnival.
  • Not too far from Staunton; head to Stuarts Draft Volunteer Fire Company Carnival on August 11-13.
  • The Rockingham County Fair runs from August 15-20 for more fair action, including music, a demolition derby, a rodeo, a tractor pull, and lots of rides. 
  • Art in the Park is being held on September 3-4 in the shady space by Gypsy Hill Park’s bandstand. Browse the work of a variety of juried artists for photography, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, wood turnings, activities for kids, and more.
  • The Rockbridge Regional Fair and Expo is happening in Glasgow on September 8-10 and will feature music, rides, pageants, and more.
  • Shine your wands and dust off your wizard robes for the return of the Queen City Mischief & Magic Festival that will once again transform our town on September 24-25.

Other Summer Fun

  • Spend a peaceful evening exploring the past at the Frontier Culture Museum before settling down for their Roots Concert Series.
  • 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 Labor Day.
  • 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.

Ice Cream

  • Wright’s Dairy Rite has been a Staunton mainstay 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. 
  • Kline’s Dairy Bar makes its ice cream fresh every morning. Each week there’s a new can’t-miss flavor like banana and cake batter or local favorites like raspberry and lemon gingersnap in cones, cups, shakes, and sundaes. 
  • The Split Banana uses local grass-fed milk to create its award-winning gelato. You can pick from 24 delectable and fresh-made flavors. 

Fruit Picking

  • Troyer Nursery sells sweetcorn, tomatoes, green beans, red beets, squash, zucchini, onions, and other vegetables. They also sell milk and ice cream mix from Mount Crawford Creamery. 
  • Critzer Family Farm is a nice place to take the kids to pick seasonal fruit like raspberries, blackberries, cherries, peaches, plums, pumpkins, and fresh veggies. Don’t skip home-churned ice cream after your time in the sun!

  • Mark your calendar for the end of August when the crops of Concord and Niagara grapes start to ripen at Wenger Grapes
  • Sunrise Orchards is a small pick-your-own apple orchard that offers Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Jonathans from the end of August until the apples are gone. 
  • Drive over Afton Mountain to Carter Mountain Orchard to pick or buy pre-picked apples and other seasonal fruits and shop at the farm market. Don’t skip a plate of apple cider donuts! 
  • The pumpkin patch at Middle River Farms opens in the middle of September. You’ll find beautiful views and over 30 varieties of pumpkins and gourds. Their wagonload deal is one of the best around!

Best Barbecue

  • Kline’s Hog Wild BBQ serves Carolina and sweet-style barbecue and sides for dining in and taking out. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Shredder’s BBQ also serves your favorite Virginia barbecue. It’s made with locally raised meats and smoked with hickory wood. 
  • 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! 

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