#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

Fall Flavors: Four Field-to-Fork Gourmet Markets

Seasons are exciting! We love the changes in temperature, the visible transitions in our landscape, and the fall flavors of our field-to-fork gourmet markets. If you’re looking for something awesomely autumn, this is for you. Fill up, take something great to go, and don’t forget your craft beer, wine, specialty oils, or other gourmet sundries. 1. … Continue reading Fall Flavors: Four Field-to-Fork Gourmet Markets

Seasons are exciting! We love the changes in temperature, the visible transitions in our landscape, and the fall flavors of our field-to-fork gourmet markets. If you’re looking for something awesomely autumn, this is for you. Fill up, take something great to go, and don’t forget your craft beer, wine, specialty oils, or other gourmet sundries.

1. Farmhouse Kitchen & Wares | 101 W. Beverley Street

Truly farm to table!

A photo posted by Farmhouse Kitchen & Wares (@farmhousekitchenandwares) on

This sweet cafe and kitchen shop offers breakfast and lunch, and always has an eye on the fields for inspiration. “Healthy and hearty” salads include locally grown veggies. Choose one and then add on a seasonal vegetable soup for a fantastic taste of the Shenandoah Valley. A filling breakfast option is the European yogurt featuring local granola and honey.

2. Lewis Creek Market | 300 Church Street

lewis-creek-market

Hot plates, cold plates, salads, and soups are daily options at Lewis Creek Market, but the flavors change all the time depending on what’s seasonally available. Vegan and gluten-free diners will find something tasty and healthy, as will hearty meat-eaters and vegetarians. With chilly fall days ahead, keep this warming soup in mind: A chowder of cauliflower, carrots, celery, onion, and Lima beans. Mmmm.

Local providers include Grazelen Farm, Shenandoah Peaks, Five Maple Farms, and MeadowCroft Farm.

3. George Bowers Grocery | 219 W. Beverley Street

Four Cheese Grilled Cheese.

A photo posted by Ken Cox (@shenvalleyhoo) on

The burgers and hot dogs are the way to go at George Bowers. Load ’em up with fresh fixin’s and know they’re not only the best tasting, but the best for you. From nearby Polyface Farms, the pork even finds its way into soft tacos topped with housemade pico de gallo. 

Additional providers include Newtown Bakery and the Community Garden at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind.

4. Pennywhistle Provisions | 10 S. New Street

Healthy, happy chickens. #eggmobile #polyface #internlife #livethelifeyoulove

A photo posted by deeprootsfarmRI (@hippytendencies) on

Sure, you can “grab and go” at Pennywhistle, but know that it’s not fast food in the traditional sense of the phrase. The bread is homemade, the meats and vegetables are farm fresh, and it’s all prepared honestly by hardworking hands. “Food & Drink Post Haste” is the way they roll at Pennywhistle Provisions.

Local providers include Newtown Bakery, Polyface Farms, and the Community Garden at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind.

Looking for more farm-fresh favorites? Check out Downtown Staunton’s 10 Best Places to Dine.

How to Tack Three More Breweries on to Your Next Brew Ridge Trail Tour

While Virginia has rightfully emerged as one of the country’s premier wine producers, the Old Dominion State is no slouch when it comes to craft beer. Virginia’s Blue Ridge region is peppered with craft breweries, linked by bucolic beer trails just begging to be explored. In Albemarle and Nelson counties, the Brew Ridge Trail winds … Continue reading How to Tack Three More Breweries on to Your Next Brew Ridge Trail Tour

Downtown Staunton
Downtown Staunton

While Virginia has rightfully emerged as one of the country’s premier wine producers, the Old Dominion State is no slouch when it comes to craft beer. Virginia’s Blue Ridge region is peppered with craft breweries, linked by bucolic beer trails just begging to be explored. In Albemarle and Nelson counties, the Brew Ridge Trail winds past six different breweries, spread from Crozet south to Arrington. But the Brew Ridge Trail is just the beginning. Why stop after just a half-dozen pint savoring pit stops? Just a short hop from the trail, another beer trail awaits. The Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail is centered in the historic Shenandoah Valley town of Staunton, which boasts a highly concentrated collection of craft breweries pouring an eclectic array of ales. So the next time you’re savoring inspired local brews with a Blue Ridge backdrop, why not stop and see what’s on tap at Staunton’s three breweries?

Redbeard Brewing Co.
Redbeard Brewing Co.

Start your tasting tour of Staunton at the Redbeard Brewing Company. Grab a seat in the bright and roomy taproom and sample from the brewery’s selection of meticulously crafted microbrews. Redbeard usually has just over half-dozen beers on tap, running the gamut of styles, from choices like the subtly fruity Blueberry Wheat Ale (5.5%), to the refreshing Citra Grisette Saison (3.8%), or the 221B Baker Brown (6.3%), a beer that just medaled at the Virginia Craft Brewers Cup. The tap list changes about every two months, and Redbeard regularly showcases newly concocted seasonal beers with release parties, like the upcoming celebration of autumn-inspired offerings like the Harvest Ale and the Sweet Potato Pie Porter, slated for late September.

Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co.
Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co.

Next, make your way over to Staunton’s Wharf Area Historic District and stop by the cozy taproom at the Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company. The four-year-old brewery has a well-rounded tap list, including rich, full-bodied brews like the Glenhaven Scottish Ale (5.2%) or the Buck and Ball Brown Ale (5.6%), along with European-inspired options like the Three Rivers Belgian (5.3%) and lighter, golden ales like the Long Meadow Kolsch (5.2%) and the ShenVal Lager (4.9%). Beyond the beers, with a laid-back, affable vibe, the homey taproom is also a place worth lingering—there are board games out for patrons to play, and pretzels on the bar to snack on.

The taproom also regularly turns into an intimate musical venue, showcasing regional artists. Home-brewers can also load up on essentials in the supply store attached to the tasting room—and the Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company even has a handful of beer recipes to peruse, from IPAs to porters.

Queen City Brewing
Queen City Brewing

Finish up just a few minutes from the heart of downtown Staunton at Queen City Brewing, touted as the town’s first post-Prohibition brewery. Sit at the bar or grab one of the umbrella-shaded outdoor tables and try not to be awestruck by the selection. With more than two dozen beers on tap, Queen City Brewing pours everything from the crisply drinkable Gypsy Gold (4.7% alcohol) lager, to fruity, seasonal brews like the Grapefruit Shandy (4.5%), to heavier selections like the Black Rabbit Stout (5.3%), a nod to Ireland’s most iconic dark stout.

But it’s not just beer on tap. The place also has options like the Ale-tail Mimosa (7%), Ginger Beer (6.2%), Blackberry Sangria (7%), and even serves a number of non-alcoholic, homemade soft drinks, including birch beer and cherry cream soda. At Queen City Brewing, aspiring brewers also can try their hand at crafting a batch of flavorful beer to take home—with more than 80 different taste-tested recipes to pore over for inspiration. The brewery also regularly showcases live music with Open Mike Nights on Wednesday and Friday night Picks n’ Pints sessions.

Still need an encore? Continue along the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail.  Just 15 miles east of Staunton in the town of Waynesboro, try a tasting at the Seven Arrows Brewing Company. Sample from golden brews like the Aurora Pils (6%), heavier beers like the seasonal Hermenator Dopplebock (7.2%), or branch out and try Barefoot Bucha, an organic, Fair Trade, craft-brewed kombucha. Swing by on a Saturday morning for the brewery’s weekly Om Brew, a yoga session capped off with a craft beer.

Originally written by RootsRated for Staunton VA.

8 Reasons to Escape DC and Head to Staunton this Fall

Just over two hours from the nation’s capital, picturesque Staunton, Virginia, provides an inviting escape any time of year—but during the fall, the historic Shenandoah Valley town is perhaps even more appealing. Celebrate the colorful seasonal transition on foot, exploring the hundreds of miles of hiking trails lacing the mountains and forests surrounding the Blue … Continue reading 8 Reasons to Escape DC and Head to Staunton this Fall

8-reasons-1
Explore the fall colors in Shenandoah National Park. Vijay Kalakoti

Just over two hours from the nation’s capital, picturesque Staunton, Virginia, provides an inviting escape any time of year—but during the fall, the historic Shenandoah Valley town is perhaps even more appealing. Celebrate the colorful seasonal transition on foot, exploring the hundreds of miles of hiking trails lacing the mountains and forests surrounding the Blue Ridge town, savor the autumn harvest at Staunton’s open-air farmers market and farm-to-fork restaurants, and spend the evenings soaking up the local arts scene. The town has plenty to offer craft-beer-connoisseurs, adventure-seeking outdoor lovers, and seasonally-inspired foodies—or just about anyone looking for an excellent weekend getaway.

1. Cozy Bed & Breakfasts

Inn at Old Virginia
Inn at Old Virginia

Spend a restorative weekend recharging at one of Staunton’s historic bed & breakfasts. Opt for the garden cottage at the lovingly landscaped Artist’s House Bed & Breakfast; stay in one of the historically themed rooms at the Berkeley House B&B; or sequester yourself in the barn at the Inn at Old Virginia. Beyond the eclectic collection of bed & breakfasts in Staunton, the charming town also has plenty of elegant inns and boutique hotels—like the intimate Frederick House, a cozy hotel with a bed & breakfast vibe, or the centrally located and amenity-rich Stonewall Jackson Hotel.

2. Timeless Shakespearean Performances

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson | American Shakespeare Center
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson | American Shakespeare Center

 

Compensate for the increasingly earlier sunset time with an evening indoors at Staunton’s amazing performing arts venue, the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse. The venue is the world’s only recreation of the indoor Renaissance-era theatre graced by William Shakespeare. The Staunton-based playhouse showcases not only Shakespearian productions, but also more contemporary performances—like Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, a raucous show loaded with classic rock-style power ballads (on stage through November 26).

3. The Fall Foliage Bike Festival

The Shenandoah Valley offers one of the best displays of fall colors in the country. m01229
The Shenandoah Valley offers one of the best displays of fall colors in the country. m01229

Explore the Shenandoah Valley’s vibrant seasonal color on two-wheels at Staunton’s Fall Foliage Bike Festival (October 15-17). The two-day cycling celebration draws bikers from all over the East Coast and features routes of varying distance to suit both casual riders and seasoned cyclists— all of course looping through the bucolic Shenandoah Valley. The weekend also includes a vibrant Saturday Night Street Party in downtown Staunton, complete with a free public concert.

4. The Shenandoah Valley’s Harvest

Peruse the fresh, locally grown, Shenandoah Valley produce and seasonal artisanal delicacies at Staunton’s Farmers Market (Saturdays from 7 a.m. to noon, April through November; Wednesdays 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., May through late September). After shopping for your own locally sourced ingredients, see how some of Staunton’s most celebrated chefs prepare the Shenandoah Valley’s seasonal bounty. Sample from the seasonally inspired menus at the town’s farm-to-fork eateries, like Zynodoa, serving elegant southern-inspired cuisine or The Shack, selected as “One of the Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire magazine. The Store is a down-to-earth grocery store and local café using ingredients sourced directly from their farm, Nu-Beginning.

5. Seasonal Craft Brews

Celebrate the flavors of fall with seasonal newcomers to the tap list at Staunton’s three craft breweries—Queen City Brewing, Redbeard Brewing Company, and the Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company. Sample autumn-inspired brews like Redbeard’s Sweet Potato Pie Porter, slated for release in late September, and the Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company’s Fallback Apple. Or try crafting your own festive fall brew with the option to “Become the Brewer” at Queen City Brewing and whip up your own batch of ale. The brewery has more than 80 different recipes to peruse for inspiration. Staunton is also a stop along the regional Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail, making the town a strategic jumping off point exploring a whole collection of mountain-fringed, regional breweries scattered throughout the Blue Ridge. You can find even more beer (and wine) options at Shenandoah Hops, an impressive retailer that also has a Friday night tasting event each week.

6. Stunning Scenic Byways

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The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the country’s most scenic fall drives. abi.bhattachan

Staunton is not only a portal to Skyline Drive, the iconic 105-mile thoroughfare bisecting Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, but it also sits at the northern cusp of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Flanked by the 200,000 acres of the Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive is laden with 70 different scenic overlooks, while there are a staggering 280 viewpoints along the 469 miles of the national forest shrouded Blue Ridge Parkway—making the roadways arguably some of the best leaf peeping thoroughfares in the east. Check out Shenandoah National Park’s weekly fall report for peak leaf conditions.

7. Foliage Flanked Hiking Trails and Bountiful Backcountry Backpacking

Hit the trail during fall’s seasonal sweet spot—when the balmy summer weather has disappeared and the bugs have thinned. In Staunton, the options are almost unlimited, for everyone from casual day-hikers to trail-savvy backcountry gurus. Just outside town, the southward-winding Blue Ridge Parkway is a portal to more than 300 miles of trails, while Skyline Drive provides access to more than 500 miles of hiking trails in the Shenandoah National Park.

Staunton is also flanked by several sizable wilderness areas ideal for both extensive backcountry trips and seriously rugged day-hikes. The 19,290-acre Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness, dappled with 4,000-foot peaks and traversed by fishable trout streams, is just 20-miles west of Staunton. You can also explore the massive 27,248-acre Little River Roadless Area, which includes the second highest point in the George Washington National Forest, the 4,400-foot Reddish Knob.

8. Browse-Worthy Boutiques

Get a jump on the seasonal shopping and explore the eclectic assortment of uniquely local boutiques lining Staunton’s historic main drag. Pop in and peruse the fashionable styles at clothing stores like Design@Nine and Made; By the People for the People. Shop for socially conscious gifts at Latitudes Fair Trade Store and hunt for forgotten treasures at the Staunton Antiques Center. For a uniquely artsy shopping experience, spend an afternoon watching the glass blowing masters at Sunspots Studios (see live glassblowing daily until 4 p.m.)

Originally written by RootsRated for Staunton VA.

Fall Flavors: Farm-to-Cask Brewers Challenge

The long-awaited flavors of fall are captured in special release beers presented in the Farm-to-Cask Brewers Challenge. The first fall collaboration among the breweries of the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail, Farm-to-Cask showcases a one-weekend-only beer by each craft brewery. It’s a great day to sample and celebrate the harvest of the Shenandoah Valley. The charge to incorporate local ingredients with … Continue reading Fall Flavors: Farm-to-Cask Brewers Challenge

The long-awaited flavors of fall are captured in special release beers presented in the Farm-to-Cask Brewers Challenge. The first fall collaboration among the breweries of the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail, Farm-to-Cask showcases a one-weekend-only beer by each craft brewery. It’s a great day to sample and celebrate the harvest of the Shenandoah Valley.

The charge to incorporate local ingredients with seasonal brews kicked off last weekend in Harrisonburg. Robust flavors were on tap at caskrelease_shareimage1200x1200_sept17Brothers Craft Brewing, Three Notch’d Tap Room, and Pale Fire Brewing. Now see what the brewers of Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County have whipped up for this Saturday’s cask tap.

FARM-TO-CASK FALL FLAVORS

At Queen City Brewing Co. the Blackberry IPA includes local blackberries, of course. The abundant fruit is so readily available that neighboring Shenandoah National Park hosts an annual “all things blackberry” celebration in July.

Redbeard Brewing Co. has infused their Mosaic IPA with locally-grown Carolina Reaper Peppers, proclaimed the “world’s hottest chili” by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2013. The Carolina Reaper’s average SHU (Scoville Heat Units) is 1,569,300. For comparison, a Jalapeňo averages 2,500-5,000 SHU. 

The working farm brewery in Waynesboro, Stable Craft Brewing, is using home-grown ingredients to add über local flavors to their Harvest Ale. Cascade hops are a foundation of the Stable Craft line-up, but fresh-from-the-farm peaches and blackberries will add a sweet punch for your palate.

It’s apple season in Virginia, and Seven Arrows Brewing Co. is tapping a very Virginia apple lager this weekend. After brewing, the beverage is infused with locally-grown Cascade hops. Venture over and take a sip.

POST SIPPING

Wrap up your Farm-to-Cask day with more tastes of the Valley. Restaurants like The Shack and Zynodoa offer savory farm-fresh entrees to complete your adventure. 

PAC’N the Streets for a Staunton Street Fair

Old time street fairs rarely exist anymore, which is one more reason to #LOVEStaunton.  Staunton is arguably a top arts destination in Virginia, and PAC’N the Streets is one more box to check on the growing list of reasons. Sponsored by Staunton Performing Arts Center, this street fair is reminiscent of a bygone time that … Continue reading PAC’N the Streets for a Staunton Street Fair

Bella Skaggs, 8, of Waynesboro looks to monkey Django. She listens to street performer Jerry Brown while at the 'P.A.C.'n the Streets' celebration on East Beverley Street in downtown Staunton on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. Sponsored by the Staunton Performing Art Center Experience (S.P.A.C.E.), the celebrates the 100th birthday of The New Theatre.
Photo by Mike Tripp courtesy of The News Leader

Old time street fairs rarely exist anymore, which is one more reason to #LOVEStaunton. 

Staunton is arguably a top arts destination in Virginia, and PAC’N the Streets is one more box to check on the growing list of reasons. Sponsored by Staunton Performing Arts Center, this street fair is reminiscent of a bygone time that great-grandparents will likely still remember. It’s wholesome family fun with an honesty and goodness that exudes from every entertainer, every venue, and the city itself. There’s nowhere else to be on September 10th than downtown Staunton for PAC’N the Streets.

WHERE’S the fun?

The fun has spread an additional block for 2016! Beverley Street from Market Street to Central Avenue will be cordoned off for pedestrian-only traffic. That’s three blocks with a stage of entertainment at each end and a block of interactive children’s fun, too.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

Staunton Performing Arts Center will provide music, skits, and general merriment all day (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Something new will take each stage every 20 minutes, which is why PAC’N the Streets has become a highly popular event drawing thousands to the Queen City.

In addition to the stages, roaming performers, magicians, and characters will keep the atmosphere alive with amusement.

Arts and crafts vendors will be on hand, and a wide variety of food will be available for purchase. Seating for dining and watching the shows will be provided.

Kids will love the fun that Staunton Parks & Recreation and other entities provide. Look for the mini petting zoo featuring rescued animals. It’s a new feature this year that everyone will love.

Don’t be afraid to look beyond the fair, as Staunton’s shops and restaurants love to get in on the festive fun, too!

PAC’N the Streets is a rain or shine event. It’s also FREE! See you September 10th!

Staunton, Virginia is Your National Park Hub

As the National Park Service celebrates 100 years, Staunton celebrates as well. Centrally located between Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Staunton is a National Park hub of food and culture. In just 20 minutes, travelers drive from Staunton to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park. Entry points for both are atop Afton … Continue reading Staunton, Virginia is Your National Park Hub


As the National Park Service celebrates 100 years, Staunton celebrates as well. Centrally located between Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Staunton is a National Park hub of food and culture.

In just 20 minutes, travelers drive from Staunton to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park. Entry points for both are atop Afton Mountain. The Parkway is known as “America’s Favorite Drive” and President Herbert Hoover chose Shenandoah as his presidential retreat. The reasons for both are quite obvious: immense views, hikes with payoffs (waterfalls included!), and abundant wildlife. 

Speaking of presidents, Staunton’s very own Woodrow Wilson put his executive signature on the National Park Service. Born in Staunton, Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service on August 25, 1916. His birthplace and presidential library are open daily for visitors to learn more about his life and legacy.

Visitors to Staunton enjoy a variety of accommodations, including the Stonewall Jackson Hotel, bed and breakfasts, and city stays. Likewise, dining opportunities are varied with farm fresh, casual, and ethnic flavors within reach. Staunton’s coffee shops and breweries are a hit with most everyone, and are perfect places to unwind.

If you have time between parks, catch a show at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse. In addition, a self-blown glass ornament from Sunspots Studios is a perfect reminder of your trip. Shop our boutiques, and simply soak in the beautiful downtown architecture.

Staunton welcomes you, outdoor lover.

Remaining 2016 National Park Service Fee-Free Days:

August 25-18 – National Park Service Birthday

September 24 – National Public Lands Day

November 11 – Veterans Day

A 101: The Virginia Food Truck Battle & Beer Competition

The smells from food trucks on city streets are always so enticing, aren’t they? Think of a field full of food trucks. Now consider that they’re truly bringing their “A game” because such a gathering could only mean one thing: competition. Now in its second year, The Virginia Food Truck Battle & Beer Competition will … Continue reading A 101: The Virginia Food Truck Battle & Beer Competition

Farm Fresh Fixins won the battle in 2015
Farm Fresh Fixins won the battle in 2015

The smells from food trucks on city streets are always so enticing, aren’t they? Think of a field full of food trucks. Now consider that they’re truly bringing their “A game” because such a gathering could only mean one thing: competition.

Now in its second year, The Virginia Food Truck Battle & Beer Competition will be held Sunday, September 4th to benefit The Madee Project, a local non-profit foundation providing support to families facing their own battle: pediatric cancer. The event has grown with more food trucks than before vying for Grand Champion status. They cook well, you eat well, and The Madee Project benefits well. It’s a win-win-win.

HOW IT WORKS

  • Food trucks from across the Commonwealth are split into three zones.
  • VIP ticket holders act as the judges and receive a sample of each truck’s cuisine (eight total per zone) and a sample from each of the six breweries. VIPs cast their votes and a winner from each zone plus one brewery is proclaimed. The three zone winners then deliver their wares to a panel of judges who name a Grand Champion food truck.
  • VIPs enter at noon before the general admission ticket holders are permitted access at 2 p.m.
  • General admission tickets provide entry to the Frontier Culture Museum and access to entertainment and children’s activities. Trucks, breweries, and wineries are essentially vendors for a la carte purchases from 2 to 7 p.m.

BUY TICKETS
VIP: $35 advance; $40 day-of
General Admission: $10 advance; $15 day-of; free for children six and younger

THE FOOD TRUCKS

These are the known contenders as of this writing. What isn’t known is which trucks will be in which zones until the day of the event. Oh, the suspense!

  • Farm Fresh Fixins of Staunton
  • Gloria’s Pupuseria of Staunton
  • Mama’s Caboose of Dayton
  • Grilliza of Harrisonburg
  • Wing It of Harrisonburg
  • Rocktown Slops of Harrisonburg
  • Flavor Savor BBQ of Grottoes
  • Sooner BBQ of Stuarts Draft
  • Up-N-Smoke of Fishersville
  • Sourdough Pizza Co. of Lynchburg
  • The Grapevine of Henrico
  • Uprooted of Lynchburg
  • Buena’Dillas of Fairfax
  • Over the Counter of Crozet
  • Rock & Roll Diner of Roanoke
  • The Pie Guy of Charlottesville
  • The SpiceSea Gourmet of Charlottesville
  • MWO Food Truck of Charlottesville
  • Two Brothers Southwestern Grill of Charlottesville
  • The Return of the Mac of Richmond
  • Rocks Money BBQ Pit of Greenville
  • Jack Knuckle Gourmet of Winchester

THE CRAFT BEER

Six breweries will compete for #winning status:

  • Seven Arrows of Waynesboro
  • South Street of Charlottesville
  • Sunken City of Hardy
  • Port City of Alexandria
  • AleWerks of Williamsburg
  • Hardywood Park of Richmond

COOL THINGS TO KNOW

Need cash? There’s a Farmers & Merchants Bank mobile ATM on site.

Have creative kids? Let them PAINT A VAN, courtesy of Paul Obaugh Ford!

Is the phone going dead? There’s a charging station nearby, courtesy of Greenbrier Technologies.

It’s 7 o’clock and the show’s over but you sampled a few too many of those great Virginia craft beers. It’s okay. Just call 1-800-FOR-BAIL for #SoberRides to give you a lift.

Not much of a craft beer fan? There are two beer trucks of your favorite standards.

Not a beer fan at all? Ox-Eye and Rockbridge Vineyards will be pouring their wines by the glass as well as selling bottles.

Love selfies and capturing the moment? There’s a hashtag for that: #VAFoodTruckBattle.

Staunton is Virginia’s Classical Music City

Staunton’s summer music scene is electrifying, but not due to amps and guitars. The Queen City is where world renown musicians practice and perform, making Staunton Virginia’s undisputed classical music city. As Heifetz International Music Institute winds down their 20th anniversary with a sold out show on August 11, nearly 70 artists of Staunton Music Festival roll out … Continue reading Staunton is Virginia’s Classical Music City

1728-Baroque Inside-Out SMF 2015-7580
Staunton Music Festival

Staunton’s summer music scene is electrifying, but not due to amps and guitars. The Queen City is where world renown musicians practice and perform, making Staunton Virginia’s undisputed classical music city.

As Heifetz International Music Institute winds down their 20th anniversary with a sold out show on August 11, nearly 70 artists of Staunton Music Festival roll out a 10-day event of their own on August 12. Travel + Leisure has called it Virginia’s “world-class music festival,” while Washington Post tapped it a “Critic’s Pick.” Truly, it’s time to #rethinkclassical and Staunton is the place to do it.

What to Expect

Free concerts will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church each day at noon with the exception of Sundays. Enjoy pieces composed by Brahms, Debussy, Bach, Mendelssohn, and more.

Evening concerts are ticketed and begin at 7:30 p.m. Venues include Trinity Episcopal Church and American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse. 

Additional events pique the interest of aspiring musicians and the performing arts faithful:

August 14 at 3:30 p.m. | Trinity Episcopal – A Concert for Young People will be the world premiere of The Toad by composer-in-residence, Zachary Wadsworth.
August 15 at 3 p.m. | Central United Methodist – German composer Stefan Huecke will share his inspirations and influences in writing. His String Quartet No. 3 will be performed for the audience.
August 17 at 3 p.m. | Central United Methodist – Don’t miss the rare opportunity to meet the Historic Winds, Staunton Music Festival’s nationally recognized historic performers. See their traditional instruments and learn about period wind music.

Can’t Miss Delights

Dancing with the Devil promises to be an incredible evening. Held at Blackfriars Playhouse on Sunday, August 14 at 7:30 p.m., expect “devilish music” in the world’s only re-creation of William Shakespeare’s indoor theater.

If you’ve heard of no other classical composer, you must recognize the name Ludwig Van Beethoven. No classical music festival would be complete without a little Beethoven. Wednesday, August 17 at 7:30 p.m. is LUDWIG VAN, a concert at Trinity Episcopal that includes both famous and lesser known pieces. The ever popular Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral” will close out the concert.

Baroque Inside/Out is a special event that entertains inside as well as outside through intermission. Friday, August 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal, the Historic Winds will perform Baroque pieces – Bach and four of the Brandenburg Concertos – on period instruments.

The incredible conclusion to Staunton Music Festival is Bach’s Mass in B Minor, performed Sunday, August 21 at 3:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal. You won’t want to miss this epic finale performed by world-class vocalists and a chamber orchestra on period instruments.

Make a Plan

Complete Calendar of Events

Buy Tickets (Price range is FREE to $28 per person, based on age)

Book a Room

Staunton Festival Celebrates Blues and Virginia Craft Beer

Bring a chair and get comfortable in downtown Staunton’s Wharf District on August 6 for the eighth annual Shenandoah Valley Blues & Brews Festival. It’s a rain or shine shindig featuring fantastic Blues artists and tremendous Virginia craft beer. The Artists Mud Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters, has followed in his father’s footsteps. “When I’m … Continue reading Staunton Festival Celebrates Blues and Virginia Craft Beer

Mud Morganfield and Kate Moss
Mud Morganfield and Kate Moss

Bring a chair and get comfortable in downtown Staunton’s Wharf District on August 6 for the eighth annual Shenandoah Valley Blues & Brews Festival. It’s a rain or shine shindig featuring fantastic Blues artists and tremendous Virginia craft beer.

The Artists

Mud Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters, has followed in his father’s footsteps. “When I’m up on stage I always feel pops is there with me and it means so much that I can get on stage and keep his music alive around the world.”

Taking the stage with Mud is Kate Moss. Like the model, this Kate Moss turns heads too, with her looks and mad guitar skills. Joining them is Kevin Chisnell of Fatty Lumpkin and the Love Hogs, as well as Brian Mesko, an accomplished Roanoke jazz guitarist. 

Moonshine Society is led by Blues Hall of Fame member Black Betty, a striking woman whose voice brings a reckoning to every show. The band is joined by renown saxophonist Ron Holloway, who has played with The Allman Brothers, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Dizzy Gillespie Quintet.

The Blues Music Awards 2011 Acoustic Album of the Year went to The Nighthawks for their album Last Train to Bluesville. Of it, Blues Blast Magazine wrote, “Ten tracks of incredible acoustic blues, all the more impressive given that it was recorded as a live session in the studio rather than pieced together of tracks and parts. The crystal clear recording would showcase any flaws – instead what comes through is a tight, professional acoustic set that truly showcases The Nighthawks’ musicianship.”

Parker & Gray are fresh and local. Their mission is to continue the tradition of preserving blues and roots music while also leaving their own mark. Give them a warm welcome and then look for them at a brewery, bar, or restaurant near you.

Little Lester, “a little white boy singin’ the blues,” is far more, as his performances show. He is a local legend playing shows at a variety of establishments.

The Beer

It is a blues and BREWS festival. Visit these craft beer vendors for a sudsy taste of Virginia:

  • Blue Mountain Brewery
  • Bold Rock Hard Cider
  • South Street Brewery

While you’re in town, check out Staunton’s own craft breweries, too: Red Beard, Queen City, and Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company. For a robust selection of additional Virginia craft beer, Shenandoah Hops is at your beck and call.

The Fine Print

  • Do not bring pets or coolers.
  • Gates will open at 2:00 p.m.
  • General Admission is $25. VIP is $80 and includes seating, snacks, and drinks.
  • Children 12 and younger are free.

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An Insider’s Guide to the Queen City Potter Party

Staunton transforms into the village of Hogsmeade on Saturday, July 30 from midday to midnight as the Queen City celebrates Harry Potter’s birthday and the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I & II. Wizards and muggles from near and far are invited to attend for a bit of magic and mystery, lessons … Continue reading An Insider’s Guide to the Queen City Potter Party

Staunton transforms into the village of Hogsmeade on Saturday, July 30 from midday to midnight as the Queen City celebrates Harry Potter’s Queen City Potter Partybirthday and the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I & II. Wizards and muggles from near and far are invited to attend for a bit of magic and mystery, lessons in potions and spells, and more. 

Norberta the Dragon is the official greeter of Hogsmeade. Take a selfie with her!

Marauder’s Map

Your first goal: Obtain the Marauder’s Map to locate all of the sites in Hogsmeade, as most of the Queen City Potter Party locations are a secret. Here are three to tease and get you started.

1. Three Broomsticks (also known as Baja Bean) is where you’ll find delicious, non-alcoholic Butter Beer!

2. Dogweed & Deathcap (also known as The Sacred Circle) is hosting tarot and crystal ball readings, as well as fantastic special merchandise.

3. Gladrags Wizardwear (also known as Grandma’s Bait) is giving away prizes for the best children’s costumes.

Horcrux Hunting

Take on the task of Horcrux Hunting when you download Traipse, an app that will help you find them all. We must destroy He Who Shall Not Be Named! Two levels are available: Muggle and Potter Prefects.

The Book

ALL PRE-ORDERS FOR Harry Potter and The Cursed Child THROUGH The Sacred Circle AND Pufferbellies ARE NOW SOLD OUT.

The Schedule

There is plenty to see and do from noon until midnight, including Harry Potter themed shopping and dining! Plan to stay the night.

12-10 Butter Beer at Three Broomsticks

12-9 Glitter Lightning Bolt Tattoos at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

12-9 Triwizard Beanboozled Tourney at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

12-10 Sorting into Hogwarts Houses at Hogwarts Great Hall

1-2:30 Fantastic Squirrels & Where to Find Them Ghost Tour at Mary Baldwin College (MBC) Admissions Building. Tours start every 45 minutes

1-4 Wild Beast Taming at the Magickal Menagerie

1-6 Potter Party t-shirts at Platform 9 3/4

2-4 Spell Book Making at Flourish & Botts

2-6 The Heads of all four Hogwarts Houses will be on the streets of Hogsmeade

2-6 Transfiguration with Professor Un and Wand Making at Scrivenshaft’s Quill Shop

2-9 Wanted Wizards Photos at Dervish & Banges

2-9 Sword Making & Wizard Dueling at a yet to be announced location

3-5 Professor Trelawney Tarot & Crystal Ball Readings at Dogweed & Deathcap

3:15 Herbology: Weird Weeds & Fantastical Fungi at MBC Greenhouse with Professor Epps

4-5 Potion Making at Slugs & Jiggers

5:15 Magic & the Mind: Harry Potter & Psychology series with trivia and prizes at MBC Francis Auditorium  

     – Why Beasts are Fantastic: Harry Potter & the Magic of Nature

     – How JK Rowling Banished Her Dementors

     – Auror with PTSD: What We Can Learn from MadEye Moody

6-8 Divine Divinations at Magickal Menagerie

6:30 Costume Contest for Young Wizards at Gladrags Wizardwear (newborn-12yo)

7 Festive Dinner with Special Guests at the Three Broomsticks

7:30 Heifetz Hootenanny featuring music from Harry Potter (TICKETS REQUIRED FOR SEATING) at MBC Terrace

8-10 Advanced Transfiguration at Hog’s Head

9:30 and 10:30 Queen City Fire Circus behind Gringotts

11 Harry Potter Birthday Party at Three Broomsticks

12:01 a.m. The Cursed Child book is yours IF you pre-order at Pufferbellies!

Additional Info

Dress up! Special event merchandise and cool finds will be available at Hogsmeade merchants, such as handmade, unfinished, wooden wands at Dogweed & Deathcap!

The Queen City Potter Party promises to be an entertaining family-friendly event, but pets must be leashed and may not be permitted into stores or restaurants.