An International Adventure – A Hometown Welcome!

Good Times, Tastes & Traditions 2014Good Times, Tastes & Traditions; featuring Farming in the Valley returns to the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, VA on Saturday and Sunday, September 20th and 21st, 2014.  $15 – Advanced Tasting Tickets / $10 – Non – Tasting Tickets / $6 – Children’s Tickets.

Dabble in the 5 featured countries culture (America, England, Germany, Ireland and West Africa) with your passport, as you sample a little of their unique entertainment, arts, crafts, ethnic food & a Farming in the Valleyshowcase of wineries & breweries. Farming in the Valley recognizes the importance of our agriculture community with educational activities, a Children’s Barn & Buy Local products. Purchase tickets online or at the Chamber office (30 Ladd Rd. Fishersville.) Voted Top Food Festival in the Shenandoah Valley by Virginia Living Magazine.

A portion of the proceeds benefit The Frontier Culture Museum Education Foundation.

Cody PurvisNashville recording artist, Cody Purvis will perform Sunday at 3:45pm, which will round out a weekend full of live entertainment, among 3 stages and a variety of genres.

Tickets: www.GoodTimesAugusta.com Daily updates: www.facebook.com/goodtimestastesandtraditions.

NOSTALGIC STREET FAIR RETURNS TO STAUNTON

Photo by Mike Tripp courtesy of The News-Leader http://bit.ly/1uGjsj1

Photo by Mike Tripp
courtesy of The News Leader
http://bit.ly/1uGjsj1

Last year, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of a local theatre, the Staunton Performing Arts Center organized a nostalgic, family-friendly street fair that was so fun, so appealing, that it is not only returning . . . it is doubling in size! Join downtown Staunton on Saturday, September 13, 2014 from 10 am to 5 pm as we celebrate at the PAC’n the Streets Fair

The PAC’n the Streets Fair is a unique event that brings together

Photo by Mike Tripp courtesy of The News-Leader http://bit.ly/1uGjsj1

Photo by Mike Tripp
courtesy of The News Leader
http://bit.ly/1uGjsj1

some of the areas most talented performers, artisans, and vendors for a full day of events that appeal to a wide audience. With events that are geared towards young and old alike, the street fair proved so popular that it will now stretch across two city blocks, from Market to Augusta on East Beverly Street. This year will also see the introduction of a Tasting Garden, located at the Hardy municipal parking lot on the corner of Market and East Beverley Streets, where fair-goers can sample from some of the area’s finest wineries and breweries.

The fair boasts a main stage featuring a full day of over 20 performances from a variety of bands, dancers, cloggers, actors, and much more. In addition, expect to be dazzled by a continuous variety of roaming street performers that include storytellers, comedians, magicians, wizards, and artists. One of the highlights

photo by Mike Tripp courtesy of The News-Leader http://bit.ly/1uGjsj1

photo by Mike Tripp
courtesy of The News Leader
http://bit.ly/1uGjsj1

from last year, and we are excited to welcome back this year, is a pots and pans children’s parade through the fair led by Anne Paulus, a local performer and storyteller with Grimmcrackery. Last year’s guests were delighted as children joyously weaved through the fair, a mini-celebration that brought smiles to the faces of all who were there to witness it. Staunton is so proud to see our community come together to showcase area talent and create a day that is as inspiring as it is wondrous!

You should arrive hungry because this year’s PAC’n the Streets Fair boasts area restaurants and food vendors that will be dishing up tasty plates all day! From savory to sweet, and everything in between, visitors to the fair can expect a day filled with tantalizing aromas.

It already sounds like a full day of fun, but this is just the tip of the iceberg! The Dixie Theater lobby will be open for a Memory Station Photo Booth in which event goers can create photo memories of their day. The Festival Committee donated space to Cat’s Cradle who will be offering the opportunity to adopt kittens in need of homes. The Staunton Parks and Recreation Department will provide a full half block of children’s activities that will include a live interactive animal demonstration from 11 to 12 put on by the Wildlife Center of Virginia and a number of different animals. All of this plus chalk drawings in the street, interactive arts and crafts activities, a live bobble-head Woodrow Wilson character, and a long list of artists and artisans displaying their creations. It’s a full day of memories in the making!

Join us as Staunton celebrates not only its diverse performing arts community, but also its commitment to providing family-friendly fun in our historic downtown setting. PAC’n the Streets promises to outdo itself in 2014! We can’t wait to see you there!

Written by Allison Profeta of Staunton Insider

Staunton Jams, A Local Tradition

Twice per year, downtown Staunton shuts down a portion of Beverley Street for a free local music festival called Staunton Jams. Featuring a selection of the best local bands and musicians, this event is an amazing street fair for the entire family!

Staunton Jams by Allison Profetta

Staunton Jams by Allison Profeta

The event lasts all day – from 12 PM – 10 PM this Saturday August 30, 2014 – with several bands taking the stage and several businesses participating as well. It is sort of like a block party, but on a much grander scale, and with much better music! Just check out this lineup:

• Noon–VS.
• 1 pm – Lost Indian
• 2 pm – Lola Mullen
• 3 pm – The Judy Chops
• 4 pm – Sarah Lynna & the Misfit Toys
• 5 pm – The No Lonesome
• 6:30 pm – Brian Patrick Band
• 8 pm – The Findells

Staunton Parks and Recreation department always joins the fun and provides entertainment for the littlest guests. They usually set up on the opposite end of the block from the stage and provide games, ride-on toys, bales of hay, and more for children to play with and explore. This year there will also be a face painter! In addition, the Staunton Music Guild is hosting a used music gear sale out of 16 West by Virtually Sisters. Don’t just watch the music . . . make some of your own!

Sarah Lynch, co-owner of Baja Bean Restaurant helps to organize the biannual Staunton Jams events. She took up the reins from the previous organizer in 2006. “It is really a grass-roots community event,” she explains. “Local restaurants and businesses donate gift certificates that we pass along to the musicians. The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport is a huge sponsor and their support allows us to get the tents and sound equipment. It’s so much fun, and that’s why I jumped in to help organize it all of these years.”

Along with being a fun way to spend a day in Staunton, it also has a history of bringing the community together in service to others. Back in 2005, the second Staunton Jams of the year was held right after Hurricane Katrina hit. “We welcomed the Red Cross to that event,” Lynch says, “and we raised over $14,000 for hurricane victims.”

So come down and join the fun at this free, kid-friendly event featuring the finest in musical talent from the Shenandoah Valley! We can’t wait to see you there! (Be sure to bring your dancing shoes!)

Written and photographed by Allison Profeta of Staunton Insider

In Pursuit of Hoppiness: Where to Find Flavorful Craft Beer in Staunton

With three small-batch craft brewers, two beer specialty stores, and a host of restaurants that offer Virginia craft beers on tap, Staunton is becoming one of Virginia’s newest craft beer destinations. Whether you’re interested in tap-testing the latest flavors, attending a beer festival, or learning how to brew your own, Staunton is for beer lovers.

Queen City Brewing

Queen City Brewing, Staunton’s oldest brewery, claims it is the first to locate in Staunton since the prohibition era. Queen City’s laid-back atmosphere provides a nice spot to enjoy a pint or sample a flight of your choice from 12 beers on tap. Queen City also offers patrons the opportunity to brew their own beer.

During the last year, two new craft beer breweries have set up shop in Staunton’s Wharf District. Specializing in small batches of big beers, Red Beard Brewing Company provides taproom seating, craft beer on draft, and growlers to go. Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company is a craft brewery with an on-site tasting room with local beer on tap. They also have home-brew supply area featuring a wide variety of grains, hops, dry extracts, wet extracts, yeast, and brewing accessories.

All three craft breweries are committed to creating unique and delicious beers. Ask to meet the owners; they’re all passionate about advancing their craft.

Want to tap into more beer experiences?

Try Shenandoah Hops in the historic Wharf district, where drinking local is always in style. They provide a mix of local microbrews and world-class imports. Not far from downtown is The Staunton Abbey, where you can purchase beer by the bottle, or you can create your own four-pack from a selection of fifty different brews.

“Local flavor has always helped set Staunton apart,” says Sheryl Wagner, Director of Tourism. “More and more people are discovering Staunton’s small and independent brewing community.”

Local hotels are responding to the surge of interest in Staunton’s craft beer movement. The Stonewall Jackson Hotel now offers a “Downtown Beer Trail Package.” The package includes overnight accommodations
, breakfast for two, parking
, a six beer tasting flight (4 oz. pours) from Redbeard Brewing, two pints from Shenandoah Valley Brewing, and a free tasting at Shenandoah Hops retail store
, along with a $15.00 gift certificate to Shenandoah Pizza (and their huge beer list!)
The Beer Trail package is value priced from $199.00, and is valid on Friday and Saturday night stays only. All the action (and the pours) happen within a short walk of your room, so no driving is needed.

 On August 9th, check out the 4th Annual Blues and Brews Festival on the grounds of the Frontier Culture Museum.

#VAbeer on tap at Zynodoa

#VAbeer on tap at Zynodoa

While you are in Staunton, dine out at any of these restaurants that have a great selection of craft beers available – AVA, Baja Bean Co., Byers Street Bistro, Clocktower Restaurant & Bar, Depot Grill, Mill Street Grill, Shenandoah Pizza, Yelping Dog, and Zynodoa.

If your beer adventures leave you thirsty for more, stay a little longer and take a day trip to visit Devils Backbone Brewery in Rockbridge County or Three Brothers Brewery in Harrisonburg.

Why Ale The Buzz About Craft Beer?

American craft beer production volume increased 18 percent during the first half of the year, according to new mid-year data released by the Brewers Association, the trade group that represents the majority of U.S. breweries. But be warned – craft beers pack a punch and often have more alcohol by volume than traditional brands. Most craft beers range from 5-10% abv (alcohol by volume), but some craft beers can reach 20%, 30%, and even 40% abv!

 August is  Craft Beer month, so now is the time to quench your thirst.  Don’t forget to tag your craft beer travels with #LOVEstaunton and #VAbeer. Please enjoy responsibly.

Cheers!

~ @Staunton

redbeardbeerglass

Good to the last drop! (Red Beard Brewing Co.)

STAUNTON’S LAST MINUTE HOLIDAY GOING OUT GUIDE

Holiday Lantern Tours at The Frontier Culture Museum

For a memorable holiday experience, visit the museum after-hours for a walking tour by lantern light!! Visitors can see and experience historic holiday vignettes at England, Ireland,

Father Christmas at the Frontier Culture Museum

Father Christmas at the Frontier Culture Museum

Germany, 1820s America, and 1850s America (including a Mummer’s play near the Irish Forge) and a horse-drawn wagon ride from the “Old World to the New World.” Tours leave every 30 minutes beginning at 6:00 pm; last tour begins at 8:00 pm. By reservation only: adults $15.00, children $8.00. Reservations required. Visit http://www.frontiermuseum.org/lantern-tours/ or call (540) 332-7850.

Blow Your Own Ornament at Sunspots Studios. Step into the glass studio and help the glassblower in creating a one-of-a-kind, keepsake ornament made with your breath. Ornaments ready for pick up or shipping the following day. Cost is $40-$45 per ornament. Suitable for ages five and up. Daily until 4:00 pm (last appointment at 3:30 pm.) Reservations recommended, call (540) 885-0678.

Allison Glenzer as Mary in "The Twelve Dates of Christmas" photo by: Michael Bailey

Allison Glenzer as Mary in “The Twelve Dates of Christmas” photo by: Michael Bailey

Drop in for a jolly time at any of the holiday–themed shows at The American Shakespeare Center. For information on showtimes and tickets, visit http://www.americanshakespearecenter.com or call (540) 851-1733. Now playing:

  • A Christmas Carol – Join Marley, the three Christmas ghosts, the Cratchits, and Tiny Tim – they’re all back to take Scrooge on the ride of his money-grubbing life.
  • The Santaland Diaries – An outrageously funny one-man play (from NPR’s well-loved humorist David Sedaris) about the author’s experiences as an unemployed actor/writer taking a job as an elf at Macy’s department store in New York City.
  • The Twelve Dates of Christmas – A one-woman show about how tough the holidays can be after your heart’s been crushed. (Mature audiences only.)

Handel’s Messiah is one of the best-loved musical traditions during the holiday season. This Baroque-era oratorio inspires and amazes listeners even now, more than 250 years after it was composed.  On Sunday, December 22 at 3:00 pm, join the Ovations Singers and Orchestra for this FREE concert at R. E. Lee High School.

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.” You might just catch a Santa sighting at Pufferbellies Toys and Books on either Friday, December 20 (from 6-8 pm) or on Sunday, December 22(from 1-3 pm), but you “better watch out” because all the photo sessions are fully booked and Pufferbellies is very busy this time of year. Still, you might be able to sneak a peek at the “right jolly old elf” while you shop for favorite toys and books.

Happy Holidays from all of us the Staunton Convention & Visitor’s Bureau!

10 THINGS WE ARE THANKFUL FOR IN STAUNTON

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on the many things we are thankful for right here in Staunton. Photo by Peter Aaslestad

Here is our list in NO particular order…

  1. Music. From the Tuesday evening pick-up bluegrass sessions at Marino’s to the world-renowned performers who perform at the Heifetz International Music Institute, Staunton is home to the very best in music–making. We’ve got live, free music almost every night of the week at Gypsy Hill Park during the summer. We have music festivals that entertain all year long – this year we said hello to newcomer Red Roots Music Festival, and welcomed back the classical Staunton Music Festival, as well as blues, jazz, and folk festivals.
  2. Performing arts, artists and artisans.  It’s no secret that The American Shakespeare Center “does it with the lights on” 52 weeks a year to national acclaim.  ShenanArts is also a treasure, with high-energy performances delighting crowds of all ages.  The arts community flourishes in Staunton – take time to explore the many galleries all over downtown, or stop in to Sunspots Studios, where you can watch art being made in front of your eyes.
  3. Local farmers and producers.  We are fortunate to be able to enjoy some of freshest, most delicious locally grown food available anywhere in the USA.  With a twice-weekly seasonal farmer’s market, farm-fresh roadside stands, and pick-your-own farms – we’re the envy of many communities in the “buy fresh, buy local” movement.
  4. Museums and historic sites. History lines the streets in Staunton. When was the last time you visited Frontier Culture Museum or Woodrow Wilson’s Birthplace Museum?  If it’s been a while, then go – and watch the past come alive.
  5. Independent small businesses. In downtown Staunton, a diverse mix of indie shops surrounds you. Our small business owners are following their passions, and creating some of the best independent shopping district in the state.  Hurrah for Pufferbellies, The Split Banana, Coffee on the Corner, Cranberry’s and so many more!
  6. Walkable downtown. Staunton’s historic downtown is made for strolling, people watching and window-shopping.
  7. Amazing architecture. Hats off the planners and architects who have been creating, preserving, and adding to Staunton’s architectural legacy for more than a century.
  8. Food and wine. There is plenty to be grateful for when it comes to Staunton’s dining scene.  Who doesn’t love wine-tasting at Barking Dog Wine, or the creative menus whipped up by Zynodoa, and the yummy comfort food at Beverley Restaurant?
  9. Our location.  Priceless. Staunton is located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, and we’ve got mountains with gorgeous views on both sides. National parks, state forests, and bucolic farms all around make this a natural destination to hike, bike and explore our natural world.
  10. The people. We are grateful for all of the incredible people who live and work here that contribute every day to help make our small city so amazing.

We hope you’ll enjoy and share this list.  But most of all – we hope you’ll add to this list with all the things you are grateful for in Staunton. Happy Thanksgiving!

With gratitude and thanks,

The Staunton Convention & Visitors Bureau

WINE Your Way Through Autumn Splendor in the Shenandoah Valley

ShenValleyScenic_28It’s no secret that October is the best month for leaf peeping in Shenandoah Valley. But did you know that it’s also Virginia Wine Month? Here’s a guide on how to uncork the fun:

Staunton and Harrisonburg are located just off Interstate 81, which runs north south through the Shenandoah Valley. These two vibrant cities – just 25 minutes apart – form the perfect bookends to your next wine getaway.

Downtown Staunton

Downtown Staunton

If you like curvy county roads, skip the highway and try Route 11 or Route 42.  Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park provides a loftier option (and with the higher elevation, an earlier color show.)

Fall’s cooler temperatures bring clear skies with spectacular views of the mountain ranges to the east and west.

Nearby Vineyards

The view from Barrenridge Vineyards

The view from BarrenRidge Vineyards

BarrenRidge Vineyards is located on the grounds of a family-owned apple orchard, and features an 1890′s apple barn that has been converted into a state-of-the-art winery.

In addition to a beautiful landscape, Bluestone Vineyards offers tastings and tours so guests can get a deeper look into the winemaking process. At CrossKeys Vineyards, you can sip al fresco on the patio, and grab a bite from the pairing menu.

Downtown Sips   

It’s always wine-time in downtown Staunton, so if you’re serious about sipping make time to visit Barking Dog Wine Bar, AVA Wine Bar, and the sleek downtown tasting room of Ox-Eye Vineyard.  Need something to carry home or share a favorite wine purchase? Check out the handcrafted, witty (and reusable!) wine bags at Made, conveniently located next to Barking Dog Wine Bar!

In Harrisonburg, Downtown Wine & Gourmet offers free wine tastings every Friday from 5-7pm. If you need to stock up for the ride home, check out Vintage Wines which offers the largest selection of wines in the Shenandoah Valley.

Sera_Petras_Photography_Zynodoa-51

Dinner at Zynodoa

Dine Out in Style

In Staunton, you’ll want to book a table at Zynodoa or Emilio’s. In Harrisonburg, you can’t miss with either Local Chop & Grill House or Joshua Wilton House. All of these fine restaurants proudly offer Virginia wine by the glass, and offer customized wine pairing suggestions for your meal.

Wondering how long to stay?

Plan to spend at least two nights, more if you want to take in museums, theaters, art galleries and other attractions. You can begin your wine-getaway in either Harrisonburg or Staunton – why not spend a night in each city to get the best of both worlds?

Travel tip: visit mid-week and skip the crowds!

Lodging packages

Want to stay in the city? Make plans to stay at The Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Staunton.  Originally built in 1924 and a member of Historic Hotels of America, this 124-room is a Shenandoah Valley landmark. Ask for the “Downtown Wine” package (includes complimentary Virginia wine upon arrival, wine tasting for two at Ox-Eye Tasting room, 50% off bottles of wine in Sorrels Lounge, and more.)

If you prefer a more intimate location, luxurious amenities await you at By the Side of the Road Bed & Breakfast in Harrisonburg. When you book your reservation, ask for the “Shenandoah Wine Trail” package (includes complimentary Virginia wine upon arrival, a light gourmet picnic to carry to one of your vineyard stops, discounts at local vineyards, voucher for a romantic dinner for two, and a hot gourmet breakfast basket delivered to your cottage door.)

In the Shenandoah Valley, local goodness is everywhere. Stop by a local farmer’s market, brewery, or pumpkin patch to bring some of this season’s bounty home with you.