Grand Opening of the Fries, VA Farmer’s Market — June 23, 2019

Grand Opening of the Fries, VA Farmer’s Market — June 23, 2019

The opening day of the Fries Farmer’s Market is taking place this Sunday, June 23rd from 1 until 4 PM at the Fries Town Park, 336 Firehouse Drive, Fries, VA.  Activities are scheduled throughout the afternoon for the entire family!  There will be live music, face painting for the kids, a bouncy house, adoption animals from Fur-Get Me Not Rescue and a barbecue lunch fundraiser consisting of a pulled pork sandwich, chips and a drink for $5.  All funds raised will go to support the farmer’s market. 

The Fries Farmer’s Market carries local meats and produce, baked goods, herbs, arts and crafts in an open air market setting by the scenic New River.  The market will be held every Sunday through October 27th from 1 – 4 pm.  Special events are scheduled throughout the season. 

This Sunday’s entertainment is provided by a very talented duo — Luke Morris & Madison Elmore.

 

Go With The Flow Brewfest – June 22, 2019 – On The New River in Fries, VA

Go With The Flow Brewfest – June 22, 2019 – On The New River in Fries, VA

Creek Bottom Brewing is kicking off the summer by hosting over a dozen breweries at the 2nd Annual GO WITH THE FLOW MUSIC & BREWFEST at the Fries Park on THE NEW RIVER in Fries, VA on Saturday, June 22 from 12 – 8 pm.  Come out and sample some fantastic brews, savor delicious food, dance to the music of some great entertainers, play corn hole and water pong, run a 5K, and visit some cool vendors.

  • Local, regional, and national breweries represented.
  • Food trucks — Brick oven pizza and smoked wings.
  • Corn-hole & water hole tournaments.
  • Live music all day:  Ray Martin, Matt Mullins & the Bringdowns, Will Jones Band, & One Side Missing.
  • The festival is being held by the scenic New River in Fries, VA, which is in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Held rain or shine.  Don’t forget your lawn chair.

Please visit https://www.gowiththeflowbrewfest.com/ to learn all about the festival.

Take a listen to The Will Jones band here:

Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival & Guitar Competition – June 15, 2019

Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival & Guitar Competition – June 15, 2019

On the third Saturday of every June at Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, the Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition features some of the region’s best traditional musicians. From time to time, they have shared the stage with bluegrass bands from Europe.

The event takes its name from National Heritage Award recipient Wayne C. Henderson, a musician and instrument maker who lives in nearby Rugby, Virginia. Henderson’s top-notch finger-picking is a source of great pleasure and pride to his friends, family, and neighbors in Grayson County, Virginia. His guitar playing has also been enjoyed at Carnegie Hall, in three national tours of Masters of the Steel-String Guitar and in seven nations of Europe, Asia and Africa.

Wayne and many of his musical friends are featured performers at the festival, with bluegrass and old-time music dominating the program. The Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition was established in 1995 to express appreciation for this living legend. A portion of the proceeds from the festival are placed into a scholarship fund to aid local young musicians in continuing their educations. More than $237,950 has been awarded through the 2018 festival.

This year’s event schedule includes Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Redd Volkeart and Bill Kirchen, Shadow Grass, The Harris Brothers, The Sea Cruisers and of course Wayne C Henderson himself. For schedule times, click here.

Wayne C Henderson and Friends, are scheduled to take the stage at 5:45 p.m. Concessions will also be available throughout the day. You can find answers to more frequently asked questions online.

Grayson Highlands State Park is located in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. Drive Time: Northern Va., 6.5 hours; Richmond, 5.5 hours; Virginia Beach, 7.5 hours; Roanoke, 2.5 hours; Winston-Salem, 1.5 hours; Charlotte, 1.5 hours; Raleigh, 4 hours. Click here for Google map directions.

Because of the high elevation the weather can be cooler than you might expect in June. This event is rain or shine so you may want to bring a long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt or jacket.

The festival is from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and is held at the park’s picnic area. Festival tickets are $20 for everyone 13 years old and older. Children under 12 are free with paid adult admission to the festival. The regular parking fee does apply to all vehicles entering the park. The festival is also part of the Mountains of Music Homecoming series sponsored by The Crooked Road.

If you love bluegrass and old-time music, then you won’t want to miss this fantastic festival in the mountains of Virginia.

Celebrate National Trails Day in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains – June 1, 2019

Celebrate National Trails Day in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains – June 1, 2019

One of these stunning parks is the perfect destination for National Trails Day this Saturday, June 1, 2019!

Grayson Highlands State Park

Located near Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain, Virginia’s two highest mountains, Grayson Highlands offers scenic views of alpine-like peaks more than 5,000 feet high. Facilities include a visitor center, campgrounds, and hiking trails leading to waterfalls and overlooks. 

 

The inhabitants of Grayson Highlands–a herd of wild ponies that roam freely.

The following guided hikes are planned throughout this year’s National Trails Day. 

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Hike on the Appalachian Trail to Mt. Rogers, meet at Massie Gap

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Trail maintenance on Rhododendron Trail, meet at Massie Gap

4 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Trick Your Stick at the Campground Amphitheater

8 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Salamander Meander at the Visitor Center

https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/grayson-highlands

New River Trail State Park

New River Trail is a 57-mile linear park that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way. The park parallels the historic New River for 39 miles and the scenery is magnificient. The trail is relatively flat and appropriate for all skill levels. A trail entrance is located in Fries, VA at 323 Firehouse Drive.  From Route 94, go south to town.  Parking is available near the town park.

Untamed beauty along the trail.

https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/new-river-trail

Virginia Creeper Trail

The Virginia Creeper trail is a 34.3-mile rail-to-recreation trail, traversing through two counties from Abingdon, Virginia, through Damascus, and ending just past Whitetop Station in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, at the Virginia-North Carolina border.  Cycling the Creeper Trail is perfect for riders of varying ages and fitness levels due to it’s slight decline.  

To get to the Whitetop Station trailhead, follow US 58 east from Abingdon into Grayson County. Turn right on State Route 726 and head south toward the North Carolina border. You will see the parking area off of 726.

To get to the Abingdon trailhead, head south on Main Street/US 11 in Abingdon and turn left onto Pecan Street. There is a large locomotive engine on display by the trailhead, which you can see to the left of the parking lot.

https://www.vacreepertrail.org/

 

 

HoustonFest – A music festival in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

HoustonFest – A music festival in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

HoustonFest, a music festival that features multiple regional and national bands ranging in style from Bluegrass to Old Time, is being held June 7 & 8, 2019 at Felts Park in Galax, VA.  Artisans from Galax and the surrounding area demonstrate and sell their crafts, while food vendors serve up local dishes.  The festival, which honors local musician Houston Caldwell who passed away in 2010, raises money for scholarships that go to musical training and education for youth.

The Grammy Award winning band, Shenandoah, is performing on June 7th!

One of my favorites, ShadowGrass, is performing on June 8th!

And many more talented artists are performing throughout the two day festival!  You can see the full lineup here:  https://www.houstonfestgalax.com/lineup.html

The Best Ice Cream Place in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

The Best Ice Cream Place in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

The best ice cream in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains can be found in a historic railroad caboose by The New River in Fries, VA. Sweet Lily’s, named in honor of the proprietor’s granddaughter, serves up classic ice cream shop items such as hot fudge sundaes and banana splits. However, their signature sundae, which consists of chocolate ice cream, brownie, nuts, waffle cone, pineapple, caramel, chocolate, blueberry, blackberry, whipped cream, and a cherry, is a customer favorite.

Special features offered by Sweet Lily’s include hosting opportunities for small birthday parties, tasting parties, and a monthly ice cream social offering all-you-can-eat sweet treats for a flat fee. Sweet Lily’s also serves regular and decaf coffee, teas, slushies, and lemonade.

Sweet Lily’s is located at 321 Firehouse Drive, Fries, VA 24330. Their hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

2019 Music Festivals in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

2019 Music Festivals in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

The musical history of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia dates back to the European settlers who brought their music to the new world. The musical legacy continues today and can be enjoyed at the many festivals which are held through the summer months.

1) HoustonFest, June 7 – 8, 2019

HoustonFest, a music festival that features multiple regional and national bands ranging in style from Bluegrass to Old Time, is being held June 8 & 9, 2018 at Felts Park in Galax, VA.  Artisans from Galax and the surrounding area demonstrate and sell their crafts, while food vendors serve up local dishes.  The festival, which honors local musician Houston Caldwell who passed away in 2010, raises money for scholarships that go to musical training and education for youth.

One of my favorite musicians, Presley Barker, will perform again this year.

Visit https://www.houstonfestgalax.com/index.html for additional information.

2) Mountains of Music Homecoming, June 7 – 15, 2019

The Crooked Road’s Mountains of Music Homecoming is an annual nine-day, region-wide celebration of all the communities in Southwest Virginia – their traditional music, and all their many cultural and natural assets. The event includes Crooked Road marquee concerts in approximately 20 communities and many dozens of cultural events throughout the region.  You can learn more here:  https://mtnsofmusic.com/

3) Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival & Guitar Competition, June 15, 2019

On the third Saturday of every June at Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, the Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition features some of the region’s best traditional musicians. From time to time, they have shared the stage with bluegrass bands from Europe.

The event takes its name from National Heritage Award recipient Wayne C. Henderson, a musician and instrument maker who lives in nearby Rugby, Virginia. Henderson’s top-notch finger-picking is a source of great pleasure and pride to his friends, family, and neighbors in Grayson County, Virginia. His guitar playing has also been enjoyed at Carnegie Hall, in three national tours of Masters of the Steel-String Guitar and in seven nations of Europe, Asia and Africa.

Wayne and many of his musical friends are featured performers at the festival, with bluegrass and old-time music dominating the program. The Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition was established in 1995 to express appreciation for this living legend. A portion of the proceeds from the festival are placed into a scholarship fund to aid local young musicians in continuing their educations. More than $237,950 has been awarded through the 2018 festival.

Visit  https://www.waynehenderson.org/ for additional information.

4) Grayson County Old-Time & Bluegrass Fiddler’s Convention, June 28 – 29, 2019

 The Grayson County Old Time and Bluegrass Fiddler’s Convention is always held the last full weekend in June. Cash prizes and rosettes in old time and bluegrass individual & band categories. Contestants register on-site. Camping on the grounds is available, and we now offer showers! Food and refreshments available for purchase. Bring your lawn chair or blankets and the whole family for two nights of great music and dancing in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Please visit http://www.ecvfd.net/home/grayson-county-fiddler-s-convention for additional information.

 5) Floydfest, Wednesday, July 24 – 28, 2019

 FloydFest features five days of Music, Magic, and Mountains, in a picturesque paradise at Milepost 170.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd, VA. The festival takes place on 80 acres of mountain plateau land and features a “Global Village” area of progressive workshops and demonstrations, including a healing arts area, over 100 artisans, and a wide array of food options from sushi to barbecue.  Visit https://floydfest.com/ for additional information.

6) Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention, August 5 – 10, 2019

 The 84th Annual Fiddler’s Convention is being held August 5 – 10, 2019 in Galax, VA.  During the 2nd week of August of each year the City of Galax has the world tapping its feet as the Old Fiddlers’ Convention takes place in Felts Park. The convention is presented by the Galax Moose Lodge #733.

Musicians and fans from around the world travel to Galax to perform and hear the music that defines the sound of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Galax has been designated the Worlds Capital of Old time Mountain Music and is proud to be identified as hosting the world’s oldest and largest fiddler’s convention which has taken place consistently since 1935.

Learn more here:  http://www.oldfiddlersconvention.com/

7) Fries Fiddler’s Convention: August 16 – 17, 2019

The 53rd Annual Fries Bluegrass and Fiddlers Convention will be held Friday, August 16 and Saturday, August 17, 2019.  Admission is $10.00 for adults and children 12 and under are free with paying adult. Camping is $15 per spot.

Friday night’s competition will begin at 7:00 p.m. and include: Dulcimer, Old Time Fiddle, Dobro, Old Time Banjo, Mandolin, Autoharp, Flatfoot Dance, Bluegrass Bands, and Old Time Bands

Saturday’s Youth Competition will begin at 3:00 and include all adult categories.

Saturday’s Adult Competition will begin at 5:00 and include: Folk Songs (Vocals), Guitar, Bluegrass Fiddle, Bass Fiddle, Bluegrass Banjo, Flatfoot Dance, Bluegrass Bands, and Old Time Bands.

Flatfoot Dance, Bluegrass and Old Time Bands must compete both nights to be eligible for prizes. Bands typically play one song Friday night and two songs Saturday nights.  You can learn more here:  https://friesfire.com/fries-fiddlers-convention/

An Awesome Outdoor Adventure Company in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

An Awesome Outdoor Adventure Company in  Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

New River Outdoor Adventures, located in Galax, VA is the one stop shop for all your outdoor recreational needs! Enjoy some of their scenic floats down the beautiful New River from canoe, kayak, tandem kayak, or river tube. River floats are tailored for the beginner, family, first-time boater, or the experienced thrill-seeker.  If biking is your preference, NROA provides great trail bikes for rent so you can cover all 57 miles of the New River Trail. Shuttle service is provided for boats and bikes as well. Delivery service to local vacation rental homes is provided. Many guests at River Mist Retreat have taken advantage of this service. The NROA shop also has lots of merchandise for sale to help make your adventure an enjoyable experience. They’re also a point of sale for Virginia hunting and fishing licenses. Make sure to speak with one of the owners, Tim Dixon, for expert fishing advice and assistance choosing the best bait to catch the “big one!” Tim, a lifelong resident of neighboring Fries, VA has spent his entire life fishing and navigating the New River.   For additional information, please visit their website:  https://www.newriveroutdooradventures.com/

The Best Fishing Spots in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

The Best Fishing Spots in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

Three of the most highly sought after destinations for anglers from all over the country can be found in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Whether you’re looking to catch some wild trout or you’ve got your sights on hooking a trophy, you won’t be disappointed with our favorite fishing spots!

1)  The New River

Contrary to its name, The New River is the oldest river on the North American continent and one of the few rivers to flow northward. The New is home to every major freshwater game fish in the state of VA, from walleye to trophy smallmouth bass and musky, black crappie and redbreast sunfish. The warm waters of the New River flow through Grayson County and offers resourceful anglers the opportunity to catch the smallmouth bass of a lifetime. Fast water and large rock outcroppings are a feature of the New River, creating the perfect habitat for big smallmouth bass and flathead catfish. Several lazy, slow stretches also abound, where you can fish for rock bass near grass beds. The slow waters near the dams along the river will yield big flathead and channel catfish, as well as walleye and smallmouth bass.

2)  Big Wilson Creek

Accessible by way of the Mount Rogers Recreation Area in Grayson County, Big Wilson Creek is referred to as one of Virginia’s finest stocked mountain trout streams. In the upper most sections of Big Wilson, you’ll be treated to a plethora of brook, brown, and wild rainbow trout that hide in the many deep pools which are protected by huge boulders. Spring is the ideal season for a trip to Big Wilson Creek. March is one of the best months to fish this stream and the most effective method is dry fishing.

The park is on U.S. 58 midway between Independence and Damascus and is reached from I-81 at Exit 45 in Marion; turn south on Route 16 and travel 33 miles to US 58 in the community of Volney. Turn right onto US 58. Travel eight miles to the park’s entrance.

3)  Whitetop Laurel Creek

One of Virginia’s most beautiful streams, Whitetop Laurel Creek, is considered one of the best trout streams in the entire Southeast. For anglers, the place to begin on Whitetop is the 6 miles of stream below Konnarock beginning at Creek Junction, near the convergence of Whitetop and Green Cove Creek. This marks the beginning of a 6-mile artificial only stretch where all trout smaller than 12 inches must be released. This stretch can be accessed by way of Creek Junction Road, just east of Damascus. Locals say that prime time on Whitetop is during the spring months, when feeding trout will appear for just about any type of dry fly.

From I-81 south take exit 29 (Glade Spring) to 91 east towards Damascus, in Damascus take 58 east. Whitetop Laurel flows along 58 east, where it can be accessed easily. Signs to the parking areas and the Virginia Creeper Trail are along 58 east. Sections of Whitetop Laurel Creek that are not adjacent to 58 east are easily accessed from the Virginia Creeper Trail. Parking areas have maps and trail information on display.

For Virginia Licensing Requirements, go to:

https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/regulations/licenses.asp

Matt Bizzell Playing April 27th At Roots At Grayson Bistro & Tavern – Independence, VA

Matt Bizzell Playing April 27th At Roots At Grayson Bistro & Tavern – Independence, VA

Matt Bizzell will perform on Saturday, April 27th at Roots At Grayson Bistro & Tavern, 203 N. Independence Ave. Independence, VA 24348.  Bizzell, a cross between Dave Matthews and country, is a singer, song writer, and guitarist not to be missed!