For those of us who have grown up in the Shenandoah Valley, traveling the roads having lunch or dinner in the towns, it is apparent the Valley has matured as a cultural hub for artists, great wineries, theater and music performances. Nothing is more evident of this trend than the world famous culinary chefs in the Valley’s restaurants and resorts.
Go Blue Ridge Travel (GoBRT) highlights the new trends gracing the landscape of the Shenandoah Valley. As the Fall foliage festivals begin, it is apparent that the Blue Ridge Shenandoah Valley is home to many indigenous and ethnic cultures. The events wrapping up September and moving into October are witness to this. Here is GoBRT’s ‘Hot Happenings’ in culinary, theater, the visual arts, music, and cultural heritage.
Theatre – American Conservation Film Festivaloffers over 65 films from October 31 to November 3rd at five venues, topics include water, energy, wildlife and wild places, food and agriculture, history and heroes, health and well-being. For families, there is a free day of nine films featuring Cafeteria Man, a story of positive movement that shows what’s possible in our nation’s schools. It is the true story of chef Tony Geraci’s mission to radically reform Baltimore’s public school food system with a recipe for change. “ACFF films change lives. You will never look at plastic the same way again; you will question the necessity of all the ‘stuff’ you own; you will learn to live a little smaller but have a much larger view of the world. Who knows, you may be the solution the world’s been waiting for,” said Lissa Cobetto, Executive Director.
Culinary Expertise – GoBRT’s Wine Series reaches out to the chefs in our region for their favorite vineyards and wines produced. Featuring Tarver King, formerly of The Ashby Inn and Restaurant, Tarver picks include Linden Vineyards, Delaplane Cellars and RdV Winery. “One of my favorite Linden wines is a Late Harvest Petit Manseng 2008. Another close vineyard, is RdV Winery is also in the Delaplane, Virginia. It is definitely in my opinion the most beautiful facility with cool architecture including an underground tasting room. One of my favorites there is the Rendezvous. Kevin does a wonderful job letting the visitor taste his wines to other top wines from California and France. You will definitely bring wine home with you!” said Chef Tarver. Tarver has just moved this September to The Patowmack Restaurant in Lovettsville and the Ashby Inn is welcoming Chef David Dunlap.
Visual Arts – Tom Neel celebrates his 25th year of fine art sales with a milestone celebration on September 28th hosted by The Hill School at the Sheila C. Johnson Performing Art Center, Middleburg, Virginia. “The Land Beneath My Feet” celebrates the 25th anniversary of fine art sales for Tom Neel, the Piedmont’s premier landscape artist. Along with new paintings, the show will feature a new 130 page, full color book and a short introspective film, both with the same name as the show. Neel’s oil paintings are known for rich color, powerful light and varied majestic views of the region.
Music – Blackthorne Inn & Restaurant will feature the newly formed Fox Hole Band featuring Bryan Fox on the evening of October 4th. Playing Motown, Old Soul, and Soulful Country (Ray Charles), the band features the amazing vocals of Gene McBride from P-Funk and Jeffery Walker from Patti Labelle along with Benjiie Porecki (from Everybody) on keyboards, Blues Webb (from Billy Preston) on drums, and Samir Moulay (from Natalie Cole) on guitar. “Bryan Fox always brings in a great crowd. We are really excited that he wanted his new band to debut at The Blackthorne Inn & Restaurant. Should be a great evening!” stated Inn owner Shane O’Connor.
Cultural Heritage – Also on the 28th, the town of Harrisonburg, Virginia will host the 16th annual Harrisonburg International Festival. Celebrating the Harrisonburg community’s rich intercultural diversity, this event is free and brings together an extravaganza of performing, visual, and culinary arts, a World Bazaar of exquisite hand-made and imported art and souvenirs, and a world of stories waiting to be shared!
For many visitors, the quality of the NEW traveling experience to the Shenandoah Valley is welcomed since the valley is one of the most beautiful places in the world to experience the fall foliage change.
“I wanted to let you know how well your web site worked to help build tourism and spending in Virginia. A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail blast from your site and saw that there was ‘Shrek – The Musical’ being performed in Winchester. This was the start of a little getaway idea. We live in Reston and know that a trip to Winchester is only an hour and 15 minutes. By the time that our Saturday night was complete, the end result was 2 families thoroughly enjoyed the quality of the Shenandoah University Theatre performance on every level. I have raved about the quality of the performance to numerous friends and look forward to bringing more people out to Winchester for other future performances.” – DW. Reston, Virginia
Forget the trip to New York or DC and experience culture and the arts in the Blue Ridge Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia.