Harvest Happenings in the Blue Ridge
By Julie Reardon
If you haven’t visited a farm or a farmer’s market this summer, September is an ideal month to enjoy the last of the summer corn, peaches and berries as well as apples, squash, zucchini, herbs and more. September also heralds the start of hunting season, with many harvesting dove, geese and early season ducks like teal for their table fare. Out here, informal fox hunting, called cubbing, begins to teach young hounds how to hunt. From fox hunting, many of the traditional horse sports have arisen, such as the hunter classes at horse shows and steeplechasing. Horse events from shows to polo continue through the fall.
Corn mazes have become popular with families and there are several to choose from in Fauquier County: one at the Barns at Archwood Greens next to its farmer’s market that is open Sunday afternoons, and one at Cows-N-Corn, a farm in Catlett. If wine is your thing, you won’t want to miss the granddaddy of wine festivals mid-September at Great Meadow, the oldest and largest in the state.
Corn Maze at Cows-N-Corn Opens Sept. 5th (and open every weekend in Sept)
Weekends through October: Saturdays, 10am-9pm; Sundays, 12:30pm-7pm
5225 Catlett Road
Everyone loves a corn maze! Bring the kids out to explore this year’s maze – a different design every year. Take a farm tour, visit cow class, enjoy hand-dipped ice cream and homemade cheeses. Let the kids play in the “Play Pasture”, and more! For more information call (540) 439-4806 or visit http://www.cows-n-corn.com
116th Annual Warrenton Horse Show, Sept. 2 – 6
Held at the Horse Show Grounds
Rt. 29, 60 E. Shirley Avenue
Opens each day at 8 am.
Drawing many local and out of state exhibitors, this show is a Labor Day weekend tradition among locals and has classes for horses and ponies. Some exciting features of the show include, Hunter classes, Ladies Side Saddle, Leadline, and Walk-Trot for children. Saturday features the Thoroughbred and Non-Thoroughbred Hunter Breeding and the USEF National Breeding Championship, for yearlings, two year olds, and three year olds. Saturday night will host the $5,000 Hunter Classic sponsored by Warrenton/Miller Toyota and Sunday will present the foxhunter classes, and Side Saddle. This years show will benefit Head Start & Bright Stars, The Fauquier SPCA, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, and The Fauquier County Fire and Rescue Association. The show begins at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday and at 8:00 am each other day, with evening classes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $5 per person, which can be purchased at the gate, and children 12 and under are free. There will be food
available, as well as other gift concessions and tack shops. For information call (540) 347-9442 or (540)-788-4806, or visit: http://www.warrentonhorseshow .com.
Annual Virginia Scottish Games & Festival September 5th & 6th
5089 Old Tavern Road
The Plains, VA
8 am – 6 pm both days.
The Virginia Scottish Games and Festival will again be held at Great Meadow Events Center in The Plains. The rolling pastures of the Great Meadow landscape are reminiscent of the Old World that so many of Virginia’s first families left behind when they traveled to the colonies. Festival highlights include: highland athletic and dance competitions, piping competitions culminating in a massed pipe band performance, Scottish country dancing, clans, living history encampment, fiddling events, Scottish dog events, children’s games, musical performances, British car show and a variety of food and craft vendors. For tickets and more information, call (703) 912-1943 or visit http://www.vascottishgames.org
1st Annual Piedmont Harvest Fest, Sept. 13, 10 am – 4 pm
6209 Old Auburn Road
The Fauquier Chamber of Commerce hosts a brand new event this year, the Piedmont Harvest Fest. The Piedmont Harvest Fest is an outdoor event that will feature live demonstrations, local artisans, grape stomping, punkin’ chunkin’, alpacas, pony rides, face painting, a fire engine, farm equipment, food and local businesses. This event will connects the business community with potential customers by offering fun and educational events for both children and adults in a setting that celebrates the harvest of Virginia’s Piedmont region. Tickets MUST be presented at the gate for admission, no exceptions will be made. If you do not wish to purchase your tickets online, please contact the Chamber directly at (540) 347-4414 or visit: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=rxgsl9dab&oeidk=a07e9iyah31cdbd2edf
40th Annual Virginia Wine Festival Sept. 12 & 13th
5089 Old Tavern Road
The Plains, VA 20198
As the longest-running wine festival on the East Coast, the Virginia Wine Festival has become a Grand Commonwealth Tradition and a wine enthusiasts’ paradise. The Virginia Wine Festival offers a unique array of both free and ticketed tasting and learning opportunities. Visit the seminar tent to broaden your knowledge and understanding of wine and wine culture, or make a grand day of it with a ticket to our gourmet wine and food pairing tent. Shorten your wait and enhance your experience with a ticket into the You Be the Judge tasting tent. Descriptions and purchase links on our ticketing page. For tickets or more information, call (540) 253-5000, or visit: http://virginiawinefest.com.
7th Annual Ride to Thrive Polo Classic, Sept. 19th
Chetwood Park Estate
The Plains, VA
The event features a fast-paced, exciting grass polo match in the heart of Virginia horse country! Additional highlights include live music, a silent auction, great food and family-friendly fun! Children under 12 get in free. Gates open at 1pm. Advance ticket purchase required. The Ride to Thrive Polo Classic is the largest fundraiser of the year for Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program. Funds raised help provide equine-assisted activities to children and adults with disabilities, youth-at-risk, military service personnel, and their families. Purchase your tickets and tailgate passes at www.NVTRP.org/polo.