APPLE PIE AND FOURTH OF JULY
By Julie Reardon
There’s nothing quite like the July 4th fireworks on the Mall in Washington D.C. But braving the crowds once every few years (or every few decades) is plenty for some, who might wish for smaller crowds and a more small town atmosphere. You don’t have to go far, most of these are within an hour’s drive of the Beltway and can be as simple as some fireworks at dusk, or a full day celebration with parades, picnics, and more. As the actual date is on a Tuesday this year, some celebrations will be held on weekend dates.
Middleburg Community Center has fireworks on July 4 along with some family friendly activities beginning with a children’s parade at 5:30 pm and live music by the Bluemont Concert Series at the community center from 7 to 9 pm. The fireworks are from 9 to 9:30 pm; more at www.MiddleburgCommunityCenter.com or call 540-687-6373
To add a bit of cachet to small town fun in Middleburg, the upscale Salamander Resort and Spa is opening its lawns for what it claims is the highest and best spot to view the Middleburg fireworks. Its renowned chefs will be preparing smoked BBQ favorites available to purchase; for more information visit their website at www.SalamanderResort.com or 844-303-2723.
One of the biggest fireworks displays outside the beltway is in Fauquier County; Great Meadow’s Fourth of July Celebration. Open all day, Great Meadow’s celebration includes a variety of children’s activities, food, a helicopter air show, polo exhibits, and much more. This year, it’s held on July 1st. No dogs, tents, glass or grills permitted; tickets: $35 per car at Wegmans. $40 at the gate. www.GreatMeadow.org
In Loudoun, there are fireworks in Leesburg at Ida Lee Park, Rt. 15 (King Street) and Ida Lee Drive, (703) 777-1368. Gates open at 6 p.m. Fireworks around 9:30 p.m.
Other July Events
Saturday, July 1st marks the inaugural opening of a new polo series in Leesburg: Polo at the Park. Arena polo matches, picnicking and dancing will take place every Saturday evening in July and August. Spectators are encouraged to bring picnic baskets and blankets onto the terraced viewing area next to the riding arena, and a DJ will provide dance music in the pavilion tent immediately following the final polo matches throughout the summer. Stone Tower Winery – the Official Wine Sponsor of Polo in the Park – will offer wine for sale by the glass or by the bottle. Guests may also bring their own wine to enjoy at the polo matches
Each night of the season will feature two matches, with one starting at 7 p.m. and the other starting at 8:30 p.m. The gates will open for spectators at 6 p.m. www.MorvenPark.org
On July 7 – 9th, the best horses and riders in North America and Europe will come to Great Meadow for the second annual Great Meadow International. Teams of riders from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, France and Belgium will compete for their country over 3 days of demanding tests including dressage, cross country and show jumping at the FEI Nations Cup™ CICO***. This is the place to see the top horses and riders from around the world compete at the only FEI Nations Cup™ of Eventing held in North America. For information visit www.GreatMeadow.org
Evening arena and field polo at Banbury Cross Farm just east of Middleburg continue throughout the summer; Friday arena games and Sunday field games, culminating in a high goal charity fundraiser game on the field July 30th, the Piper Cup. For information, check out their Facebook page or visit www.BanburyCrossPoloClub.com
Now, about those apple pies: we have several suggestions. July kicks off county fair season in Virginia, and there’s no place like the bake sales at county fairs to sample some of this perennial favorite. Fauquier County Fair will be held this year July 12-15 at the fairgrounds just outside Warrenton. And there are a number of farmers markets in the area with usually plentiful pie offerings. A personal favorite of mine are the apple pies and, in fact, anything apple from the bakery at the Apple House in Linden. Their apple fritters are melt in your mouth good, especially hot off the griddle. www.TheAppleHouse.net The Apple House is a restaurant located in Linden, a small village on the border of Fauquier and Warren counties off Exit 13 on I-66.