From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, To the Blue Ridge

Fireworks and outdoor fun in the Blue Ridge

Fireworks and outdoor fun in the Blue Ridge

By Julie Reardon

Enjoying the lazy, hazy midsummer days close to home might require a little research, but needn’t cost a king’s ransom.  There are plenty of parks, activities, vineyards and even a few music festivals throughout the state that are affordable or in some instances free. One of our favorite inexpensive venues for live music, that I’d planned to feature this month, is sadly, gone.  The Bluemont Concert series fell victim to cuts in public funding for the arts.  For over 40 years, the series brought live music to small towns like Winchester, Warrenton, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Middleburg and others in central and northern Virginia, and will be missed. Bluemont Concert Series brought talented live music groups to entertain and enrich the cultural fabric of these small towns. The outdoor performances included an eclectic and varied mix: bluegrass, zydeco, Caribbean, African dance, Celtic, traditional folk, rockabilly and more. A victim of the times and lack of funding, it ceased operations last year.

For those hankering for live music, the Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg has some offerings for July that may be of interest. The movie theater turned concert venue has a Tuesday’s Gone tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd  on July 12 and a tribute to Earth Wind and Fire on July 20.  The eagerly awaited 70’s Party with Superflydisco originally scheduled for July 6 has been postponed until August 31; for a list of concerts and ticket options visit:

The Flying Circus Airshow near Bealeton has delighted young and old alike with daring expert pilots performing stunts in vintage biplanes.  A parachute jumper opens the show, a wing-walker hangs upside
down from the biplane’s wing, and more. Bring the family and a picnic and enjoy the show; gates open at 11 and the show starts at 2:30 p.m. The Flying Circus Airshow has been a Southern Fauquier attraction for many years with both locals and visitors. It’s located at 5114 Ritchie Road (off Routes 17 & 644), Bealeton, and admission is $10 per adult (plane and hot air balloon rides extra).  For more information, call (540) 439-8661 or visit:

If you are looking for something a little smaller than the Washington D.C. display, several small towns put on fireworks displays and celebrations for July 4th in and around the Blue Ridge. Just 45 miles away, Great Meadow in the Plains puts on a huge fireworks display with many family friendly activities; gates open at 4 pm Thursday, July 4th for this year’s Wegman’s Great Meadow 4th of July Celebration.  Large by country standards, it manages a fine display and offers many other activities for family fun in addition to the glorious fireworks show. Admission is $35. For information visit:

On Friday, the 5th,  you can watch fireworks in the Blue Ridge mountains in Front Royal at the NOVA 4-H Center, host to the 2019 Front Royal/Warren County Independence Day Celebration. The July 5th fireworks location is right off I-66 at 600 4H Center Drive at the 4-H Educational Center. Events start at 4 pm and will be continuous throughout the day, from 4:00 p.m. until the fireworks begin, with festivities centered around the Amphitheater and will include the Fairfax Shelter, Campfire Circle, and the Pool parking lot. A voluntary donation of $5 per vehicle is suggested to help with the cost of the event. The Celebration will feature live patriotic music performed by the American Legion Community Band. Community tables, children’s games, and food vendors will be set up by community partners.

For the first time in memory, Fauquier County Fair will not be held in late July or at all this year.  Because of construction on land behind the fairgrounds for a new central county sports complex that began last year, the area used for fair parking is not available and the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors voted to cancel it for this year. It is unclear if it will return next year.  The other well-loved county fairs in the area are held in August and September; look for a complete list next month.

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