James Madison’s Montpelier
Less than one mile from the Inn
Montpelier is decorated for the holidays and the museum shop has numerous unique gifts to fill any size stocking. All tours will be available throughout the month. During December 26 and January 1, all kids’ admission is free. www.montpelier.org
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
South of Charlottesville
Monticello also has a museum shop where you can find unique items as well. Monticello also hosts Holiday Evening tours, Wreath Making Workshops, Artisan Days at the museum shop, Children’s Workshops and other Holiday Events. www.monticello.org
The Inn will be closed to celebrate the Holidays with family from December 22 through December 27.
BBQ Exchange’s Porkapalooza
Mid-February in Gordonsville
Each year this award winning barbeque favorite celebrates it anniversary by offering an all-you-can-eat event which includes food, drinks, music and activities. This tented event draws hundreds and is well worth the experience. Tickets are about $20 per person and should be purchased in advance.
Virginia Festival of the Book
March 21-25 in various venues in and around Charlottesville
The Festival is the largest community-based book event in the Mid-Atlantic region and has attracted audiences of more than 20,000 for each of the past thirteen years. The Festival’s annual attendance reached more than 30,000 in March 2017. Attendees come from more than thirty states. A captivating list of authors, ranging from international bestsellers to topical specialists to debut authors are always in attendance. An abbreviated list of past participants includes Rick Atkinson, David Baldacci, Douglas Brinkley, Edwidge Danticat, Nikki Giovanni, Jan Karon, Representative John Lewis, Beth Macy, Sonia Manzano, Colum McCann, Margot Lee Shetterly, Bryan Stevenson, Joseph Stiglitz, Elizabeth Strout, Natasha Trethewey, and Lawrence Wright. More can be found at www.vabook.org
Historic Garden Week
April 21-28 throughout Orange County and the entire state
Each spring visitors are welcomed to over 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks during “America’s Largest Open House.” This 8-day statewide event provides visitors a unique opportunity to see unforgettable gardens at the peak of Virginia’s springtime color, as well as beautiful houses sparkling with over 2,300 flower arrangements created by Garden Club of Virginia members. Orange County’s presentation will be on Saturday the 21st. For more information go to www.vagardenweek.org.
Montpelier Wine Festival
May 5 and 6 at James Madison’s Montpelier
Two days of wine tastings from 30 wineries, arts and crafts, specialty food vendors, cooking demonstrations, live music….what is not to love? Sponsored by the Orange County Chamber of Commerce (www.orangevachamber.com).
Gordonsville’s Famous Fried Chicken Festival
TBD in May in Gordonsville, VA
Gordonsville was the “Chicken Leg Center of the Universe” and this festival celebrates its long history of frying up poultry. This delectable dish was served to train passengers during railroad stops in the late 19th century by local women carrying platters of fried chicken on their heads. Watch this listing for more information.
Oakland Heights Rodeo
Second Saturday from May to September at Oakland Heights Farm just north of Gordonsville
Yes, Virginia, they do have bull riding and bucking broncos here and it is a blast! This is a family friendly event run by BLM Bull & Rodeo Company, Virginia’s best Bull Riding Event specialist.