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Monday, September 26, 2011

Civil War Encampment

On Saturday and Sunday, October 1-2, Civil War re-enactors, The Botetourt Artillery, 60th Virginia Infantry, Fincastle Rifles, and the Daughters of the Confederacy will be re-creating an encampment at the Peaks of Otter. Visitors can tour the encampment, watch food preparation over an open fire, visit the soldiers' tent and learn what life was like for the Civil War soldiers. Troops will march and drill. Blacksmithing and other crafts will be also be demonstrated at the encampment.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Nite at the Races

A Nite at the Races, the Rotary Club of Smith Mountain Lake's 4th annual fall fundraiser will be held Saturday, Oct. 15, from 5:30-10:30 p.m. at the W.H. Skelton 4-H Conference Center in Wirtz. This will be an evening of video horse racing, dinner, refreshments, door prize, race winner prizes, and even a women's hat parade contest. Tickets are $35 per person which entitles the purchaser to admittance, dinner, $16 in funny money with which to bet on any of the eight video cast races, and opportunities to win door prizes. There will be a cash bar including Triple Crown Cocktails. Attendees are encouraged to bring appetizers for their table. Tickets are available at Westlake Radio Shack, 540-721-0017, Hot Shots Family Fun Center, 540-719-1547, The Phil Hager Insurance Agency, 540-721-8822, and the SML Chamber of Commerce, 540-721-1203.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Harvest at the Peaks

Celebrate autumn's bounty with "Harvest at the Peaks" on September 24, at Peaks of Otter (milepost 86) on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Join National Park Service Rangers and volunteers for a festival that demonstrates traditional Appalachian life in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Johnson Farm from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Watch apple cider being made on a vintage hand-cranked cider press. Other activities will include music on the front porch, broom making, woodworking, apple peeling, canning and tool making.

Rangers and volunteers dressed in period clothes will show visitors around the farmhouse and outbuildings. Kids can play the same games that mountain children used to play in the yard of the old farmhouse.

Stop by the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center to watch demonstrations of natural plant dyes, drop spindle spinning, quilting and other sewing and needle crafts. For more information, stop by or call the Visitor Center at 540-586-4496.

Bedford Centerfest

September 24 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. One of Virginia's largest street festivals, featuring artists and crafters, handmade item from across the country, live music of all types on more than four outdoor stages, ton of great food, activities for the kids including pony rides, face painting and a giant slide, non-profit, political, and other types of organizations, and great local merchants too. A great event to come out and enjoy. More than 25,000 people expected this year. Vendor space is still available. Centerest goes from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m, with a night concert from 7 until 10 p.m. Here's more information.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Central Virginia Land Conservancy Land Jam

The Central Virginia Land Conservancy (CVaLC) will be holding its third annual Land Jam fundraiser on Sunday, September 18, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Lazy Days Winery, 1351 North Amherst Highway (U.S. 29) in Amherst.

Local gourmet food will be prepared by Dave and Mel Ellis, owners of Mangia and Dish restaurants. Music includes folk and bluegrass by The McKenzies, along with light rock by Bellweather States. Beer and wine are sold separately. Silent auction items include river trips by the James River Float Co. and the James River Association.

CVaLC is a nonprofit organization promoting protection of Central Virginia's natural and historic resources. CVaLC has assisted landowners with conservation easements to preserve nearly 5,500 acres since it inception in 2003. Proceeds from the Land Jam will be used to create educational materials and offer informational programs to landowners in Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Campbell, and Nelson counties.

Tickets are $25 at the gate and $20 in advance. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets may be purchased online or at Mangia, Givens Books and Little Dickens, Lazy Days Winery, and the Amherst County Parks and Recreation Department. For more information, call CVaLC at 434-942-4320.

Friday, September 09, 2011

September Dance

Smith Mountain Lake-USA Dance 6042(ballroom dancing) will meet at New London Ruritan, September 16 from 7:30-10:30 p.m. There will be a one hour Hustle dance lesson followed by short dance demonstrations to celebrate National Ballroom Dance Week followed by social dancing until 10:30 p.m. Members - $7; Nonmembers-$10; Students-$5. Beverages/snacks available at snack bar. Newcomers and singles welcome.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Bear, King of the Forest

Saturay, September 17, 7-8 p.m. at the Peaks of Otter. Bear, King of the Forest. 8-9 p.m. - Sky Tour. Join Ranger Richard Nash as he examines the life of our eastern giant, the Black Bear. Learn about the interactions bears have with humans where their habitats meet. After the program, walk over to the Nature Center parking area at the foot of Sharp Top Mountain for a Sky Tour of the stars, planets, and constellations with Paul Derrick. Dr. Derrick is a member of the Central Texas Astronomical Society, an organization affiliated with the McDonald Observatory of the University of Texas. Two telescopes will be set up and several pairs of binoculars will be available. Each participant should bring a folding chair. Feel free to bring your own binoculars.

Big Island Research

On Saturday, September 10, James Tesi will be sharing his research on the original village of Big Island and the families that lived there. He now owns a portion of the land that was originally the Big Island village on the James River bottom. He has original layout maps of the town showing business locations including the three story hotel that was there. The meeting will be held at the Bedford Museum and Genealogical Library, 201 East Main St, next door to the court house. the meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. There is plenty of parking (see parking map). There is an elevator to the third floor and there is no charge. The public is welcome.

National Day of Service

Looking for a meaningful way to commemorate the events of 9/11?  Join from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Smith Mountain Lake State Park to take part in a National Day of Service. Per-register now to enjoy a canoe trip while helping to clean up the shore lines. Space is limited and those pre-registered will enjoy a free lunch after the clean-up. The group will meet at the Main Picnic Parking Lot at 9 a.m; bring sunscreen, bug repellent and plenty of water. PFD's (life vests), canoes and paddles will be provided for the event--no flip-flops--participants 13 yrs and under must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-register by Friday September 9th at 5 p.m. Registration forms are available at the Smith Mountain Lake Sate Park's Visitor Center or call 540-297-6066.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Day in the Park 2011

September 10, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Miller Park, Lynchburg, VA. This annual "Family Fun Day" has been a Lynchburg tradition for more than 35 years. Held each September as a cornerstone event for Kaleidoscope-Lynchburg's annual fall festival--Day in the Park provides 10,000+ area families and children free games, rides, exhibits and educational activities in Miller Park. The event promotes family togetherness and fitness, delivers education and links hundreds of people. 

Music and Art in the Mountains

Visit the Peaks of Otter on Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11 for a "peak" at Plein Air art. Artists will set up throughout both days in Peaks of Otter area to capture the unsurpassed beauty of nature. The Plein Air school of painting originate in France and was popular in the mid-19th century, especially with Claude Monet and other impressionist artists. The style is spontaneous, with artists painting outdoors to capture the ever-changing effect of light on their subjects . Plein Air painting is currently very popular in this area. Artisst painting at the Peaks will be happy to discuss their work and answer visitor questions.

There will also be sounds of mountain dulcimers and other Appalachian Mountain instruments hanging over the Peaks, at milepost 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, on Saturday, September 10. Riddle on the Harp will play in the amphitheater from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The group of three local women will entertain not only with the Celtic music they so ably play, but also by using their songs to show the bridge between the Scots-Irish music of Europe and the traditional mountain music of Southern Appalachia.

After the concert there will be a ranger-led night hike. Those attending should wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather and carry a flashlight.

On Sunday, September 11, Dinah Ainsley, an accomplished mountain dulcimer player from Waynesboro, will teach a dulcimer workshop near Abbott Lake by the Peaks of Otter Lodge from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will learn to play some traditional song on dulcimers that will be provided or they can bring their own.

James Jones, internationally renowned instrument maker from Sedalia, VA will have a booth nearby with many of his instruments. He'll demonstrate their use and will invite visitors to try these handmade traditional instruments.

Music in the Mountains is free and ample parking is available. For more information, call the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center at 540-586-4496.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Sedalia Center Country Fair

Competition will once again play a major part in the Sedalia Center's Country Fair on Saturday, September 10. The annual Fair offers family-friendly demonstrations and activities that celebrate country living. There will be a food competition and a photography competition. There will also be a wide variety of booths and exhibits and events to keep everyone in the family happy!

For more information, check out the Sedalia Center webiste.