Western Loudoun Artist Studio Tour (WLAST)

Western Loudoun Artists' Studion TourWestern Loudoun is known for its charming villages, agriculture and wineries but did you know Loudoun is home to many world-class artists?  This weekend, the artists of Western Loudoun open their studios for the 6th annual Western Loudoun Artist Studio Tour.  The tour is free and open to the public, and all studios are open 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday.  With dozens of stops along the tour, you’ll visit the studios of more than 50 fiber artists, sculptors, wood-workers, painters, photographers and artists who produce fine jewelry and ceramics.  The artists will be on-hand demonstrating and exhibiting  their craft.  This is a great opportunity to talk with the artists and purchase artwork.  And, check out the tour’s passport program….you could win one of the many door prizes donated by the artists!  Why not spend the weekend touring western Loudoun? Discover some wonderful art, shop, dine, sample wine and relax.

Leesburg Classic Car Show, June

Saturday, June 4, 2011, is the 25th annual Leesburg Classic Car Show.  What better place to showcase antique automobiles than Leesburg’s Historic (and Antique) District?  Like many of Leesburg’s fairs & festivals, the crossroads of Market Street and King Street, along with several blocks in either direction will be closed down to anything but pedestrian traffic from 4:30pm-9:30pm.  Along with 200 vintage automobiles and hot rods (1984 and older) on display, there will be music and food vendors too.  Speaking from experience, this is a really cool event – it’s a highly interesting historical display for car enthusiasts and people of all ages.  There’s no set admission fee but  a voluntary donation is expected as the proceeds benefit the C.S. Monroe Technology Center’s Auto Collision Repair Course.  Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Rods and Classic Car Club.  Rain date is Sunday, June 5.

Happy Easter, Loudoun!

It’s a great sunny, warm day here in Loudoun.  Perfect weather for celebrating the holiday with family and friends.  Easter brings thoughts of eggs and this picture reminds me of a all the spring chicks who’ll soon grow to chickens laying eggs for Loudoun residents.  If you’ve never tried farm-fresh eggs from a local farmer or poultry hobbyist, the taste is definitely worth it.  There are many people who keep poultry throughout the county and once you start asking around you’ll be surprised how easy it is to find someone from whom you can buy farm fresh eggs.  Or better yet, start your search at www.BuyLocalVirginia.org.

Whatever your plans today, have a wonderful Easter and get ready for all the local outdoor activities the warm weather will bring.

#85 Happy Mardi Gras!

My how time flies!  Mardi Gras is upon us and tomorrow begins the 40 days of Lent before the Easter season.  Regardless of your religious views, embrace the tradition and enjoy some pancakes tonight at one of the local churches or even IHop in Leesburg or Sterling!  Or perhaps you’ve got a taste for some cajun?  The Cajun Experience in Leesburg and Purcellville serves up cuisine from southern Louisiana including but not limited to the ever popular po’ boy, yummy gumbo, fresh beignets and Abita beer.

Wondering what the fuss is all about?  Check out this wiki article that tells everything you ever wanted to know about the interesting and colorful festival that is Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday!

#83 Lucketts Bluegrass

Live music every weekend in Loudoun?  You betcha’!  Since 1974, the historic Lucketts Schoolhouse has been home to the Lucketts Bluegrass Concert Series, “one of the longest running, continuously scheduled bluegrass series in the world.”  Lucketts Bluegrass draws audiences from throughout the DC area to see nationally recognized artists and up & coming local musicians.   The concert series runs every Saturday night October through April, with a few weeks off during the winter holidays.   This is a wonderful opportunity to see world-class bluegrass musicians at  a modest price.  Prices are kept low thanks to generous benefactors and dedicated volunteers who run the Lucketts Bluegrass Foundation.  General admission tickets are available at the door for $15 each.  Doors open at 6pm, and the concert begins at 7pm.  Check the schedule for upcoming performances.  Come hungry as there’s a snack bar serving up hot dogs, BBQ and sodas.  As of early 2011, the historic Lucketts School house is undergoing renovations, so for the time being the weekly concerts are being held at Lucketts Elementary School right next door at 14550 James Monroe Highway (Rt. 15) , just a few miles north of Leesburg on Rt. 15.  

Here’s a sample of what you might find at Lucketts any given Saturday night:


Home in Loudoun

Loudoun Grown Expo, Purcellville

Unusually balmy weather this week got you thinking about Spring?  Scratch that Spring Fever itch and come on out to Purcellville’s historic Bush Tabernacle (aka the rolling skating rink) this Saturday, February 19, 2011 for the first Loudoun Grown Expo.  Sponsored by the Town of Purcellville, the Expo will showcase local farms, wineries, CSAs (community supported agriculture) and other agricultural businesses who grow and produce right here in Loudoun.   One of our favorites, Catoctin Creek Distillery, will be exhibiting their Loudoun-produced spirits and many local wineries will also be present.   Adding to the fun, Shamrock Music of Purcellville will sponsor live music at the event.  Open from 2:00pm to 6:00pm and FREE to the public, 28 exhibits will be on display.  Check out the Expo Map for a full list of exhibitors.  Bush Tabernacle is located at 20 S. Nursery Avenue in Purcellville, approximately 10 miles west of Leesburg.


Home in Loudoun

#81 Happy Valentine’s Day, Loudoun!

Some of the imagery in this classic love poem reminds me of western Loudoun County though it tends to be more “horse country” around here and there aren’t too many sheep!   Nonetheless, those of us who call Loudoun home, treasure the bucolic rolling countryside and rural areas that are home to farms, pastures and, of course, wineries!   Have a happy Valentines Day and make plans to get out and view all that Loudoun has to offer.

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
by Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of th purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherds’ swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

Enjoy my view of Loudoun,

Home in Loudoun

#80 Loudoun Hounds Fan Fest, Ashburn

Are you ready for some baseball? The Loudoun County blog-o-sphere has been lighting up for weeks with talk of the upcoming Loudoun Hounds Inaugural Fan Fest Sunday, February 13, 2011, at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn.  Anyone who’s been around the area for awhile, knows what a big deal this is!   Many fans of baseball have worked long and hard to bring professional baseball to Northern Virginia.   In 2012, that dream will become reality as the Loudoun Hounds minor league baseball franchise officially opens here in Loudoun County!   The Loudoun Hounds ball park, unofficially dubbed “the Dog Yard”, is being built and will open for the first pitch in 2012.   It will be conveniently located near Dulles Town Center and the Rt. 7 and Rt. 28 interchange in eastern Loudoun.  Check out and follow all the Hounds progress, and all the wonderful things planned for the new stadium, at their website.

Become a “Top Dog” by pre-registering for Fan Fest on the website’s Top Dog page.  You’ll avoid standing in line the day of the Fest and be among the first fans to receive information about tickets, etc.  Free shuttle bus for Top Dogs will be running from Belmont Station Elementary School in Ashburn.  Shuttle buses will also be running from the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) business offices in Ashburn. Fan Fest will run from 12:00 to 6:00pm at 43100 Hay Road, Ashburn, VA 20147. Now, lets’ play ball!


Home In Loudoun

#77 Celebrate Chinese New Year at Jasmine, Leesburg

Welcome to the year of the Rabbit!   Looking for great local Chinese cuisine to celebrate Chinese New Year?  Look no further than Jasmine Chinese Cuisine & Sushi in downtown Leesburg.  Not only does Jasmine feature a full menu of traditional Chinese entrees and chef’s specials but they also have an impressive sushi and sashimi bar.  Enjoy carry-out or eat-in in the cozy yet spacious dining room with exposed wooden beams.    A large window looks into the kitchen and if you prefer, you can watch the chefs in action as they prepare your food.   Jasmine keeps a good list of wines to enjoy along with your meal and the staff are always friendly.   Jasmine is located on the ground level of the Tuscarora Mill complex at the just off  Loudoun Street at 110 South Street, Leesburg, VA 20175.   Gung Hay Fat Choy!  (“Best wishes and Congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year!”

110 South Street

Leesburg, VA 20175

#66 Hunt Country Winter Antiques Fair, Middleburg

Seeking unique furnishings for your home but want to shop locally and “go green”?   Antiques shoppping is the way to go.  Loudoun is home to numerous antique shops but this weekend, there’s the opportunity for one-stop antiquing in Middleburg.    The 19th annual Hunt Country Winter Antiques & Decorative Arts Fair takes place Saturday, January 22 10-5pm, and Sunday, January 23, 11-4pm at the Hill School 130 South Madison St. Middleburg, VA 20118.   50+ dealers will be on-hand with guaranteed authentic antiques and other merchandise.   Sponsored by Dordy Fontinel Show Management,  admission to the show is $10 at the door.   Check http://www.dfshows.com/ to print the flyer for $1 off admission fee.   Stayed tuned for the Spring Antiques Heyday Market, with 80 dealers, coming April 30-May 1 to the Loudoun County Fairgrounds in Leesburg.