Drive-Thru Living Nativity Leesburg, 2011

An annual Christmas tradition in Leesburg, VA:   “Return to Bethlehem”, a  Living Nativity sponsored by Leesburg Church of the Nazarene,  is this weekend December 10 and 11.    Come see the area’s one-of-a-kind Living Nativity from the comfort of your car from 5:00 to 8:30pm both nights.     Bring hot chocolate and a little patience as the line of cars coming off Route 7 can get a little backed up as people come from all around to see this unique annual display.    The lines get longer later in the evening.   Admission is  Free but monetary donations are welcome.   Located off Route 7, just west of Leesburg at 17667 Roxbury Hall Road, Leesburg, VA 20175

Fine Art in Loudoun at The Gateway Gallery

Are you looking to shop for fine art in Loudoun?  Take a break from the big box stores and stop by the Gateway Gallery for some truly special Christmas gifts this year.  Last weekend I stumbled onto Gateway Gallery, a unique gift shop in Round Hill.   My planned stop at Hill High Orchards for a slice of heavenly coconut crème pie got delayed when I saw the sign next door for this little gem of a gift shop.   Inside there were delightful pewter bowls and wine bottle coasters, handmade wooden bowls, stunning photography, unique jewelry collections, textiles, glass.  The Gateway Gallery is home to an eclectic collection of fine art from 30+ local Loudoun County artists.  Located just off Route 7 at Hill High Orchards (directly across from Stoneleigh Golf Course), the Gateway Gallery is open Wed. through Sunday 11-6.  540-338-3001

At Hill High Orchards you can enjoy a warm slice of pie and coffee before or after shopping.  Looking for something more relaxing?  Enjoy a glass of wine at Bogati Vineyard next door.


The Lucketts Fair

An annual tradition marking the beginning of the end of summer here in Loudoun is The Lucketts Fair.   Centered around the historic Old Lucketts School, the fair features many attractions such as pony rides, a petting zoo, live entertainment, live blue grass music, great food and more.  Many quality antique and craft vendors are in attendance for your shopping & browsing pleasure.  Free rides on the Lucketts Firestation fire trucks are offered and always a lot of fun for the kids!  2011 marks the 39th year of the Fair and the old-fashioned fun keeps the crowds coming back year after year.   Funds raised support on-going improvements to the Lucketts Community Center and the surrounding community of Lucketts.   The Fair takes place Saturday and Sunday, August 20 & 21, 2011.  To get to the Fair, head north on Route 15 from Leesburg and you can’t miss it.  If you don’t get enough shopping and fun at the fair, check out the several antique stores, including the Lucketts Store, just outside the fair grounds.

End of July? Must be Loudoun County Fair Time!

Yes, Loudoun, there is a county fair!  Come out to the country for some fresh air (well, as fresh as air around a large number of livestock can be!) and enjoy the  annual Loudoun County Fair at the County Fairgrounds, July 25 through July 30, 2011. The Fair has something for everyone. Check out the packed schedule of things to see and do from a carnival midway, crafts exhibits, livestock exhibits (of course!), agricultural demonstrations, BMX shows, a professional rodeo, to the annual Kiss-a-Pig contest to name a few.   The Kiss-a-Pig contest is a well-loved Loudoun County tradition featuring people from the local business community raising funds for local charities.   Daily pass Fair ticket prices are reasonably priced at $10  for ages 13 & up, $5 for 6-12. Weekly passes also are available for $25.  Come hungry as the local 4-H clubs sponsor country-cooked dinners nightly at 5:00pm in Sykes Hall.  The Loudoun County Fairgrounds are located at 17558 Dry Mill Road, Leesburg.

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.

#73 Franklin Park Arts Center, Center Pieces Show

Franklin Park Arts Center is hosting the 2nd Annual Mid-Winter Art show and sale and there’s still time to visit the display before the show closes this weekend, Sunday, January 30.   This year’s theme “Center Pieces” features  “creative works by regional artists and fine craftspeople in a variety of media.  Encouraged to draw upon their own personal interpretation of “center pieces,” artists have produced works ranging from sculptural pieces for the table, art jewelry as the focal point of apparel, to works that explore and evoke the concept of physical or spiritual centering and features at the center of a community.” Throughout the exhibition period viewers are invited to vote for and comment on their favorite pieces.  Many items are available for sale.  Voters will be entered in a drawing to win a pair of tickets to a spring performance at the Franklin Park Arts Center.  At the close of the exhibit, Viewer’s Choice ribbons will be presented to winning artists.   Call the Center at 540-338-7973 to check for open hours.   The Center  is located within Franklin Park at 36441 Blueridge View Lane, Purcellville, VA 20132.  The Center features live performances, exhibitions and art eduction throughout the year.

#59 The Loudoun Museum

Loudoun, one of the fastest-growing counties in the U.S. in recent years, has a rich history which is being preserved for furture generations by The Loudoun Museum in downtown Leesburg.   The museum, situated in a 19th century building in Leesburg’s Historic District,  is dedicated to telling the stories of the people of the county from the 18th century, to the Civil War and beyond.   Throughout the year, visitors enjoy educational, entertaining and diverse exhibits including the Children’s Discovery Room and Colonial Garden.  The museum collection houses over 8,000 items and exhibits change regularly so visit often!

Located at 16 Loudoun St., SW, Leesburg, VA 20175.  Phone:  703-777-7427.   Hours of operation are Fridays & Saturdays 10-5pm and Sundays 1-5pm.  Admission is $3 for adults, $1 seniors and students.

#47 Christmas in Hillsboro Homes Tour

Come enjoy the holiday season this Saturday, December 11, as the historic village of Hillsboro hosts its annual Christmas in Hillsboro Homes Tour.  This year five historic homes, dating from the mid-1700’s through 1890, will be featured on the walking tour.  Ticket buyers will be treated to tours of these lovely homes beautifully decorated for the holidays.  In addition to the homes tour, Hillsboro’s annual Holiday Craft Fair, featuring 30 artisans, will be held at the Old Stone School.  Run Rabbit Run Theatre Company’s production of Once Upon a Christmas Carol will be on-stage at the Old Stone School.  Other attractions during the Homes Tour include street carolers and a performance by the men’s acapella group, Chorus of the Old Dominion.  Be prepared to do some holiday shopping as local businesses will offer specials and discounts for Homes Tour ticket holders.   Want to do the Homes Tour and catch the play?  A Special ticket package is available to see both the Homes Tour and the performance of Once Upon a Christmas Carol. All tickets may be purchased at the Old Stone School at 37098 Charles Town Pike, Hillsboro, starting at 11:00am on December 11.  Homes Tour tickets are $15.  Package tickets are $25 with some discounts for seniors and children under 12.

#39 Round Hill Arts Center & Gateway Gallery

The Round Hill Arts Center (RHAC) promotes the arts and provides educational programming for the community of western Loudoun.  Both amateurs and professionals benefit from a wide range of activities at RHAC.  Classes are offered for both children and adults, in subjects such as pottery, printmaking, and folksong.  Events include Literary Jams, where writers of all ages are invited to share their work every first and third Sunday afternoons.  The Round Hill Arts Center recently relocated to the Hill High Orchard Center, where neighbors include the Hill High Country Store, Bogati Bodega, and the Gateway Gallery & Gift Shop, an artist cooperative market place.  Close to thirty local artists show and sell their art and fine craft at the gallery. Special events and shows are held every 3rd Friday of the month, from 6 – 9 pm, including Ladies Night on Nov. 19, 2010, and a Meet the Artists reception on Dec. 17, 2010.

Both the Round Hill Arts Center (RHAC) and the Gateway Gallery are located at 35246 Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7), Round Hill, VA 20142.  For more information about the RHAC, call 540-338-5022 or see their website at  For the Gateway Gallery, call 540-338-3001 or go to