Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival

Spring is in the air!   2012 marks the 22nd annual Flower & Garden Festival in Leesburg’s Historic District.   Coinciding with Historic Garden Week in Virginia, the Flower and Garden Festival is the Leesburg event to see.   With two full days of festivities centered around the intersection of Market and King Streets in Leesburg’s Historic District, there’s something for everyone.  The streets are blocked allowing pedestrian traffic only and are lined with vendors selling plants, flowers, home & garden decor, gifts, food and drink, and many other fun items. Local landscape companies attend the festival, setting landscaping projects right in the heart of the Festival that showcase the their artistic and technical skills. Live music from the stage on the Courthouse lawn entertains the crowds. Cornwall Street, with its historic homes, gardens and mature landscapes will also be included in the Festival this year. Also included in the Festival is the Wine Garden on the Town Green showcasing Loudoun’s wineries and breweries. Saturday, April 21, 10-6pm and Sunday, April 22, 10-5pm.  Rain or shine.

Keep Loudoun Beautiful

“Loudoun’s Beauty is Everyone’s Duty”  is the mantra of Keep Loudoun Beautiful, an all-volunteer organization who’s mission is to maintain the natural beauty and visual quality of Loudoun County.   KLB also encourages and educates citizens to keep Loudoun beautiful, promotes public awareness of environmental challenges, and aims to improve county trash disposal and to eliminate illegal dumping.

With business and individual sponsors from the local community, KLB hosts clean-up events throughout Loudoun including watershed clean-up of waterways.  Spring is the busiest season as individual communities, with the help of KLB, organize clean-up events.  Upcoming events, and information on becoming a KLB member or joining in a clean-up event can be found on the KLB website.   Going strong since 1972, 2012 marks the 40th year of Keeping Loudoun Beautiful!

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

Leesburg’s 9th Annual “Freeze Your Gizzard” 5K

Come out this Saturday for the 9th Annual Freeze Your Gizzard 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run in Leesburg, VA.   Hosted by the Loudoun County Department of Parks and Recreation and benefiting Loudoun Interfaith Relief, the race provides a fun and challenging tour through the country side of Ida Lee Park, located just north of Leesburg’s Historic District on Rt. 15. Participants are asked to bring 2 cans of food the day of the race.  Last year over 2,000 lbs. of food gathered at the race was donated to Loudoun Interfaith Relief. Pre-registration is open until Wednesday, November 16, $20 for the 5K run and $10 for the 1 mile fun run at PR Events.  Registration the day of the race is $25 for the 5K and $15 for the fun run.  Thanksgiving-themed prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and third place male and female finishers of the 5K for each age category.  The race will begin at the Gazebo at Ida Lee park at 9:00a.m. Follows signs for parking the morning of the race. Sorry, no strollers, wagons, or dogs allowed on the course. But you might win a Thanksgiving turkey!

55th Annual Halloween Parade, Leesburg 2011

If you’re in Leesburg on Halloween night, you’re at the Halloween Parade! Join the longest running Halloween parade east of the Mississippi as thousands of residents and visitors line the sidewalks through Leesburg’s Historic District.  The parade begins at 6 p.m. and follows the traditional parade route down King Street from Ida Lee Park to Fairfax Street.

Sonsored by the Leesburg Kiwanis, 2011 marks the parade’s 55th year.  Children come dressed in their Halloween costumes and enjoy early trick-or-treats as many of the floats, firetrucks, marching bands and other parade participants hand out candy along the way. The Kiwanis collects non-perishable food items for Loudoun Interfaith Relief at numerous collection spots along the parade route. Insider tip: many town residents line up at the beginning/north end of the parade route so as to get home quickly after the parade to begin trick-or-treating.   As always, the Leesburg Police Department reminds everyone to follow Halloween Safety Tips.  Enjoy & have a Happy Halloween!

Haunted Forest at Halloween Woods, Sterling, VA

Looking for something scary to celebrate Halloween in Northern Virginia?  For a good seasonal fright, try the Haunted Forest at Halloween Woods in Sterling’s Algonkian Regional Park.  “Haunted houses are for sissies”, so says their wesbsite.  Stroll through the unlit wooded paths of Algonkian Park and beware of the ghouls, frightening sights, and (according to local legend) ghosts awaiting you.  This is an event best visited by older kids and teens.  Some of the displays will be too scary for young children.  The Halloween Woods is open weekends Friday, Saturday & Sunday then Halloween weekend Friday through Monday, October 31.  Enjoy a good scare from 7:00pm to 10:00pm.  The cost is $15 per person.  Algonkian Regional Park, located at 47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling, VA 20165, is part of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.

Temple Hall Corn Maize, Leesburg

Corn Maize 2011Looking for a fun corn maze in Northern Virginia?  Check out Temple Hall Farm’s  Annual Corn Maize & Fall Festival, one of Loudoun County’s favorite Fall events.  Each year, Temple Hall Farm creates a giant cornfield MAIZE with a different theme.  The 2011 maize design commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Balls Bluff.    Come “get lost” in the Maize and follow the clues to find your way out.  Visitors can  also visit the pick-your-own-pumpkin patch, shoot the corn cannons or pumpkin blasters, ride on the cow train, bounce on the Billy Goat Bounce Jumping Pillows, watch the pig races, shoot paint pellets or take a hay ride.  The 2011 Festival runs Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays September 24 through November 8.  Discount coupons can be found on the Maize website.

Battle of Ball’s Bluff, 150th Anniversary

Northern Virginia has a rich history dating back to colonial times and, as such, that history includes the Civil War.  During the Civil War, many battles and skirmishes were fought in Virginia, including Loudoun County.  The most imfamous battle fought in Loudoun was the Battle of Ball’s Bluff on October 21, 1861.  Also known as the Battle of Harrison’s Island or the Battle of Leesburg, it was the second largest battle of the Eastern Theater of the war in 1861.  Taking place on the bluffs overlooking the Potomac River, the battle could be heard from the Town of Leesburg.

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, several days of events are planned around Leesburg beginning Thursday, October 20.  Events will include panel discussions and historic exhibits, reenactments at Morven Park and tours of the battlefield at Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park in Leesburg.  Tickets are required for these events and all details can be found at the www.150thballsbluff.com website.

Through the month of October, Morven Park is sponsoring a Museum Exhibit: Remembering Ball’s Bluff.  This is a special exhibit commemorating the Battle of Ball’s Bluff and examining the Civil War on the Leesburg home front.  Over ten collectors have loaned artifacts, including letters, clothing, guns and more.

NOTE:  Thanks to careful preservation, Ball’s Bluff Battlefield is preserved as a regional park and efforts have been underway for the past 8 years to restore the battlefield to its appearance of 1861.  Surrounding Ball’s Bluff is the community of Potomac Crossing consisting of moderately priced single family homes on less than .5 acre each as well as both modest and upscale townhomes.  The elementary school in the community is aptly named Ball’s Bluff Elementary.

Friday Night Lights…in Loudoun

The 2011-2012 school year is now underway, and with a new school year comes a new Fall football season!   Loudoun County Public Schools currently boasts 12 high schools all with varsity football programs.  Any given Friday Fall night, you can catch a game, usually accompanied by a marching band half-time performance.  Long established varsity football and marching band programs can be found at Loudoun’s three oldest high schools:   Loudoun County HS in Leesburg, Park View HS in Sterling, and Loudoun Valley HS in Purcellville.   However, the newest schools, Woodgrove HS in Purcellville, and Tuscarora HS in Leesburg, are not to be discounted with their growing teams that now feature senior players, spanking new bleacher facilities and state-of-the-art astro turf fields.  Find available games for all schools by checking the schedules here.  Varsity games start at 7:00pm with tickets priced around $5.00.  Older schools, new schools and everywhere in between —  come out and relive your glory days under the Friday night lights of Loudoun!

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.