New Years Eve Loudoun: Ringing In Hope

For family-friendly fun on New Years Eve in Loudoun, check out the Ringing in Hope 10K and 5K race or 1K walk along a certified, level, scenic course in Loudoun’s Brambleton!   Ringing in Hope has become an annual New Year’s Eve tradition in Loudoun.   Along with the race and walk, loads of family fun activities are planned including pony rides, moon bounces, train rides and more!

Check the Ringing in Hope site for full details and race registration.   Showers and changing facilities are available for race participants so why not stay to enjoy the shopping, dining and take in a movie at Brambleton’s Town Center too?    Brambleton Town Center is located at 42395 Ryan Road, Brambleton (Ashburn), VA 20148

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

#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

#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

#71 Taste of Greece in Ashburn

Need a  remedy for cabin fever?  The party’s on this weekend at the 3rd Annual Taste of Greece in Ashburn!   Sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Parish of Loudoun,  here’s an opportunity to enjoy authentic Greek cuisine right here in Loudoun County.    Some of the items served will include Gyros, Souvlaki, Pastitisio, Spanakopita, Moussaka, Greek salad, Baklava, and Greek coffee.  Kids meal are available too.  Click here for a complete menu.  Come for dinner, lunch or take-out  Friday, January 29 4-9pm, Saturday Jan. 29, 11-9pm and Sunday, Jan. 30 11-7pm.  No snow is stopping this event!  Food will be served, snow or shine!   Free admission and free parking on-site at Ashburn Volunteer Fire Department, Founder’s Hall, 20688 Ashburn Road, Ashburn, VA 20147   Cash, check, VISA, MasterCard and Discover accepted.

#69 Sledding at Ida Lee Park, Leesburg

Is a snow day on the way?   Another spot for good sledding can be found at Leesburg’s Ida Lee Park.   When most locals think of Ida Lee Park, they imagine the exapansive rec center, indoor pools, indoor and outdoor tennis courts and sports fields.   All well and good but Ida Lee Park is also home to acres of wide-open gently rolling hills that provide perfect spots for sledding on snowy days.   The best way to access the sledding hills on this preserved former-farm land is to head to the backside of the park via Old Waterford Road.   From King St. in Leesburg, head west on North Street to Old Waterford Road.   Pass the Rust Library on the right and continue to the gravel parking lot on the right.  A short walk up the path, or the hill takes you to perfect sledding spot.

As one might imagine, this area is not only good in winter but all during the year.  Paved walking paths meander through the unspoiled acreage of Ida Lee Park and the land is maintained by the park as wide-open space so it is a perfect spot for kite flying come the windy days of March and April.

#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 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.

#63 Ashburn Ice House

In the heart of Ashburn off Waxpool/Farmwell Road sits the area’s premier year-round ice rink:  Ashburn Ice House.  With two separate full-size rinks and a full-service pro shop under one roof, there’s a lot happening here:  learn-to-skate lessons,  hockey programs (learn-to-play and league play for both kids and adults), figure skating and synchronized team skating.  Of course for the casual skater, there are daily public skate sessions, including a Friday night Fun Skate from 7:40-9:10pm, and skates available to rent.  There’s an on-site restaurant, Pomodoro Express, serving pizza and more for before or after skating dining & snacking.  Hosting a special celebration?  The Ice House hosts birthday parties, with the top package including a whole-rink rental for your party.  Summer camps and special-skills clinics are also regularly on the schedule at the Ice House.  For serious competitors, world-class skating instructors are on-staff teaching figure skating at competition levels, in fact many competitive figure skaters train at the Ice House daily.  The Ice House is also home to the Ashburn Ice Angels synchronized skating team.

Located at 21595 Smiths Switch Road, Ashburn, VA 20147     Phone: 703-858-0300