Top 5 Local 2018 Summer Festivals

Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, and the surrounding areas are rich in culture and heritage. Now that it’s summer, that means our culture and heritage takes center stage in local events and festivals. There’s plenty to do in this neck of the woods, but here are our top 5 local festivals and events to check out this summer.

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5. Sunny Slope Farm is your oyster
If you’ve never been to Sunny Slope Farm, it’s definitely a treat. Sunny Slope Farm serves as a elegant venue for weddings, reunions, and on August 5th, the Wine and Oyster Festival. You’ll get to enjoy wine and oysters while marveling at the beautiful view of Harrisonburg that Sunny Slope has to offer. There will also be artisan booths and live music to enjoy as well, so get your tickets now on the Sunny Slope Farm website at https://onsunnyslopefarm.com/.

4. This could be your jam
Dogs are man’s best friend, so who wouldn’t enjoy a festival where all the proceeds go to finding them all a home? If you’re interested, then mark your calendars for July 3rd when the local SPCA throws its Summer Jam at Massanutten Resort. There will be live music, food vendors, a fireworks display, and even a beer and wine garden. With the inclusion of a kid’s corner, the event is great for any family. If you don’t have Fourth of July plans, consider checking out the SPCA Summer Jam at https://www.rhspca.org/events.html.

3. All the musics
If you’re a music lover, then the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival is the festival for you. The festival has concerts every weekend starting July 20th and lasting until September 2nd. Music ranges anywhere from orchestral pieces, to hip hop, to bluegrass, so there’s something for everyone to listen to. Situated at an outdoor venue in Orkney Springs, it’s only about a 45-minute drive from Harrisonburg. Peek at their scheduled concerts on their website, http://musicfest.org/.

2. Cool people, cool cultures
This festival might not exactly fit on the summer list since it takes place on the last Saturday of September, but this event is too good not to include. The International Festival has been attracting more people each year to celebrate the many diverse cultures present here in Harrisonburg. This year, the International festival is growing from its usual venue at Hillendale Park to downtown Harrisonburg now expecting thousands of people. There will be food, art, and vendors, but unlike the other festivals on this list, this one is entirely free. Learn more at http://harrisonburg-international-festival.org/festival-info/.

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1. To be fair…
Nothing feels quite as American or even nostalgic as the county fair. It’s a huge part of American culture, and here, locals can enjoy the Rockingham County Fair from August 13th-18th. There will be classic carnival games as well as carnival rides throughout the whole week. There’s plenty to get into with live music, tractor pulls, and even a performance from Larry the Cable Guy on the 15th. Check out their website, https://www.rockinghamcountyfair.com/.

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So that concludes our top 5 local festivals this summer. Despite these 5 chosen festivals, there’s still so much more going on if even these don’t tickle your fancy. Otherwise, start getting tickets for these 5 festivals as many of them have early-bird specials to take advantage of. With the wide variety of events in the area, there’s no reason not to get involved and enjoy the summer with those in your community. Whether that includes wine tasting, live concerts, or carnival rides, make this summer enjoyable for you and the whole family.

The Unsuspecting Lunch Spot

I was driving back to Harrisonburg from the area near Union Springs (Dayton, VA) after meeting an inspector at one of the homes I have for sale. It was noon, and my tummy was telling me that it was time to find lunch. As I drove into the Town of Dayton on Ottobine Road, I noticed an “Open” sign flapping in the wind. I flipped my head around just in time as I passed a sign that read “BBQ.” Perfect.

The newly opened (September 2017) Sunrise Bakery & Deli was open, and as I pulled into the parking lot I noticed that there was smoke barreling out of the smoker near the front door. Not really knowing what to expect, I decided this is exactly what I wanted for lunch!

As I walked toward the front of the bakery, the smell of cinnamon rolls wafted through the fall air… I can’t recall, but I am pretty sure that I floated right through the front door; cartoon-style..followyournose_5733

The interior is set up like a small grocery with bulk items & candy, potato chips, fresh baked goods, and a deli in the back. I asked a fella standing there what was good to order, and he replied, “Everything!” I settled for a brisket sandwich on homemade bun (yes, I said HOMEMADE BUN!) Yum! I even bought a loaf of wheat bread to take home… which may have been my second best decision that day!

While paying for my loot, and talking with one of the owners, he informed me that they have ribs on Fridays and that the next time I stop by I have to try the “Fat & Sassy” Chicken. Duly noted. He also mentioned that the bakery is in the basement, which explains the tantalizing aroma that welcomed me as I approached!

I went back to the office, where I was excited to announce to my colleagues my newest lunch discovery, only to find out that they already knew about this little jewel.

So, if you are in the Dayton area you really need to stop by the Sunrise Bakery & Deli. They open at 8

 

 

La Morena: Authentic Mexican Food

Is your idea of “Mexican” food going to Taco Bell? Then this post is not for you… or maybe it is! Let’s take a little trip together. I hope your taste-buds are ready!

Those of you who know me, know that I LOVE finding small, out-of-the-way little places to eat. I’d love to follow around Guy Fieri for a day, just to find the best little dives! The takeaway is to never judge a book by it’s cover. The best places to nosh are usually very unsuspecting!

 

Enter, La Morena! Half convenience store, half restaurant. It is located at 751 Chicago Avenue in Harrisonburg, VA (next to Red Front Super Market – my favorite, locally-owned, small-town grocer!!)

The parking lot is always full. Always. To me that’s a great sign of something good going on! Inside, it’s a little chaotic, but I feel that is part of the experience. You order & pay for your eats at the counter, and the friendly staff will bring it to your table when it’s ready. I highly suggest trying their aguas frescas. Super refreshing. There are always about 4 or 5 different flavors to choose from, and you can mix & match for a custom drink! Yum!

They offer sopes, tortas, tacos, pupusas, gorditos, burritos – the usual suspects. All with your choice of meat or cheese filling. Looking around, I had food FOMO of all the yummy looking plates at the tables around me. They have their full menu available to look at on Facebook @751lamorena. I know that I will be back to try a different selection again soon!

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What is your favorite unsuspecting place to eat?