The sleepy Blue Ridge village of Bluemont in western-most Loudoun County, Virginia, is bustling with activity as it prepares for the 46th ANNUAL BLUEMONT FAIR, September 19 & 20, 2015 from 10AM to 5PM both days, rain or shine. Admission is still only $5/adults, under 10 free, with free parking available. One-way traffic and crosswalks will be enforced in the village to ensure pedestrian safety. As always, the beautifully renovated Schoolhouse, grounds, and the entire village, will be alive with music, crafts, activities, and food.
Bluemont’s distinctive logo reflecting this year’s theme: “Farm Tools and Musical Instruments” was created by former Bluemonter, Jen Brady. Her winning design is created in a charming child-like style and graces the poster, T-shirt, and other fair memorabilia.
Always mindful of the natural beauty of the area and the need to provide good stewardship, Bluemont continues a “Green” approach to the Fair. Whenever possible recycled materials are used and easily identifiable receptacles encourage recycling of bottles and cans. Re-usable shopping bags with an abbreviated rendering of 2011’s popular Birds of Bluemont logo will be available for sale at a nominal price at various sites throughout the fair to encourage fairgoers to reduce use of plastic bags.
Fair weekend begins with the 37th Bluemont Road Race, beginning at 8AM. Terrain on the course is rolling at times, with a total ascent of 222 feet over mostly gravel and paved roads, beginning and ending at Great County Farms. Registration is $25 until Midnight, 8/30/15, $30 until midnight 9/13/15 and $35 on race day (exact change or check, please!) The awards ceremony will immediately follow and each participant will receive a Bluemont Race t-shirt with this year’s distinctive logo. More information and application can be found at www.bluemontfair.org
The 24rd Annual Pickle-Making/Pie-Baking Contest will take place on Saturday, September 19 at the E.E. Lake Store. Entries, labeled with the creator’s name and “contestant’s” title out of sight, should be delivered to the E.E. Lake Store by 11AM. Judging will take place at noon with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards for two categories of pie (fruit/other) and pickles (cucumber/other). First place winners in each category will receive a commemorative pickle or pie plate. All winners will receive ribbons and bragging rights. Afterwards slices of the pie “contestants” will be available for purchase at a nominal fee. More information can be found at www.bluemontfair.org Step next door into E.E. Lake Store for some delicious fresh baked goods and canned delights.
The Wine Tasting Venue and the Beer Garden, combined last year, was such a success we’re doing it again!! Enjoy your favorite libation in a relaxed setting with music, gourmet treats, and stunning views of the Blue Ridge. Entrance to the Wine and Beer Garden is free with admission to the fair, however you must be 21 to purchase alcoholic beverages. Souvenir beer and wine glasses will be sold for $5, with $1 for tastings and $5 for filled glasses. This is a great venue in which to relax mid-day or before heading home—by means of a designated driver, of course! You will also be able to purchase sealed products for home consumption.
The Snickersville Academy, a log cabin built in 1825 which was the first schoolhouse and house of worship in the village, will once again be open for free tours both days. The Hatcher family generously gave it to Friends of Bluemont in 2010 and the group has completely restored it.
Both days of the fair feature food, crafts, music and lots of activities for all ages throughout the historic village. On the Old Schoolhouse grounds will be scores of juried crafters displaying their wares. Many crafters offer demonstrations, including paper-maker, Joe Cunningham, as well as wood carvers, basket weavers, potters, word turners, quilters, and broom makers. Additionally, Ron Light of Lighthouse Woodworking has a new line featuring a re-creation of the first poster Bluemont Fair design depicting our beloved village up to the gap. The design will be available on trivets, hanging wall plaques and benches. The wide array of crafts and original art available for purchase include photography, hand-made brooms, baskets, spinning and weaving, birdhouses, wood carving, ceramics and pottery, jewelry, dolls, fiber arts, soaps and lotions, and much more. Artisans present include 2014-1st Place Juried Crafts winner, Pappy’s Wooden Dreams: “Handcrafted Toys for Big Imaginations”.
Plentiful food vendors will offer a variety of foods and treats, from down-home to international. This year the Bluemont Fair is pleased to host three new local food vendors including Cajun cooking from the Jambalaya Brothers, The Sprouted Spoon offering paleo-friendly options, and Tailgater Toby serving gourmet hot dogs and BBQ, along with our returning vendors that serve everything from apple dumplings to tzatziki. Antiques and other collectible treasures will be displayed by a variety of vendors at the Antique Flea Market. Be sure to stop by and see the alpacas, llamas, and sheep and consider purchasing articles made from their prized wool. Members of the local weavers guild will also be present to demonstrate their craft and provide hands-on opportunities. Ever-popular Organ Grinder,
Terry Bender and his mechanical friends, will perform musical selections on his large German street organ. Local bee-keepers will once again bring their working honey-bee colony – a fair favorite – with many varieties of honey and bee-related items for sale.
Bluemont’s railroad history is celebrated with an extensive model railroad display in the Shed behind the Community Center. The models come complete with replicas of Bluemont’s historic buildings. A special hands-on set will also be available for “engineers” of all ages to operate. Be sure to stop by and tour the genuine red Caboose ensconced on actual tracks behind the old schoolhouse. Once again the renovated Mill at the end of Railroad St., near the site of the long-gone Bluemont Train Station, will be open and offer an exhibit of railroad memorabilia. Also in attendance will be Rosemary, of Hair Cuts by Rosemary, to provide new coiffures to fairgoers.
At the E.E. Lake Store home-made jams, jellies and baked goods are available for purchase, along with Bluemont memorabilia. Be sure to also visit the Art Show and Sale and Children’s Art Exhibit in the Community Center. All young artists are invited to submit works for display at the Children’s Art Exhibit: more information at www.bluemontfair.org
Music and entertainment this year include new events: a square dance, Chorus of the Old Dominion serenading folks walking through the fair, and youth performers. We’ve got country, folk, blues, jazz, bluegrass, gospel, singer-songwriters, and rock n’ roll, plus two dance troupes on three stages (see schedule at end of release). Archeologist Dave Clark will also be on hand to share his display of found-objects and bones which evoke the area’s rich past.
The Bluemont General Store at the northern end of the village is a 150+ year old country store that was established prior to the Civil War and has operated almost continually thereafter, will offer the modern convenience of an ATM machine, in addition to food (including hormone-free milk in glass bottles, fresh eggs from the store-owned farm, local grass-fed organic beef, ice-cream, and sandwiches), souvenirs, and more music.
One of the most charming aspects of the weekend is the extraordinary Children’s Fair, Bluemont’s gift to its youngest visitors. Face painting, clowns, farm animals and lots of hands-on activities are offered for kids of all ages, most free of charge. Pony rides are available nearby for a small additional fee, as is the popular Rock-Climbing Wall, and pedal cars for very young drivers.
The 150+ year old Old Stone Church across from the Old Schoolhouse will house two very popular events. In the Sanctuary, an extensive Quilt exhibit, provided by the Waterford Quilters Guild, features antique quilts made in the 1880’s to new quilts made this year. Come see the contrast and harmony between the two in the beautiful church setting of wooden pews and stained glass windows. Meanwhile downstairs in the church basement the traditional slide shows of Bluemont’s past: “When the Trains Came to Bluemont” and “Bluemont: 1864” will be presented at 12:30, 1 and 1:30pm both days. The first show describes Bluemont’s heyday during the early 1900s when it was the last stop on the W&OD Railroad, now known mostly as the name of the bike trail which sits on its track bed. The second show describes an actual Civil War skirmish that occurred right in the center of the village!
The Bluemont Fair is sponsored by the Bluemont Citizens Association. Proceeds go toward paying for the village’s street lights, providing scholarships for local students, improvements to the village’s historic buildings such as the E.E. Lake Store and the Snickersville Academy, and community beautification. In addition, the BCA donates to local service organizations and provides display opportunities at the fair for local non-profit organizations, including The Friends of Bluemont, Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors, and the Snickersville Turnpike Association.
Absolutely No Pets (except service animals) admitted.
Bluemont is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge on Snickersville Turnpike (Rt. 734) about one hour west of the District of Columbia, 17 miles west of Leesburg and east of Winchester via Route 7. For more information, call: 540-554-2376 (voice mail), write: Bluemont Fair, P.O.Box 217, Bluemont, VA 20135, or visit www.bluemontfair.org
MUSIC SCHEDULE 2015
11 am– SpaceCanoe
12 noon– Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers
1 pm– Justin Trawick and the Common Good
2 pm– Esther Haynes
3 pm– Celtic School of Dance
11 am– Spiritual Harmonizers
12 noon –- the plate scrapers
1 PM–– Jake and the Burtones
2 PM–– Atoka Chase
3 PM–- I-IV-Vs
11 AM–– Julia Kasdorf
12 noon–– Beako
1 pm– Sometimes Sisters
2 pm–Square dance workshop
Featuring the Plank Stompers
3 pm–Square dance workshop
Featuring the Plank Stompers
11 am– Mink’s Miracle Medicine
12 noon– Celtic Union
1 pm– Caitlin Schneiderman
2 pm– Annie Stokes
3 pm– Billy and Bob
10 am– The Immortals
12 noon– TBA
1 pm– KIDS GAMES
2 pm– Bach to Rock Lansdowne
10 am– students of Julia Kasdorf
12 noon– Oaktones Youth Band
1 pm– KIDS GAMES
2 pm– Shamrock Music Showcase