The Town of Luray’s annual Festival of Spring is upon us and the locals are excited to see this year’s changes. Celebrating the 14th year, the festival has changed a little, not just footprint (which I’ll touch on briefly for all of you who have been here before), but this year it’s also moved forward a weekend. Still, the reason for its creation has remained the same. The festival looks to celebrate the Town of Luray, its local partners, artisans and crafters, and community as a whole while welcoming in the spring season.
Held for the first year right before Mother’s Day weekend, the location of the festival has moved slightly from the main downtown stoplight (at the intersection of Main Street & Broad Street) along the first blocks of East and West Main Streets, with kids’ activities on the Ruffner Plaza of the Hawksbill Greenway. This year’s footprint will go from the main stoplight up along East Main Street to the railroad tracks and back to Inn Lawn Park and the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center. This year, the children’s activities will be located outside of the Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center with additional activities at the Page Public Library. And, nearby, Inn Lawn Park will have a Dog Frisbee Competition from Noon-4:00 PM. The Food Court will remain in its normal location just past Gathering Grounds and between Trackside Theater and Uncle Buck’s along Main Street and the restaurants along Main Street will be open as always to welcome anyone looking to take cover from the anticipated 68° temps.
As you wander through the vendors lining the street, make sure you take time to wander in and out of the businesses that call our downtown district home. If you find yourself looking to break away from the crowds, I encourage you to make your way along the West Main Street sidewalks to window shop and peruse the shops, boutiques, and restaurants along that strip.
Those looking to enjoy the festival by imbibing in alcoholic beverages can partake in the Performing Arts Luray’s annual Beer Garden with live music from local favorite Cazhmiere from Noon-3:30 PM and The Reflex from 4:00-7:00 PM. The plaza at PAL provides a wonderful location to people watch and enjoy the festival away from the mingling crowd. Or, take a break on the plaza to give your feet a break from all the walking with something cold to quench your thirst.
Looking to sample the local craft beer scene, check out the Town of Luray’s only craft brewery, Hawksbill Brewing Company on Zerkel Street. The brewery is preparing to celebrate their 1-Year Anniversary of business in Page County and has made quite an impact on locals and visitors alike. Utilizing local ingredients where possible, the owners grow part of their own hops and use fresh fruits from local farms for some of their specialty beers.
If you’re bringing the kids, make sure you arrive at the festival by 2:00 PM so the kiddos can participate in the annual Maypole tradition. The pole position has shifted from the intersection up the hill to on Broad to the intersection in front of Domino’s, the Warehouse Art Gallery, and the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. The event will be at the Confederate statue and is a great way to share a little history about May Day with your kids in a fun, interactive way; plus the adults always get a kick out of seeing the kids and brightly colored ribbons make their way around the pole.
As a born and raised local, I can honestly say that the festivals and larger, community-centered events that the towns and other organizations host are some of my absolute favorite things about this county. They not only bring in visitors to experience the beauty and hospitality of our adorable small towns, but they also provide a space for the locals to gather and reconnect with neighbors in a casual setting. More than just a festival where we can shop and support local businesses and artists, I always seem to find myself picking up lunch from one of the vendors and then finding an available seat with someone I know and using the time to catch up on their lives and what their family members are up to. Or, as I wander through the different booths, picking up early Christmas or birthday gifts, I inevitably run into someone and end up chatting away for a while about how their kids are doing or how their job is going. I thoroughly encourage anyone interested in seeing what our community is really like to join us this Saturday from Noon-6:00 PM in downtown Luray! (See some of the fun from last year's event below.)
And, as always, you can contact the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce for additional information on activities in the area, places to stay, and personal recommendations on places to eat. If you want more information or to see the festival map, check out the event website at www.festivalofspringluray.com or see their Facebook event page at www.facebook.com/events/183309115596007.
We hope to see you this weekend!
Katie Long, Communications & Marketing Coordinator