August has dawned a little sloppier than anticipated with plenty of rain in the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding areas. Still, we’re holding on to the last vestiges of the summer with flip-flops, outdoor movie nights, and blossoming produce!
The agricultural industry is thriving with gardens coming back after a very soggy spring, which left a few of our local growers washed out. The crops are coming in full-force now with cucumbers, zucchini and squash, and tomatoes bursting from the ground. Our local growers and farming-based businesses, such as Survivor Farm and Willow Grove Farm Market, are in their busy season. If you’re not from the area and are interested in berry picking or seeing what a full garden looks like and the taste of tomatoes still warm from the sun and ground, this is the month to visit us in Luray-Page. The flavor of store-bought produce doesn’t even come close to the fullness of the flavor that is produced by vine-ripened fruits and vegetables.
Our restaurants are tapping into the local produce scene and utilizing the freshest, local ingredients in their fare. Moreover, the Mimslyn Inn’s annual Farm-to-Table Dinner has changed up their format for this year and is designing their menu for the September 8th event around a Facebook vote! Therefore, popular opinion will determine the menu via Facebook vote.
As fall begins to creep into the picture and the evenings provide a little cool respite from the heat of the day, the evening activities take on more appeal for both our locals and visitors. The chance to sit outside on the plazas or the patio at the historic Mimslyn Inn to listen to music and sip a cocktail to take the edge off the receding heat are one of the biggest draws for people looking to kick up their feet for a little and enjoy the evening. The Town of Luray’s Evenings on Main series bring in different music including variety, funk, and rock music and encourage dancing and grooving on the Hawksbill Greenway’s Ruffner Plaza.
As for the cooling evenings, this is the last month to fully enjoy the Shenandoah River via tube. Most of the time, the air and river begin to cool off next month and most people begin to see September and beyond as a time for kayaking and canoeing, rather than tubing. So, if you've been thinking about taking a leisurely, relaxing float up the river, make your plans and reservations to visit one of our awesome outfitters. The recent rains may have raised the levels a little, but it takes just a day or two for them to return to normal, so there's no time like the present to book.
Still, the biggest event of the month is the 66th Annual Page Valley Fair from August 18th-25th. If you love fairs with their carnival rides, food, truck and tractor pulls, demolition derbies, and so much more, this is the event for you. Every night from 4:00-11:00 PM on July 20th-25th, the gates will open for the public to celebrate the hard work of the local 4Hers and the end of the summer. For many, this event symbolizes the start of a new school year and the coming of fall. Kids’ Night returns on Monday with free entry for all school-age children, senior citizens over 60, veterans, military, and first responders. Rhonda Vincent and the Lonesome River Band will be the big musical attraction in the Grandstand this year on Thursday night. So, whether you want to ride the rides, check out the 4-H submissions, grab some traditional fair food, or catch the nightly entertainment in the Grandstand, this event is a huge draw for people in and outside the county.
Check out what else is happening in and around the county on our community calendar or see our monthly printed calendar, just keep in mind that it is always changing and we are constantly adding new events to the one on the www.visitluraypage.com website. We can't wait to see you all this month to celebrate the end of summer and start to the fall season! Here's to one last hoorah before the kids return to school and the summer sunsets cool off and the leaves begin to change and fall.
As always, feel free to reach out to the staff at the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center for more information or help in booking your stay in the Page Valley and beyond.
Communications & Marketing Coordinator
Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center