With kids back to school and the calendar flipped to September, many Loudoun County residents are turning their attention some of the area’s traditional fall activities and festivals. With COVID-19 safety protocols in place, local event organizers are ready to welcome visitors to this year’s festivities. Here’s a round-up of fall events to check out this season.
Great Country Farms/Henway Hard Cider/Bluemont Vineyards/Dirt Farm Brewing, Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont. Greatcountryfarms.com.
Bluemont is high on the list for many fall experience seekers, and for good reason. That’s because Great Country Farms and its sister properties — The Cottages at Bluemont, Henway Hard Cider, Bluemont Vineyards and Dirt Farm Brewing — offer something for everyone.
From apple and pumpkin picking to apple cider donuts, a Harvest Chef’s Table Dinner, to scenic views, a corn maze and local wine, beer and cider, a visit to Bluemont is a must for fall fun. Insider tip: If possible, visit during the week to avoid crowds. Check the website for tickets and additional events and activities.
The 2nd Annual Loudoun Arts Film Festival, Sept. 10 – 12 and Sept. 17 – 19 with events during the week of the 13th at Artistic Fuel. 50 West Vineyards, Middleburg and Artistic Fuel, Leesburg. Loudounartsfilmfest.com.
After launching the Loudoun Film Festival last year in the midst of the pandemic, co-founders Kaeley Boyle and Owen Palmiotti said they are ready and excited to hold the event for a second year with live music, over 150 films and video projects, food vendors and more.
This year’s festival, like last year, will take place at 50 West Vineyards in Middleburg, where there will be drive-in screenings the weekends of September 10th and September 17th. Screenings will also take place during the week of September 13th at Artistic Fuel. Tickets are $40 for the drive-in movie and $10 at Artistic Fuel which is located at 215 Depot Court in Leesburg.
The opening night film will be “A Shot Through the Wall,” which premiered at Bentonville Film Festival in 2020.
Round Hill Appalachian Trail Festival. 11 a.m. — 4 p.m. September 11 and 12. B Chord Brewing, 35246 Williams Gap Road, Round Hill. Roundhillat.org.
When the town of Round Hill was designated as an Appalachian Trail community in 2019 by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, local outdoor organizations teamed up for the first festival, which has now become an annual event.
“We want people to come out and enjoy all of the natural resources and green spaces we have,” said festival director Jody Brady.
On September 11, the free, family-friendly festival opens at 11 a.m. with live music, food, games, a silent auction and raffle, camping and hiking demonstrations, vendors, crafts and more. Groups participating in the event include Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, Piedmont Environmental Council, Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Center for Wilderness Safety, A.T. Museum and Virginia Master Naturalists.
On Sunday, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., visitors can choose between a slate of hands-on activities and workshops.
End of Summer Block Party in Purcellville. September 12, 2 – 8 p.m. N. 21st Street, Purcellville.
Organized by local nonprofit Discover Purcellville, this free, outdoor, family-friendly event is designed as an end-of-summer community celebration with live music, food vendors, a beer garden, children’s activities and more.
The classic rock band Grindstone kicks off the day at 2 p.m., followed by Last Ham Standing, a comedy improv show. At 4:30 p.m., The Bridge, a Led Zeppelin tribute band, will take the stage.
“We needed a good party,” said event organizer Michael Oaks. “We hope people will come and hang out and enjoy the afternoon and evening.”
Prior to the block party is the Loudoun Pet Expo starting at 10 a.m. at Franklin Park. Oaks hopes that these two events in tandem will encourage people to come and spend the day in Purcellville. Visit Discover Purcellville on Facebook for more information.
82nd Annual Inova Ladies Board Rummage Sale. 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. September 18 and 19. VIP ticketed event on Friday from 12 – 3 p.m. Loudoun County Fairgrounds, 17558 Dry Mill Road, Leesburg. Ladiesboard.org.
The Inova Ladies Board Rummage sale is back this year but in September instead of October and at a new location at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds.
This popular bargain shopping extravaganza offers almost everything imaginable: antiques, collectibles, books, clothing and accessories for the entire family, tools, sports and exercise equipment, small appliances, household items and décor, designer labels, electronics, holiday items, jewelry and toys.
Admission is free during regular sale hours, or shoppers can purchase a VIP ticket on Friday for early-bird shopping.
The Rummage Sale draws shoppers from the mid-Atlantic region, grossing more than $340,000 in 2019. All proceeds go to Inova Loudoun Hospital and The Ladies Board Nursing Scholarship Fund.
51st Annual Bluemont Fair. 10 a.m. — 5 p.m. September 18 and 19. General admission $10; ages 9 and under free. Snickersville Turnpike, Bluemont. Bluemontfair.org.
Located in the 200-year-old Village of Bluemont, this family-friendly, old-fashioned country fair features fun for the entire family. Highlights of the fair include traditional crafts (juried), local art and authors, craft and farming demonstrations and colonial re-enactors with special activities for kids of all ages. There is also live music, farm animals, a quilt display, a gardener’s shed, homemade food, local wine tasting, breweries and gourmet treats.
One popular event at the fair, the 28th Annual Pickle-Making/Pie-Baking Contest, will take place on September 18 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 upstairs of the E.E. Lake Store by 10 a.m. Judging will take place at noon with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards for two categories of pie (fruit/other) and pickles. 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.
The Goose Creek Association 50th Anniversary Celebration. 12-4 p.m. September 19. Historic Aldie Mill, Aldie.
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Goose Creek Association, which was actually in 2020, at a fall festival in Aldie.
The event features an art show and sale, wildlife exhibits, conservation exhibits, children’s games, face painting, food and music. The Aldie Mill, built between 1807 and 1809, is a restored gristmill and was once the largest factory of its kind in Loudoun County.
The Goose Creek Association nonprofit was founded in 1970 to help protect the Goose Creek waterway. The organization’s members have since been involved in stream monitoring and environmental advocacy on a state and federal level as the creek feeds into the Chesapeake and Potomac watersheds.
Visit goosecreek.org for more information.
The 2021 Waterford Fair. 10 a.m. — 5 p.m. October 1 – 3. Village of Waterford. Waterfordfairva.org
The annual Waterford Fair returns for the 77th year after holding a virtual event last year.
Located in the nearly 300-year-old village of Waterford, the fair draws hundreds of artisans from all over the country, as well as many local nonprofit groups that benefit from the estimated 20,000 visitors who flock to Waterford each fall.
Featuring artisans selling their handmade products, a juried art show, Civil War-era demonstrations, displays and re-enactments, there are activities for all ages of the family.
Instead of tours inside historic homes, new this year are garden tours, where docents will share the history of the homes, preservation, construction, architecture and more.
Throughout the village will be food stands and vendors. There will also be a farmers market with items such as chocolates, cheeses, maple syrup and salsa.
The Middleburg Film Festival Oct. 14-17. Schedule and details will be released at the end of September. Visit middleburgfilm.org for more information.
After hosting a hybrid festival in 2020 with screenings outdoors and virtual, this year’s event returns with in-person screenings, fireside chats with filmmakers and actors, concerts, farm-to-table dinners and parties.
The allure of the event is that it features a carefully curated slate that festival filmgoers have come to expect, including Oscar “buzz” films, international features, independent gems and fascinating documentaries.
However, COVID-19 safety protocols are being strictly followed and event organizers are requiring all attendees to be vaccinated and show proof of vaccination.
The festival is held in and around the town of Middleburg and Salamander Resort.