Bringing one of the “first signs of spring” to Loudoun County, the 10th Annual Loudoun Grown Expo will be held Feb. 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bush Tabernacle on S. Nursery Ave. in Purcellville.
Launched in 2011 by former Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro, the expo was designed to showcase the “best of western Loudoun.”
The theme continues this year, with a full house of 40 vendors registered, including the Purcellville Farmer's Market, which will re-locate to Bush Tabernacle for the day of the event.
Event organizer Phillip Message of Bush Tabernacle said he is excited about this year's event and the details are “all coming together nicely.”
New this year, there will be a children's passport and hands-on activities to make the event feel more interactive, Message said. Attendees will be given stamps when they visit with vendors and learn more about their business. Once the passport is turned in, they will receive a free pass to come back to Bush Tabernacle to roller skate.
“This is part of our vision to educate the next generation,” Message said.
There are four organizations involved with coordinating the expo this year, including the Town of Purcellville, Loudoun Economic Development, the New Ag School by Doug Fabbioli and Bush Tabernacle.
Fabbioli said he enjoys participating in the expo each year. It's a place where you can see “farmers' excitement in the air," he said. He hopes the event is an “eye opener for visitors, businesses and the school system that there are jobs and long-term careers here.”
“One thing we all agree on is we love the west, and we want to keep it. We need to teach people how to work the land to sustain it,” Fabbioli said.
Message is expecting a large crowd this year – about 2,000 people throughout the day.
“With the farmer's market, a wide variety of farms, wineries, artisans, breweries, and food vendors – as well as animals such as sheep, goats and llamas -- the event will be a great attraction for attendees and is family-friendly for all ages,” Message said.
This year's vendors include: 868 Estate Vineyards, Dragon Hops Brewery, Fabbioli Cellars, Artisan Hill Farm, Beads by Becka, Browning Equipment, Butterfly Hill, Catie's Cottage, The Chocolate Palette, Claywaard Studio, Dollhouse Bakery, Earth Wind and Fleece, Harmonia Body and Home, Long Stone Farm, Loudoun Beekeeper's Association, Loudoun Valley Sheep Producers, Makersmiths, Magnolia's, Paige's Pit Stop, Oakland Green, Purcellville Art Gallery, Renaissance Lavender, Rugged Ridge Farm and Home, Tatina Arts, School Hill Garden, Vale of the Blue Ridge Maple, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Vintage Violet, Very Virginia, Spring House Farm, Wicked K9 Treats and She.Farm.
Admission is $2 per person or $3 per family. Visit loudoungrown.org for more information.