Fifty years ago, community members in the village of Bluemont started an annual fall tradition in Loudoun County. The popular event continues this year with the milestone Bluemont Fair slated for Sept. 21-22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Publicity chairwoman Deborah Snyder said this year's fair will feature an array of special events in celebration of its 50th anniversary.
“We will commemorate the occasion with a brief ceremony at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Community Center followed by a Beatles cover band [named] Apple Core. Between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday a small aircraft will fly across the village and surrounding area trailing a banner wishing the Bluemont Fair a Happy 50th Anniversary,” Synder said.
The 28th annual Pickle-Making and Pie-Baking Contest will take place on Saturday at the restored E.E. Lake Store. Judging will take place at noon with first, second and third place awards for two categories of pie and pickles.
The weekend music lineup includes performers such as Jan and Jeff, Driveway Stories, The Joker Band, Chris Timbers Band, Ashleigh Cavalier, Nathaniel Davis, Todd Brooks and Pour Decisions, Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers, Sally Mae Foster, Emma Rowley, Spiritual Harmonizers, Wayne Snow and Jim Steele. A full schedule of events and performances can be found at bluemontfair.org.
Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness, which sits on the sloping ridge above the village, is the nation’s first privately-funded rural wellness center dedicated to combat veterans, first responders and their family members.
Usually closed to the public, Boulder Crest will be open for walking tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days of the fair. Visitors are invited to stop by the welcome center on Snickersville Turnpike to learn more about the retreat's programs and services. Hats and shirts will be available for a suggested donation. Live music from local band Rowdy Ace will be on the retreat patio, where free popcorn and ice cream will be served.
Snyder said one of the “most charming” aspects of fair weekend is the children’s fair.
“Face painting, clowns, farm animals, and hands-on activities for kids of all ages will be offered, most free of charge. This year, and included with fair admission, is an expanded petting zoo,” Snyder said.
The more than 150-year-old Old Stone Church, which served as a hospital during the Civil War and is located across from the Community Center, will house three events. On the front lawn members of the Bluemont Methodist Church will offer a shady area in which to rest, relax and enjoy light refreshments.
In the sanctuary, an extensive quilt exhibit provided by the Waterford Quilters Guild features antique quilts made in the 1880s as well as new quilts made this year.
Downstairs in the church social hall, slide shows of Bluemont’s past, “When the Trains Came to Bluemont” and “Bluemont: 1864,” will be presented at 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. 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 that sits on its track bed. The second show describes a Civil War skirmish that occurred in the center of the village.
Local Boy Scout Troop 961 will direct free parking and sell water and soda at the entrance to the fair, which is sponsored by the Bluemont Citizens Association. Proceeds and donations go toward paying for scholarships for local students, community beautification and improvements to the village’s historic buildings such as the E.E. Lake Store and the Snickersville Academy.