Amid the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, the Town of Wytheville boasts a stunning landscape ripe with natural beauty, an abundance of recreational options and a wealth of events and activities for outdoor enthusiasts of all types. Usher in the season’s warmer weather with a leisurely walk through any of the more than 50 sites around downtown, challenge yourself with hiking or biking along one of the area’s popular trails or learn more about the area’s roots with a visit to a local museum.
While you’re there, take advantage of the many outdoor festivals and events happening through the spring and summer.
Bask in Brews and Bands
On May 23, local music and craft beer will be celebrated at the Wythe Art Council’s 5th Annual Brews and Bands festival in Wytheville’s Withers Park. Along with highlighting more than two dozen area breweries, the event features local bands who compete for bragging rights as the “Band of the Year” and the top spot as headliner for the region’s 8-day Chautauqua Festival in June. Food vendors and non-alcoholic beverages also are available all day. Learn more: wytheville-arts.org/brews-bands.
Revel in First Fridays
The music continues with Wytheville Parks and Recreation’s First Friday Concerts, June 5 and August 7 at 6:30 p.m. in Withers Park. A central location for fellowship and leisure, Withers Park is a local hub for many community events and activities like First Friday Concerts, which feature beach music, plenty of room for dancing and food and drink vendors. Learn more: wytheville.org.
Sway into Summer Saturdays
Each first Saturday from June through September, West Wind Farm Vineyard and Winery presents area bands in a showcase of R&B, oldies, Motown, classic rock and beach music, along with food vendors and wines made on its fourth-generation homestead. West Wind Farm’s small batch, family crafted wine includes white, red and sweets varieties as well as a collection of limited release wines. Learn more: westwindwine.com.
Frolic in Family Fun
Enjoy eight days of music, arts and entertainment at the 35th Annual Chautauqua Festival in the Park, June 20-27 in and around Elizabeth Brown Memorial Park. The much anticipated, family-friendly event draws patrons from throughout the region. The festival takes flight with a parade and hot air balloon launch set against the backdrop of scenic mountain views. The week continues with daily arts events and nightly entertainment offered free of charge to attendees.
Get your fill of art displays, photo exhibits, food vendors and a crafts bazaar. Kid-friendly options abound along with a healthy mix of musical performances. Grab a blanket or lawn chair for a toe-tapping good time. Learn more: wythe-arts.org/chautaugua.
Indulge Your Senses
Immerse yourself in one of nature’s most soothing scents at the Lavender Thyme Festival on June 20 at Beagle Ridge Herb Farm. A commemoration of all things lavender, the event invites you to not only pick your own blooms, but also learn how to plant, grow, harvest and cook the plant. Take a stroll along themed display gardens, get an up-close view of distilling techniques and wreath-making during live demonstrations or sip a cup of tea on the patio as you watch the hummingbirds dance among the flowers.
Among other activities, shop the farm store for herbal bath products, lotions, dried Lavender sachets and herbal seasoning blends. All festivities are free and concessions will be available. Learn more: beagleridge.org.
Celebrate in Downtown Wytheville
Commemorate the nation’s independence at the town’s July Fourth celebration in Elizabeth Brown Park and along Main Street in downtown Wytheville. Classic car fanatics can join in the cruise-in amid a bevy of family-centered activities, live music and a festive fireworks display. Learn more: downtownwytheville.org.
Savor Local Spirits
Sample notable wines from throughout Southwest Virginia at the Wytheville Wine Festival on July 18 in the town’s Withers Park. Among the area’s newest events, the festival draws wine connoisseurs from throughout the region for a day of spirits, music, food and merriment. While sippers must be age 21 or older to taste, the event also offers fun for the entire family — including pets.