No matter where you live in the United States, autumn is a time when people trek into the countryside to bask in the burst of color as the trees prepare to lose their foliage for the coming winter. Those who live near mountainous regions are the most blessed. New England’s White Mountains, Green Mountains, and the Berkshires; New York’s Catskills and the western Rockies all beckon to Fall travelers. All offer a view of this annual transitional beauty, but none offer the spectacularly colorful panorama of the mountains that embrace the Shenandoah Valley.
At most any other time of the year, the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the valley or the view of the lush Shenandoah Valley from the Blue Ridge is equally breathtaking, but not in the Fall. In fall, the mountains are the super-stars and the valley becomes the viewing stand. Making the trek to the Shenandoah, if only for the view of the foliage, is reward enough for the traveler, but there is more fun to be had if you take part in Waynesboro’s Fall Foliage Festival.
Every October the town of Waynesboro becomes the area’s cultural center with displays of fine art, music, dancing, and excellent food, all made possible by the Shenandoah Valley Art Center. The traditional and most popular festival attraction, sponsored by the Art Center, is the Virginia Fall Foliage Festival Art Show, which usually features about 200 booths where artists from as far away as Canada set up to display their paintings, sculpture, metalwork, jewelry, pottery, and photography.
If a day shopping at the artists’ booths, looking for that “someday to be priceless” family heirloom, does not satisfy your quest for novelty, try visiting the Shenandoah Valley British Car Festival where over 150 British classics are on display; the Gem and Mineral Show with its displays of specimens, fossils, minerals, and handmade jewelry; or the Apple Days Craft Show with it locally made quilts, handmade furniture, and hand crafted jewelry. If you remain in town into the evening, you can enjoy a relaxing evening on the shore of the South River at the River City Wine Festival, enjoying gourmet food and fine wines from the areas wineries and restaurants, while listening to the beat of live jazz in the background. Don’t let another year pass by without experiencing the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley’s Fall foliage and the enjoyment of Waynesboro’s Fall Foliage Festival.