The City of Waynesboro celebrates family, community and the good old days of summer, on July 7th, with its 33rd Summer Extravaganza. The event is held each year on the grounds of Ridgeview Park and is sponsored by the Waynesboro Department of Parks and Recreation. The city promotes the annual celebration as an occasion to run into old friends, gather with family and strengthen the community bond.
When the Summer Extravaganza first began, organizers chose not to schedule the event as an Independence Day celebration, for specific reasons. In 1970, The Statler Brothers hosted a free concert on the 4th of July, in their hometown of nearby Staunton. The Statler Brother’s Happy Birthday U.S.A., celebration became an annual event in Gypsy Hill Park. The country music group’s free concert began to draw close to 100,000 of spectators from all over the state and other parts of the country. To avoid the 4th of July rush spilling over from Staunton into nearby towns, the first full weekend after Independence Day was chosen for Waynesboro’s Summer Extravaganza.
The Summer Extravaganza started as an arts and craft fair with a few vendors selling food. In the 1980’s, the fair’s attendance grew when it combined with another similar event, hosted by the Kiwanis Club. The event grew to attract even more visitors in the 1990’s, when they added children’s carnival rides. Today, it has become one of the Shenandoah Valley’s biggest summer events. With 85 scenic acres, Ridgeview Park provides abundant space to accommodate the thousands of new and returning visitors expected to attend.
Ridgeview Park is located within a 30 minute drive from Cabin Creekwood on the banks of the South River that winds through Waynesboro. The park is kid-friendly with a large playground suitable for all ages. The War Memorial Pool is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Pool hours are 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Saturday and 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Sunday; hours of operation are subject to change.
To maintain the family-friendly atmosphere, alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the park. No pets will be permitted in the park, with the exception of guide dogs that assist the physically disabled. The Waynesboro Police Department will be on the premises providing security; crowd control and helping lost children find their parents. Admission is free to enter the park. Food and drink concessions will be available from vendors selling all of your favorite carnival foods.
At 8:00 am the day begins with the Summer Extravaganza 10K & 5K Race/Walk. Portions of the registration fee from this race will be donated to the Augusta Health Cancer Center Bridge Fund. The Arts and Crafts Show will run from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, vendors from near and far will showcase their products. Children will enjoy crafts at the kid’s art table, scheduled from 12:00 pm to 5:00pm, and from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm kids can have their faces painted. Music lovers will enjoy live performances from local bands. Six groups are scheduled to play at the amphitheater, from 11:45 am until 9:45pm.
There is plenty of seating to watch the bands play, you can sit either on the benches or you can spread a blanket on the grass. Around 6:00 pm the crowd begins to grow. Slowly, the green grass disappears under blankets and folding chairs as people assemble on the lawn. The audience gathers in mass to watch the closing fireworks show that usually starts around 9:45 pm.
The Summer Extravaganza’s crowning glory is the time-honored fireworks show. A large portion of the event’s budget goes into the fireworks. Big money is not the only thing invested in the fireworks display, a lot of time, planning, manpower and heart goes into the effort. The result is an awesome Summer Extravaganza and pyrotechnic display that spectators would agree, was time and money well spent by all.
Full Schedule of Bands Playing at the Amphitheater
- 11:45am-12:45pm – Righteous Friendz
- 1:15pm – 2:15pm – Little Walter and the Convictions
- 2:45pm – 4:00pm – Cat Daddy
- 4:30pm – 5:45pm – Soul Shakers w/ Joe Pettis
- 6:15pm – 7:45pm – Bootsie Daniels Band
- 8:15pm – 9:45pm – Groove Train
Times are approximate and subject to change.