Saturday, William and I went to the Apple Harvest Festival at Graves Mountain in Syria, Virginia. It’s happening October 15-16 and 22-23, as well. Admission is free, and parking is also free. There was a big crowd, and people seemed happy with the event.
Graves Mountain is less than 2 hours drive from the Washington, DC area. The festival is not really my favorite time to go there, because of the crowds, and the staff is so busy. I like to go when the pace is more relaxed. Still, it’s a nice way to spend a Saturday or Sunday. The festival is a popular event and features live bluegrass music, food for sale, apples (pick your own or buy there), apple butter, and a collection of vendors. We also saw a small Civil War “re-enactment” area that was interesting.
I didn’t find the vendors all that interesting — it was pretty much the same stuff you see at every fair and outdoor festival. However, the bluegrass music was fantastic and worth the trip.
Wagon rides are $2, there are pony rides, and visits to the educational farm is $1 (worth it). The line for the wagon rides was pretty long, as were the lines to get food (brunswick stew) or drinks. We wanted to sample the apple fritters but the lines were really long.
Fortunately, we had made reservations at the Lodge for a barbecue lunch. I’ve been to Graves Mountain a lot, so I knew what to expect. The cold salads on the buffet included a green salad, a very good mustard vinaigrette, cole slaw, three bean salad, that jello fluffy salad I am always afraid to try. The hot items included a wonderful minced pork barbecue in a spicy sweet sauce, chicken casserole (I didn’t have that), lima beans, and macaroni and cheese, as well as a few other items. Everything was good except for the macaroni and cheese. My son was happy with the wonderful home made rolls, apple butter, and barbecue. Dessert was a dry but tasty apple cake topped with vanilla ice cream. For $11.95 (half price for kids under 17), I was happy, and very glad I didn’t have to stand in a long line for food at the festival.
If you go, be prepared to wait a bit in the queue to park, and I would advise that you bring cold water or drinks with you, as the lines are long for drinks.
It’s a pleasant way to spend a few hours. I don’t think this is an “all-day” event. The drive is very pretty. Oh, a quick reminder: cell phones don’t work there, and your GPS probably won’t work, either. It’s a good idea to print directions before you go.