BryceFest to headline weekend of summer fun

By Josette Keelor

Music, food, wine and fireworks will keep the Fourth of July fun going long into the weekend.

The 14th annual BryceFest will take place in Basye on Saturday, with a magic show, a beer and wine garden, and live music. More than 75 vendors and civic organizations on site will offer clothing, jewelry, crafts, food and drinks.

Fireworks will begin at dusk.

Many of Bryce Resort’s summer activities will be operating during BryceFest, including the new Bryce Mountain Bike Park. Partnering with Gravity Logic of Whistler, British Columbia, and Trek bicycles, Bryce Resort now offers a custom-designed park with six lift-accessed trails that range from beginner and learning terrain to advanced, difficult terrain, some over two miles in length.

Ryan Locher, mountain manager at Bryce Resort, said the bike park opened last week, and so far it’s been a hit.

“It’s like Disneyland,” he said. “For people in the biking world, it’s definitely fun.”

Beginners are welcome too, he said. With six trails, participants can work their way up to the black diamond and double black diamond trails or just stick to the green trail or three blue trails.

Regionally, only Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia and Seven Springs in Pennsylvania have a bike park like the one at Bryce, Locher said.

“We’re excited to have it,” he said.

A new bike retail and rental area features Trek Bicycles and includes the pads and gear needed for a day on the hill. The bike park is open seven days a week, from noon to 8 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

Other summer activities at Bryce are the Zipline Adventure, summer tubing, a climbing wall, grass skiing and mountain boarding, boat rental and a beach on Lake Laura, a three-mile nature/hiking trail and miniature golf.

“Everything will be up and running for BryceFest for sure,” Locher said. BryceFest also will include helicopter rides and a skydiving exhibition by American Helicopter out of Manassas, said Nan Ducklow, director of member services.

“We’re really hoping that we’ll be able to have a skydiving exhibition,” she said.

Magician and illusionist Wes Iseli will return for the eighth year, with performances at 11 a.m. and at 1 and 3 p.m. Also, Cave Ridge Vineyard in Mount Jackson will offer wine tasting at BryceFest for the first time, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Ducklow said.

In all, “it’s really going to be a nice selection of things,” Ducklow said.

BryceFest will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and a dinner buffet will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. in the restaurant. The Robbie Limon Band will perform.

Reservations for the dinner buffet are required, and food will include barbecue chicken, beef pot roast, roast pork loin, mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, vegetables, salad, rolls and dessert. The restaurant will open its outdoor food area at 11 a.m.

Bryce Resort is located at 1982 Fairway Drive, Basye. For more information, call 540-856-2121, ext. 244, or visit www.bryceresort.com/resort/events/brycefest.aspx.

In Front Royal today, Gazebo Gatherings will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Gazebo at Village Commons. Rich Follett will perform fe-good folk music. Admission is free. For more information, call Blue Ridge Arts Council at 540-635-9909 or visit www.blueridgearts.org.

On Saturday, Shenandoah Vineyards at 3659 South Ox Road, Edinburg, will hold its annual Country Cookout from 6:30 to 11 p.m., with food, wine and dancing to live music. Reservations are required. For more information, call 540-984-8699 or visit www.shentel.net/shenvine/.

Philip Carter Winery in Hume will hold wine tastings, at 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday at its Vintage Virginia Tasting. The cost is $20 per person, by reservation, and guests will experience wines from vineyards around the commonwealth while hearing a narrative about the development of the wine industry. For more information, call 540-364-1203 or visit www.pcwinery.com.

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com