Going Out: Get an early taste for fall

By Josette Keelor

Even before the autumn festival season takes hold of the valley, enough is happening this weekend to give a taste of the fall.

Winchester’s Downtown Tailgate, Belle Grove Plantation’s Wine Festival in Middletown, Edinburg’s Shenandoah Vineyards Harvest Festival and the Rocktown Wine and Dine Festival in Harrisonburg are just the beginning.

The 28th Annual Grand Caverns Blue Grass Festival in Grottoes and Rockbridge Mountain Music and Dance Festival in Buena Vista will include music and camping on Friday and Saturday.

• The Downtown Tailgate, Winchester – From 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, enjoy food vendors and live music, with tailgating games like corn hole, crafts, merchandise vendors and more in front of the Old Civil War Courthouse Museum on the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall. General admission is $5, with extra tasting tickets available on site. Most wines and beers will be available to purchase by the glass for $4. Information: 540-722-7576, www.oldtownwinchesterva.com.

• The 14th Annual Concern Hotline Fish Fry Celebration at Grove’s Harley-Davidson, Winchester – From 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, at 140 Independence Drive, entertainment will delight all ages, and a shuttle service and drive through will offer convenience. Information: 540-667-0145, Facebook.com/Concern/Hotline.

• Wine Festival at Belle Grove Plantation, Middletown – From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, sample regional Shenandoah Valley wines, watch local chefs demonstrate their culinary and wine-pairing skills, and enjoy house tours, food, music, craft vendors and more. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate. Information: 540-869-2028, info@bellegrove.org.

• Annual Shenandoah Vineyards Harvest Festival, Edinburg — From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the festival will feature wine tasting, seminars, arts, crafts, live music, children’s entertainment and grape stomping. Admission includes a souvenir glass. Information: 540-984-8699.

• Rocktown Wine and Dine Festival, Harrisonburg — From 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Turner Pavilion on Liberty Street, music by the Rick Olivarez Trio will pair with food and about 80 hand-selected wines from around the world. Tickets are $32 for wine and food tasting or $20 for music only. Information: 540-435-6891, rocktownwinefestival.com.

• Harvest Day at CrossRoads Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center, Harrisonburg – From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, experience music, storytelling, spinning, quilting, blacksmithing demonstrations, boiling molasses, pressing cider, sawing logs with a crosscut, wagon rides, homemade foods and activities for all ages. A kid’s money scramble will be at 11 a.m. and a baking contest and auction at noon. Information: 540-438-1275, vbmhc.org.

• The 28th Annual Grand Caverns Blue Grass Festival, Grottoes – From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, the festival is hosted by the nonprofit The Shenandoah Shriners, an organization dedicated to helping children, and will include the bands High Ground, Goldwing Express, West Wind, Wildwood Valley Boys, Lonesome Highway, Lost & Found and Bluegrass Brothers. Primitive camping will be available. Admission is $30 each day. Children 12 and under admitted free and 13017 admitted for half price. Information: 540-249-5705, www.bluegrassingrottoes.com/.

• The Rockbridge Mountain Music and Dance Festival, Buena Vista – On Friday and Saturday at Glen Maury Park, old time bands will perform alongside instrument playing workshops, called dances on a campground stage and dance floor and jamming/flatfooting. Food vendors and onsite camping will be available. Admission is $14 per day for adults, or $25 for the weekend. Children under 15 get in free. Camping is $13 for the day per site and $25 for the weekend. Information: 540-261-7321, www.rockbridgefestival.org/.

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