Strawberry Festival (Stuart)
The Strawberry Festival is held in Uptown Stuart each spring in May. Vendors will line the main street and there is a food court at the bottom of the hill. The shops are all usually open so give them a browse too. You’ll want to get to this one as soon as it opens to get in line for a flat of fresh strawberries. They go fast!
Pig Cooking Contest & Craft Fair (Spencer Penn Center, Spencer)
The annual Pig Cooking Contest is held at the Spencer Penn Center every April and it is awesome. The actual cooking contest is held on Friday night and the meat is sold the next day during the craft fair. There is live music both days. Saturday also has a good classic car gathering, cow patty bingo, and kid’s activities. 2015
Chantilly Farm Bluegrass Festival (Floyd)
Take your lawn chairs and maybe something for shade. Chantilly Farm is a great venue and they have a crowd for the Bluegrass Festival each May. There are craft vendors and a food court. The Floyd Country Store had a substantial food tent that even included refrigerated items when we were there. The sound is great. The biggest issue is shade. You can set up a canopy on the perimeter and some people do use chairs with canopies. You’ll just have to work it out with those around you so that everyone can see.
Bushels & Barrels (Reynolds Homestead, Critz)
Bushels & Barrels is billed as a beer festival but it is not a beer festival in the same spirit as the other local craft beer festivals. We still highly recommend it but go with the right expectations and you’ll love it. For admission, you get a pint glass and an ID bracelet but you still pay to fill your glass once you get in. Several local wineries were there, as will as a local cider maker. There was one beer tent with five or six brews. It was $5 to fill your glass. Go for the band and the incredible scenery of Reynolds Homestead grounds. Definitely takes chairs or a blanket and wear a hat. The concert is held out on the grassy grounds beside the homestead. Take a camera as the grounds are exceptionally beautiful and there are walking paths all around the homestead.
Mustangs BallPark BeerFest (Martinsville)
I’m not clear that this event is still going on every year but I’ll leave this listing here, just in case. Buy tickets at www.martinsvillemustangs.com/beerfest.htm. Hooker Field is very photogenic. Take chairs and a camera. Food is available at the concession stand. There will be bands on the soundstage. There is no overnight lodging within walking distance. 2016
KIBLER VALLY KAYAK RIVER RUN
This is an annual kayak race that attracts a lot of whitewater kayaks. I attended in 2021, when I picked up a new used kayak, but I’ve not been down this stretch. The entry fee is low and you can chose to compete or just go down the river for fun so there’s no pressure. Once entered, the shuttle will take you back up to the starting point as many times as you would like. Kibler Valley is about an hour southwest of Henry County. 2021
Buy your tickets before hand at microfestivus.squaresociety.org. Rent a hotel room that you can walk to (we recommend Hotel Roanoke but check the distance from the festival because the festival moves around downtown). Bringing chairs may or may not be a good idea based on the venue. 2016
Peach Festival (Stuart/Meadows of Dan)
This summer festival is tricky. The Peach Festival is Friday night in Stuart and is more of a concert, we think. We haven’t made it to that part yet. Saturday is a Folk Fair in Meadows of Dan that is sort of in conjunction with the Peach Festival. Fresh peaches are available for sale at the Meadows of Dan Mercantile and Poor Farmer’s Market until they run out. Fresh peach cobbler is available across the street from Poor Farmer’s Market. There is a small craft vendor area set up down the road. A shuttle is available between the two locations. 2016
Held in the fall each year, attendance is capped so buy tickets early at rooserwalk.com/brewster-walk/. This is held in Uptown Martinsville and there were food trucks and limited seating when we went. There’ll be bands on the soundstage so we recommend bringing chairs and kicking back to enjoy the music. Watch your consumption. There’s no overnight lodging within walking distance (except the jail). 2015 2017
Spencer Community Fair & Spencer Penn Craft Fair
The community of Spencer hosts a community fair each fall, offering Brunswick stew, fried chicken and homemade desserts. There is live music in the afternoon and an auction at 6 PM. Spencer Penn also hosts a craft festival, filling the historic school with craft vendors inside and out from 10 to 4. 2017
Mayberry Days Festival (Mount Airy, NC)
Mount Airy (the original Mayberry) has a festival called Mayberry Days that is all things Andy Griffith. I’d love to see the museum and try a pork chop sandwich from the Snappy Diner.
Land of Oz Theme Park (Beech Mountain, NC)
The Land of Oz Theme park announces a few weeks each year that it will be open. The last announced dates were in September of 2020. This looks like a good drive from Martinsville (3+ hours) but the unusual nature of this outing puts it firmly on my bucket list.
What the Hay Festival (Mayodan, NC)
We went to the 2017 What the Hay Festival in Mayodan and just loved it. They close off the main intersection and put a soundstage there. People can bring lawn chairs to sit and listen to the music (which was good). There are a good number of vendors and they had a full-out carnival/midway area for the kids. We complimented one of the local merchants on the festival and she said that it was organized by the merchants themselves, apparently a change from previous years. This is a very pretty area and this is a good festival to cap off the year in mid-October.
Apple Dumpling Festival (Stuart)
Fun, fun, fun! There is a 5K that runs beforehand that starts out from DeHart Park. The actual Apple Dumpling Festival is a street festival held each fall in the old downtown (not the uptown district). We try to go every year to get an apple dumpling with homemade ice cream. Vendors line the street up the hill to the Stuart Farmers’ Market canopy. You won’t need a lot of time for this festival, maybe an hour. We usually wind up at the Stuart Family Restaurant afterwards. 2016
Blue Ridge Folklife Festival (Ferrum)
The Blue Ridge Folklife Festival is huge. Prepare for crowds and allot the whole day for it. There are demonstrations everywhere for all facets of folk life – a functioning steam tractor, coon dog competitions, draft horse competitions, people making blackstrap molasses, acres of classic cars, and, of course, food. For a Texan, this is a lot like the Texas State Fair without the big buildings. 2015