Fall Festivals & Events
In Lexington, red-brick sidewalks link boutique hotels and renowned eateries to a slew of locally owned shops and galleries. Across the Maury River, Buena Vista is a launch pad to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail. Plus, downtown is experiencing a retail renaissance. Throughout Rockbridge County, antique shops, country stores, craft beverage makers, the Virginia Horse Center, and old time music shows all add a powerful oomph to the overall vibe of the region. To sum it up: you're missing out if you're skipping all this.
The energy is palpable in downtown Lexington in fall. Returning coeds and cadets flock to Main Street to see what’s new. Fall produce impresses foodies at farm-to-table restaurants. Young and old bump elbows at piano jams and acoustic shows. And the Lexington ghost walk? It reaches maximum spooky. On campus at W&L, VMI, and SVU, concerts, plays, and football games take the spotlight. Indeed, it's time to enjoy fall in Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County. What better way to be introduced than with a fall festival?
8 Fun Fall Festivals for All
The 29th Annual Rockbridge Beer & Wine Festival will be held at Lime Kiln Theater September 9 starting at noon. Taste your way through the day while musicians bring continual entertainment on two stages. Don't skip the amazing local food trucks!
The official annual Nothin' Fancy Bluegrass Festival is on for September 21-23 at Glen Maury Park. Come out to enjoy the band as well as others like Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, The Malpass Brothers, Nick Chandler & Delivered, Josh Grigsby & County Line, and more. New and improved camping is available!
Love pumpkins? Head to Swisher's Farm in Fairfield for the Pumpkin Bonanza. Typically held the first weekend in October, dates have yet to be announced for 2023. Choose from hundreds of pumpkins for carving or decoration, plus plethora gourds and cornstalks.
The 17th Annual McCormick Farm Mill Day is October 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit the historic mill on the beautiful grounds of Cyrus McCormick Farm. Hay rides, traditional craft demonstrations, live music, local BBQ chicken, and education activities for kids are all on the agenda for this day of fun on the farm.
If life is stressing you out, release the tension with grape stomping at the Rockbridge Vineyard Harvest Festival October 7. Afterwards, you can rest your feet on a hayride and enjoy a glass of Tuscarora white while Greenhouse and The Late Night Stumblers sing you to merriment.
If you have a love of big trucks or a perhaps a little one who loves big trucks, don't miss the Large Car Magazine Southern Classic Truck Show at White's Travel Center in Raphine, October 13 and 14.
Mountain music and culture are the draw October 14 in Buena Vista at the annual Mountain Day celebration. Enjoy traditional arts & crafts, history, and music. The fun begins at 10 a.m. and features a new, appealing evening event from 5 to 7 p.m.: food and beverage trucks.
October 21 is the 27th Annual Apple Butter Festival at Wade's Mill in Raphine. Holding true to tradition, the festival will include old fashioned apple butter making (that you can take home!), artisan demonstrations and sales, excellent food, tastings by local craft beverage makers, food trucks, and so much more. Admission and parking are free!
Fall Foot Races
Get some exercise while enjoying the crisp air of fall. To kick off the season, join in the 6th Annual Run of the Mill 5K from Wade's Mill on September 16. Run America’s most enchanting rail trail—the seven-mile Chessie Trail. On November 4, racers have the option of running the Chessie Trail Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, or the 26.2 Relay. The following day, Ecco Adesso Vineyards hosts the Vet First Inc. 5K and 10K through north Rockbridge. The scenery should still be pretty spectacular for it.
The Natural Bridge Hotel & Conference Center is hosting a Halloween Puppy Party (awwww!) October 28 from noon until 8 p.m. Pups can be entered into the costume contest while pawrents and family enjoy games and food.
Downtown Lexington Trick-or-Treat will be held Monday, October 31 starting at 3:30 p.m. Children under 12 are welcome to collect candy when accompanied by their parent or guardian. Main Street will be closed to ensure pedestrian safety and live performances will boost the fun of the afternoon.
Trick-or-Treat in Downtown Buena Vista - the SPOOKTACULAR Halloween event includes games, candy, and more! It's happening October 31 from 4 to 6 p.m.
The list is growing! Here's a glance back to 2022. Stay tuned for updates!
Try your hand at trivia ... spooky trivia ... at Brew Ridge Taps. ... is Trivia and Steal a Pint Night, which is essentially BRT's 2nd Annual Halloween and Horror Trivia Night. Bring a team of six to vie for a win, plus enjoy plenty of fall flavors on tap.
How about MORE Halloween trivia? Devils Backbone Outpost Tap Room & Kitchen is hosting their own fright-filled trivia ... Players will be drilled on their knowledge of all things spooky for a chance to win a $100 DBB gift card. Teams should be about six people in size, please.
Is there any better time of year than Halloween for a Whodunnit? Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Experience? No, we think not. Head back to Devils Backbone for a second night of seasonal fun! From 6:30 to 10 p.m. the Tap Room will be closed for this special event, which is ticketed with limited seating. Tickets include the show and three-course dinner, but not drinks.
Clear your throat and pump out your best voice for Skaryoke at Brew Ridge Taps on ... It's karaoke with Halloween tunes, and you best be in your most excellent costume because there are prizes up for grabs!
The Boxerwood Pumpkin Walk is back! Head out for the nighttime, pumpkin-lit stroll ... Live music and festive dancing make for a wonderful family event that's not at all scary. If you're a Boxerwood member the fee is $5 per car; $10 for all others. Bring a flashlight!
Brewbaker Field in Lexington is host to a Fall Festival ... Bring the kids out for bounce house fun, face painting, games, a photo booth, and more!
Who is ready to rock?! Rocktoberfest returns to Glen Maury Park ... at the big pavilion. Party Crasher Band will entertain while you costumed partiers rock out. Awards will be given for costumes, plus there's food, games, a raffle, and more. Rocktoberfest benefits Bridge to Hope Food Pantry in Buena Vista.
How about craft beer and wine with a side of The Ruckus Bluegrass Band? That's what Halloween weekend at Great Valley Farm Brewery and Winery looks like. Join in the merriment ...
Trunk-or-Treat Howl-O-Ween is a free family event offered by Rockbridge Regional Fair & Expo and held at Locher Pavilion in Glasgow on ... If you're not familiar with such an event, it's a fun time where costumed kids go from decorated car to decorated car to collect candy treats. A costume contest and pumpkin carving or painting are also part of the evening. Plus, when you bring a non-perishable pantry or pet item, you'll take home a free pizza or s'mores kit.
Get your costumes ready and plan on Trick-or-Treating in Brownsburg! Brownsburg will be ready to treat you from 5-7 pm on ...
It's back to Devils Backbone Outpost for Spooky Brunch ... Be prepared for a delicious treat; no tricks! AND THEN ...
The Odd Ball at DBB is going to be an amazing Halloween dance and costume contest. The atmosphere is a haunted dance hall with fog, candles, roaming zombies ... the works! Dress up and party on for the chance to win a Yeti cooler. It'll go to the best and most detailed costume, so dress for winning success! The Odd Ball is ... from 8 p.m. to midnight. No admission fee and no reservation required.
The Frequency Band is playing the Lexington Moose Lodge Halloween Dance ... The dance is open to the public with a $10 cover charge ($5 for members and members' spouses).
The Palms is celebrating the Day of the Dead with unique cocktails, such as Sugar Skulls and Russian Pumpkin, ...
Glasgow Baptist Church is hosting a Trunk-or-Treat ... Collect candy AND get supper, too with their hot dog dinner.
The Lexington Moose Lodge is hosting a Trunk-or-Treat ...
Ghosts in the Graveyard
On the Haunting Tales Ghost Tour, a guide in black Victorian garb leads a “spirited” evening walk past Lexington’s many haunted sights, with an eerie stop in Oak Grove Cemetery. Tours are available Friday and Saturday through the end of October plus additional dates and times around Halloween.
NEW: Haunting Tales now has a mobile option! Inquire about the narrated van tours.
Pleasant Downtown Distractions
One of the best things about downtown Lexington? Its walkability. Sidewalks link the top historic and cultural attractions, and most of them sit within a half-mile stroll.
When you tire of walking or want a narrated overview of downtown, hop a ride with Lexington Carriage Company for a horse-drawn tour. Tours are offered Wednesday through Sunday through October 30.
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If you can, time your visit to coincide with a VMI Dress Parade, when the entire corps of cadets marches in full formation and pageantry. The parades occur most Fridays and some Saturdays.
In a football state of mind? Then follow the cheers on Saturday afternoon. A cannon blast from “Little John” rallies the corps at Alumni Memorial Field at Foster Stadium while the Washington & Lee Swing rallies W&L Generals at Wilson Field. Both fields are a short walk from downtown. Alumni and fans may want to head to TAPS, Haywood’s, Macado's, or Juniper Lounge for a post-game celebration.
Acclaimed orchestras, ensembles, and dance troupes take the stage at W&L’s Lenfest Center for the Arts. The theatre gang at Southern Virginia Theatre in Buena Vista likes to mix it up every year with both musicals and classics.
Live Music and Outdoor Entertainment
Downtown Lexington is a vibe with a toe-tapping line-up of weekly performances. Piano players often complement the cocktails at Haywood’s and musicians also descend upon Salerno Wood Fired Pizza & Taphouse and Brew Ridge Taps throughout the week. Keep an eye on The Patton Room at The Georges. They're known to toss in a gig here and there, too.
Beyond Lexington? Visit Ecco Adesso Vineyards in Fairfield. They're our newest winery and they keep a steady flow of musicians on the calendar.
Sit outside, sip chardonnay, and listen to bluegrass, folk, and pub tunes during Uncorked at Rockbridge Vineyard. This series runs from 2-5pm on select Sundays through the end of October.
What views will you enjoy from deck at Devils Backbone Outpost Kitchen & Tap Room? The Blue Ridge Mountains, historic Route 11, and beer, mmm, beer. Their expanded deck is a top-notch place to be seen.
South of Lexington is Great Valley Farm Brewery, which also welcomes food trucks and musicians to their majestic Blue Ridge Mountain patio and lawn. A visit to nearby Halcyon Days Cider Co. is a sweet treat for the fall season, and a wander through their labyrinth is pure joy.
We'll see you soon for a fabulous fall in Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County!
Last Updated 9/13/23