The Shenandoah Valley is a beautiful venue all year around, but one of the best times to visit is in the Spring when the redbud trees are at their peak.
This time of year is celebrated by the annual Redbud Festival in Browntown, VA. The festival starts at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 22, 2012, and it has something for everyone.
One of the biggest attractions of the day is the silent auction, offering gift certificates from local businesses, antiques and new items. There will also be stalls offering hand-made local craft items as well as a bake sale with delicious homemade cakes, cookies and desserts.
You can also see old-time craft demonstrators such as a blacksmith, a potter, a chair-caner, a quilter and a basket-maker. You can also watch demonstrations of woodworking, penny rug making and hand-spinning.
Another popular event at the Browntown Redbud Festival is the annual house tour, which begins at 10.00 a.m. This year you can tour three private residences for $8 per person ($15 for two):
- “Mount Echo” at Boyd’s Mill. Originally built of logs around 1790, it was the home of John Hambaugh, who was thought to have built the grist mill later known as Boyd’s Mill.
- “Full Circle Farm”. Built in 1831 as the miller’s house at Boyd’s Mill. Original features include the wood siding, wide plank hearts of pine floors, a springhouse, and summer kitchen.
- “Brandy Patch Farm”. Constructed in 2005 by Warren Fairfax on a 50-acre tract once owned by his ancestor, Lord Fairfax. Every room offers panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and rolling pasture.
There are also free tours of the historic Dr. Updike/Browntown Post Office, and the South River Primitive Baptist Church (Agape Church).
Don’t miss the Gooney Creek Duck Race – you can buy the number of a rubber duck for $5, and the winning duck gets its owner a cash prize.
Admission to the Redbud Festival is free, and food is available throughout the day.
From Front Royal: Route 340 South, left on Route 649, Browntown Road, for about 9 miles – the Community Center is on the left.
From Luray: Route 340 North, right on Route 613 at Bentonville, about 5 miles into Browntown, over the small bridge, turn left and the Community Center is on the right.