Archive for the ‘Hanover’ Category

Admit it.  You have gotten over your shock of seeing Christmas decorations up in the stores around Halloween and you are actually starting to get into the spirit.  I walked by the James Center this morning and they were outside working on the setup for Grand Illumination.  Seeing all the reindeer and the lights going up initially caused me some panic, but then I realized that was just the holiday spirit. 

Usually Richmond waits until Thanksgiving is over (at least 10 minutes after is over) before the holiday festivities begin.  But even Richmond seems to have started early this year.  If you want to get into the spirit too, the Ashland Holiday Parade is the perfect place to start.  This parade is chock full of small town charm, marching bands, costumed kids, and men in little cars.  Of course,  it wouldn’t be a holiday parade without Santa Claus who arrives at the end riding an antique fire truck (should be around 4:15). 

The 41st annual Ashland Old Time Holiday Parade will be held tomorrow, November 21st at 2:30 p.m.  It starts at Thompson Street S. Snead Street and will follow Thompson Street east across the railroad tracks and along England Street to Henry Street. Going north along Henry Street, it will end at Archie Cannon Drive in front of John Gandy Elementary School.  The weather should be beautiful so go out and get an early dose of Christmas spirit.


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The best fruit festival of the summer is finally here.  The Hanover Tomato Festival.  Before we get into a debate about whether the tomato is a fruit or vegetable, lets just talk about all the juicy deliciousness that this festival brings.  All tomatoes at the festival are provided by Dodd’s Acres Farm, located on Market Road in the Black Creek area of Hanover County. The Dodd’s have worked their Hanover County 300-acre farm since the mid 1970’s.  This festival is one of the most popular every year.  Last year it had over 40,000 people attend. 

All the traditional festival fare will be there.  Music and entertainment will be available throughout the day in two locations, the main stage and the lawn.  There will be local bands, musicians, Jonathan the Juggler, and more.  There will also be over 200 arts & crafts vendors selling everything from handmade goods, foods, and furniture.  When you get hungry, there will be two food courts offering carnival foods like funnel cakes and ice cream, but also delicious sandwiches and other dishes featuring the Hanover tomato.  You can also purchase Hanover tomatoes to take home and enjoy.  Although entry to the festival is free, food and vendors will cost you.  There will also be plenty of activities for the kids including face painting, arts & crafts, games, mechanical rides and a petting zoo.

For something a little different, be sure to check out the different contests that will be going on.  There will of course be the tomato recipe contest which the most popular and delicious every year.  This year’s categories include Salsa, best tasting, and prettiest tomato.  For kids ages 12 and under, there will be a best dressed tomato contest.  This is not a costume contest so don’t make that mistake.  Instead, kids can decorate or “dress” up tomatoes with various accessories.  Strange?  A little, but the kids love it and its fun, so go with it.  Finally, there is also a Little Miss and Tiny Miss Hanover Tomato Pageant.  This has already taken place, but the awards will be given at the festival tomorrow.

Here are some of the logistics.  This is a free event and its open to the public.  The festival will be held tomorrow, July 10, rain or shine (we could only hope), from 9am-4pm.  The festival is held at  Pole Green Park, 8996 Pole Green Park Lane, Mechanicsville, VA 23116.  Directions are available here.  Finally, it’s always important for Richmond events to address dogs.  Dogs are allowed here, but they must be on a leash, which is really common sense.  I think it is supposed to be below 110 degrees tomorrow, so go out and enjoy, and don’t forget your sweater.

Oh, and by the way, its a fruit!

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The Ashland Independence Day Parade is a great way to spend the Fourth while enjoying some authentic Americana. The parade is on July 4th and starts at about 1pm. The festivities end around 4pm, leaving enough time for the family to get to the fireworks. That’s right, no fireworks here, but what better way to entertain the family for free while you wait for the sun to set.

The parade is a walking parade, consisting of people dressed up in patriotic garb, pets in costume, and decorated bikes, wagons, and scooters. The parade will “walk” down Hanover, cross over, and end on Center. The entire route is 1/4 mile. You can view a route map here

After the parade there will be a live patriotic concert at 2pm. You can also expect lawn games, kids activities, a used book sale at the local book store, and . . .saving the best for last, an apple pie contest! Now I’m not going to deny that I love apple pie, but you can’t deny that nothing says the 4th like parades, apple pie, and fireworks.

This is a great way to enjoy a low stress 4th and then head out to one of the many awesome fireworks displays around the Richmond area.

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