With summer in full swing, vacationers are enjoying outdoor dramas, theater, musical concerts, festivals, arts and crafts shows, and more in the Mid-Atlantic.
Trail of the Lonesome Pine, “The Official Outdoor Drama of Virginia,” celebrates its 53rd season this year, with shows scheduled every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, July 2–Aug. 1, at the June Tolliver Playhouse in Big Stone Gap. The show is based on John Fox Jr.’s popular book by the same title about the discovery of coal and the long-lasting effect it had on the people of Appalachia. The book was also the subject of three Hollywood films.
If you go to the show, also take time to visit the 1890s Victorian house next door to the theater where June Tolliver actually lived. A registered Virginia and National Historic Landmark, the building houses a gift shop, art gallery, and historical displays. The Duff Academy, where Tolliver went to school, is also nearby.
The Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Va., which has been entertaining audiences since Depression days, has a plethora of outstanding plays this season. July and August productions include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Dixie Swim Club, Peter and the Starcatcher, Mamma Mia!, Greater Tuna, and Robin Hood. A Night with Janis Joplin runs Aug. 18–Sept. 10.
The 2016 Wintergreen Summer Music Festival kicks off July 6 and runs through Aug. 7. “With this year’s ‘Expect the Unexpected’ theme, you’ll find surprises around every corner,” said the festival’s Erin Freeman. “From unique interpretations of Bach to a field full of bagpipers, from pop-up performances to a Beethoven symphony that you pick, we’ve planned a month packed with twists and turns that will keep you on your musical toes.
“Come join us for a day, a weekend, a week, or even the entire month. You’re sure to find something to excite, inspire, and amaze you – even if you aren’t expecting it.”
Colonial Williamsburg has transformed once again into the Revolutionary City as the Redcoats occupy the village. Visitors have the option of taking sides and roles as they encounter townspeople, tradespeople, shopkeepers, politicians, women, and the enslaved people of Williamsburg. They can even storm the Governor’s Palace with a group of angry citizens who are upset over the confiscation of their gunpowder, or experience martial law imposed by Benedict Arnold. Of course, there is great excitement when news arrives of the Declaration of Independence, followed later by the onward march to Yorktown and ultimate victory over the British.
The annual Pony Penning and Carnival is a yearly highlight in Chincoteague, Va. The carnival takes place throughout the month of July with rides, games, food, and raffles several nights of the month and an old-fashioned fireworks display on the evening of July Fourth.
“Saltwater cowboys” herd the wild ponies across the Assateague Channel to neighboring Chincoteague Island before the Auction of the Foals on July 28. Visitors enjoy fishing, boating, surfing, sunbathing, shell-collecting, biking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, shopping, and dining on Chincoteague Island, the gateway to Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.