A roundup of don’t-miss happenings around the state.
Photo courtesy of the City of Manassas.
Summer may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean your weekends have to. From barbecue competitions and Blackjack to Civil War reenactments, there’s something for everybody. Let’s Be Civil Manassas, Aug. 26-28 Travel back in time this weekend and get up close and personal with our nation’s history. The annual Civil War Weekend in Old Town Manassas kicks off at 9:00 a.m. Friday and runs through 4:00 p.m. Sunday. The weekend includes live reenactments of historical events like Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 raid on the railroad junction, artillery and weapons demonstrations, stories from the Underground Railroad, a bourbon tasting and an ice cream social while the Manassas Symphony Orchestra performs. Admission is free. VisitManassas.org Big on the Pig Boydton, Aug. 27 Barbecue buffs from all over the region duke it out at the 5th annual Big Bad BBQ Battle this Saturday. More than 20 “pit crews” will compete in four categories—ribs, butts, chicken and brisket—judged by members of the Kansas City Barbecue Society. Watch as the Mecklenburg and Brunswick County Sheriff’s departments go head-to-head in a rib-eating showdown at 11:00 a.m., and then test your own chow-down limitations with the burgers, dogs, fries, ice cream and (obviously) barbecue available for purchase. Vendors will line Bank Street with handmade items, crafts and demonstrations like wreath-making. Boydton.org Taste This Winchester, Aug. 27 Lavender shortbread cookies? Apple cider donuts? Freshly-made cheese? Yes, please. Sample all these goodies and more this Saturday at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley during the Shenandoah Valley TasteFest, an all-day event featuring demonstrations by professional cooks, a guided garden walk, a display of antique tractors and, of course, tons of food. Artists like bluegrass group Joe and Sam Hermann and Friends will provide live music from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Jack Knuckle Gourmet Food Truck will be on hand if you’re still hungry after all that sampling. TheMSV.org Lay a Wager Suffolk, Aug. 27 The Suffolk Month of Mystery is coming to a close, and it’s going out with a bang. It’s not every day that Virginia residents get the opportunity to try their luck at Blackjack or the craps table, so get out of the heat and head over to the Suffolk Center for Casinos & Crooks. The event, which starts at 7:00 p.m., will feature casino games (don’t worry—it’s fake money), heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, with the film Ocean’s 11 playing in the background. Tickets $40 per person, over 21 only. SuffolkCenter.org Gentlemen, Start Your Engines Alton, Aug. 28 Racing legend Carroll Shelby was known to have said that one lap at the Virginia International Raceway “is like a hundred at Watkins Glen.” (Watkins Glen is a race track in New York known as the Mecca of North American road racing.) Experience the history and the excitement (and the noise) of the classic racetrack at the annual Oak Tree Grand Prix, part of the International Motor Sports Association WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. Watch drivers execute both left and right-hand turns and then lay the throttle down in the straightaways on this road course. Racing not quite your speed? Head on over to the Oak Tree Spa or try your hand at skeet shooting on one of the motorsport resort’s two ranges. VIRNow.com