A roundup of don’t-miss happenings around the state.
By the time Friday evening rolls around, it can be temping to just kick back for some hardcore R&R. But summer is coming to an end, so why not take advantage of the warm (er, maybe warmer than warm) weather and check out some open-air events sure to make you glad you made the effort. Starry Nights August 12, Chincoteague Listen to the waves crash against the shore as you peer through a telescope at the heavens during the last installment of the Astronomy and Night Sky Summer Series. Thanks to a presentation at the NASA Wallops Flight Facilities Visitors Center you’ll have a spectacular, front-row view of the Perseid Meteor Shower, which experts say will put on a show of up to 150 shooting stars per hour. NASA.gov/wallops-visitor-center Drama Encouraged August 12 and 13, Forest Stage lights go up as the sun goes down behind Jefferson’s plantation house in Bedford County. The Virginia Shakespeare Initiative brings An Evening of Shakespeare: Comedies and Love Scenes to Poplar Forest this weekend. Bring chairs or blankets and make yourself comfortable on the South Lawn as you watch legendary scenes of Shakespeare’s tipplers, tricksters and trollops under a starry sky. Tickets $15 for adults, $12 for students and $5 for children. PoplarForest.com/events Take the Bull by the Horns August 13, Gordonsville Eight seconds never seemed longer…or more exciting. Come watch rodeo competitors from across the country hang on to bulls bucking their way around a ring at BDLM’s Bull Riding Rodeo sanctioned by the Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association. The event at Oakland Heights Farm will also feature food, vendors and live music. Tickets $15 for adults and $10 for children. Virginia.org/events Ready, Set, Bow! August 13-14, Wirtz Do you dream of being the next Katniss Everdeen? Brush up on your bowhunting skills and join other archers at the annual Blackwater Bowhunters Fall Festival. Whether you’re still learning or have been shooting for years, bring your bow to compete in the annual tournament and moonlight shoot. You can also feast on some Jewells BBQ, take a tour of the range and try your hand at a game or two of horseshoes. Don’t feel like driving home? First round $10, and all subsequent rounds $5 a piece. BlackWaterBowhunters.com/festival Mind the Rind August 14, Richmond Is there anything more summer than watermelon? Pack up the family and head to Richmond for the 33rd annual Carytown Watermelon Festival, which features food, crafts, elaborate decorations and, of course, watermelons. Martin’s donates all the melons to the Shriners, and the proceeds benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children. CarytownRVA.com/watermelon-festival