Spring has arrived in Lynchburg, Virginia. Nowhere is that more evident than in the Old City Cemetery, located at 401 Taylor Street. The warmer than average temperatures have caused many of the antique roses in the cemetery to bloom in early April, nearly a month before the Antique Rose Festival. Old City Cemetery is one of the oldest public cemeteries in the country with over 2,200 Confederate soldiers buried within the cemetery. The cemetery is also home to over 200 varieties of antique roses with specimens botanically labeled, a butterfly garden and pond, shrub garden, and scattergardens.
Old City Cemetery is beautiful all year round but is especially beautiful in the springtime. During the Antique Rose Festival, held on Saturday, May 12, cuttings of many varieties of antique roses are available for sale. Walking tours of the roses will be held during the festival as well as planting and fertilizing demonstrations. There is a presale of antique rose cuttings from May 6-11 at the cemetery. The garden is open daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. all year and there is no charge for self-guided tours. You can learn more about the roses and the cemetery at the website, www.gravegarden.org.
Old City Cemetery is one of the sites that will be open to the public on Lynchburg’s Garden Day, April 24. Historic Garden Week in Virginia is held annually with this year’s dates April 21-28. This year is the 79th year that Virginia has celebrated Historic Garden Week. Each locality that participates chooses a day to hold tours of local gardens and homes. This year during Lynchburg’s Garden Day, held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., there will be four private homes open for touring. Also included in the full ticket price is admission to Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s summer home and Point of Honor, the 1815 home of Dr. George Cabell, a prominent Virginia surgeon. Admission fees will be waived at Lynchburg Museum during Garden Day. Lynchburg’s Garden Day is sponsored by the Lynchburg Garden Club and the Hillside Garden Club. Full tickets are $25 and single site tickets are $8. You can learn more about Historic Garden Week across Virginia at www.vagardenweek.org.
Civil War buffs will want to mark their calendars for three events in Lynchburg on the weekend of April 13-15. Lynchburg will host the Civil War Trails Weekend. Lynchburg houses 12 historic Civil War markers throughout the city with the newest on the grounds of E.C. Glass High School. Participants in the Civil War Trails Weekend will begin downtown at the Lynchburg Visitor’s Center, located at the corner of 12th and Church Streets. Here, they will pick up a guide to the markers and begin their self-guided tour, ending at E.C. Glass. E.C. Glass was the site of a Prisoner of War camp during the Civil War. There will be a recreation of the POW camp and reenactors will be on site. The Civil War Trails Weekend times are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. all weekend.
Appomattox Court House National Park is located about 30 minutes east of Lynchburg. This is the site of the surrender grounds where General Lee surrendered to General Grant, ending the Civil War. This week and all summer, there are Living History events at Appomattox Court House, open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be reenactors on site as well as demonstrations and tours of the grounds. Children can participate in the Junior Ranger program by filling out a workbook with information about Appomattox Court House and the Civil War. The weekend’s Living History events will be held through Sunday as part of the 147th Anniversary. You can learn more about Appomattox Court House National Park at www.nps.gov/apco.
Appomattox is also home to Clover Hill Village, located just past the Appomattox Court House National Park at 5745 River Ridge Road in Appomattox. This village will be the site of “The Long Road Home – Five Forks,” which will be held April 13-15. The village houses a recreated Civil War era chapel, school house, blacksmith shop, and general merchandise store. During the weekend, there will be period reenactors on site with demonstrations and displays. There will be two Civil War battle reenactments during the weekend. On Saturday, the Battle of Dinwiddie will take place at 3 p.m. On Sunday, the Battle of Five Forks will take place at 11 a.m. There will be reenactments of the events leading up to both of these battles as well as Sunday morning service in the chapel at 9 a.m. The hours for the event are Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Single day admission price is $10 for adults, $5 for children over 12, and free for children 12 and under. There is a discount for a multiple day pass. For more information about this event, visit the website, www.appomattoxhistoricalsociety.org.
For the men, there’s a special spring event that will be held on April 28 at Lynchburg’s Riverfront Festival Park, located downtown on Jefferson Street. The Big Boys Toys Show 2012 will feature approximately 100 vendors with cool gadgets, new technology, cars and trucks, music, food, and entertainment geared to men but suitable for the entire family. This show is put on by Lynchburg Shows. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. You can learn more about the Big Boys Toys Show at www.LynchburgShows.com at the Big Boys Toys link.
For the ladies, you won’t want to miss the 2nd Annual Spring Fling Craft Show at St. Thomas More Church, 3015 Roundelay Road in Lynchburg. This event will be held on Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Featured will be many area crafters, artisans, and vendors selling a variety of products including jewelry, scarves, hair accessories, floral, designer handbags from Thirty-One Gifts, Stampin’ Up rubber stamp products, Scentsy wickless candles, and more. For more information about this event or a vendor form, visit www.stmva.com and click on the special occasions link for Spring Fling.
Music lovers will want to be sure to attend the first concert of the Summer Concert Series at DeVault Family Vineyards, 247 Station Lane in Concord. Located just 15 minutes from Lynchburg, DeVault Family Vineyards was rated second in area vineyards in 2011 during only their second year of operation. This vineyard has made a name for itself in a very short time with many family friendly events including the very popular Watermelon Festival in July. The first concert of the season will feature the group Rareform performing from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on May 12. There will be special activities set up for the kids. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for under 21, and free for kids under age 5. Regular hours at DeVault are Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. DeVault is a member of the SoVA Wine Trail. You can learn more about DeVault at www.devaultvineyards.com.
If you live in Lynchburg, these events should make your Spring Bucket List. If you’re not in Lynchburg, spring is the time for a visit or two to Lynchburg. There’s a lot happening here.