Out with a bang: Madison fair wraps up summer

It may be Labor Day weekend, the official end of summer for another year, but the town of Madison gives us one more chance to celebrate. This Saturday, Main Street will be buzzing with the 11th annual Taste of the Mountains, the town’s tribute to the traditions of the Blue Ridge of the 18th and 19th centuries. 
“It’s a true heritage festival,” said Tracey Williams, director of the Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring the event. “Everything is Madison.”
The E.A. Clore Sons’ exhibit is typical of  “everything Madison.” This family-owned business has been handcrafting Early American hardwood furniture in their hometown for over a 150 years. Woodworkers will be demonstrating their craft at the library grounds throughout the day, and festival-goers have the chance to win a sample of their work by signing up for a free drawing.
More than 150 other artists and crafters will also line the street, offering demonstrations and selling handmade jewelry, clothing, gifts, housewares, and other goods. Shoppers who want more history in their purchases can haunt the many antique and gift shops for unique treasures from the past.
Kids can climb the walls— literally— with a rock-climbing wall that’s great for youngsters of all ages. There’s also special entertainment, sand art projects, games, and a petting zoo to keep little ones busy while parents wander through the antique car exhibit, tour the historic Kemper Residence, or chat with re-enacters from the Seventh Virginia Infantry Unit about life in the Civil War encampment.
Three stages will also feature live musical entertainment— all local— including Terri Allard, William Walter and Company, Down ‘Til Now, and many more.
But let’s talk about the taste part of Taste of the Mountains. Townsfolk will be pulling out all the stops to make this one of the yummiest adventures around. Madison Volunteer Firefighters will be out grilling their legendary steaks. Down the street, other vendors will be offering barbecued pork and chicken, Virginia country ham biscuits, veggie burgers, lemonade, and lots of other country fair fare.
If you’re not ready to let summer go just yet, why not wander up Route 29 a ways to taste what the town of Madison has to offer?

Taste of the Mountain happens August 30 from 10am-5pm on Main Street in downtown Madison. Admission is free, and parking is available at Madison High School on Rt. 29 with a free shuttle bus to the fair. 540-984-4455.

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