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First, let me say that the Discover Halifax County blog is back up and running after a brief hiatus. (You’re welcome!). We'll share upcoming events each week, tell you about the talented locals who make the items that we sell in our Visitor Center, and share itineraries for visitors and locals alike. We will also keep you informed on all things tourism in our great county. Look for the weekly events each Thursday morning. We’ll delight you with 1-2 other posts throughout the week.

Now that housekeeping is out of the way, I present,  Discover Halifax's Weekend Guide...



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Paddling Down the River

River boating is a popular sport in Halifax County, part of the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway. Children, fishermen and river rafters are just a few of the people who will enjoy paddling the easy-flowing rivers in this part of the state.

We’ve sent some of our visitors to River Traders, which rents kayaks and canoes at Staunton River State Park, less than a half-hour from South Boston. Experienced boaters can stop at the Route 360 bridge over the river, get their boats and have their car driven to the River Traders store in the park, where they can end their four-hour boat ride.



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One of the great things about Halifax County is that it is dark at night. Really dark!

In such a rural area, there are no city lights to diminish your view of the skies. The planets and constellations that you can’t see in Washington, Richmond or Raleigh are quite visible here.



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Local B&B Named One of 14 Greenest in the U.S.

Oak Grove Plantation in South Boston has been named one of the 14 leading eco-friendly B&Bs in the country by bedandbreakfast.com. The article in its latest newsletter says:

“This stately antebellum home blends past and present, promoting both the B&B’s 200-year history and the modern potential of solar-generated energy. The property houses a solar photo-voltaic system that generates clean electricity. “Our guests will be able to sip lemonade on the front porch as my ancestors once did, then tour the 25×10-footlineup of solar panels in the back field,” says innkeeper Pickett Craddock, whose family has owned the former tobacco plantation since 1820. To make the property greener, the owners are installing “low-e” energy-efficient storm windows on the south side. Guests who arrive in hybrid vehicles get a third night free.



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The past week has been pretty eventful here in Halifax County, Virginia. Here's a brief recap of some fun things I have had a chance to enjoy this week, followed by a list of a few upcoming events here in the next week.

1. Last Wednesday night, country due Joey+Rory played to a sold out crowd at The Prizery and made a big announcement while there. Rory Feek is directing a new movie entitled Josephine, and that movie is being filmed right here in Halifax County. (Photo Credit James Edmunds)



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There are quite a few special events here in the next week, from concerts to a warehouse sale, dinners, festivals, and more.  What are your plans? Let us know what you decide. Now, in order of event date, here are nine things to do in the area over the next 7 days.    

1.  The Garnier-Thiebaut Warehouse Sale is back in town this Thursday, April 30-May 2! The Garnier-Thiebaut Warehouse Sale is located at 1041 Commerce Lane, South Boston, Virginia, 24592. The sale will be held Thursday, April 30, 11am -8pm; Friday, May 1 9:30am-9pm; and Saturday, May 2, 9am-2pm. This company is known for their beautiful luxury french linens, but I see something new on this graphic below: Soaps and body care. I can't wait to have these for my home!



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The Collingsworth Family Returns to South Boston, Virginia

 

For the second year in a row, The Collingsworth Family returns to South Boston, Virginia. This family of gospel singers and musicians, including the renowned pianist Kim Collingsworth, will perform a concert on Saturday, April 4, 2015, at 6:00pm at the Halifax County High School auditorium. Tickets are $10 each for General Admission, and $20 each for Inner Circle Seating. All proceeds will benefit the Halifax County Cancer Association. 



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6 Great Main Street Shops in Downtown South Boston, Virginia

My friend and neighbor Tracy was planning to go shopping in downtown South Boston today, specifically looking for a table and a couple of end tables for her beach home. I gladly invited myself, because I love window shopping and visiting the Main Street shops here in SoBo. I'm so glad I did. 



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The Story Behind the Halifax County, Virginia LOVE Sign: What Each Letter Means

Recently, I wrote of the new LOVE sign here in Halifax County how the sign came to be and why. Now I'd like to explain the meaning behind each letter in LOVE and why each symbol was chosen for our sign.

Halifax County is for History Lovers.   L is made in the image of a Revolutionary War figure. It was designed in the image of a soldier at the Halifax County Historical Society’s Crossing of the Dan exhibit which is located at the Prizery in South Boston.  Halifax County is rich in history and full of people working hard to promote our history and heritage.



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Halifax County is Sharing the LOVE

Everyone knows that Virginia is for Lovers, thanks to the Richmond based advertising agency Martin and Woltz, Inc, who created the “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan 46 years ago.   The slogan, which first appeared in the March 1969 issue of Modern Bride Magazine, was considered at the time to be provocative and bold. It has since been called one of the most iconic ad campaigns in the last 50 years by “Advertising Age,” and is considered by many to be one of the most recognizable tourism slogans in the nation.  More recently, the Virginia Tourism Corporation set out to prove, in accordance with their slogan, that love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. As a symbol of such, they have created giant artworks in the shape of the word “LOVE,” simply called LOVEworks.  You may have seen or even had your photo taken with the giant letters that spell out the word LOVE, as these signs can, upon request, be transported and displayed at various festivals and events across the Commonwealth.  When Virginia Tourism offered to assist localities in creating their own LOVEworks by awarding grants to qualifying applicants in 2014, Halifax County Department of Tourism gladly applied.  Bursting with local flavor and rich cultural, natural, and recreational opportunities, Halifax County is rich in tourism opportunities.  

Thanks to the Halifax County Tourism Department and a grant awarded by the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Halifax County now has its own LOVE sign. Collaboratively designed and built by South Boston resident Jim Luedtke, the sign makes its home in front of the South Boston-Halifax County Visitor Center, located at 800 Bill Tuck Highway in South Boston at the intersection of Highways 360 and 58, where VDOT estimates 13,000 vehicles pass by every day.  Each letter of the LOVE sign represents a piece of Halifax County, from the arts to agriculture.



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"2015 tiptoed in very quietly while we slept. I awoke early this morning and sat on the edge of Carrington's bed. He whispered, "Will you snuggle with me?" I did. I stole every imaginary sugar-cake that I could find. When my other two rise in their own time, we are heading out into the state park for our first day hike. It is a very happy new year, indeed." -January 1, 2015



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Last year I sat down to write my Christmas wish list at just the time I was awaiting the new Sound of Music television movie. What resulted was the first part of a holiday wish list, sung to the tune of "My Favorite Things." I posted my list on facebook last year, and at the urging of several friends, wrote the second verse, which included even more local shopping ideas. If you have a business you'd like to see included on the list, please let me know. If I have enough, I may just write a third part. Let's always remember our local businesses and friends when knocking out that holiday shopping! 

Cheers! Erin



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from The Virginia Grape
I was down in a very rural part of Halifax County on my first visit to the Southern Virginia Wine Region. Unlike Central and Northern Virginia, there are no real clusters of wineries in this part of the state, so driving time became a factor. I'd only visited two tasting rooms and it was nearing the end of the day. I'd been very happy with my discoveries. Southern Virginia has a reputation for sweet wines and, so far, I'd found no proof of that. I pulled into Hunting Creek Vineyards, knowing that it would be my last stop of the day. What were the chances that I'd uncover another great winery. Three in a row seemed like a long shot.

Hunting Creek Vineyards tasting room in log cabin

The tasting room is a small log cabin set back next to the trees. The lawn is manicured, there are flowers along the walk and a line of wooden rockers sit on the porch. As you enter the front door, you'll notice the interior is a tasteful mix of rustic and modern. The curved, polished-wood tasting bar and modern settees are juxtaposed against the exposed beam ceiling and old fieldstone fireplace. It's the kind of place I could imagine spending a long weekend. So far, so good, but what about the wine?



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Todd Hansen is a master story-teller who believes that every person has something important to say, and he's on a mission, traveling the country searching for a story. He happens to be the host of BYUtv's reality tv show entitled, "The Story Trek," and his cross country searching led him right here to Halifax County, Virginia.



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oak grove melons3You haven’t tasted good vegetables and fruit until you’ve tried them straight from the farm. Halifax County is loaded with roadside stands and farmers’ markets that sell them. “Fresh and local food is a lot better for you than store-bought produce,” says Pickett Craddock, who runs Oak Grove Plantation bed & breakfast. “I never knew corn and tomatoes could taste so good,” says her husband, Mike Doan. We always serve local fresh fruit for breakfast when it’s available.

This time of the year, July and August, is the best time for cantaloupe, watermelons, corn, squash, zucchini, okra, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, blueberries, blackberries, beets, onions, cabbage, peaches and beans. Strawberries, asparagus and flowering plants are at their height in May. Fresh eggs are also popular here. and pumpkins are available in the fall.



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Welcome to the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway



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A few weeks ago I posted an article about my visit with friends Mark and Jeanene Krogh, who have been restoring Woodlawn Plantation in Clover, Virginia.  Their dedication to this restoration is admirable, and the time and effort they have invested in this 18th century Virginia plantation home is impressive.  Read the article about Woodlawn Plantation here.



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One of my favorite aspects of working for Tourism and the Visitor Center is that I get to meet so many people from so many different areas, while learning a piece of their life story and their reasons for traveling to and through our community. Almost every time that I work, I get to meet an interesting person or family with a story and I love forging connections. I believe we are all connected in some way or another, and these two lovely ladies whom I met Sunday are wonderful examples of how far reaching our community is and how the programs in our community can impact and connect us all.



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Woodlawn Plantation

"On a high hill near Staunton River several miles east of Clover, Woodlawn stands silently, a dominant landmark for more than 200 years." These descriptive words introduce readers to Woodlawn Plantation in Kenneth Cook's article in the News and Record on September 17, 1976.  Read more of Kenneth Cook's article and learn about the incredible history of this old plantation home in Halifax County, Virginia here.



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July 4th is right around the corner, and if you're looking for fireworks or a grand celebration, Southern Virginia and surrounding area is booming with places and ways to celebrate our great nation's independence! These patriotic celebrations will have you waving Old Glory in your Red, White, and Blue before you can say Yankee Doodle Dandy! Take a look at this list, and hopefully you'll find something fun for the whole family to enjoy.

Thursday, July 3, 2014 Race and Fireworks

South Boston Speedway, South Boston, Virginia: Get your FIREWORKS fix started this Thursday, July 3 at the South Boston Speedway! Dr. & Mrs. Maresca of St. Lawrence Radiology Presents Thunder Road Harley Davidson NASCAR Late Model 200 / Limited 100 / Pure Stock 50 with fireworks to follow this July 3 at the South Boston Speedway. Tickets $15, available at the South Boston-Halifax County Visitor Center. For details, see www.southbostonspeedway.com



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