Every September, the waters of Smith Mountain Lake fill with classic and antique boats. No, it’s not a film set or a strange flashback. It’s the Annual SML Chapter ACBS Antique Boat Festival & Show! Or, as locals refer to it, the Smith Mountain Lake Boat Show. For years, boat enthusiasts have been coming to the lake to show off their vessels and admire other beauties. Don’t miss this unique event, only at Smith Mountain Lake!
About the Smith Mountain Lake Boat ShowEvery year in mid-September, boaters and boat enthusiasts gather at Mariners Landing for the Smith Mountain Lake Boat Show. This year, the main event will be on Saturday, September 15th. If you have a boat you would like to bring, you can register as a participant. There, you can choose whether you’d like to simply display your boat on the water or have it judged by the Smith Mountain Lake Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, who throw this great event every year. There is also a Youth Judging Event, where young boat enthusiasts aged 7 to 11 can choose the boat they feel most deserves a special award. This event aims to encourage the next generation of sailors to learn about this great hobby and help preserve the legacy of classic and antique boats. The young judges will be given a crash-course on judging a boat before making their decision.
Register Today!Aside from the opportunity to display one’s boat and have it judged, registrants participate in an exclusive pre-show event. It allows participants to take a look at the other boats on display and enjoy a meal. Registrants can also choose whether they’d like to take a post-show cruise. This is a great opportunity for visitors to Smith Mountain Lake to get a feel of The Jewel of the Blue Ridge.
Attend the Smith Mountain Lake Boat ShowThe event, which takes place on Saturday, September 15, 2018, is free to attend and runs all day. Aside from admiring the incredible vessels, you can also browse through the vendors! They’re selling the latest and greatest in boat supplies and safety gear. Whether you’re an experienced sailor or just starting out, this is a great opportunity to learn about cutting-edge technology in the world of boating.
Stay with Mariners Landing HospitalityWhen you attend the Smith Mountain Lake Boat Show, make sure you’re staying in one of the premier Mariners Landing Resort rentals beautiful nearby properties. You’ll enjoy beautiful sunsets from your deck on the lake, or on the Mariners Landing docks…perfect for hitching your antique or classic boat! You can browse the available rentals by clicking here! We look forward to having you.
A Fun Activity For Kids
Whether you're staying at Mariners Landing Resort or just looking for something to do with your kids, Smith Mountain Lake State Park has a fun activity tomorrow, Friday, July 26th at 10:30 a.m. on their beach. They are providing an opportunity for children to learn more about Monarch butterflies. This is a free event where they will learn about Monarchs, what makes them so special, what they eat and they will even make a caterpillar to take home. After the event, you are invited to visit the butterfly garden at the Discovery Center and see if you can spot a Monarch sipping nectar from the flowers. Make a weekend out of it and book at room at Mariners and enjoy the weekend in the pools, the lake, playing tennis or rent a boat and see if you can spot Monarchs in other areas of the lake!
The D-Day Memorial is a very special place and is a “must see” if you have not yet visited and this Saturday, July 21st, there is a 1940s Homefront Festival, just a short drive from Smith Mountain Lake. A short history on the memorial goes back to June 6th, 1944 when the United States soldiers, in one of the most pivotal battles of World War II, invaded the French coastline in order to propel German soldiers out of Western Europe and lead the way for victory against the tyrants of that era. Dedicated on June 6th, 2001 by president George W. Bush, the National D-Day Memorial was constructed in honor of those who died that day, fighting in one of the most significant battles in our nations history.
Bedford, Virginia…like eleven other Virginia communities, Bedford provided a company of thirty soldiers (Company A) that were activated on February 3, 1941. They were still in that company on D-Day and several more from Bedford were in other D-Day companies. By the day’s end, nineteen of the company’s Bedford soldiers were dead. Two more Bedford soldiers died later in the Normandy campaign, as did yet another two assigned to other 11th Infantry companies. Bedford’s population was about 3,200. Proportionally, this community suffered the nation’s severest D-Day losses. Recognizing Bedford as emblematic of all communities, large and small, whose citizen-soldiers served on D-Day, Congress warranted the establishment of the National D-Day Memorial there. They were forever known as the “Bedford Boys.”
On Saturday, July 21st from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., you can take a step back in time and experience life in the 1940s! The event will include a WWII Veterans Reunion Tent, WWI and WWII “Profiles of Honor” mobile museum tour, performances by the Star City Starlettes, WWII living history displays, kids activities and crafts, local farm and artisan vendors, food trucks, guided walking tours of the National D-Day Memorial, and more!
Rent a condo at Mariners Landing Resort at Smith Mountain Lake and plan your day at the d-Day Memorial. Admission is free for students and military, and regular admission fees apply to adults. You can click here to plan your visit!
Booker T. Washington National Monument, in Franklin County, Virginia, is the former Burroughs Plantation. In 1850, James and Elizabeth Burroughs moved their children and a few slaves to this 207-acre tobacco farm in southwestern Virginia. The plantation cook, a female slave named Jane, gave birth to three children over the next 10 years. Her middle child would simply be called Booker.
This National Monument is very close to Smith Mountain Lake and is worth a visit. You can explore the small plantation where Washington first longed for an education, pondered what freedom meant and eventually took his “first breath of freedom.”
He has such an interesting history where he was born in April of 1856, during a time when the U.S. was trying to work towards a solution dealing with slavery. As slavery ceased to exist in the most Northern states, abolitionists began to demonstrate and influence state governments pushing toward the emancipation and sometimes the relocation of former slaves and descendants.
Booker T. Washington wrote in his autobiography, Up From Slavery, about his birth and his nine years living as an enslaved person on the Burroughs tobacco plantation. “I was born in a typical log cabin, about fourteen by sixteen feet square. In this cabin I lived with my mother and a brother and sister till after the Civil War, when we were all declared free. Of my ancestry, I know almost nothing…the cabin was not only our living place, but was used as the kitchen for the plantation. My mother was the plantation cook. The cabin was without glass windows; it had only openings in the side which let in the light, and also the cold, chilly air of winter…there was no wooden floor in our cabin, the naked earth being used as a floor.” He goes on to describe how he never slept in a bed, but just on a “bundle of rags.”
He had the desire to get an education but was not allowed to go to school, although he was expected to carry the books to school for Laura Burroughs, one of the owner’s daughters, who was a teacher. He remembered wearing a flax shirt that was very painful to wear when it was new because it felt like “a dozen or more chestnut burrs or a hundred small pin-points coming into contact with his flesh.”
Washington described the moment when he and his family found out they were free at the end of the Civil War. “Finally the war closed, and the day of freedom came. It was a momentous and eventful day to all upon our plantation.” He remembered a stranger who came to the plantation and read a speech that he thought was the Emancipation Proclamation. “After reading we were all free, and could go when and where we pleased, my mother, who was standing by my side, leaned over and kissed her children while tears of joy ran down her cheeks.” She explained what it all meant to them. This was the “moment she had been praying for.” Washington pioneered forward to get an education and became Dr. Booker T. Washington and became a noted educator, orator, author and advisor to presidents.
The Booker T. Washington National Monument is a place where people visit to come to remember and reflect on this time in American history. He wrote, “No race or people ever got upon its feet without severe and constant struggle, often in the face of the greatest discouragement.”
You can plan your visit by clicking here. It is a free National Monument that encourages donations.
Poplar Forest, very near to Smith Mountain Lake, is a National Historic Landmark and Thomas Jefferson’s personal retreat. Here you can visit, what is believed to be, the first octagonal home in America designed and built by Jefferson himself. Tour the home and visit the landscape, which was meticulously restore in 2011 back to Jefferson’s design using early 19th century techniques. It is such an interesting tour where you learn about architecture, preservation and live in the early 19th century. On the plantation, there is continuous excavation where they find artifacts from the plantation occupants that lived and worked at Poplar Forest. You will discover Jefferson’s vision for his gardens, ornamental plantings and farm at Poplar Forest as it emerges through archaeology.
This Landmark is open for visitors through December 15 (closed Thanksgiving Day). If you are visiting the lake with family and friends, you can arrange a group tour any time of the year. Next week is their annual event, Barrels, Bottles & Casks Summer Tours on July 27th and 28th. This is a great opportunity to get a refreshing look at history! This is a tasting tour that begins in Mr. Jefferson’s kitchen and progress through the villa with stops along the way to sample beverages while guides share insights about the foods and drinks that Jefferson and the enslaved residents consumed during the hot summer months. The tours conclude with an ice cream social in the lower level. Admission to the Summertime Barrels, Bottles & Casks tasting tour is $25 per person and reservations are required. You can purchase your tickets by clicking here.
Plan your stay at Mariners Landing Resort online at smlvaca.com and take a 30 minute drive to Jefferson’s Poplar Forest located at 1542 Bateman Bridge Road, Forest, VA 24551!
Try to Turn Your Thumb Green
I don’t know about you, but I have always had a hard time keeping plants alive. My grandmother, on the other hand, had a naturally green thumb. Her passion was gardening and watching her plants flourish. Everything she touched grew and grew and grew! Unfortunately, that gene wasn’t passed down to me so I have look for plants that are hardy and, more or less, take care of themselves.
One thing I began to look for is “self-sowers.” These plants help maintain colorful floral throughout the summer without the hassle and expense of purchasing and planting annuals. They return year after year from the seeds they dropped the year before, unlike perennials that survive the winter through their roots. Now, most self-sowers aren’t able to survive the winters here, but the seeds survive the cold and begin to germinate once the soil and weather warms. What I love about them is that these seeds sprout and grow without planting or caring for them!
In fact, there’s still time to start planting self-sowers from seed, particularly ones that germinate and grow quickly, such as cosmos and zinnias. You can also consult your local nursery about the best self-sowers.
Here are some good self-sowers:
For many, The Fourth of July is a day filled with family, friends, good food, and fireworks. We often look at it as a fun summer celebration to celebrate our flag, enjoy a busy city parade and snack on cotton candy at local fairs, but Independence Day is so much more than that. It’s easy to forget the details behind the holiday, but we are here to help remind you. We have ten fun facts about the history of Independence Day so you can be reminded as to why we celebrate on The Fourth of July.
The Fourth Of July
The Fourth of July is more than just a celebration of summertime — it’s a time to celebrate our freedom and how far we have come.
The Benefits of Paddle Boarding
This fairly new activity has a number of benefits! And we’re not talking about health boosters only here. Let’s have a look at what this outdoor activity can do for you and you can rent them right from Mariners Landing Resort or online at bwmarina.com.
1. It’s a great activity for EVERYONE!
The appeal of SUP is that it offers a variable level of intensity. Cruising on a paddle board can mean anything from a gentle drift across the glassy lake, to a heart-pounding paddle across wakes or against the current of a river. SUP is probably the only activity that can be equally enjoyable for both senior citizens and extreme sports junkies.
2. Stand up paddle boarding can be done anywhere.
Though it’s usually though of as a beach activity, it works just as well on a lake. This makes it popular with water-sports fans who live inland, as they can train on a local lake or river, than driving hours to the shore. Paddle boards are lighter than kayaks or canoes and easier to travel with.
3. It’s easy to pick up.
Another handy thing about SUP is that it’s quick to get started. The kit can be rented easily at Mariners Landing Resort at the Pointe pool office or online at bwmarina.com. And it doesn’t take much practice to master the technique – once you can stand up and turn your board around, there’s not much more to learn. You can control your speed easily, meaning it’s less intimidating for beginners than sports like windsurfing. And if you do fall off, it’s easy to get back on.
4. It’s an ongoing activity.
In fact, SUP stands out amongst water sports for being a very sociable activity. It’s easy to chat to a friend paddling alongside, and if you have small children, they can sit on the board with you. This makes it a lot more welcoming than sports like surfing or waterskiing, which are very much on-person activities.
5. It improves your balance.
The unstable board is what makes it such an effective workout. Although it might feel like you’re standing still, the wobbling of the board means that all your muscles are constantly working to keep your body upright. With regular practice, you’ll find that your balance is better even when you’re off the water. This can improve your performance in other sports, and it’s fantastic for seniors, to offset the loss of balance.
In the end, SUP is all about exploration, both on the water and in your own mind. On the board, you can get closer to nature and see things in a new way. You can practice on any stretch of water. The lapping of the water and the tug of wind, lull you into a state of total focus, melting away the worries you feel on land!
Fireworks at Smith Mountain Lake
The lake has become a very popular place to celebrate Independence Day…actually, Independence Week! There are so many places that have amazing fireworks that you can enjoy either by boat or by land. And they start this Saturday, June 30th in Downtown Moneta and go through next Saturday at Mitchell’s Point Marina!
On Saturday, June 30th, the Moneta Volunteer Fire Department will host a “FireWorx” Fest Event in Downtown Moneta. You can go and enjoy a family friendly evening with live music by The Worx and then see the spectacular fireworks show. There will be food, drinks, children’s games and more and all proceeds benefit the Moneta Fire Department. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and there is a $10 admission except for kids 10 and under who get in for free. For more information, visit the Moneta Fire Department’s Facebook page.
On Tuesday, July 3rd, you can go to the 35th Annual Independence Day Festival, presented by the Rocky Mount Rotary Club, at Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount. They have the event on the football field and the whole family can enjoy a fun-filled evening featuring live music performances, great food, inflatables, children’s activities, games, contests and much more. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the big fireworks show begins after dark. This is one that you want to bring a blanket or lawn chair to as well as your camera!
On the actual holiday, Wednesday, July 4th, Parkway Marina puts together a family friendly day of celebrating that begins at 3:00 pm and goes to 10 p.m. The SVFC (Saunders Volunteer Fire Company) Annual 4th of July Fireworks Celebration is their main fundraiser and charge $10 per car for parking. If you’re not familiar with Parkway Marina, it is located on Smith Mountain Lake just a couple of miles past the State Park. There will be plenty of food vendors, a beer garden and activities for children. Some of the activities include live music by The Worx, arts and crafts vendors, and the 1956 working carousel…definitely a kid and adult pleaser. Be sure to bring a blanket or chair so you can lay back and enjoy the fireworks show.
On Friday, July 6th, Mariners Landing Resort puts on amazing, and FREE, fireworks show from the docks located on the Pointe lawn, brought to you by CALM, Inc., This is a place where you can have dinner at Heath’s Waterfront Grill, either in their dining room or on their newly renovated deck, listen to some local music and then put your blanket or chair on the lawn and enjoy the professional fireworks display that will begin just after dark. There are also condos available to rent and then you could watch the show right from your private balcony! If you are interested in renting a condo, you can call Mariners Landing Hospitality at 540-297-4100 or go to http://www.smlvaca.com.
And last but not least, On Saturday, July 7th, there is the Mitchell’s Point Marina Fireworks, sponsored by Mitchell’s Point Marina & RV Park. This is an annual event and the entrance fee is $10 which is donated to the Semper Fi Fund, one of America’s highest rated charities dedicated to providing urgently needed resources and support for post 9/11 combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. There is limited parking so consider watching this fireworks show by water!
Fun Wedding Reception Ideas
This time of year is a very popular time for weddings and completing the planning process, especially when it comes to the receptions. They don't always have to be formal and stuffy...have fun! Here are thirteen ideas on how to have fun with your reception.
1. Walk Down Memory Lane
Make the guest feel like integral parts of the day by incorporating them into the décor — in a gallery of meaningful photos. You can call it something like 'memory lane' and hang pictures of the bride and groom with friends and family along the walk from the ceremony to the reception. It's a fun cocktail party conversation starter. As guests take a leisurely stroll and find pictures of themselves with you, they can reminisce and socialize. Even yard signs are good if your guests are walking outside.
2. Break the Ice Creatively
When you enter your reception for the first time as husband and wife, don't just take a conventional arm-in-arm stroll...run, skip or dance! Brainstorm with your groom about the most creative, appropriate way to make a big impression. This is a great way to break the ice and set up for a fun vibe for the rest of the event.
3. Play Party Games
A cool idea is to make the menus puzzles, so each person gets one piece of the puzzle at their place setting, then everyone had to put the pieces together to get the full menu description.
4. Be Entertaining
Guests always love the energy of a live band but tend to want to hear the original artist sing their favorite tunes. As a compromise, a bride may hire a dance band but also play DJ'ed music during the breaks, or she'll arrange to have live music during some parts of the event and recorded music during others.
5. Surprise 'em!
Pablo Neruda is the world's most romantic poet, and a modern, pretty paperback edition of his love poems makes a wonderful, lasting guest favor that's much more meaningful that a bag of Jordan almonds! If you buy in bulk, you might get a discount — contact your bookseller directly. And don't forget to add a personalized bookmark thanking your friends and family for sharing your big day with you.
6. Offer a Dessert Buffet
You can assume most people have a sweet tooth, so have guest get involved in creating their very own dessert. A cupcake-making station is a reinvention of the popular hot fudge station. Have abundant trays of different flavors and colors: a guest might pile crushed Oreos on a chocolate buttercream cupcake or top a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese. This sort of do-it-yourself treat is absolutely guaranteed to bring out the kid in everyone! If you're planning a warm-weather wedding, feel free to get really playful with refreshments. Consider serving up a nostalgic and fun Sno-Cone station. It's easy to rent a shaved-ice machine from the caterer or a party rental company. Add a choice of colorful syrups and even your favorite apres-dinner liqueurs. Think frozen White Russians, Orange Shaved Ice with Grand Marnier, or Ruby Port and Berry. This will be the hit of the party.
7. Be More Entertaining
Consider unexpected, untraditional entertainments, like tarot card readers, magicians and flip book stations (booths where guests create quick movies and make mini books). Ask yourselves what sorts of activities the two of you like to do. You can use your shared interests as surefire wedding inspiration. (Did you meet at a comedy club? You may want to hire a stand-up comic.) Or you can use your heritage as inspiration: We've had couples surprise their guests with ethnic dancers or musicians who share a set with the band. You could hire square dance instructors. Have them teach guests to do a line dance — they'll have a blast.
8. Host Those Stations
Guests love having a chef prepare a dish just for them. Chef-hosted stations of single items are very popular like an heirloom tomato salad bar with local tomatoes and cheeses. We've also seen gazpacho made to order. Look to your region's specialties. If out-of-town guests can't get it at home, it's a special treat. Display a '100 Mile Table', filled with local produce and artisanal foods, all from within one hundred miles of your celebration — handmade cheeses, homemade pickles — and great local beer!
9. Try a Wine Tasting
Looking for a fun, interactive cocktail hour idea? Provide "flights," or 1- to 2-ounce tastes of three different wines. Everybody can get a little notebook with information about the flavor notes. Another plus: As long as you can supply your own wine without being charged corkage fees, this option may cost less than some speciality bars.
10. Hire the Local Food Truck
Long after dinner's over, and guests are still out on the dance floor, serve up a surprise snack. Arrange to have a local mobile food vendor pull up his truck outside your event. Give guests a wrist band or a ticket so they can walk up to the truck and get a snack, then come back inside and start dancing again!
11. Personalize Your Guest Book
Photo booths have been done at many weddings. If you'd like to try something new, give guests dry-erase boards and markers and set up a colorful curtain as a backdrop. They write messages to the happy couple, and are photographed with them in front of the curtain. It's interactive, inexpensive — you can even appoint a friend with an iPhone to take the pictures — and when you put the photos in an album, it makes a one-of-a-kind guest book.
12. Make a Special Toast
Instead of a pricey tasting bar, make one toast with a favorite liquor. Maybe a tequila toasts, if it's special to the couple. Then you can limit the amount everyone drinks, which allows you to serve better quality liquor.
13. Choose a Sweet Treat
In lieu of a traditional favor, you might send guest off on their merry way with a midnight snack. Give them milk and mini donuts served in takeaway boxes. Or hand out packages of cookies iced with your monogram or beribboned boxes holding two artisanal chocolates or even small tins of a speciality tea.
We will bring you all the fun things to do around the lake all year long!