Can’t Miss Events in the Shenandoah Valley This Summer

The first day of summer has come and gone – meaning a whole new season of wonderful events to look forward to! While it can be incredibly difficult to narrow down one’s options from the hundreds of events that go on every summer in Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County, here are a series of events that we know will get you and the whole family out and enjoying the sunshine! 

Happy Birthday America Celebration

Wednesday, July 3rd – Thursday, July 4th 

Independence Day has been celebrated spectacularly in Staunton since the 1970s. In those days, the local heroes the Statler Brothers initiated the original Happy Birthday USA event – attracting some of the best country music talents from across the country, including Johnny and June Cash, Tammy Wynette, and Reba 

McIntire. Over the years, the event drew over 1.2 million visitors to Staunton – until the event closed in 1994.

Now, Wil and Langdon Reid (sons of Statler Brothers Harold and Don Reid) have formed an organization to keep the tradition alive. This year, The Malpass Brothers and Wilson Fairchild will be on the main stage. Over the course of the day, there will be a parade, a parent-child baseball game, a 5K race, and much more – including the fireworks extravaganza to end the night. This is a storybook Fourth of July event! 

The Heifetz International Music Institute Festival of Concerts 

Saturday, June 29th – Friday, August 9th

The Heifetz Institute was honored in three categories by Virginia Living magazine’s Best of Virginia Awards in 2019: Best “Do-Not-Miss” Tourist Attraction, Best Concert Venue, and Best Special Event Venue. And, with a staggering 46 concerts to attend over the course of the season, you have no excuse not to get to one of them! 

The Heifetz Institute is a six-week summer program that attracts some of the most talented bright young violin, viola, cello and double bass players from all over the world. If you think you know classical music – we can promise that you’ve never seen anything like this. With so many shows to choose from it can be difficult to pick just one,  but we’d highly recommend the Saturday night Heifetz Hootenannies – which highlights Heifetz students, staff, and special guests performing multi-genre evenings – everything from Bach to bluegrass. 

Augusta County Fair

July 30th – August 3rd

Nothing says summer like a good county fair. Every year, the Augusta County Fair brings in all of the rides, foods, and entertainment that you remember growing up to the Augusta Expo Center. Enjoy feeling like a kid all over again with rides on the Ferris wheel or roller coaster, and other stomach-flipping rides that are sure to thrill. If you’d rather watch high-speed thrills then ride them, you can enjoy an assortment of street and drag races, motocross and demolition derbies. You can learn more about the area’s vital agricultural industry – with shows for kids – or just eat all of the funnel cake you can possibly get. 

The headlining entertainment experience this year, though, is the Ninja Experience. Here, daredevils perform parkour and freerunning moves that will leave you in absolute awe. The ninja will break boards, lay on a bed of nails and compete on an obstacle course – it will be a great event for the entire family to enjoy. Just good luck explaining to the kids “How did they do that?”

The Virginia Food Truck Battle

Saturday, September 2nd

The Fourth of July might serve as the big holiday of summer – but Labor Day brings it to a close. And what could you want more than to enjoy a few refreshing beverages in the sun between rows and rows of taco and BBQ trucks? What if you could all of that and support a good cause?

Enter the Virginia Food Truck Battle. Now in its fifth year, the Virginia Food Truck Battle is not just a competition – it’s also a fundraising event for the MaDee Project, an organization that provides financial support to pediatric cancer patients and their families in the Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro regions of Virginia. Each month, The MaDee Project sends funds to families battling pediatric cancer. These funds are used for medical expenses and other costs associated with the treatment and care of the child. How can you help? By eating food from more than 18 vendors from all over the state – from the farm-fresh inspired dishes of the Farmacy to the BBQ from last year’s reigning champ Matchsticks BBQ out of Williamsburg. Who knew supporting a good cause could be so delicious?