Spring has sprung, the flowers are out, farm fields have turned luminous green and Loudoun’s parks, public gardens, hiking trails and horse racing tracks are set for a busy season.
So, what’s on the calendar in Loudoun that can keep you and your family entertained in the pre-summer sun? Here we highlight some of the big upcoming spring events.
April 17-18th: Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival, Ida Lee Park
Founded in 1990, the 31st edition of this sweet-scented extravaganza takes place at Ida Lee Park this year. An annual rite of spring in Loudoun, the show features floral designers, flower growers, landscapers, gardening suppliers, plant sellers and much more, as well as live music, food stands and entertainment for kids. Grab your wagon and stroll through displays of some 60 vendors selling everything from bluebells and cherry blossoms to potted palms and geraniums. Tickets for this year’s event must be bought in advance.
Right next door to the garden festival at Ida Lee, Morven Park Equestrian Center will be hosting the 54th Loudoun Hunt Point to Point. The event features seven thrilling flat and hurdle races as well as the Mrs. George C. Everhart Memorial Side Saddle Race. Riders from across the country come to take part, and fans in glamorous spring country attire set up tables and garden tents to enjoy picnics and local craft beverages while cheering on the horses.
April 17th -18th: Softball - USSSA Xplosion Kaboom Spring Classic!
It’s a busy weekend. Sports tournaments come back to Loudoun with softballs’ USSSA Xplosion Kaboom Spring Classic for age groups 10 to 14. Teams from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia participate, including several from Loudoun, with games taking place at Potomack Lakes Sportsplex, Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park and Claude Moore Park. Take yourself out to the ball game!
April 17th-18th: Bluemont in Bloom, Bluemont
You don’t have to drive into DC to see the cherry blossoms in bloom – Bluemont has you covered. Start off at Bluemont Vineyard where the driveway is lined with cherry trees and then head off-road into the apple blossom orchard at Great Country Farms, also in full flower. Next, make your way to Henway Hard Cider Co., which is hosting a pop-up “Bloom Bar”, the menu featuring “Hatch” hard cider, Blood Orange cider and Rosé cider, all available by the pint. Take home all your favorite springtime sippers.
April 22nd: Earth Day at Franklin Park, 3pm-6pm
Purcellville’s popular public park hosts a joint Earth Day with the Arts Center at Franklin Park pond. Aimed at raising conservation awareness, themed stations will be set up around the perimeter of the pond, each with a different nature theme. There will be crafts, demonstrations, displays, a fishing station with an instructor, a mini farmer’s market, a scavenger hunt on the grounds, snacks, free gift bags and even a DJ. Groups taking part include Loudoun County Master Gardeners and Endless Summer Harvest.
April 24th-25th: Taste of Rosé Weekend
Spring is renowned for being the season for rosé wine, and dozens of Loudoun wineries are perfecting this delicate pink-hued tippler. The “Taste of Rosé” is a weekend dedicated to new rosés and promoted by the Loudoun Wineries Association. Among new bottles to try this year: 868 Estate Vineyards’ 868 Estate 2020 Rosé, a blend of estate-grown reds, produced in the French Saignée style; Boxwood Estate Winery’s Boxwood Rosé with its aromas of red bramble fruits and raspberry and Maggie Malick Wine Caves’ bright, pink and refreshing 2020 Rosé – well worth the trip.
April 25th: Rugby - Old Glory DC V New England Free Jacks, Segra Field, 1pm-4pm
Segra Field is not only home to the men’s soccer team Loudoun United and the women’s team Washington Spirit; this year it became home to professional Major League Rugby (MLR) team Old Glory DC. On April 25 the rugby team will take on the visiting New England Free Jacks. Players to look out for include New Zealand native Danny Tusitala and Maryland native Josh Brown.
Moving into May, Glenwood Park north of Middleburg hosts the flagship event on the Loudoun social calendar: the Middleburg Spring Races, as synonymous with the season as dogwoods and daffodils. The famous Alfred Hunt Steeplechase course is inspired by fences found at New Zealand and French race meets while the event itself is based on the original fox hunt point-to-point meets dating back to 1911. Join race aficionados and designer-dressed fans from Loudoun, D.C., Baltimore and beyond as they tailgate and cheer on some of the fastest hurdle horses in the world. The blue-chip race of the day? The prestigious $75,000 Temple Gwathmey Graded Stakes, which was originally run in Rolling Rock, PA and later Belmont, NY.
May 7th, 8th, 9th: Mother’s Day at Hope Flower Farm
Internationally renowned floral designer Holly Chapple of Hope Flower Farm outside Waterford opens her gates to visitors on Mother’s Day weekend. Guests must buy a fresh flower bouquet to gain admittance, but once in they can picnic on the lawns, stroll the blooming gardens, take pictures next to a Flower Installation Chapple is creating and visit the flower shop on the farm to browse or purchase vases, ribbons, hand-made soaps and of course Chapple’s stunning floral arrangements.
April-May: Morven Park Trails
The historic early 20th Century estate of former Governor Westmoreland Davis is curating a series of spring walks through the landscaped grounds and gardens. Running until the end of April, the Morven Park “Active Walk” is a trail marked with signs that prompt children to pretend to be a woodland creature – “hop like a bunny” or “tiptoe like a deer” as they walk through the grounds. May sees the start of “Storybook Stroll” in which signs will feature pages from a popular children's book. Participants read the page and move on to the next stop for the next installment of the story. Get walking – and reading!