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Get Wild at FloydFest!

Follow us up the mountain for fun, music, and an experience you will never forget!

Written by Hayleigh Worgan

It’s no secret, we believe FloydFest is one of the most magical places on earth. The 2018 “Wild” theme encourages visitors to be part of the magic and enjoy the beauty of the mountains around them. This year, FloydFest has new features to keep things fresh for returning festival-goers, in addition to the amenities we all know and love!

Entertainment will be divided among eight stages for FloydFest 18. Dreaming Creek Main Stage, the signature stage located in the main field, remains a familiar landmark. Additionally, Hill Holler Stage, the Ferrum College Workshop Porch, the Red Rooster Village Cafe, Children’s Universe, VIP Pub Stage, and Pink Floyd Beer & Wine Garden will return. The “Throwdown Tent” is a new addition this year, and will feature yoga every morning, hands-on demonstrations and workshops each day, and live performances in the afternoon and evening.

And speaking of performances—naturally, I am including a shameless plug for some of the amazing female-fronted bands throughout the festival! On Thursday at 3:30pm, check out the country and rock singer Nikki Lane on the Dreaming Creek Main Stage. Her third album was released in 2017, and her new music has been compared to Lana Del Ray, Jenny Lewis, Neil Young, and Tom Petty. Later in the evening, don’t miss Lindsay Lou. This trio will have you dancing by the Hill Holler Stage at 6:45pm on Thursday night! Their sound has been described as a mix of Americana, groove, roots, soul, and bluegrass.

On Friday, Lindsay Lou will play once more on the Dreaming Creek Main Stage at 3:30pm. Then, take a walk to the Ferrum College Workshop Porch to relax to the sounds of the Mama Said String Band at 5:30pm. This five-piece string band will prime you for an evening of dancing and celebration! The Broadcast, a soulful blues, roots, and rock band formed in New York City and developed in North Carolina, takes the Pink Floyd Garden Stage on Saturday at 12:45am. Finish out the evening with the “explosive vocals” of lead singer Caitlin Krisko. Fans of high energy performances by 1970s classic rock bands will love this set.

Saturday, head over to the Dreaming Creek Main Stage for smoky vocals of Nicki Bluhm at 3:30pm. Nicki is a singer, songwriter, and performer. She released her first album in 2008, and has toured throughout North America through the release of her subsequent albums, appearing at festivals like Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Newport Folk, and Telluride Bluegrass. Next, VIP ticket holders will have the opportunity to catch the sounds of Morgan Wade & the Stepbrothers at 4:45pm on the VIP Stage. Morgan Wade is famous in Southwest Virginia for her country, folk, and high-energy Americana sound. Together, the band delivers “an intersection of rock, country, and folk that reflects the beauty, anger, hunger, and hope of coming of age in modern Appalachia.”

ZZ Ward will deliver an unforgettable performance on the Dreaming Creek Main Stage at 8pm on Saturday. Her second full-length album was released in 2017, and has been described as “equally evocative of blues grit and hip-hop bounce.” Ward has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, Conan, Good Morning America, The Tonight Show, and more. She’s toured with Eric Clapton, and performed at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Firefly, and Made in America. Enjoy her set, and stick around for Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit at 10:30pm and the “Buffalo Mountain Jam” at midnight.

There really is no shortage of excellent bands at this festival. Fan favorites, Leftover Salmon and Keller Williams, will return for multiple performances. Government Mule will take the Dreaming Creek Main Stage at 10:30pm on Thursday. On Friday, Foster the People will play on the same stage at 11pm. You’ll want to stay through Sunday, as Old Crow Medicine Show will play at 6pm on the Dreaming Creek Main Stage as well. In fact, music and celebration will continue until 1am on Monday morning. 

If music isn’t your thing, don’t worry! There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures awaiting FloydFest guests. Last year, we enjoyed an “On the Water” adventure that included a catered lunch and three hours on the water. A 45-minute shuttle ride (either via school bus or 15 passenger van) will take you to the Little River for this canoe/kayak/tubing trip. Book your adventure for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday. Make sure to bring your sunscreen and waterproof your phone or camera! You’ll want photos from this excursion!

FloydFest will also host the “Merry Moonstompers’ Famous Belcher Mountain Beatdown” on Saturday at 9:30am. This guided mountain bike tour depends the Blue Ridge and finishes with miles of handbill single track trail! This is not recommended for beginner mountain bikers, but there are miles of beginner-friendly trails in I.C. Dehart Park to explore at your leisure. Bring your own bicycle and helmet. 

Both the “On the Water” adventure and the “Merry Moonstompers’ Famous Belcher Mountain Beatdown” have small additional fees and require registration. Check out the FloydFest website, or register at the FloydFest Outdoor Experience Tent onsite (if space is still available). 

Runners will also love the Back Country Ski & Sport 5k Trail Running Race! Registration is free, and the race begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Top runners in several categories will receive prizes. The race will take runners through parts of the festival sites and continue with two laps on the Moonstomper Trail. 

There are also hiking and disc golf opportunities for whose who are interested. Visit the FloydFest Outdoor Experience Tent for hours and rules regarding usage. 

Ultimately, you will get the most out of FloydFest by staying all five days. Trust us, you will not be bored. On-site food trucks, craft beer, and wine are available for those who are interested. Between sets, relax in your hammock beneath the shade of the trees by your tent. 

And, if tent camping isn’t your thing, don’t worry! There are additional options for your overnight stay including Solid Ground Shelters for Glampers, Dancing Dave’s Festival Camping, The Show Sherpas, and Ferrum College Lodge & Learn. Regardless of where you sleep, every FloydFest is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will have you wishing it would never end!

For more information on the festival, and to purchase tickets, visit www.floydfest.com. We can’t wait to see you there! 

Artists Added to the FloydFest 18 Lineup!

FloydFest has announced new additions to their lineup for FloydFest 18~Wild!

Added to the schedule are the following bands:
Leftover Salmon
Keller Williams
The National Reserve
The Broadcast
Erin & The Wildfire
Mama Said String Band
Fireside Collective
Sol Searchers
Blue Mule
The Floorboards
My Radio
Black Mountain Revival
GOTE
Morgan Wade & The Stepbrothers
Los Chupacabras

We can’t wait to see these amazing artists perform July 25-29! For more information on FloydFest (and how to purchase tickets!) visit www.floydfest.com. We’ll see you there!

Rising Appalachia at FloydFest

Rising Appalachia began years ago as the front porch project of sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith to pay homage to their family. However, the dedication the sisters share to social activism started many years before through their involvement in community justice work and local food movements. Using their talent as a way to both share stories and encourage introspection, the sisters combined their interests to create an experience that is unique and inspiring. Joined by their beloved band, percussionist Biko Casini and bassist/guitarist David Brown, they share their colorful sound all over the world. Born and raised in the concrete jungle of Atlanta, Georgia, Leah and Chloe sharpened their instincts in the mountains of Appalachia, and fine-tuned their soul on the streets of New Orleans. This has resulted in a 6-album career that showcases a melting pot of folk music simplicity, textured songwriting, and “those bloodline harmonies that only siblings can pull off.”

Though it is not without challenges, Leah and Chloe stay true to their passions in the face of a fast-paced environment that has a tendency to push talented musicians into egocentric rockstars. They call their approach the Slow Music Movement.

“We’ve always explored sustainable touring ideas and options. We do everything from alternative travel methods like touring by train, to making sure as much local food as possible is brought to the green rooms and encouraging festivals to have a relationship with farm-to-table food. We don’t use plastic water bottles, and we avoid single-use plastic, encouraging the venue to take that on themselves as well,” explains Leah.

Fans will not find the band at strip malls or in hotel parking lots either. They make a point to seek out lodging near national parks, cabins, or stay with friends in farm homes. Additionally, they often visit urban gardens in the cities, and try to put their time and energy into neighborhoods, communities, and land-based projects.

“We are constantly trying to steal away moments for introspection, writing, and mindfulness. I walk every day, all over the place, wherever I am,” says Leah. “That’s kind of my movement meditation.”

Staying so close to the community keeps their desire to help others and be present as focal points in their journey. The band makes time during their performance to share the power of the stage and introduce audiences to those doing important ground work in social justice and equality efforts. Their tour schedule does not allow them to remain and nurture the impact in any one community, so it is important to Leah and Chloe to make sure the seeds they plant of emotional and environmental sustainability can grow even in their absence. Shifting the power to local faces helps ensure that will happen.

“Music is the tool with which we wield political prowess. We are building community and tackling social injustice through melody, making the stage reach out with wide arms to gather this great family. It has taken on its own personality, carrying us all along the journey,” says Leah.

“I’m really inspired by the beautiful, radical creative folks that show up in our audiences, “she adds. “Night after night, there are so many creative bright lights. We are inspired by our fan base. They have always been powerful, productive, and proactive folks in their communities. I think for our band and interpersonally, it has given us more purpose. We hope [our purpose] is reaching wider than us, and we are all grateful to have this vehicle to express ourselves.”

Rising Appalachia is touring all over Europe this summer, but FloydFest has a special place in their hearts, and is one of few festivals they will play in the United States in 2017. Catch them on stage both Saturday and Sunday, and follow up by learning how to support local farmers, seeking out sustainable resource options, and finding a quiet place to meditate on personal growth.

The best way to keep the feeling of a good show alive is to carry the inspiration from it with you and learn from it long after the audience dissipates. From Leah’s perspective, Rising Appalachia is going to do everything they can to put on a show that feeds your soul and lights that spark.

“At it’s best, [being on stage] is magical,” she explains. “We spend concerted effort trying to make sure we create a radical setting for the audience. We want to a take them on as much of a journey as possible.”

If you can’t make it to FloydFest this year, be sure to check out their new live album, Alive, this fall. Do yourself a favor when you do, and make it a truly immersive experience. Turn off the notifications on your phone, meditate, and enjoy the tapestry of stories woven into song by this talented band.

For more information about Rising Appalachia, visit www.risingappalachia.com.

Floyd Yoga Jam

September may seem far away, but the next two months will pass before you know it! Fortunately, even as fall begins, the excitement of summer doesn’t have to end. Join us for the 5th annual Floyd Yoga Jam from noon Thursday, September 1 through Sunday, September 4, 2016!

10574302_835427443136565_3749800215542127659_nThis unique outdoor event is held every Labor Day weekend on the Burnette Farm in Willis, Virginia. In the past five years, it has brought a vast array of nationally known yoga instructors, and this year proves to be no exception. Cyndi Lee, Dianne Bondy, Katie Silcox, and Dr. Robin Sarawsati will be recognized by readers of Yoga Journal Magazine. Regional yogis like Carolyn Keller, Mateo Daniels, Faith Hunter, Jacob Felder, Kara Chambers, Cody Willets, Erica Balogh, and Soraya Sanchez will also bring their styles to the Blissland tents. Local favorites Mary Brown, Leia Jones, Katie Wells, and Grace Woods round out the lineup.

Attendees can begin the day with morning meditations and then move on to yoga classes for all skill levels in a variety of styles like Hatha, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Ashtanga, Acro, or Partner. Choose from over 35 hours of available classes!

This year’s theme is “A Midsummer Nights Dream” and features The Faery Reel, an illustration by Marvel comics illustrator, Charles Vess.

“Charles resides in Abingdon, Virginia and is a hugely popular local artist,” explains festival producer Laura Polant, “He has been volunteering his time to the Yoga Jam since its first year and we are truly grateful for his incredible generosity and support.”

The festival would not be complete without great music. Sirsy, a two person band from New York state, will open the festivities. Then, Mighty Joshua, Virginia’s 2014 Reggae Artist of the Year, will take the stage. World-renowned hip hop artist MC Yogi will headline the weekend along with The Householders, Desert Dwellers, and Fractal Cat. Favorite local musicians Spoonfight, Option 22, Fat Catz, Bigmama Joy, Lobo Marino, and Bhakti Kulani are also scheduled to perform.

12063888_10153233953096491_6243057827110361098_nThe weekend is perfect for families and groups of friends. It will have something for everyone! Free art classes, including an opportunity to make a prayer flag square, are provided for attendees. The squares of fabric are decorated with prayers, drawings, and inspirational messages which are then tied together and strung throughout the trees.

“When the flags blow in the wind, the prayers are released to the heavens,” explains Lore Dieghan, the festival’s Art Village Director.

Other workshops include faery house building, poetry, sacred geometry, and painting.

Floyd Yoga Jam also boasts a KidsVille that is a play space for kids and families. It features a giant sandbox, arts, crafts, family yoga and dance classes, all in sight of the large yoga tents. Hiking, biking, and trail running are available throughout the 380 acre farm and are organized by the Muddy Squirrel outdoor company. Participants are encouraged to bring their bikes and enjoy the trails.

13174219_1165595443471922_4339544043056267657_nSavor local food and refreshments from Thai This! and Dojo Grill food trucks, Green Light Cafe, Dogtown Pizza, Goatacado, Essentials Juice Bar, Red Rooster Coffee, Buffalo Mountain Kombucha, Big Lick Ice Cream Company, and adult beverages from Parkway Brewery and Foggy Ridge Cider.

This hometown festival has grown from 700 attendees in 2012 and expects over 2500 in September. The increase in attendance is partially due to yoga studios from New York City and Orlando flying in to attend in 2015. That’s why it is so important that you purchase your tickets as soon as possible. Bella readers can enjoy an online discount of $25 off the ticket price by using this code: bellayoga. Go to www.floydyogajam.net for more information and to purchase your tickets today! We’ll see you there!

11143196_909222605805592_4213930902180006514_nP.S. THREE Bella readers will win a ticket for themselves AND a friend!!!!! Stay tuned to our Facebook page at the end of July and beginning of August for details!

Also, Floyd Yoga Jam is hosting an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to add more fun stuff to the event like a frisbee disc golf course, art supplies, and a Shantea Speakeasy. The latter will feature a nonprofit serving herbal tea and host lectures and discussions on socially conscious topics. Contribute by visiting www.indiegogo.com and searching Floyd Yoga Jam or following this link.

 

Summer at Chateau Morrisette!

We all recognize “the dog” while walking through the grocery store and can’t help but wish that we were spending the afternoon at one of the prettiest wineries in Virginia, Chateau Morrisette! Since first crafting wine in 1978, Chateau Morrisette has made a name for themselves through their involvement in the community and their dedication to excellence. Whether you prefer red, white, sweet, or dry they have the perfect bottle just for you. If you’re celebrating, they have extra-dry sparkling wine for that too!

13062912_10154186638468410_9010191299281807122_oA short drive to Floyd is all that stands between you and one of Chateau Morrisette’s weekend-long festivals. Be sure to check out the entire calendar of events on their website so you don’t miss out on some of the best happenings of the summer! If you would rather do something a little more low-key than one of the music festivals, then you can pay them a visit for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch and enjoy a flawlessly prepared meal with a perfectly paired glass of wine. Or, if you really just want a day away from all of the hustle and bustle, you can make a reservation for a tour of the wine cellar or vineyard with a tasting of ten different wines of your choice.

These tours are so beautiful and enjoyable as you get a better insight into the hard work that is put into making a great product. Lastly, during the warmer months many wedding and private parties are hosted at the vineyard because of the beautiful scenery and great atmosphere. Chateau Morrisette is unique because any and all well-behaved dogs on a leash are always welcome in the tasting rooms! You’re more than welcome to bring your K9 friend to keep you company as you sip some of the Valley’s finest.

11695375_10153513433463410_8644791396166027466_nChateau Morrisette also has great suggestions for specific flavor profiles to pair your selected wine with at home. If you have purchased a bottle and you just don’t know what to serve it with, you can find suggestions on their website, or you can use one of their recipes that they have published for the sole purpose of taking your meal to the next level. However, if you have visited the winery and you don’t live close enough to pay a visit or pick some up at the store, you can order it directly from them to arrive at your doorstep!

For the Bella girls, we love the fact that whether we’re entertaining friends, enjoying an afternoon at the vineyard, or just drinking a glass on the couch, we are spending our money locally. Book a tasting now and tell us what you’re drinking!

 

Written by Kathleen Duffy

Celebrating the LEAF Festival!

Festival season is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited! We can’t wait for North Carolina’s LEAF Festival, a four-day event benefitting local artists and musicians, from May 12-15.
The 42nd LEAF Festival will take place in Black Mountain, North Carolina. For over 20 years, each May and October, an intergenerational family of 12,000 people join together upon the beautiful Lake Eden land to experience the power that music, art, and culture has to transform lives, strengthen community, and foster unity.

Sponsored by LEAF Community Arts, a nonprofit organization, all festival profit and donations go towards music and arts education programming both locally and globally. According to their website, since 2004 LEAF Schools & Streets has served over 45,000 youth with programs in over 20 Western North Carolina locations while LEAF International features cultural preservation programs in over 10 countries worldwide.

maxresdefaultThis year, LEAF’s theme is “World Fusion with Cuban Spice.” The lineup includes Juan De Marcos & The Afro-Cuban All-Stars, Shovels & Rope, Fatoumata Diawara, Danay Suarez, Dakha Brakha, Sarah Jarosz, Marchfourth!, Perdition Martinez, and more!

Guests will also have the opportunity to experience over 50 free of charge healing arts workshops. They include yoga, dance, martial arts classes, nutrition workshops, diverse healing traditions, ancient earth skills, and plant walks.

If you’re like us, one of the things we look forward to the most about this time of year is festival food. You’ll find many delicious local options throughout festival grounds, where vendors are divided into the following culinary sections: Boathouse, Shipside, Lakeside, Eden Hall, Roots Family Stage, The Barn, and Meadow Green. One vendor, Homegrown, has a menu that includes a fried chicken sandwich, a smoked trout wrap, a pimento cheese wrap, and smoked pork tacos with slaw. Start the day with organic fair trade coffees, hot chocolate, cookies, muffins, cinnamon rolls, or cake made with 100% organic flour and all-natural or organic ingredients from Bus Station & West End Bakery. Adults can also purchase local brews from Highland Brewing Company, New Belgium, and Pisgah Brewing Company. Of note, you can not bring outside alcohol to the festival—but you can buy fairly-priced ice and beer by the case and/or boxed wine at the Eden Field Camping drop-off.

LKVFacePaintFancyHM-copyThe LEAF festival is also kid-friendly! Family activities include crafts, educational arts, performances, a Jelly Dome Adventure, and a variety of sports in the World Wide Play Field.
If you are interested in learning more about LEAF, go to www.theleaf.org. You can also download their app. This option is perfect for festival attendees because it works offline and offers a schedule of events, dates and location information, and a map of the event layout.

Head over to our Facebook page for information on how to WIN tickets!

Ten Days of Mom: Blue Ridge Music Festival Tickets!

Ten Days of Mom: DAY EIGHT!!!

thefestival

Country music fans, listen up! Today, we are giving away two tickets to BOTH days of the Blue Ridge Music Festival on May 30-31!

This is a Mother’s Day gift that mom will remember for years to come! The lineup this year includes big names like Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, and the Charlie Daniels Band. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the show starts at noon on both days.

Visit our Facebook page for details on how to enter! Good luck!

2015 Community School Strawberry Festival

We are so excited for the 35th Annual Community School Strawberry Festival this weekend!

07e3e9_6b9f836805e7e2c3b02370ae209a0ea1.jpg_srz_p_224_219_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzThe festival is one of Roanoke’s most popular and well-known annual festivals. It will be held Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2 in the newly renovated Elmwood Park. The festival will run 10:00 am to 5:30 pm on Friday and 10:00am -4:00pm on Saturday.

Advance sale Strawberry shortcake tickets are available at all Hometown Bank locations, and online.

Friday will feature, the full Strawberry Festival menu:  homemade strawberry shortcake, strawberry sundaes, chocolate-dipped strawberries, strawberry slushees, and strawberries and cream.
In addition “make your own” bulk kits can be pre-ordered for pickup or delivery that day. These kits can be shared with your friends and family right away or frozen to enjoy later.

07e3e9_b77812646590611e926f93409c1f2685.png_srb_p_201_301_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srbSaturday will again offer those delectable berry treats, as well as live music, arts and crafts and food vendors. We will  have an inflatable Velcro “sticky wall” and an obstacle course as part of children’s games this year, as well as, face painting, rainbow loom projects, decorate you own tye dye bracelets and more.

The Strawberry Festival, one of Roanoke’s oldest and most beloved festivals is a family-oriented event and a big attraction for kids of all ages.  Always the first full weekend in May, the Strawberry Festival signals the beginning of summer and the festival season in the valley. General admission to the festival is free and parking is available in any of the municipal lots, the downtown parking garages and on the street.