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Just a reminder, if you are looking for a delightful early autumn day trip or overnight destination, then the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival is the perfect event for aficionados of wine as well as fans of outdoor concerts and craft festivals. The 24th Annual Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival will be held September 29th and 30th, 2012. 27 Wineries are participating as well as 85 craft and food vendors. The wide array of Virginia wines is sure to offer flavors and styles to please every wine lover’s palette!

This year’s festival will be held at Southwest Virginia’s Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta on Route 122 across from the Lakewatch Plantation, 27 wineries will participate with 85 juried craft and food vendors.

The two-day festival will be held rain or shine. Tickets are available for tasters and non-tasters and can be purchased in advance. Taster tickets are $18 and designated driver admission is $12. These special discount prices remain in effect until September 28, 2012. Prices at the gate are $22 for taster and $15 for designated driver. Parking is free. For more information visit www.smlwinefestival.com or call the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce at 540.721.1203.

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On the shores of beautiful Smith Mountain Lake this Fall, eight elegant homes with unique architectural designs, creative interior decorating, spectacular scenic views, unusual collections and antiques, and finely manicured landscaping, will open their doors for you and other visitors to enjoy during the 22nd annual Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour.  This year’s tour takes place Friday, October 5th through Sunday, October 7th.

The Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour has identified the eight homeowners who have agreed to open their homes for the 2012 Tour. The tour may be taken by either (private or rented) car or (private or rented) boat. By land or by water, your day is sure to be memorable.  Directions and a list of the homes are available at: www.smlcharityhometour.com. Hours are Friday and Saturday, 10am-5pm and Sunday, 1-5pm.

While on the tour, be sure to take part in the Special Home Tour Luncheon Cruise aboard SML's Virginia Dare sightseeing 'Paddle-Wheeler' on Sunday, October 7th from 2-4 P.M.  On the cruise you get to hear Home Tour background presentations and view several of the homes from the water. The price is $37 for Home Tour ticket holders. For more information about the cruise or the tour, visit www.smlcharityhometour.com.

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Posted by on in Smith Mountain Lake Fun

Boats! Boats! Boats! Whether you rent your boat at a local marina or bring your own use one of the six public docking areas or a marina to launch, with so many miles of water, you can get totally away from the crowd and anchor in a quiet cove for a day of fishing, swimming or just picnicking.

If you don't happen to have a boat, or just don't have enough experience to drive a boat, Smith Mountain Lake is a great place for beginners to take a course in boat safety visit www.smlba.com or go to www.smlsailing.com for information on learning how to sail.

But you don’t have to be the captain to enjoy time on the water. Check out the SML Boating Association's activities and events too! Another organization, Blackwater Yacht Racing Association at the Pelican Point Yacht Club is a non-profit organization made up of members who enjoy sailing and sailboat racing. Activities include regular spring, summer and fall races, and sponsored invitational regattas. If you have a sailboat and would like to participate in the BYRA races, learn more by visiting www.byrasailing.org.  No matter whether you are a boat owner, experienced sailor or just testing the waters of Smith Mountain Lake for the very first time, there is a boating activity for you!


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Hickory Hill Vineyards is inviting the public to help them celebrate 11 years as a winery at Smith Mountain Lake. The winery started as a hobby vineyard and was planted in 1984 by Roanoke natives, who owned property at Smith Mountain Lake. Since then, Hickory Hill has grown over the next 28 years into a highly successful, 3rd generation, family-owned vineyard with a wide selection of wines and regional distribution in local stores and restaurants. Along with a popular “Lake series” of wines made in a light & fruity style, the vineyard offers vintage, estate-grown Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, Cabernet Franc and their award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

Visitors to the winery are encouraged to tour the 1923 farmhouse tasting room and gift shop and to enjoy the available picnic area. Wine tastings are complimentary for those age 21 and up. Tours and tastings are 11am- 5pm, Thursday through Monday from April to November. For more info call 540-296-1393 or visit www.smlwine.com.

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The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce will be taking part in the first annual Governor's Bowl Chamber of Commerce Challenge Food and Fund Drive. The "Governor's Bowl" campaign began May 28th and will run until July 4th, and serves to help keep Virginia's food banks stocked during the summer, which are typically much slower for food donations.

Due to children being out of school, summertime is typically a slow time for food donations in the area. Parents of children who would normally be receiving free or reduced-price meals at school are in need of other resources to help feed their children. Over 80,000 children in Southwest Virginia are food insecure.


Persons wishing to make donations may bring them to the lake chamber at the Smith Mountain Lake Visitors' Center at Bridgewater Plaza. The Smith Mountain Lake Chamber reminds businesses and individuals of the need in the community. For more info Food and Fund Drive, call the chamber office at 721-1203.

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Posted by on in Smith Mountain Lake Fun

If you missed the television premier of "Lake Effects" previously shown on the Hallmark Movie Channel during the month of May, don’t worry! The DVD will be available to retailers on Aug. 14th and has a suggested retail price of $19.98. "Lake Effects" features several area businesses and homes. The film's producer, Sara Elizabeth Timmins, owner of Life Out Loud Films, lives in Moneta.

“Lake Effects” is a family drama set and filmed at SML last year, and follows a big-city lawyer who travels home to SML for the funeral of her father and reconnects with her mother and sister, while learning what makes life at Smith Mountain Lake so special.

The cast of "Lake Effects" includes Emmy award-winner and two-time Golden Globe award-winner, Jane Seymour and Scottie Thompson, Madeline Zima, Casper Van Dien, Jeff Fahey, Ben Savage, Eyal Podell, Sean Patrick Flanery and Mary Beth McDonough. Visit www.lakeeffectsthemovie.com for more information.

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The fourth-annual PWC Poker Run, hosted by the SML Power boating Association, features six card stops and a $1,700 purse and will be held on June 23rd. (All participants must be on  personal watercraft to participate.) PWCs will be launching Waller's Waterfront at the Crystal Shores Marina and then returning. The card stops include: Indian Point Marina, Bernard's Landing, Gills Creek Marina, Jake's Place and the Penhook Boat Dock. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Scruggs Dive Team.

Participants ski out at 11 a.m. after a 30-minute captain's meeting. All players must have returned by 3 p.m. to be eligible for cash prizes. The top 5 hands will be awarded $750, $500, $250, $150 and $75 respectively. Registration fees are $75 per PWC operator and $75 per rider (The event has a one-rider limit). Fees include a poker hand and food during the awards presentation. (Rider who do not wish to play can register for $15, which also includes food at Waller's).

Registrations will be accepted online at smlpba.com through June 16. Registrations will also be taken June 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. and on June 23 from 8 to 10 a.m. at Waller's. For more information about the PWC Poker Run, call Kyle Enslow at 597-5329 or visit smlpba.com.

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SML residents take pride in the beauty of the natural world that surrounds us here at home. Few places in the state offer such exquisite views without the isolation that usually goes hand in hand with rural living. That's why each year lake residents work together in a mass cleanup effort of the lake and its shorelines.

This year's Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake Cleanup day will take place on May 5 from 8am to 4pm. All participants are given work gloves and heavyduty plastic bags, as well as a map of debris drop off points. Volunteers with barges and pontoon boats are needed for the cleanup as well, in order to remove debris from the lake itself. Participants are eligible for great door prizes, and winners will be announced on May 7.

For more information on volunteering to clean up or beautiful lake, contact the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce.

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It's no secret that a diet consisting of mostly fresh local whole foods will lead to a healthy life with a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and so on. And while it may seem expensive and too time consuming to adopt a healthier lifestyle, this simply isn't the case.Smith Mountain Lake's rural Virginia location makes eating fresh produce, meat, and dairy straight from the source easy.

In fact, the folks at Homestead Creamery have paired up with Good Food Good People to take the guesswork out of adopting healthy eating habits.Contact the folks at the creamery by calling (540) 721-2045.


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Posted by on in Smith Mountain Lake Fun

The 9th annual Smith Mountain Lake Business Expo went off with out a hitch last Friday, with over 4,000 attending. With perfect weather and a great turnout, the event was definitely a success. At least 120 local businesses were represented at the expo, as well as"Your Business Connection," an initiative to connect local job seekers with employers.

For those considering a move to Smith Mountain Lake, the annual expo is a great way to see all that this community has to offer, and to network with business owners from Franklin, Bedford, and Pittsylvania counties.

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Posted by on in Smith Mountain Lake Fun

On May 18 and 19 at 7pm, New Crusty Minstrels will host a “Good Times at Margaritaville” sing-along at the SML YMCA. Song lyrics (by artists like Jimmy Buffett and the Beach Boys) will be projected on a big screen so guests can join in the fun.

All are encouraged to wear a Hawaiian shirt or beachwear, and flip flops (no high heeled shoes, please). Guests may bring food/beverages (including alcohol), and Hot Shots will be dishing up “Cheeseburgers in Paradise!”

Tickets are $15, and are available at The General Store, Radio Shack, SML Visitor’s Center, and ShopRite. Revenue from ticket sales will be split between Lake Christian Ministries and SML Good Neighbors. All additional donations will be matched on LCM’s behalf by an anonymous patron and on SML Good Neighbors behalf by New York Times bestselling author and part time lake resident David Baldacci!

To reserve a table for eight to 10 people, call Connie Canova at 297-6680. For more information, call Nancy Woolley at 297-1199 or Jerry and Ferne Hale, 721-7222.

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Alzheimer’s is a cruel disease that robs its victims of their memories and personality. And as anyone who has ever cared for a loved suffering from this disease will tell you, its effects are heartwrenching.

Annette Carter of Blue Ridge, VA can attest to that. Her companion of 27 years and husband of 12 passed last January after a battle with the disease. And now, in honor or her husband, she will host a fundraising event for Alzheimer’s Research on June 9th at the Vinton War Memorial.

For more information on the event as well as a little bit more about Annette and Jim Carter, check out this article from The Laker Magazine.

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Spring—with its warm-but-not-too-warm-temperatures and extra hours of sunlight – is here, and if you need more of an excuse than that to get out and enjoy all the gifts of this gorgeous season…well, here’s one for you: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is host to a Spring Wildflower Walk on two consecutive Saturdays in April (the 7th and the 14th).

The hike is known to be exceptionally beautiful and exceptionally strenuous, with lots of uphill climbs and muddy slopes, as well as intimate views of the wilds of Monticello, so wear sturdy shoes! The hike kicks off at 9am at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor’s Center.

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Posted by on in Smith Mountain Lake Fun

Thanks in part to its farm-friendly setting and proximity to the well established “green scene” in Roanoke, residents of Smith Mountain Lake are finding it simple and convenient to adopt a more natural lifestyle.

The first step to a more holistic lifestyle is dropping bad eating habits and adopting new, healthy ones. Start by cleaning out those cupboards! Remove any processed foods and donate them to your local food bank or church. You will replace these items with fresh, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat, and fish.

Read on for a list of local resources for fresh produce, meat, and other goods and services for the eco-friendly lifestyle. 

CSA Shares

  • Riverstone Farm offers full CSA shares (will feed a family of four) or half shares (will feed a couple) with delivery to Roanoke. Call Bret Nichols at 540-577- 8218 for more information
  • Good Food Good People is comprised of a few local farms that work together to provide year round CSA shares as well as an online a la carte option. They also manintain a presence at a number of local farmer's markets. More information is available via the group's website.
  • Mountain Run Farm in Bedford offers grassfed beef, pastured poultry, and pork. Their animlas are never fed biosolids or GMO grains/corn. Those interested are encouraged to visit the farm, though more popular cuts of meat may be purchased at The Well in Bedford.
  • Eco Friendly Foods also located in Bedford has really set the bar for humane meat processing. Sold mainly in the farmer's markets of Northern, VA and Washington, D.C., and to award winning restaurants in New York (Momofuku, for one), those of us living here at SML are truly lucky to have this rockstar of the culinary world right down the street!

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The Oakley Blue Ridge Big Bass Classic will return to Smith Mountain Lake April 21 & 22, 2012! Single day entry is $100 per angler;oakley_big_bass two day entry is $150. Registration will be held at Bridgewater Marina on Friday April 20, from noon to 8pm. Get there early because the first 100 entrants will receive a FREE custom Quantum rod!

The Grand Prize is a 2012 Nitro Z7 with Mercury 150 HP Pro XS motor with a tandem trailer and dual console. Value: $28,500.00!

Check the event website for more information about start time and hourly prize payouts.

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Looking for something to do at Smith Mountain Lake for St. Patrick’s Day?

Start your day at Peaks of Otter Winery, where wearing green will get you extra discounts on their award winning wines. The free event goes from noon to 5pm!

After that, head to Mango’s Bar & Grill for specials on corned beef and cabbage, Reuben sandwiches, and draft pints.

Be safe, have fun, and remember: everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

Peaks of Otter Winery
2122 Sheep Creek Road
Bedford, VA 24523

Mango’s Bar & Grill
16430 Booker T. Washington Highway
Moneta, VA 24121

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If you have ever taken a drive behind the Downtown Moneta development, you undoubtedly noticed the rough shape of Old Moneta Road: the run-downs buildings, overgrowth of weeds, etc.

It is always a shame to see real estate gone to waste, especially when it has such inherent potential. Fortunately for Old Moneta Road, its fate is no longer one of further deterioration and waste, thanks to a few local artisans looking to bring some life back into the community.

Christopher Lynch and Jonathan Falls, both 26 and residents of Moneta, have opened a blacksmith shop on Old Moneta Road. Falls’ brother, Jeremy will open a welding shop in an adjacent building, and a good friend, Josh Ritchey, will open a leather shop located within the blacksmith shop.

It is the hope of Lynch and Falls to attract local artists and artisans interested in bringing a sense of vibrancy and bustle back to Old Moneta Road.

Click here for the original article from Smithmountainlake.com

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Posted by on in Smith Mountain Lake Fun

VitaZen, Smith Mountain Lake’s premier vitamin and supplement store will be hosting a Free Bone Scan event on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 from noon until 6pm. The scan uses ultrasound technology to read your fracture risk through your heel, and you will receive a print-out to share with your doctor. It is quick, easy, and painless. Better yet, there is no x-ray/radiation exposure.

Space is limited, so set your appointment now by calling Brett of Vitazen at 721-9635. Be sure to ask about other upcoming events and yoga classes!

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Spring is fast approaching, and with it come the Appalachian Power Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon. The event will be held at Smith Mountain Lake State Park on Saturday, May 5, 2012 beginning at 9am. Click here for event and registration information.

The Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon is a well established, beginner friendly race. It’s also features an open water swim (the first of the season in Western Virginia). Historically the water temperature at Smith Mountain Lake has been in the upper 60’s, so wetsuits are recommended, but not mandatory for the 750 meter swim. The bike portion of the race is 20k over a rolling course, and the run (5k, all inside the park) is out and back and ranges from flat to rolling. This is a really great race, and a great way to break into triathlons.

If you’re a beginner interested in training for this race, beginnertriathlete.com is a great resource full of expert training tips and tools.

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Virginia has long been known for its fine wines, and now Pittsylvania County has joined as a viticultural star in its own right.

White Oak Meadery in Shockoe will debut its local honey wine at this month's SoVa Wine Fest, as the county's third commerical winery to open in the past two years.

Husband and wife co-owners Rusty and Betsy East are passionate about their product, and excited to introduce festival goers to the diversity and depth of flavor that mead has to offer.


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Leslie Becker, AIA, AIPP, FIABCI, NAR
Licensed in the State of VA


P: 540.797.0477 | F: 866.507.5289
PO Box 50
Huddleston, VA 24104

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