Bath Heritage Fest kicks off October 5

Hot Springs, Va. – The third annual Old Dairy Heritage Festival is the weekend of October 5th and it’s offering a celebration of our roots with history, music and community. Mary Hodges organized the festival. She’s the Executive Director of the Virginia Hot Springs Preservation Trust.

“We are developing a more comprehensive program that focuses on local history, traditional food ways and recreational activities found in our region,” says Hodges.

The festival kicks off on Friday evening October 5th with a lecture by John Reddick.

“He is going to speak to the architecture of the Warm Springs Pools,” says Hodges. “And also a personal history that he has there at the pools. His family over the generations were attendants at the Warm Springs Pools. And so he has a lot of wonderful stories and beautiful photographs and artifacts from as late as the late 1800’s.”

Saturday’s events kick off with a Nature Conservancy hike up to Flag Rock. During the day Saturday you can view art from the Warm Springs Gallery and historical Bath County photos. And there’s a chance for you to research family history with the help of a reference archivist from the Library of Virginia. At 10am on Saturday Leni Sorensen will speak.

“She’s going to be talking about taking the waters, spas and health in Jeffersonian America,” says Hodges. “Most recently Leni was the African American Research Historian at Monticello. She’s going to speak a little bit about the food ways of the 1800’s. Why did people come here and take the waters, when they came, what did they eat, how did they get that food? What did the people at Warm Springs Inn eat versus the people at the big house, at The Homestead Resort.”

Lunch on Saturday will be available for purchase, provided by The Millboro Preservation and Cultural Association. Proceeds will benefit the restoration of the old Millboro School.

“And then at one o’clock, Ira Wallace will present a program called Saving the Past for the Future and this is place based foods of Appalachia,” says Hodges. “Ira is one of the owners of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. And Southern Exposure collects heirloom seed varieties. And she’s going to do a program on heirloom grains and popcorns and she’ll have tastings for people to try.”

On Saturday afternoon The Alleghany Mountain String Project will perform. And that evening a barbeque chicken picnic dinner prepared by the Millboro Ruritan Club will be available at Garth Newel Music Center. The cost is $10.

A dance follows dinner. The contra dance band called Rhythmajig will provide the music for the dance, which will be very similar to square dancing.

And rounding out the festival on Sunday afternoon is a history tour at The Homestead.

The Old Dairy Heritage Festival is Friday October 5 through Sunday October 7.
All events are free and open to the public. Reservations are encouraged for all events. Call 540-839-2407 or by email, You can also visit the website

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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