Highland County Maple Festival Awarded Best Unique Festival in 14th Annual Best of the Blue Ridge

The Highland County Maple Festival has been announced as the Best Unique Festival in Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine’s 2024 Best of the Blue Ridge.


In October of 2023, the publication’s readers nominated their favorite outdoor businesses, events, food/drinks, and destinations in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, and then voted to pick the top winners.  This year the magazine received over 200,000 total votes in 50 categories.


The Highland County Maple Festival was previously awarded in the Best Unique Festival category in 2023.


“To receive this reader-nominated distinction for the Highland County Maple Festival two years in a row is humbling,” says Highland County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chris Swecker.  “When it comes to tourism activities, we understand travelers have a lot of options to choose from.  We are so thankful to our visitors for their continued support and for sharing the love of Virginia maple syrup.  We are also grateful for the efforts of our entire community in making the county-wide event happen every year.” 


A full list of winners, including others from Highland County, are featured in the February 2024 issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. Visit https://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/go-outside/best-of-the-blue-ridge-2024/to view the full list of winners and runners-up.


Swecker adds, “In addition, we congratulate Dare to Dream Therapeutic Horsemanship Center just a few miles south of Monterey for being awarded first place in the Best ADA Outdoor Experience category!  This Chamber Member nonprofit does such amazing positive work, and we’re glad to see them recognized.  If you look through the various categories in this year’s overall list of winners, you’ll see just how much talent and fun experiences are within a short drive of Highland County.”


Blue Ridge Outdoors would like to thank everyone who participated in the nomination and voting processes for this year’s contest, and give congratulations to all winners, runners-up, and nominees.


The 64th Highland County Maple Festival will be held March 9-10 and 16-17, 2024.  Ten sugar camps will be open for free to the public showcasing how maple syrup is made.  In addition to pancake and buckwheat cake meals, famous Maple Doughnuts, and live entertainment, over 100 high-quality juried arts and crafts vendors take part in the festival each year.  According to an Economic Impact Study prepared by Virginia Tech, the 2022 festival generated between $1.36 and $2.02 million in direct spending in Highland County and brought around 26,500 visitors to the area.


To learn more, visit www.highlandcounty.org/maple-festival or call 540-468-2550.


Updates about the festival can also be found at www.facebook.com/HighlandCounty and www.instagram.com/highland_county_va.

Story By


Brit Chambers

Brit Chambers is a resident of Highland County, Virginia and a news reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio. She loves living in a small town and relishes the outdoor adventures and community feeling that Highland has to offer. Brit has a background in journalism, marketing, and public relations and spends her free time reading good books, baking sourdough bread, and hiking with her family.

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