Highland County Maple Festival Awarded First-Place Winner in Best of Virginia 2024

The Highland County Maple Festival is this year’s first-place place winner for best Festival of the Shenandoah Valley Region in Virginia Living’s thirteenth annual Best of Virginia issue.  This makes five years in a row that the festival has been awarded the top spot, previously being awarded the best Festival distinction in 2022 and 2023, as well as the best Food or Drink Festival distinction in 2020 and 2021.


The 170+ page statewide guide lists close to 1,600 winners from their readers’ survey in January of 2024, and nearly 600,000 record-breaking votes were cast in 106 different categories across five regions of Virginia.  This special issue hit newsstands in May.


Since 1959, visitors have been drawn to Highland County to tour real maple sugar camps for a cultural and culinary adventure during the annual Highland County Maple Festival.  Tens of thousands of visitors are drawn to this unspoiled, rural mountain community during the second and third weekends of March to celebrate the “opening” of the trees and to experience unique arts and crafts, delicious maple treats, and live entertainment.  In 2023, visitors on average traveled 95 miles to attend the annual tradition and represented 15 different states. 


According to Highland County Chambers of Commerce Executive Director Chris Swecker the Maple Festival’s distinction in Virginia Living’s Best of Virginia issue for the fifth year in a row is humbling. For over sixty years, the Highland County community has banded together and dedicated themselves to sharing pure Virginia maple syrup and rural charm with visitors during the festival. Next year, Maple Festival will be March 8-9 and 15-16, 2025  and the community again invites visitors to experience Virginia’s sweetest event of the year!  


The Highland County Chamber of Commerce also recognizes its Chamber Members in surrounding counties for first-place distinctions in the 2024 Best of Virginia issue, including The Inn at Gristmill Square for Best Bed & Breakfast, DuPont Community Credit Union for Best Bank/Credit Union, and The Omni Homestead Resort for Best Hotel, Best Resort, and Best Golf Course.

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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