Highland County Maple Festival Voted a Best Festival

According to a press release from the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, the Highland County Maple Festival is this year’s first-place place winner for Best Festival of the Shenandoah Valley Region in Virginia Living magazine.  The Highland County Maple Festival was previously awarded the best Food or Drink Festival distinction in 2020 and 2021.

In it’s eleventh annual Best of Virginia issue, the statewide guide to all that is “best” in Virginia dining, shopping, and doing, Best of Virginia 2022 lists the more than 1,500 winners from their January Readers’ Survey.  More than 56,000 ballots were cast in 103 categories, covering the best in Living & Recreation, Food & Drink, Shopping, and Services across the Commonwealth’s five regions.

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 arts and crafts, food, and entertainment.

Highland County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Chris Swecker, said, “The Highland County Chamber of Commerce is humbled to have the Highland County Maple Festival chosen for a top honor for the third consecutive year.  Because voting takes place annually in January, the fact is not lost on us that readers chose our festival even though it was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.  This support further fueled our motivation for the long-awaited return of our festival in March of 2022, where we saw record crowds on the second Saturday of the county-wide event.  For over sixty years, this community has been dedicated to sharing our pure Virginia maple syrup and rural charm with visitors during the festival, and we look forward to many more.  Thank you so much to everyone for your support!”

The Highland County Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit organization with a mission to lift up local businesses and entrepreneurs, promote Highland County, and champion economic prosperity and quality of life.  For more information, visit HighlandCounty.org.

 To learn more about Virginia Living magazine, visit VirginiaLiving.com


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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