Highland County Maple Festival Voted Best Festival in Shenandoah Valley Region 2023


Hello this is Chris Swecker, Executive Director of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce.

I’m here today to let you know that the Highland County Maple Festival has been announced as this year’s first place winner for Best Festival of the Shenandoah Valley Region in Virginia Living’s twelfth annual Best of Virginia issue.  The Highland County Maple Festival was previously awarded the Best Festival distinction in 2022, as well as the Best Food or Drink Festival distinction in 2020 and 2021.

Virginia Living celebrates all things Virginia – from its people and places, to its history and traditions.  The highest quality, most widely read magazine in the state, Virginia Living’s combination of smart, engaging stories and stunning photography makes it a must-read for anyone interested in the Commonwealth.

The 176-page statewide guide, Best of Virginia, lists more than 1,500 winners from the January readers’ survey.  Nearly half a million votes were cast in 104 categories, covering the best in Food & Drink, Living & Recreation, Services, and Shopping across the Commonwealth’s five regions.

The Highland County Chamber of Commerce, we’re humbled to have the Highland County Maple Festival recognized by the public with top honors in Virginia Living’s Best of Virginia issue for the fourth consecutive year.  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 providing that robust agritourism experience long into the future.  Come on out and join us on March 9-10 and 16-17, 2024 to experience Virginia’s sweetest event of the year.  We thank everyone for their support, for all those that voted and for all the volunteers and staff that put on the festival every year.

Virginia Living Associate Editor of Special Projects, Vayda Tarleton, says, “Best of Virginia is all about championing the small businesses, the local haunts, and the mom and pop shops.  Without our readers and voters, this special issue wouldn’t be the go-to reference that it is today.”

Again, the Chamber is looking forward to 2024.  Of course, the festival is held every year during the second and third weekends in March.  In 2022 visitors on average traveled 98 miles to attend the festival and represented fourteen different states and we are looking forward to another great year next year.

If you’d like to learn more about Virginia Living Magazine, you can visit www.virginialiving.com

If you’d like to learn more about the Highland County Maple Festival, you can go to www.highlandcounty.org or give us a call at 540-468-2550.

For Allegheny Mountain Radio news, this is Chris Swecker.


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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