The festival masterminds of Across-The-Way Productions are experts in the art of fun. By pairing meticulous planning with celebrated vendors, delicious food, and lots and lots of music, the production company makes every one of their outdoor festivals an unforgettable event. For the past three decades, The Vintage Virginia Wine Festival has highlighted vintages from the state’s most acclaimed winemakers amid cooking demonstrations and other entertainment. The company also hosts the three-day FloydFest, a family-friendly music festival in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains that features folk musicians, bluegrass bands, DJs, performance art, and food.
Most obstacle courses are challenging enough without adding the undead to the mix. During the approximately 5K Blood & Guts Run, however, that's exactly what participants get. As they go sprinting through the Virginia woods, they'll have to traverse gore-drenched hay bale pyramids, climbing walls, tire gauntlets, and cargo nets while brain-hungry zombies slog after them. These creatures don't just moan and move, though—they take aim at runners with water guns filled with fake blood, creating a crimson-tinged scene reminiscent of classic horror movies or particularly gruesome ketchup fights.
At the end of the course, runners will collect prizes for the most creative costumes before dancing to live music and DJ-spun tunes. A portion of the profits go towards The American Cancer Society, the Military and Veterans Association, and local school districts.
Local artist Frances Rauch has been using various faux-painting techniques to decorate homes and businesses since 1990. She and the rest of the FR Designs crew spice up all things plain—bare walls become bucolic landscapes, for example, and regular white columns slip into beautifully marbled skins. Fran and company also teach budding artists some tools of the trade. In the center’s BYOB Sip & Paint classes, groups gather to share bottles of wine while recreating dynamic images on canvas. More advanced classes allow students with some experience to further hone their brush-holding techniques. The studio also offers kids' art camps, designed to develop and maximize young creative imagination.
"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee, "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere." To make this challenging, yet hopeful philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30–40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation—including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cool-down exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance. Dahn Yoga is also taught at independently owned and operated franchises called Body & Brain Yoga.
The Ice Cream Race's all-ages 5K course celebrates sweetness by alternating jogs with sundae-themed obstacles such as a chocolate-syrup slide, cherry-juice pit and foam-like whipped cream. Individuals or families can compete, not just to finish the race, but also to take titles such as Wildest Costume or Muddiest Runner. Race organizers also provide free ice cream at the end for participants to devour or smear all over each others' ankles in celebration. In keeping with the race's athletic spirit, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Special Olympics of Northern Virginia.
Rave Motion Pictures screens the summer blockbusters in 20 auditoriums outfitted with stadium seating. The theaters' digital projectors allow projectionists to easily play such gripping tales as Scream 4, a documentary about Sidney Prescott's return to Woodsboro, where Ghostface threatens the townspeople's safety (movies playing subject to change). Stretch out while watching as rows are spaced 48 inches apart from one another, one for each of the states recognized by most public-school systems. Check showtimes online for all the movies screening throughout the summer.