It was another busy fair weekend for Peter and me as we traveled down country roads, with the rolling vistas of the Blue Ridge, off to the west of us all of the way to the historic town of Orange, Virginia where we set up our garden wares and crafts to sell at the 36th Annual Orange Street Fair. Packed with history, I thought this lovely, old farming and railroad town would have a better story for how the name Orange came about but, not really. According to Wikipedia, Orange was founded in the 1700's and named after William lll of Orange, a British King, way back when...
This quaint farming town sits among the rolling Virginia countryside and has welcomed visitors for more than a few centuries now, yet it reminds me of a town that is steadfastly holding on to its mid-20th Century character and charm. Residents and visitors, alike, came out to honor the somber anniversary of this historic day in American History, September 11, as well as celebrate the beginning of the fall harvest that area farmers are preparing for in the days to come. The weather was glorious and marked the beginning stages of autumnal color--perfect for a fall street festival!
Municipal organizations, Orange County High School groups and charities from the American Legion to the local chapter of Hospice were out to make their presence known along with many different craft and food vendors. Somewhere around 10,000 fair patrons made their way down the street meandering through booths and antique shops and looking for a special find. I think most of them had an ice cream cone in their hand while taking in the sights of the day.
As for Peter and me, well, we too busy to look around much and the day went fast. By 5pm, we were tired but happy as we had made many new friends who live in this lovely town and stopped by to peruse our booth and take a gander at our tiny gurgling fountain, among other things. Both dogs and children took turns dipping their tongues and hands into the cool water while mothers picked out bundles of be-ribboned lavender, plump pomanders, pretty pictures and wonderful wreaths. At one point both Peter and a woman rushed to stop a toddler from taking a drink himself from the fountain after watching an affable Golden Retriever take his turn. How I wish I had a picture of that! Everyone who stepped under our canopy told us how they cold smell the intertwined fragrance of lavender, rose, mint and eucalyptus from far down the street, setting them on their path into Blooming Hill's Booth. How perfectly delightful!
Scented geraniums and rosemary plants along with Swedish Ivy's were big sellers at the fair. Thank goodness I planned ahead and made several cuttings of these to have at future fairs as they are wonderful plants to bring inside to grace a sunny window or table during the winter months. Our booth matched the sunny colors of the late summer season and encouraged visitors to linger.
It was a wonderful day to spend in this lovely and friendly town where everything seemed to be, as my mother-in-law, Lynn would say, "In apple pie order." As we drove away, just after 6pm, the rain clouds began to gather, and hopefully, Orange, Virginia received some much needed rain as we did also here in Philomont late into the evening, long after we returned home. We'll be going back again next year to be in the Orange Street Fair and perhaps, even sooner than next September. The surrounding area is full of history and lore from American Indians and the Civil War to American Presidents and colonial mansions. It's certainly a Virginia town to see.