By Matt de Simone
The 2021 Sunflower Festival at Beaver Dam Farms officially kicks off next weekend.
The annual event welcomes the community back for another week exploring the beautiful sunflower fields, learning about the farm, and enjoying live music and food from sixth annual Sunflower Festival.
“We are excited to introduce so many educational items for this year’s event,” event coordinator Candace Monaghan stated in a recent interview. “The sunflowers are looking amazing and will be in full bloom for this year’s event. With the recent rain we have had they are growing at a rate of three inches per day! Some are already five feet tall and still growing.”
This year’s event welcomes 90 vendors—17 of which are food vendors. The others are local crafters offering their goods to guests.
On September 11, the festival will hold a tribute recognizing the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy honoring those remembered with a choir, a white dove release, and tribute at 10:30 a.m.
This year the festival features a community art garden. Throughout the year, Beaver Dam Farms held paint nights where attendees young and old painted sunflowers. These paintings will be on display in their own “garden” for all guests to enjoy at this year’s event.
Guest can learn about the farm via an educational station built into a reassembled grain bin that shares information about the farm and the festival’s background. Milk pails, bottles, and other items formerly used on the farm will be on display.
The festival’s first “VIP Night” takes place on September 10 from 4-7 p.m. Tickets are limited to 1,000 and are to be purchased exclusively online. The first 70 guests will receive a gift bag sponsored by Virginia Tourism containing items provided by local businesses.
Last year, tickets were sold exclusively online, but there are currently no restrictions preventing ticket sales at the door. Only the VIP Night tickets will be sold exclusively online
“I want to thank Bank of Botetourt for their support,” Monaghan mentioned. “They’re our hometown bank. I appreciate their help in sponsoring the event.”
Guest may also access a Beaver Dam Sunflowers online app (www.bdfsun.com) for the first time. Some of the app’s features include a vendor map, festival amenities, the “love sign” photo booth locations, insect education, and in-app photo submittal for guests.
Listed below is the Sunflower Festival’s official schedule. Visit beaverdamsunflowers.com for more information.
Friday, Sept 10, 4 – 7 p.m., VIP Night
Saturday, Sept. 11, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., opening weekend
Saturday, Sept. 11, 10:30 a.m., 9/11 Tribute
Sunday, Sept. 12, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., opening weekend
Monday, Sept. 13, 4-7 p.m., open to the public
Monday, Sept. 13, 6:30 p.m., sunset yoga
Tuesday, Sept. 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., preschool field trip
Tuesday, Sept. 14, 5:30-8 p.m., Sunflowers at Sunset dinner ***SOLD OUT***
Wednesday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., senior citizen field trip day
Wednesday, Sept. 15, 4-7 p.m., open to the public
Wednesday, Sept.15, 6 p.m., goat yoga
Thursday, Sept. 16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., special needs children and adults field trip day
Thursday, Sept. 16, 4-7 p.m., open to the public
Friday, Sept. 17, 5:30-8 p.m., Sunflowers at Sunset dinner ***SOLD OUT***
Saturday, Sept. 18, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., closing weekend
Sunday, Sept. 19, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., closing weekend