A lot is going on at Smith Mountain Lake this the fall besides just the falling leaves, so it seems like a good time to list some of the fun things you won’t want to miss. You can be part of feeding the hungry, tasting delicious chili, musical harmony, and much more!
Speaking of falling leaves, do you already know why they turn such brilliant colors in the fall? Even though I know the basics, I went to my resources and refreshed my knowledge a bit. As the tree prepares for winter hibernation, it also stops producing the nutrients needed to grow green leaves. The colors we see in the fall leaves are in them all year round, but when they stop making chlorophyll (with the green pigment in it), we see the glowing fall colors for a while before the leaves die altogether and fall off.
The other things that determine the variety and shades of color in the leaves are the temperature and amount of rain that year. Drought can delay the arrival of Autumn; warm, wet days will dim the brightness of the colors we enjoy so much; Harsh frosts kill the leaves before they can turn colors to that they just turn brown and fall off. The very brightest and most colorful Autumn comes when the spring has been mild with plenty of rain, a moderate summer, and a warm fall with cooler nights. Let’s hope that bodes for the most gorgeous fall ever this year!
At the top of the activity list is the Annual SML Chili and Craft Festival in November! Enjoy a full-day event featuring crafts and a competitive chili cook-off. Trophies will be awarded for “Best Chili,” “People’s Choice,” and “Showmanship.” It’ll be a hot time at Smith Mountain Lake. The event is held lakeside at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, near the Hales Ford Bridge. Tickets are $5 at the gate! For more info. visit www.visitsmithmountainlake.com. You can also have fun as a volunteer: To sign up, call Jim at 540-721-1203.
The Agape Center will be starting their “FEED A FAMILY” Thanksgiving Dinner Program to provide Thanksgiving Dinners to approx. 450 Families. The cost to sponsor each family is $20.00. If you are interested in helping, Mail a Check To The Agape Center, P.O. Box 573, Moneta, VA 24121, or Call Phyllis Johnson at 540-537-5312.
Peak Foliage Open House at Peaks of Otter – October 30th through November 11th. Enjoy breathtaking views, Sample apples and fresh cider, and Fruit Of The Farm Wines. Enjoy visiting the farm animals and shopping. And it’s all Free from Noon-5 p.m. You may bring your glass, purchase a souvenir glass or taste out of a free plastic cup. You could even plan a picnic and visit The National D-Day Memorial, Bedford Museum, and Poplar Forest. Info: 540-586-3707. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.peaksofotterwinery.com.
And don’t forget the Annual Virginia Dare Flotilla for Toys Boat Parade at Smith Mountain Lake State Park on Nov. 24th from 7 to 9 pm. You can have one of the best spots on the lake to view the elaborately decorated boats as they cruise by the Beach Pavilion. Bundle up and roast marshmallows, create unique crafts, trim a tree for wildlife and enjoy Holiday treats. Bring the kids and stop by the craft table to make an ornament for Lake Christian Ministries to distribute within our community. Virginia Dare has expanded donations to include winter attire as well as unwrapped toys. Your donation assures free parking within the State Park for the event (otherwise, regular parking fees apply). If unable to attend the function, drop off your donation at our office seven days a week between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Please contact the Park Office for further information at (540) 297-6066.
I hope you get a chance to attend at least one of these Smith Mountain Lake Fall Attractions that are going on this year. Hope to see you at the lake!