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Home Front: Summer Datebook

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July can be a quiet month in Richmond, as many residents go on vacation or just lie limp as towels in the heat. Here are some ideas if you want to get out of town:

July 20-22

Visit the Hungry Mother Arts and Crafts Festival, one of the largest juried craft shows in southwestern Virginia. Other attractions include living history re-enactments, food and children's activities. Hungry Mother State Park, 2854 Park Boulevard, in Marion. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Parking (includes admission) is $6. (276) 781-7400.

July 21-22

Sip Virginia wine, admire the flowers and enjoy the music at the André Viette Farm and Nursery's Daylily and Wine Festival. The festival offers an assortment of food, crafts and microbrews, as well as seminars by garden and culinary experts. 994 Long Meadow Road in Fishersville. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission varies. (800) 575-5538.

July 28-29

Celebrate Christmas a few months early. The Virginia Bazaar, just up I-95 in Ladysmith, hosts the annual Blue Christmas in July with Elvis, aka tribute artist Joe Searles. Enjoy entertainment by the King and eat a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich as you shop the Bazaar's collection of antiques, collectibles and junk. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. (888) 868-3532.

July 28-Aug. 12The Virginia Highlands Festival is like every festival you've ever been to, all mashed together. You'll find crafts, antiques and art; music, storytelling and dancing; wine-tasting and abundant food; workshops on gardening and writing; historic walking tours and even hot-air balloons. 150 West Main Street in Abingdon. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. (276) 623-5266.

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