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Winterize Your Home with These Easy DIY Projects


With colder temperatures dominating our forecast (apparently we’re skipping autumn this year), it might be a good idea to survey your home for innovative ways to keep the heat indoors.  Here are a few tips to help keep that Snuggie in your closet for a few more weeks:

  1. 1. Check Your Door Drafts: The U.S. Department of Energy states that drafts can let anywhere from 5%-30% of your energy escape from your home.  The easiest solution?  Roll up a towel and stick it in front of the door.  If you’d like something with a little more décor, check out Twin Draft Guard (available at home improvement stores like Smith Mountain Building Supply) which comes in a variety of colors and can be customized to fit your door.
  1. 2. Flip The Switch On Your Fan: It may seem awkward to run your ceiling fan in the winter, but reversing the direction of your blades to clockwise pulls the warm air from the ceiling (heat rises, remember?) and circulates that toasty air into your living space.
  1. 3. Monitor Your Water Heater: By default, water heaters are usually set to about 140 degrees when they’re installed.  Most of us rarely need that level of scorching heat when showering, so reduce the temperature to around 120 degrees.  Your water heating costs will be reduced between 6% and 10%.
  1. 4. Sweater It Out: A thin sweater equals to about 2 degrees in warmth.  A thick sweater?  About 4 degrees.  Think about that before you start adjusting that thermostat.

(Source: www.thedailygreen.com)

Downtown Moneta Announces Annual Christmas Parade


The second annual Moneta Fire Department Christmas Parade has been scheduled for Friday, December 6th at 6pm at Celebration Square in Downtown Moneta.

The theme for this year’s parade will be “Christmas Movies.”  Guest host for the evening will be WSET Meteorologist Jamey Singleton.

Vendors located within Downtown Moneta will be open before, during and after the parade.  Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive via horse-drawn carriage and visitors will be able to go on their own carriage ride after the parade finishes its route.

Last year’s inaugural parade was a huge success prompting thousands of visitors to line the streets of Downtown Moneta in hopes of catching holiday spirit, as well as holiday candy.

Registration forms for parade participants and vendors can be picked up from A Shade Brighter and Affordable Home Outlet located in Celebration Square.  Participants who register before November 20th receive a discount.

All proceeds benefit the Moneta Fire Department.

For more information, visit www.DowntownMoneta.com.

Blue Ridge Folklife Festival October 26th

The 2013 Blue Ridge Folklife Festival will be taking place Saturday, October 26th on the grounds of Ferrum College.

This annual event has grown to become one of the area's most popular annual festivals, bringing tourists from all over the country, to participate in this cultural event.

Visitors will see demonstrations of folk traditions, including moonshining, music, food and farming.

The Blue Ridge Folklife Festival is the largest folklife festival in Virginia, showcasing artisans, performers and cuisine that cannot be found at other festivals.  The New York Times boasts that the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival is "thoroughly authentic."

The event is rain or shine.  Parking is free and ticket sales go towards funding the festival and other Blue Ridge Institute programs.  Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-14 and for senior citizens 60 and over.  Children 5 and under are free.

For more information, call 540-365-4416 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Traveling to Smith Mountain Lake In The Offseason

So Summer has officially come to an end.  You're knocking the sand off of your flip-flops and saying "sayonara" to your tan line with a furrowed brow and a trembling low lip. Before you retreat to your room and hide under a blanket with some ice cream and a box of tissues, have you ever considered that Smith Mountain Lake might be a fun destination outside of the summer months?

It's an all too common assumption that SML disappears completely once the highly popular Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival draws to a close.  And while traffic does slow down just a bit, Smith Mountain Lake is still very vibrant in the fall and winter months.  Here are some thoughts to ponder:


Smith Mountain Lake is home to some of Virginia's most decorated wineries, each one with a distinctive taste and atmosphere.  Many Smith Mountain Lake wineries offer events in the fall that take full advantage of the beautiful fall foliage (seriously, people drive for hundreds of miles to see our trees) and our rich autumn harvest of apples, pumpkins and any other food we can make a pie out of.  Who doesn't love the thought of wrapping up in a knitted scarf, lacing up some warm boots and sipping chardonnay while feasting on our beautiful fall landscape?

Festivals and Events:

Fall festivals at Smith Mountain Lake are always a family affair.  From hayrides to corn mazes, pumpkin picking to face painting, kids of all ages will find a fall-themed event each and every weekend.

A new event that's sure to gain in popularity is the SML Oktoberfest and 5k Trail Race (October 19, 2013).  Sample German food, drink German beer and listen to the sounds of an authentic German band.

Have you ever driven through a fancy neighborhood at the lake and thought, "I just want to go inside and see what it looks like."  The SML Charity Home Tour (October 11-13, 2013) lets you do just that!  Ticket purchasers will have the opportunity to tour beautiful lakefront homes, each one showcasing stunning home decor and architecture.

One of SML's fastest growing annual events is the Chili Cookoff (November 2, 2013), hosted by the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce.  Each year, area businesses compete with their own special recipes to win one of three awards: best tasting, showmanship and most popular.  Area craft vendors also set up shop so that patrons can purchase locally made goods.  There's even a shuttle to take you to and from your car so you can focus on the task at hand: eating as much chili as possible.

Peace and Quiet

So the lake isn't buzzing with hundreds of college students.  There's no line at the bridge to feed the carp.  You can take your boat out for a leisurely drive and enjoy a beautiful Smith Mountain Lake sunset.  That doesn't sound so bad, does it?  Sure, Smith Mountain Lake has a very special summer personality--but SML in the fall is quite attractive as well.  Tourists will enjoy more affordable rental rates for condos and boats and more relaxed pace...which is where Smith Mountain Lake shines.  The water might be a little chilly, but the view is still perfect.

Think Smith Mountain Lake might be the perfect fall getaway?  Check out www.rsirentals.com to see our affordable rates.

36th Annual Boones Mill Apple Festival Planned

Join the Town of Boones Mill for the 36th Annual Apple Festival Saturday, September 21, 2013.

The event is located just south of Rocky Mount on route 220.  A rain date of September 28th is in place in the event of inclement weather.

A children's play area with inflatable bounce houses and slides will be available.  Multiple food and craft vendors will be on site and entertainment from area musicians, including a performance from the Franklin County High School Marching Eagle Band, will be featured throughout the event.

The event culminates with the crowing of MIss Apple Queen.

The Boones Mill Apple Festival is sponsored and organized by the Boones Mill Lions Club.  For more information visit www.BoonesMillAppleFestival.com.


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