News and notes from Fredericksburg's entertainment scene
Colonial Beach hosts a celebration for the Potomac River
BY LIANA BAYNE
Looking for a weekend escape at the beach the whole family will enjoy, but don’t want to drive too far?
For some old-timey family fun this weekend, head to Colonial Beach for the 61st annual Potomac River Festival.
The festival, which runs June 8–10, will feature different events all day each day.
Friday’s main attractions are the fireman’s parade and the Miss Colonial Beach pageant. There will also be a Second Friday art walk, hosted by the galleries downtown.
On Saturday, a town parade will feature groups such as the Girl Scouts, firefighters, local government officials and the high school football team. Then at night, catch fireworks from the fishing pier, with two local bands playing sets before and after the display.
Sunday wraps up the festival weekend with a pet parade and a boat parade down the Potomac.
There will be a carnival open all weekend, as well as arts and crafts areas, special food vendors and a beer and wine garden.
Colonial Beach, about an hour’s drive east of Fredericksburg, is a small town of about 3,500 on the Potomac River.
Rhonda Pitts, the chairwoman of the festival, said the drive would be worth it for a family looking to escape busy life for the weekend or even a day.
“It’s a fun, full day,” Pitts said.
Cathy Bokman, the festival’s publicity chairwoman, said Colonial Beach has “a great small hometown feel.”
Bokman and her family live in Northern Virginia but have had a weekend house in Colonial Beach for years.
“It reminds me of being a kid,” she said.
Pitts has lived in Colonial Beach for the past 15 years.
“When I bought my house here, I said I bought a little piece of paradise,” Pitts said.
Bokman said Colonial Beach has a lot to offer, including antiques shops, art galleries, restaurants (especially seafood), and the second-largest beach in the state. There are also three waterfront bars that have live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night.
Colonial Beach is a golf-cart community, which means residents and visitors can legally drive golf carts on the streets. Pitts said golf carts are available for rental from several venues around town.
Colonial Beach has been a resort town since the late 1800s, when D.C. residents such as Alexander Graham Bell would take a riverboat down the Potomac to weekend or summer cottages, Bokman said.
Other events at Colonial Beach this summer include the second annual Rock N Blues Festival June 22–24 and the third annual racing competition of the International Jet Ski Boating Association July 20–22.
WANT TO GO?
What: 61st annual Potomac River Festival
When: June 8–10, all day each day
Cost: Most activities are free; day parking costs about $5 in most lots.
Info: colonialbeach.org. Find more information about the region at northernneck
Liana Bayne: 540/374-5444