Virginia Local Customs

  • Visitation stone atop a tombstone
    Visitation stone atop a tombstone
    by GentleSpirit
  • Local Customs
    by GentleSpirit
  • Local Customs
    by GentleSpirit

Virginia Local Customs

  • Festivals

    Richmond Local Customs

    The last weekend every October, the Richmond Highland Games and Celtic Festival (or the Scottish Games, as they are more commonly called) takes place at the State Fairgrounds. Tickets run for $15 in advance, $19 at the door, and $28 for a weekend pass. My mama, daddy, and brother attended this event regularly, but I am not as keen on showing my...

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  • History

    Richmond Local Customs

    The Stars and bars flag of the Confederacy was similar to the Stars and Stripes flag of the Union. Thus, the commanders had problems to distinguish their troops from those of the enemy. That's why the different flag was adopted. Thus, it became the most well-known of the Confederate flags: the two crossed bars with the 13 stars (the Southern Cross)...

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  • Natives

    Richmond Local Customs

    I was always treated very well by natives in Richmond, Virginia and the South. I was surprised by very, very nice welcome wherever and whenever I came. Natives always wanted to speak with me and were interested who I am, what I do in their city, town or village and why I visit it. They usually started the conversation with simple southern version...

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  • Carytown Watermelon Festival

    Richmond Local Customs

    They sure enough picked the right time of year for this festival. During the hottest days of August, nothing is quite like eating an ice cold watermelon. Some folks like the good buys from the vendors which only set up their tents for this event and from local established retailers. It started out as just a sidewalk sale because this is...

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  • Winter Storm Panic

    Richmond Local Customs

    The Richmond kabuki is an interesting cultural exercise. It begins when Jim Duncan on channel 12 predicts snowfall of more than a dusting in the Richmond area. Folks then converge on Ukrop's like yuppies to a Volvo dealership and buy up every loaf of bread or carton of milk to be found as though al-Qaeda were marching up Mechanicsville Turnpike. We...

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  • State Fair of Virginia

    Richmond Local Customs

    Is it just me, or did anyone else notice the horrendous job those responsible for getting state fair goers in and out of the new location did? Did they not plan for the thousands that might show up? First, there is only one long, 2-lane road into the new facility, which goes for miles after exiting 95. The glut of cars on this inadequate road...

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  • Places of Worship

    Richmond Local Customs

    As odd as it may sound, Richmond has a more international flavour than its stereotype might suggest. There are restaurants of just about every major nationality including a Filipino, a Brazilian, and several Greek restaurants. There is also a surprisingly large Greek community in Richmond, one large enough to have necessitated the construction- as...

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  • Limeade

    Richmond Local Customs

    When it's warm outside and your throat is parched, order up a limeade. Sweet tea is the soft drink of the south, and you can get that here in Richmond. But something slightly more Richmond is limeade which you can get at many restaurants in town. If made correctly it is on the tart side and much less sweet than lemonade. Some places you can get it...

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  • Cheerwine

    Richmond Local Customs

    Thanks to good ole Nat (B1Bob), I have now officially become addicted to one of the best soda pops in the country, Cheerwine. Cheerwine is a traditional cherry flavored soft drink, whose roots are definitely based in the South. Originally designed in 1917, this particular soda is unique, and must be shared with friends, Yankee, Southerner and...

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  • Richmond Free Press

    Richmond Local Customs

    One of the best values in Richmond is obviously the Richmond Free Press. At the price of zero, zilch, nada, not one red cent, you can get all the news and information in and around the Richmond area. The old adage of course holds true here. You will probably get what you pay for. In an interesting development, even though it is the free press, they...

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  • Political Stickers

    Richmond Local Customs

    Virginia is definitely one of the most involved states in the US when it comes to politics. One thing that did intrigue me about Richmond in particular, was that there seemed to be expressions of political preference in the parking lot of the government buildings near the Capitol. In most places, government employees are not allowed to list their...

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  • Health food in Carytown

    Richmond Local Customs

    When you think of cities where health food is popular, the first places which might come to mind are San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and maybe even Denver, but not Richmond, Virginia with its fine (but fattening) Southern cuisine. However, Carytown is one of those funky enclaves in which you will find several health food stores that sell all...

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  • Foliage

    Richmond Local Customs

    The weather was godawful for the two days that I spent in the Commonwealth of Virginia. However, the dogwood, magnolia and cherry trees provided some much needed contrast to the dark and gloomy skies. I've always wanted to visit Washington DC at cherry blossom time. Couldn't fit it into the itinerary this time, but I'm thankful that cities like...

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  • Monument Ave. Easter Parade

    Richmond Local Customs

    This is a local custom in Richmond every year around easter. The city blocks off about 8 blocks on the heart of monument avenue. This year I got a chance to go to the parade with Nat, which was a very exciting event. Nat and I enjoyed the festive easter customs, the petting zoo, and everyone out walking their cute little dogs. This is definetly an...

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  • Lakeside Farmer's Market

    Richmond Local Customs

    From May through to November, the only real farmer's market in suburban Henrico County takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays takes place north of town in the Lakeside district. There is space for up to 11 vendors to have a 10x40' (3x12 m.) space enough for a truck from which to sell their goods and a 10x10' (3x3 m.) tent. The times are 8am-noon...

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  • Virginia Outdoor Sportsman's Show

    Richmond Local Customs

    The Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show takes place every year at the Showplace (the former Zayre) department store in eastern Richmond, Virginia. This show not only features guns and hunting equipment, but also farm tools, camping gear, truck accessories, wooden art, and even cooking and spices. The state department of game and inland fisheries even...

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  • Christmas in Richmond

    Richmond Local Customs

    Richmond's skyline lights are turned on in the Grand Illumination which typically takes place the first Friday evening in December, then the reindeer and other decorations will be lit up around the James Center shortly before 6:30pm. Also that night (since its reopening), the Main Street Station hosts a Holiday Open House from five to nine with...

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  • Outlying Areas

    Richmond Local Customs

    There are a few suburban communities around Richmond which are in reality part of one large area (greater Richmond). But, for some historical reasons, they are unincorporated communities and belong to neighbouring counties of Henrico and Hanover (north of the James River) and Chesterfield County (south of that river). Nat's hometown,...

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  • Architectural Features

    Richmond Local Customs

    Most houses along Monument Avenue have elevated (at least 1-2 ft; 0.5 m) ground floors like this one on my picture. Is it because of high risk of floods? Well, James river flows a little bit to south. There are sometimes heavy rains and rarely coastal hurricanes make a direct hit on Richmond.

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  • Cuisine de Richmond

    Richmond Local Customs

    Crust: Nonstick vegetable coating 40 Oreo cookies finely ground 6 tablespoons butter, melted Filling: 3 ounces coffee liqueur 1/2 cup whipping cream 1/2 cup butter 32 Oreo cookies ground 1 pound milk chocolate, melted 2: 8 ounce cartons frozen nondairy whipped topping, thawed Icing: 2 cups whipping cream 2 ounces Irish cream liqueur 2 tablespoons...

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  • Southern hospitality

    I was always treated very well by natives in Virginia and the South. I was surprised by very, very nice welcome wherever and whenever I came, especially in smaller cities and towns. Natives always wanted to speak with me and were interested who I am, what I do in their city, town or village and why I visit it. They usually started the conversation...

    more
  • Southern culture in Virginia

    Southern Culture is a subculture of the United States largely based on Western and British culture, with influences from Indians, Blacks, and numerous immigrant groups. I started to discover it in Virginia. Before my trip through 12 southern states I was told that the South was the most culturally distinct part of the US and that they maintained a...

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  • Virginia makes great ham!

    In some travel literature I took from Virginia Welcome Center I wrote about famous Virginia ham I never heard of before. Soon I gave it try in Indian Field Tavern in Charles City and to my surprise it tasted great. At that moment I stopped to think that the ban on export Polish ham to the USA is caused by fear of competition. Later on, I tasted a...

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  • Water

    When you enter a restaurant, you are usually given a glass of iced water. This is free and extremely necessary during the hot and humid summers where you can sweat buckets of water while trying to keep cool. You can drink the water (which your server will refill endlessly) until you are rehydrated or just drink it and not order another drink. Most...

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  • Varina-Enon Bridge

    As I was driving from North Carolina to Connecticut I crossed through Virginia on I-295. There was a spectacular bridge on the way. I took a quick picture so that I could look it up when I got to the hotel room. This bridge was named after the cities it ties together, Varina and Enon.Very interesting. The rest is what I found from the website...

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  • Fried green tomatoes

    This is a Southern tipFried green tomatoes are one of those delicacies unique to the South at which many coastal elitists from up North and out west turn their nose up. Well, that means more for us. I have always liked them. Not surprisingly, they serve them at the Hanover Tomato Festival in Mechanicsville, Virginia every year. Here is a recipe: 4...

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  • Wreck of Old 97 Marker (Danville)

    On 27 September 1903 a mail train originating in Washington going through to Atlanta crashed at Stillhouse Trestle just north of Danville. This particular crew took over in Monroe, Virginia (just north of Lynchburg) to hand off the controls at Spencer, North Carolina (somewhere between Greensboro and Charlotte). Private railroad companies under...

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  • Loving the wildlife

    Virginians are proud of their two main wild animals - White Tailed Deer and the American Black Bear.This love affair is contagious and it may be psychological. Our Canadian friends from British Columbia, who hiked with us for a small stretch, were as respectable of a bear as were we. The only thing is that they had seen bears before a lot, whereas...

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  • Virginia is for lovers?

    I don't know whether Virginia is for lovers or not, but it certainly has enough attractions for those young at heart and romantically inclined.Virginia is certainly meant for Virginians though. During our hike to a waterfall in Shenandoah, we made friends with a widely travelled man Greg (see in the picture attached). Greg has travelled to such out...

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  • Mother of Presidents

    Although the last Virginia-born left office in 1921, more U.S. presidents were born in Virginia than in any other state: George Washington (1789-97), Thomas Jefferson (1801-09), James Madison (1809-17), William Henry Harrison (1841), John Tyler (1841-45), Zachary Taylor (1849-50), and Woodrow Wilson (1913-21). Each Virginia president has a statue...

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  • state symbols

    the state motto is: "Sic Semper Tyrannis" which is latin for "thus it will always be for tyrants".the state mick name is "Old Dominion".the state tree is the dogwood.the state song is "Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny"the state seal has figure of Virtue vanquishing a tyrannt in reference to the state motto which is also included. The reverse side has...

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  • Tobacco County and Proud of It!

    In many parts of the USA and the world, tobacco, tobacco companies, and tobacco farmers have become something of a pariah. The farmers and those who process the crop are decent and hardworking people deserving of a little respect. Tobacco is a labour intensive crop with leaves (on the same plant) ripening at different times making several harvests...

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  • Virginia makes great wine!

    I never heard about Virginian wine before my trip to Virginia and the South. Even in the best wine stories around me (in Poland) they are unavailable in contrast to wine from states of California (most popular), Washington and Oregon. Now, I know that there are over 50 wineries in Virginia and Virginia wine tastes great. Let's me quote Thomas...

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  • Southern cuisine in Virginia

    From my first day on Virginian soil I was very surprised how many restaurants they have (do they ever cook and eat at home?) and how different food they offer. Soon I noticed that despite common prejudice the USA is not a fast food country but different food country. In real fast food has nothing common with American cuisine exept that for sure...

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  • Are Virginians religious?

    I was told that Southerners are more religious than folks in say New England. I don't know but I could easy find a church both in downtown Richmond and in the neighbourhoods as well as in most even one-horse Virginian villages. Like in the West a year before, I was surprised about numerous religions (hundreds, I think) they practise. Look at my...

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  • Pumpkin Virginia :-)

    I was in Virginia about three weeks before Halloween. There were tons of pumpkins displayed in front of both local supermarkets (the Mechanicsville Wal-Mart in my picture) and houses. Before Halloween (31 Oct.) surely pumpkins are more for decorations than for eating. In the late autumn between Halloween and Thanksgiving (late November), many...

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  • Virginian heritage and pride

    There is at least one important cultural factor common for Virginia and my homecountry, Poland (and quite many other countries as well). Both countries had great and glorious past followed by not that great events and in both coutries natives are proud of that old great past as well as of local culture, southern culture in Virginia. This pride is...

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  • Virginia is sexy :-)

    At my first stop on real Virginian soil (Northern Virginia does not fit in here) that was in Virginia Welcome Center in Fredericksburg (I-95 between exit 130 and 133) I easily noticed tourism and travel slogan "Virginia is for Lovers" with red heart which was printed on many leaflets, posters, postcards etc.Well, Virginia is not Thailand -...

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  • Southern English

    Southern American English is a group of dialects of the English language spoken throughout the South. It's easy to be heard in smaller towns and villages of Virginia as from the grocery store to the local cafe, you will find someone that wants to chat. However some locals switch from Southern to regular American English as soon as they recognize...

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  • Slavery or cotton trade?

    I was told different opinions and views on the Civil War in Virginia.One of my basic questions was: why did southern states secede from the Union? Was slavery the reason? Official history books usually cite slavery as the cause for the secession and war. President Abraham Lincoln was chosen in November 1860 and he wanted to ban slavery wheras the...

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  • Two Virginians, three opinions?

    I was lucky to meet a few Virginians who were enough frank and direct or maybe intrigued about such stranger like me that they shared their opinions about the war 1861-1865. I easily noticed that this difficult period in American history still provokes some emotions (after almost 150 years!) and is described and judged in many ways, often in...

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  • Controversial flag?

    I have seen this flag many times in Virginia but almost exclusively in gift shops and museums. Well, at the beginning of my trip, driving from Arlington to Richmond I've seen it put by a single house off the beaten path. I thought it's a flag of a footbal/baseball club, silly me :-). Let me explain now. The Stars and Bars flag of the Confederacy...

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  • The South starts south of Arlington

    I started my southern odyssey through 12 southern states from Arlington in Northern Virginia. During my travels I easily noticed that the South is neither geographical nor historical therm but a cultural thing. The administrative borders and divisions don't exactly follow the cultural ones which, by the way, have no strict borders. But some...

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  • Virginia belongs to the South!

    Despite its geographical location exactly in the middle of eastern U.S. coast Virginia is NOT Mid-Atlantic state, never. Remember forvever: Virginia belongs to the South or the Southern United States. Keep in mind that "the South" being basically geographical therm has many other meanings. In the United Kingdom, "the South" is used to refer to the...

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  • Farm versus plantation

    One of the first, basic thing I got to know during my Virginia trip was the difference between plantation and farm (during my visit to the Berkeley Plantation in Charles City). Plantation is a large area of land on which a particular type of crop is grown whereas on a farm there are various, different crops. In early colonial America, in the South,...

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Virginia Local Customs

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