Music Event to Introduce Chantilly Festival Farm
Dee Dannewitz Wallace KG4VMI came to Virginia from a southeastern Nebraska farming community. She spent her early years being mentored in business, and obtained sponsorship for much traveling in education, for 4-H, and mission trips with the church & others. She received great education at LIFE Bible College and Virginia Tech, and has background in finance, accounting, sales and management. She has always enjoyed spending time outdoors and working with various community groups. After college, Dee moved to Floyd with her son, Christian, to get back to “farm living” and for a closer association with David and Gaynell and LCF Group activities.
In 2007, Dee married her long-time friend, Greg Wallace, who is a native of Floyd County, Virginia. They have their home at “Oak Hill Farm” in Floyd, where they spend free time watching the wildlife and grass grow, and sharpen their artistic and culinary skills. Greg photographs many of the historical buildings and breathtaking sceneries throughout the County.
The Floyd Press
This month, Floyd County will welcome a major new venue for festivals and other organized events, both public and private, that will be held on wooded, rolling farmland just six miles from the Town of Floyd near the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The initial event at the site is being produced by Festival Farm Productions, LLC, and will feature a showcase of local talent, skills and activities that will offer attendees a good time outdoors with family appropriate entertainment, say the promoters, who bill themselves as the "Wow Special Events Team."
The title, they say, reflects their focus on offering only family appropriate events that are exceptionally well-planned and executed to elicit a "Wow!" response from participants.
The "Wow" team consists of Jason Gallimore, a lead festival promoter and director of merketing for Festival Farm Productions, LLC; along with Dave Larson and Dee Wallace of the LCF Group.
The inaugural event at the site will be the first of an annual "Bluegrass & BBQ Festival" that will be held Saturday, May 28, between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. at a natural amphitheater on the former farmland.
Featured musicians will be Floyd County native and rising Bluegrass star Ashley Blankenship and Blades of Blue, Bernie Coveney, Janet Turner, the Mike Mitchell Trio and students of the Floyd Music School.
Wallace noted the upcoming event is the culmination of a planning process that took place of the past decade, adding that "what we're particularly excited about this first festival is that it is a major event. We wanted to start with the 'wow." With this event, we're trying to set the tone for what we envision as moving forward on the plan.
"We feel like this is a great event because it is family oriented and it's a great showcase of local talent," she stated.
Details about the upcoming festival can be found online at www.chantillyfestivalfarm.com.
Gallimore added, "And not just local talent, but we're supporting the local food vendors and the local craftsmen. At every oppertunity, we're utilizing local businesses and people. We want this to be a place where local folks can display and sell their products."
According to the promoters, the property on Franklin Pike provides multiple recreational and entertainment oppertunities. This includes at least four amphitheaters of different sizes, with each benefiting from its own acoustic and seating oppertunities.
"The property goes to the top of the mountain in a beautiful wooded area," Larson noted, adding that the land, in terms of stage areas, offers at least four natural outdoor theaters. "With a million dollars, you couldn't haul enough dirt to create these existing amphitheaters," he stated.
Gallimore said, "We're approaching every aspect of this event with an eye on what's best for Floyd County."
And, based on his next remark, it must be working. He added, "The outpouring of support from the community has been tremendous. People seem to be really excited about what we're doing with Chantilly Festival Farm, and they're anxious to be a part of it."
In closing, Wallace stated, "The Blue Ridge is the epicenter of the Bluegrass world, and we've never had an event like this before. Our goal with this event is to correct this oversight."
All About the Farm
Chantilly Festival Farm sits on 101 acres of farmland located six miles from Floyd on Franklin Pike with 20-30 acres available for parking. A large sign announces your arrival on the site.
While a local portable stage will be used for the May 28 event, construction on the first of three amphitheaters will take place this summer. When completed, the largest natual amphitheater can handle from 6 to 8,000 people.
The farm already has two large VDOT approved commercial entrances from Franklin Pike.
Existing electrical service consists of 200 and 300 amps.
There will eventuall be two miles of hiking trails and equestrian areas, and it is intended to offer year round venues for special events.
In addition to major events, such as festivals, the property -- from two to 100 acres -- will be available to rent for all kidns of outdoor events, including such activities as community events, reunions, weddings, church events and commercial programs.
An onsite staging area for fire, rescue and law enforcement will be provided, and a heli-pad is planned for use by helicopters, or other such aircraft if and when needed.
Single and high-density rental housing may eventually be available.