Brunswick County, Virginia is the official birthplace of a delectable stew, with the original recipe first concocted in 1828. Made with bacon, onions, bread, butter, seasonings, and squirrel meat at the time, the dish is now typically made with vegetables and chicken. This historical dish is now the highlight of the Taste of Brunswick Festival, with aficionados of the meal taking on the title of stewmasters. The tradition of cooking this food has been passed down for generations and is considered an important part of community life in this inviting town.
This family-friendly day of fun has been in existence for several decades, with attendance growing each year. Visitors from near and far come to enjoy the abundance of musical acts showcasing Dixie, Bluegrass, and other types of music. Have a bowl of stew prepared by various crews of people and then dance off your full stomach. The kiddos can build their appetite by playing on the inflatable bouncy toys and visiting the petting zoo.
The entire family will enjoy and learn from the civil war re-enactment. A chance to admire pristine cars, trucks, and motorcycles will thrill auto enthusiasts, and the tractor show is an attention-getter, too. Put your little ones in the wagon for a tractor and wagon ride sure to please. This is an exciting place for kids to be for the day, so pack up the RV and make Lawrenceville a pit stop on your next road trip.
The Taste of Brunswick Festival has no admission fee. You can purchase a bowl of stew, or later in the day, a quart of stew. Prices range from $1 to $10. Details can be found at www.tasteofbrunswickfestival.com. All entertainment and games can usually be enjoyed free of charge. Brunswick stew is designated the “goodwill ambassador” of Brunswick County, and the festival promotes the culture of the area.
The drive to Lawrenceville along US Route 58 is through rural areas. Take it slow so that you can enjoy the scenery, although you must be aware of wildlife as you cruise through the region. Sign up for the Brunswick Alert System to get advisories on impending weather situations and road closures.
There will be areas separated from the activities in which to park your rig. If your vehicle is large, you may want to call ahead to the organizers and make an inquiry. With the event being held at an airport location, there should be plenty of space, but some regulations regarding size may be in place.
Without a public busing system, attendees of the Taste of Brunswick Festival will need to rely on taxis or ridesharing. If you want to park away from the busyness of the event, park in a secure, permitted area and take a cab to the venue.
There is no accommodation for onsite camping at the Taste of Brunswick Festival. Spend the day enjoying the area and then set your coordinates for a nearby town. There are several areas within proximity, so you won’t have a far drive to set up camp.
Take the opportunity to see some of the countryside, and check out campgrounds nearby within the state of Virginia, or travel into North Carolina for a change of scenery. Roanoke Falls, Virginia offers views of the Blueridge Mountains and campgrounds that allow for exploration of mountainside caves. Large sites are often the norm due to the sheer amount of forested space. In North Carolina, camp on Lake Gaston and make sure to bring your fishing rod or check out Roanoke Rapids Lake.
The terrain will be a mix of paved road, sand, and grass, so keep this in mind if you are pushing a stroller or pulling a wagon. If the rain rolls in, the event will go on. Bring along rain boots just in case. You can shelter under a tent if the rain is heavy and allow the kids to puddle jump after the sun appears again.
Jeans and a t-shirt are ideal apparel items for a fun day at the Taste of Brunswick Festival. You will want a sweater for the evening. Pack the camper with a little bit of everything when it comes to clothes as the weather can vary and you may have warm and cool days in the mix. Closed-toe shoes are probably the best bet. Don’t forget a sun hat for everyone.
The states of Virginia and North Carolina offer plenty of outdoor activities. Visit the Tobacco Heritage Trail in Lawrenceville. Pack the picnic gear in your home away from home for a destination such as this and make a day of it. Other items of gear necessary to the best week ever in the RV include outdoor games like lawn bowling and board games for a day of inclement weather. Practicalities include toiletries, flashlights, extra towels, umbrellas, and cooking utensils.
Sunscreen and heavy-duty bug spray are must-haves when camping in forested areas. Ensure that your food is stored in the RV refrigerator or a cooler full of ice. Have the kids wash their hands often; colored hand sanitizer is also fun and will encourage them to slow down long enough to clean up. Instruct the children not to approach wildlife and to respect their environment by keeping the campsite clean and free of garbage.
Camping in the forest seems to be an appetite builder. There is nothing better than banana bread pancakes with maple syrup for a camp breakfast. Burgers and hotdogs over an open fire make for the perfect lunch. Despite the cool October weather, be aware of restrictions that may be in place in regards to open flame. Teach the kids fire safety, and never leave your campsite unattended if there are hot coals present.
If you still have an appetite after a bowl of hearty Brunswick stew, stop in town for a slice of pizza or a club sandwich. If you are camping in nearby Roanoke Rapids or Emporia, grab some comfort food, Mexican fare, or a delicious meal of barbecue chicken.
Local crafts will be on display for purchase at the Taste of Brunswick Festival. Support the talents of those skilled in jams, jellies, and pickles or select an irresistible pie for dessert back at camp. Fresh fall vegetables are on sale and can be incorporated into a campfire meal. Don’t forget to choose jewelry or a souvenir of your time in Virginia.
Volunteers at the Taste of Brunswick Festival will be assisted by the local police department if need be at any time during the day. A family-oriented event like this does not typically have security issues because participants are having a good time together, supporting their community. Back at camp, keep your belongings secure by locking the RV and putting valuables in a safe place.
Crisp and clear nights call for extra blankets. Keep the windows of the RV open to enjoy the sounds of forest wildlife. The fresh air is best for sleeping as well. Camping is fun rain or shine as long as you are equipped. Have nice lighting under your shade canopy to ensure ambiance that can’t be matched in the city.
A stress-free camping trip can be accomplished with an organized preparation list. Required medicines should always be the number one item on your supplies list. Keep all medicines in their proper storage containers and out of reach of children. Top up your first aid kit with peroxide, rubbing alcohol, antibiotic ointment, sunburn cream, band-aids, gauze, scissors, and tweezers.