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Christmas in Middleburg Hunt Review

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  • Christmas in Middleburg Hunt Review

    I think I might actually go this year.

    Is it a TOTAL zoo? Will crowds already be three deep by 10 AM (Hunt Review is scheduled for 11)? If so, how early do I need to be there for optimal viewing?

    Any other advice for a first-timer? Thanks!
    Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.

  • #2
    C'mon! My mom and I go every year. I'd recommed getting there between 10-10:30 for parking and gettting a spot (there's plenty to look at if you have time to kill). It can be crowded, but IIRC it was worse whenever the Christmas parade followed immediately. It's a few hours later this year.

    PS-bring a camera!
    "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"

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    • #3
      We've been going every single year for the past 15 years. Only missed two years - both when the weather was so bad, they cancelled it.

      Parking is HORRENDOUS unless you get there several hours early, & even that may not help you this year, as they've already said they're eliminating in-town parking in favor of instituting parking at a local park east of Middleburg along Route 50 & running shuttle busses into town. That alone should tell you how crowded this damn thing has become. It's lovely, but has lost a lot of its lustre for us over the years due to the crowds.

      I mean, the Hunt trotting down Main Street takes about 5 minutes. That's it. Then if you're interested in the parade, which really is very very nice, with lots of critters, etc., you have to wait around till 2 p.m. They change this from year to year. Last couple of years they did the parade right after the Hunt thing at 11 a.m.; this year the parade is back down to later in the afternoon. Apparently MIddleburg can't make up its mind re: how best to get people to spend their money in the local shops - lol!!

      And if you're planning on having lunch anywhere in town? Think again. Our "go to" place over the past 15 years was always "Back Street Cafe". Sadly, "Back Street" closed its doors last December, so now all the folks who also had "Back Street" as their "Xmas in Middleburg" spot, will have to dine elsewhere. So if you want to lunch in town, either make a reservation or run like hell as soon as the horses disappear down the street!!

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks to you both for the very helpful advice--Bacardi, it's particularly useful to know I can't count on parking unless I leave here at the crack of dawn--gah! I might not let that dissuade me though.

        Fortunately, I'm not so interested in seeing the parade. I'm within easy walking distance of the downtown Fredericksburg Christmas parade route and am planning to be curbside for that again this year so I'll get my parade fix there. But I would like to see the spectacle of the horses and hounds in Middleburg and pick up a copy of the new Bruce Smart book (http://www.nsl.org/sites/default/fil...gacies%201.pdf). Not expecting to see that at our new Barnes & Noble.

        Anyhoo--thanks to both of you again for the input.
        Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.

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        • #5
          Damn I miss VA
          Draumr Hesta Farm
          "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
          Member of the COTH Ignorant Disrepectful F-bombs!*- 2Dogs Farm

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Windsor1 View Post
            Thanks to you both for the very helpful advice--Bacardi, it's particularly useful to know I can't count on parking unless I leave here at the crack of dawn--gah! I might not let that dissuade me though.

            Fortunately, I'm not so interested in seeing the parade. I'm within easy walking distance of the downtown Fredericksburg Christmas parade route and am planning to be curbside for that again this year so I'll get my parade fix there. But I would like to see the spectacle of the horses and hounds in Middleburg and pick up a copy of the new Bruce Smart book (http://www.nsl.org/sites/default/fil...gacies%201.pdf). Not expecting to see that at our new Barnes & Noble.

            Anyhoo--thanks to both of you again for the input.
            Okay - the Hunt comes down Main Street at 11 a.m. So I'd count on arriving in Middleburg to do the parking dance by 10 a.m.. We're in Culpeper, & usually leave around 9:15 a.m. latest. So take your cue from there.

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            • #7
              So, they're not parking "us" in the field behind Safeway anymore? Also, we never make lunch reservations...and last year had a wonderful meal on the back patio of the Red Fox. I tend to not do a lot of shopping on parade day, but either drive down the Saturday before (or Saturday after) to do some actual shopping in town! It's a fun day despite the huge throngs of people, and it's the one thing that brings out the Christmas spirit in me! I love it!
              Cindy

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              • #8
                I took pictures if anyone's interested. Should be a public facebook album (sorry, all I got).

                https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...3158068&type=1
                "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"

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                • #9
                  Wasn't it a beautiful day? The horses & riders were lovely & hounds adorable as usual. Spotted two beautifully turned out sidesaddle riders, & several of the horses were absolutely huge. My offhand perception ain't that great, but they definitely looked like 17+ hands easily.

                  The crowds were horrendous, but not as bad as when they had moved the Xmas parade up to right after the Hunt. Then they were horrendously horrendous. But now that they moved the parade back down to 2 p.m., you didn't have too many of the parade-viewing crowd there yet - they starting moving in later on. When leaving after lunch, we saw folks walking along the roadside towards Middleburg to watch the parade from almost 4 miles out! And we did pass the big parking lot east of Middleburg doing the shuttle-bus thing. Luckily, we got there early enough to be able to park a mere 2 short blocks from town.

                  We perused the shops as usual, & picked up a few more ornaments for our tree at "The Fun Shop", as we do every year. Then had a really good lunch at "The Fox's Den Tavern" (which took over the spot previously occupied by "Hidden Horse Tavern"). We'd never been before, & were SO glad we'd made reservations because today it was "reservations only", & they were PACKED. Enjoyed what has to have been one of the best "Bloody Marys" I've ever had, & hubby & I split an appetizer order of "Fried Oysters with Spicy Remoulade Sauce" (wonderful) & split our orders of "Albacore Tuna Melt" & "Smoked Turkey Reuben" so that we got to enjoy a half-sandwich of each - both were so good. Great friendly service, good food - we'll definitely be returning here!! But in case you want to dine there on "Xmas in Middleburg" day - be forewarned that their reservations were fully booked 2 weeks prior. We got a reservation purely by accident because we were only a party of two & I happened to phone yesterday right after they'd had a couple of two-party cancellations. Otherwise, they were turning non-reservation people away at the door.

                  Afterwards we bought our door wreath & pine/cedar garlands for our deck on the way home. All in all a very nice seasonal - & horsey - day.

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