Monday, July 5, 2010

Fireworks In Virginia Horse Country

Fireworks In Virginia Horse Country

The Great Meadow in Fauquier County


July 4, 2010

The Great Meadow is home to the Virginia Goldcup Steeplechase Horse Races twice a year and to Twilight Polo Matches in the summertime. On July 4'th The Great Meadow Foundation hosted a Fourth of July show that concluded with fireworks but began with a polo match and a "helicopter ballet".

Here you see three of the eight helicopters from the Manassas City Airport that participated in

this helicopter demonstration. See all the hundreds of cars in the distance parked on a grassy field. Our car was somewhere in the slew of cars which meant that we had to walk half way around the four mile grassy steeplechase racetrack to get to "our spot" near the rail to view the fireworks which followed the helicopter demo which followed the polo match.

See the live green fence and the wooden fence. In the steeplechase races here at Great Meadow the riders with their horses must jump and clear these hurdles. The largest helicopter for the show was the multicolored one behind the live green fence. Riding as passengers in this helicopter was the Virginia couple who bought this 750 acre farm and then donated 200 acres to be preserved as the Great Meadow Foundation for outdoor events, many having to do with horses. The Great Meadow Foundation is a non-profit organization to preserve Virginia's rural landscape and to promote The Plains and Fauquier County. The most famous resident is the actor Robert Duvall who lives north of Plains, VA on a 360 acres farm called Brindley.

A huge crowd gathered for the show. The big white tent was a beer tent featuring beer and brats.

See the white picket fence in the middle of the fence. These folks paid $250 dollars to have a reserved spot. We didn't do that and I liked our spot better. Maybe these folks wanted to just be closer to the beer and brats.

Lots of people and other vendors were selling food and souvenirs under these big white tents.

Here Big Jack, Little Jack and daughter Jennifer staked out "our spot" by rail of the horse track.

Little Jack rode on Daddy's shoulders to see the helicopters take off.

This one whizzed by very low and close to the fence rail!

Here Jack waved to the pilots of the helicopters.

There was one female helicopter pilot--a Ms. Gonzales.

Here came a really small helicopter that weighted just as bout as much as an SUV. See the red barn and brown silo in the distance. Those are the only structures that are in The Great Meadow view range from the horse track. The rest is all fields, trees and low mountains. A bucolic setting.

The eight helicopters began the "helicopter ballet" by lifting off and hovering low over the grassy field. Then on cue they all turned left. They then on cue all turned right. Then they all started whizzing by us!

Little Jack watched and waved as the helicopters went up and down the field and close to the rail fence.

The sun began to set as the helicopters were still flying pass us.

I liked this bright red helicopter the best.

Finally it was dark enough for the fireworks display to begin around 9:40 P.M.

Boom, Boom, Boom!
Happy Fourth of July, Everyone!

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