Summer and Fourth of July activities during COVID-19 in Fluvanna County

By Madeline Otten

As the official season of summer arrived and the state of Virginia moved into Phase III as of July 1, more options and activities are becoming available. With Phase III in effect, caps on the capacity for nonessential retail businesses and restaurants will be listed and social gatherings of up to 250 people will be allowed. Gyms and fitness centers can open at 75 percent capacity and museums, zoos and other outdoor venues can open at 50 percent capacity with a cap of 1,000 people. Since the number of people hospitalized with positive or pending COVID is declining, more and more business will start to open their doors to the public while keeping customers and community members safe.

So here are some things to do in the summer of COVID-19:

Enjoy the sun and the outdoors with Fluvanna’s Park and Recreation. Their July calendar brims with activities for both kids and adults. There is a $20 registration fee per program as well as a 20-person limit registration per program. They will be practicing safe protocols such as face masks and social distancing and participants will be required to take a temperature check upon check in and check out each day. Hikes and Crafts will be hosted at Pleasant Grove for ages seven to 12 and the kayak programs will meet at beach four in Lake Monticello (kayak, paddle and lifejacket provided). For more information please contact Eric Armentrout at 434-842-3150 or

Another way to soak up some sun and support local business is to visit the local winery, Cunningham Creek Winery (CCW), which is now open and can accommodate parties up to eight people, including children. Following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and phase II guidelines, people are asked to bring a face mask to wear at all times except when within their reservation area. If guests do not have a mask, CCW can also provide a single use face mask. Another way CCW is accommodating during the pandemic is by allowing guests to purchase a CCW logo glass for $1.50 each, bring their own glasses, or use a compostable single use plastic cup. Be on the lookout for any changes going into phase III on their website in relation to guidelines and capacity rules.

An additional local activity would be to visit the Lake Monticello Golf Course. Currently, the course is open to lake residents, property owners, golf members, and accompanied guests, although, with Phase III into effect, things may change, so check back for updates on their website. The Pub Restaurant, located near the course, will still be doing takeout orders and continue to seat people outside and inside while following guidelines with social distancing. Food and Beverage manager Carl Lasley also said that The Pub can now host private events since gatherings of 250 people are now in effect.

For those who want to venture a little away from Fluvanna, Shenandoah National Park has reopened access and the entire park is open 24 hours a day. Explore more of what Central Virginia has to offer this summer by visiting the campgrounds, which are open at a limited capacity to meet the Forward Virginia guidelines of a 20-foot separation between campsites to encourage distancing. Campgrounds are operating on a first come first serve basis and at about 50 percent capacity. If hiking and/or camping are not ideal, the Blue Ridge Parkway is open along with certain locations for picnic area, including restroom facilities throughout Virginia and North Carolina (if the adventure takes you that far).

In relation to July 4th, while the Lake Monticello Owner’s Association made the difficult decision to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks show due to the ongoing pandemic, they are still hosting other patriotic events to help the community spirit. One event is the Lake Monticello’s Plan B Virtual Race Challenge, a walk or run to support the Lake Monticello Fire and Rescue (LMF&R). Instead of an entrance fee, participants are encouraged to make donations with 100 percent of the proceeds donated to the LMF&R.

The second July 4th event that the Lake Monticello Owner’s Association is hosting is the Patriotic Porch and More Tour to help spread community spirit. Community members are encouraged to decorate their houses, porches, lawns, mailboxes, and driveways with a patriotic theme. Decorations will be viewed from July 3 to July 5. Be sure to sign up to be added to the tour map. More information can be found on the LMOA’s website under the “Stay Connected” tab and then by selecting “COVID-19”.

The last July 4th event is the Look Back – 4th of July Memories at LMOA. Residents are asked to submit their favorite memory, a photo with the year it was taken, identifying all people in the photo, and with a brief story, to build a presentation celebrating the many years created at Lake Monticello during the 4th of July. The presentation will premiere on July 4th at 7 p.m. on the Lake Monticello Facebook page.

For those wanting to enjoy fireworks and still be safe during the pandemic, a group called “Save the Fireworks” confirmed that a private landowner in Albemarle County will host this year’s fireworks for Charlottesville and the surrounding areas. The show starts at 9:15 p.m. and will be visible in the southern sky toward Monticello Mountain and Carter’s Mountain. There will be no access to the owner’s property, so the public is asked to view from their homes and/or cars for social distancing.

Throughout the summer, Fluvanna residents can travel to the Goochland Drive-In Theater and safely watch a movie while social distancing. Their Facebook page and website are up to date with their latest showings and responses to COVID-19 in regards to social distancing and capacity numbers. Other activities that can be done with social distancing and even safely from home are making ice cream, stargazing, growing a garden, creating a virtual book club, and more. While this may not be the summer that Fluvanna County residents envisioned for 2020, there are numerous activities to safely take part  in.

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