Locals, U.Va. students enjoy Sunset Series at Carter Mountain

Weekly event boasts live music, food and beverages

lf-Sunset-CourtesySaraHall

The Sunset Series is open to everyone and has free of admission and parking.

Courtesy Sara Hall | Cavalier Daily

“It’s something we started here about eight years ago,” said Cynthia Chiles, the owner of Carter Mountain Orchard. “We have such a beautiful view of the area and people have asked us to watch the sunset so we decided to open one day a week so that people can be up here in the evening and and enjoy the mountains after our regular business hours.”

From the beginning of May until the end of September, Carter Mountain Orchard hosts what is known as the Thursday Evening Sunset Series. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., the orchard remains open for the public to watch the sunset over Charlottesville. With food and beverages, including wine and Bold Rock hard cider, the venue also hosts live bands from the area.

“All the bands are local,” Chiles said. “Many of them play for us every year, but we also bring in some new bands, new talent, and mix it up a bit.”

The Sunset Series is open to everyone and has free of admission and parking. 

“No admission charge and no parking charge,” Chiles said. “Really it can be as affordable as you like. We don’t charge anyone to appear.”

The event brings people of all ages to the orchard. The music is always appropriate, and the atmosphere is family-friendly. Attracting parents, children, local business people and University students, Chiles said the crowd can range from a couple 100 to a 1,000 on any given Thursday night, depending on the weather.

Chiles called the atmosphere fun and festive as it brings locals together to enjoy each other’s company and the beauty of Charlottesville. 

“I think people here are very accepting,” Chiles said. “There are going to be people here that are young folks to older folks and everybody does their thing. People in this town like live music and appreciate being outdoors and nature, and I think it kind of fits the bill.”

Despite its distance from Grounds, third-year College student Kathryn Novak said the Sunset Series also brings the University together. Novak and a few of her friends attended the event last week.

“I saw pretty much everyone I know and everyone I have ever met at U.Va.,” Novak said. “It really brings people together.”

Third-year College student Rebecca Soistmann has been to Thursday evening program multiple times this summer and spoke about the series as a good escape from University life.

“It’s a very good way to destress from the college atmosphere and get out of the U.Va. bubble a little bit,” Soistman said. “I love nature and the sunset and it’s just a really good time to be out with friends.”

“You sit on top of a mountain and drink a glass of wine or hard cider and have food and listen to music and look out over the twinkling lights of the [Charlottesville] and the sunset,” Chiles said. “You can't do that everywhere.”

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