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Historic Village Fights to Hold Off Development and Welcomes 30,000 Visitors


WATERFORD, VA— When you drive into Waterford, Virginia you have to remind yourself that you’re only 50 minutes west of Washington, D.C.  In Waterford, time seems to stand still. But don’t mistake this for a sleepy, rural community.  Since 1943, Waterford has been quietly waging a war against development.  Situated in Loudoun County, one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S., Waterford fights to maintain its rural character and charm as well as the land surrounding this 1733 Village that is a National Historical Landmark.


Founded by Quakers, today the Village provides refuge to artists, writers, CEO’s and professionals of all backgrounds.  Many choose to battle the daily commute into Washington, D.C. in order to come home to this peaceful oasis.


For the past 65 years, this oasis has been voluntarily disrupted each year when the entire Village puts on the annual Waterford Homes Tour & Crafts Exhibit (also known as the Waterford Fair).  Purchase a residence in Waterford and there’s an underlying commitment that you’ll spend considerable time helping with the annual fair, (or you best have a very good reason to be out of town that weekend).  Since the entire Village is transformed and streets are closed, residents have to make arrangements in advance to park their cars outside the village.  But many don’t seem to mind the inconveniences and they willingly allow approximately 25,000 to 30,000 people to peer into their windows and peek into their backyards.  They also happily devote many hours to approximately 14 volunteer committees who work a good part of the year to ensure the Fair’s success.  The Fair is a model for volunteerism and after 65 years, it runs like clockwork.


The success of the Fair is also important to the future of the Village.  Fair proceeds are used to preserve and protect the village and the surrounding fields in the Landmark.  Residents with great vision and foresight established the Waterford Foundation in 1943. In the 1970s, the Foundation launched a campaign encouraging the use of conservation easements to protect the Village’s heritage. Now many residents have placed their properties under easement to ensure their preservation in perpetuity. The Foundation has spent over $8.1 million to acquire threatened land surrounding the Village and prevent massive development.  The challenge to protect the Village’s character and setting has become significantly greater of late as Loudoun County experiences record growth that threatens to overwhelm Waterford and devour remaining farmland.   Village residents and other Foundation members, understanding the threat to this National Historic Landmark, band together to protect and preserve it so that it can continue to provide a unique glimpse of rural life from another time.


The 65th Annual Waterford Homes Tour & Crafts Exhibit takes place on October 3, 4, and 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.   Featuring 160 juried heritage craftspeople (many nationally known) who provide hands-on demonstrations; it is the oldest juried crafts fair in Virginia. In addition, there will be historic homes open for tour, continuous traditional music and dance, Colonial-era militia encampments, marching fife and drum corps, Civil War re-enactors with skirmishes, and several children’s activities throughout the weekend. 


Tickets at the gate are $15 per person per day, children 12 and under are free.  Advance tickets are $13 per person per day (ticket orders by mail, phone or email must be received by September 22).  Advance tickets at ticket outlets may be purchased through October 2 (see the Web site, address below, for a list of ticket outlets) or call or write the Waterford Foundation for a brochure.


Advance tickets may be charged by phone through the Waterford Foundation office at 540-882-3018 or online at  Or send your check (please specify dates you wish to attend), along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:  Waterford Foundation, P.O. Box 142, Waterford, VA  20197. Check the Web or call the Foundation office for a ticket outlet near you.  Bus groups and groups of 20 or more are $12 per person and must be booked in advance.  Call the Waterford Foundation office for group arrangements.  Ticket orders by mail, phone or online must be received by September 22.


Waterford is located just 45 miles northwest of Washington, DC and in close proximity to Dulles International Airport.   To get there:  take the Dulles Toll Road/Greenway to Leesburg, exit left and follow signs for Route 7 West.  Continue on Route 7 and Exit onto Route 9 West to Route 662 (Clarke’s Gap Road) and follow to Waterford.  Call 540-882-3018, or e-mail, for more information or visit the web at


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