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The holidays are over, but the fun times don't have to be! It's a new year, so why not make it your resolution to start 2015 off right? There are tons of great winter events taking place this month in Virginia, just waiting for you to take part. Read on to learn more about what our great state has to offer in January:

Winter Sports Galore
January is a great time to find sporting events in Virginia. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend events at the Wintergreen Resort near Afton will include live entertainment, ski competitions, and a celebratory kickoff of the National Ski Areas Association's Safety Awareness Week. At Peaks of Otter Lodge in Bedford there will be a family hiking event suitable for all ages called "Hiking With Muddy Squirrel". This event will highlight the local culture, history, and folklore of Peak of Otter. The Mastering Spring Creek Trout Fishing Workshop at Murray's Fly Shop in Edinburg will give you a chance to learn everything you need to know about winter fly fishing, including how to read feeding stations, aquatic hatches, special casts, special fly patterns, and effective tactics. The Salem Stampede Championship Rodeo, an IPRA sanctioned event, will include calf roping, bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, and saddle bronc and bareback riding. Visit Moneta for the Annual Smith Mountain Lake Glacier Plunge, an exciting swimming competition through freezing water, with the potential to win prizes such as genuine pearls. There will also be arctic volleyball, a fire pit, music, a winter-themed menu, and hot chocolate at this event. You can get prepared for boating season by visiting the Fredericksburg Boat Show in January as well. It will feature specials on fishing boats, power boats, canoes, pontoons, kayaks, personal water crafts and more. If you want to stay out of the cold this winter, visit the Pool Tournament at Sportlanes in Martinsville, held every Monday night. No matter what kind of winter sports you enjoy, Virginia has something to offer.

January Jams
There are also many great musical performances this month all across the state. In Critz, stop by The Reynolds Homestead for the American Music Series Youth Concert, an exciting event featuring young bands including Gravel Road, a bluegrass group, The Wildmans, family harmonies, and The Sharp 4, a youth jazz ensemble. There will also be a Poetry & Jazz Tasting in Richmond at C'est Le Vin Wine Bar and Art Gallery this month, featuring Bob Lambert, Randy Burton, and the rest of the Super64 jazz band. If you're looking for a chance to make music yourself, stop by the Crooked Road Open Jam at Heartwood in Abingdon, an informal musical gathering where all are welcome to join in, no instrument required. The Pickers and Fiddlers Bluegrass Gospel and Mountain Music Songfest in Bassett is another great free event where you can join in with fellow music lovers. Bring your guitar, banjo, or mandolin, and, of course, your love of music. A fun musical event for the entire family can be found at the Big Band Concert in Henrico, featuring The Continentals.The Bravura Ensemble chamber music group will be performing in January in Fairfax, including clarinetist Albert Hunt and violinist Rachelle Betancourt. And at the Spencer-Penn Centre in Spencer, January music will be played by bands including River City Grass, a traditional bluegrass band, and FARM TEAM, an eclectic group which plays classic blues, bluegrass, swing, and other music rooted in American culture. So don't miss the many opportunities to enjoy the harmonious sounds of winter throughout our state.

The Month for Family Fun
January in Virginia offers no shortage of events that the whole family can enjoy. The Sugarloaf Crafts Festival at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly features more than 250 artisans from across the country who will display and sell their incredible array of contemporary crafts. You and your children can watch the creative process through craft demonstrations, enjoy live music, including children's entertainment, and sample delicious treats. January events on Chincoteague Island include the Polar Pony Plunge, a one-of-a-kind event for families to wear silly costumes while jumping into the chilly water. Prizes will be given out for the best costumes in many categories, so go ahead and take the plunge! In Fairfax, there will be a Children's Performance Series at Old Town Hall, featuring Mr. Skip, the music man, who will play both original and classic kids songs and encourage your children to dance to the beat. The Gardenfest for Fidos event in Richmond at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a special "pet admission" celebration kids will really enjoy, with over half a million lights, model trains, botanical decorations, and a bonfire. And at the Civil War Holiday Dance in Louisa, the whole family can learn and have fun while traveling back in time by learning 19th century dance moves. Bring your family closer together with these wonderful opportunities to celebrate the first month of the new year in Virginia.




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