LEESBURG – Trillions of cicadas are expected to emerge next month and Loudoun County hospitality partners are ready to embrace this natural phenomenon with a series of unique visitor experiences.
The Brood X cicadas will make their once every 17-year appearance around mid-May, emerging from the ground and creating a buzz (literally) from trees around the greater Washington, D.C. region. Visit Loudoun and its tourism partners want visitors to experience this unique occurrence through a series of new activations at attractions around the county.
“Loudoun looks a little different from the last time Brood X emerged in 2004 and our partners are on board to provide some unique and fun opportunities to embrace one of the strangest natural occurrences in the region,” Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson said. “And while the last 13 months may have felt like 17 years, the cicadas emerging from darkness to light, creating a thunderous song of love (or attraction) seems perfect for right now.”
Here are five different ways to embrace the spectacle in Loudoun.
Already featuring a grasshopper taco, Cocina on Market in historic Leesburg will expand its menu to include cicada tacos while the Brood X bugs are around. Dine on the cicada taco filled with Mole verde, avocado, radish and pickled Virginia ramps on the restaurant’s rooftop patio.
Create your own chocolate cicada to enjoy through a special Mommy and Me sculpture class June 13 at The Conche. Learn from a chocolate master how to make a crunchy raspberry and hazelnut praline chocolate shaped like the unique bug. The store will also be selling cicada-shaped chocolate bon bons.
Spend the night surrounded by cicadas at one of Algonkian Regional Park’s 12 vacation cottages along the Potomac River. Equipped with full kitchens and wifi, these cottages allow visitors to be immersed in nature with modern amenities at hand. Fall asleep to the sounds of cicadas in the trees.
Join Algonkian Regional Park Naturalist Mark Felprin May 22 for Cicadamania. During this evening event, wander the park and discover what makes this year’s cicada arrival unique and what all the buzz is about. Registration is $5.
Local #CicadaHunters can visit Morven Park, Loudoun’s 1,000-acre backyard, and search the grounds, gardens and wooded trails. Follow Morven Park on Facebook for cicada fun facts and to know when the first ones are spotted. #MorvenParkCicadaWatch
Fly with the cicadas at Empower Adventures zipline course, located at Salamander Resort & Spa. Open to everyone, this experience takes visitors through the treetops where the bugs will be singing their mating song.
The owners of Old690 Brewing Company will release a BrewdX beer on May 21. This New England style IPA will be brewed with 10 ingredients and will sit in the tank for 17 days. Located in rural western Loudoun, Old690 will be a prime destination for cicada watching.
Sip the Cicada Cocktail featuring whiskey from Loudoun’s Catoctin Creek Distillery, amaretto, cream and simple syrup on Salamander Resort & Spa’s back patio.
At the chic Crème de la Crème shop in Middleburg, pick up beautiful ceramic cicadas, hand-crafted by a local artist and perfect for displaying flowers. For shop owner Tara Wegdam, a love of cicadas dates back to childhood where she and her insect-loving mother would look for perfectly intact cicada shells during Tennessee summers. Later, the family discovered the prehistoric bug took on a whole new meaning in France where they are considered a sign of good luck. Cicadas are incorporated into the store’s logo as well as on the façade of the historic building Crème de le Crème calls home.
For more cicada facts, FAQ’s and activations in Loudoun, visit https://www.visitloudoun.org/dont-bug-out-your-guide-to-cicadas-in-loudoun/