What’s that sound? No, it’s not the din of the male cicada’s mating call just yet (that can top out at 100 decibels, by the way). It’s the internal clocks of insect lovers everywhere impatiently ticking away, awaiting the arrival of billions, maybe trillions of the cyclical insects. That event could happen any day now, and Loudoun County is in on the fun, with parks, shops, and restaurants planning creative themed offerings.
“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,” said Visit Loudoun president and CEO Beth Erickson. “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 six ways to celebrate this once-in-17-years event:
June 13, 2021, Noon to 2:00 p.m.
During this two-hour class, world-renowned pastry chef Santosh Tiptur teaches you how to make a crunchy raspberry-and-hazelnut-praline chocolate shaped like the cyclical bug. The real trick will be getting the edible insect home to show your friends and family without biting off his head on the way home. // $75/person, 1605 Village Market Blvd. SE, Ste. J108, Leesburg
At the Mexican street food-inspired restaurant in Historic Leesburg, chefs Jason Lage and Rebecca Dudley already offer grasshopper tacos. On the rooftop patio throughout May and June, they will also be serving up cicada tacos garnished with mole verde, avocado, radish, and pickled Virginia ramps. // 7 W. Market St., Leesburg
The owner of this brewing in Hillsboro likes cicadas so much that he’s kept specimens from the 1987 and 2004 Brood X invasion. Look for them on display while tasting their New England–style IPA named for them, which is brewed with ten ingredients and has a label designed by local artist Ed Felker. Oh, and the location in rural western Loudoun is a prime spot for cicada-watching. // 15670 Ashbury Church Rd., Hillsboro
Book one of Algonkian Regional Park’s 12 vacation cottages, which are situated along the Potomac River, and you can rest assured you’ll spend the night surrounded by their song. The cottages are equipped with full kitchen and Wifi, immersing visitors in nature while giving them modern amenities. Cottages have either two, three, four, or five bedrooms, and rates start at $192/night. // 47001 Fairway Dr., Sterling
The whimsical cicada ceramics sold at Crème de la Crème in Middleburg are handcrafted by a local artist and great for displaying flowers. Shop owner Tara Wegdam has loved cicadas since she was a child, when she would search for intact cicada shells with her insect-loving mother in her native Tennessee. After she discovered that in France, cicadas are a symbol of good luck, Wegdam incorporated them into her store’s logo and façade. // 23 E. Washington St., Middleburg
May 22, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Join Algonkian Regional Park naturalist Mark Felprin for this evening event where you’ll learn what makes cicadas so unique and this year’s appearance so different. Social distancing will be observed. Please bring a mask and good hiking shoes, and meet at Volcano Island Waterpark; tickets are $5 for those age 5 and over. // 20015 Volcano Island Dr., Sterling
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