Oct 15, 2021

Cavalier Daily • by Lauren Whitlock • October 3rd, 2021

Carter Mountain Orchard’s Thursday Evening Sunset Series had its last installment of the year Thursday. The Sunset Series presented an excellent way to get out during the pandemic with its inviting atmosphere, featuring live music, food trucks, its own brand of wine, Bold Rock Hard Cider and a panoramic view of the sun setting over the city of Charlottesville. Thursday’s sold-out event featured a lively crowd filled with University students, Charlottesville locals, visitors, and hot apple cider donut lovers.

In the final installment of the 2021 Sunset Series season, which started in May, Carter Mountain Orchard hosted local classic rock and funk band The Unsuitables for their second Sunset Series appearance of the year. The band kicked off the evening with crowd-pleasers, like Smash Mouth’s “I’m a Believer,” before transitioning to a range of more traditional classic rock songs, and ending the night with a funk-focus on New Orleans.

Included in the classic rock lineup was a collection of Rolling Stones covers, which the lead singer announced as a “tribute to Charlie Watts,” the Rolling Stones drummer who died earlier this year. The Unsuitables’ mellow performance of “Beast of Burden” was a particular highlight of this tribute, perfectly accompanying the sunset and the ideal mid-70s weather.

The Unsuitables also mixed in more upbeat performances for attendees of all ages to enjoy. Highlights from this line-up included “What I Like About You” by The Romantics, old-school classics, “Do You Love Me” by The Contours and “I Feel Good” by James Brown, and “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” by Cake. The band performed on a wooden porch overlooking the crowd sprawled across the hill below, with the Charlottesville sunset behind them. They also left plenty of room in front of them for dancing, and the lead singer even occasionally left the microphone stand to join in on the dance floor.

“The dance floor was a really fun environment, especially thanks to the band,”said third-year College student Sukanya Barman. “I have no rhythm, but I still had a blast.”

Along with music, Thursday’s Sunset Series featured two local food truck options for dinner — Martin’s Grill offered burgers and fries and Good Waffles & Co offered variations on chicken and waffles. While lines were long, the live music kept them from being too tedious. Aside from the food truck fare, attendees also had the option of indulging in Carter Mountain’s apple-focused classics like apple cider slushies, apple pie, apple caramel cookies, and fan-favorite hot apple cider donuts. Non-slushie drink options included their own apple and peach cider, as well as alcoholic drinks, including Bold Rock Hard Cider and Carter Mountain Wine.

“Both the food and music made for a wonderful ambiance to enjoy the start of fall,” said third-year College student Jenna Hauger.

Hauger especially enjoyed the freshly baked hot apple cider donuts, joking that “it felt like I was tasting autumn itself.”

While Thursday’s installment of Sunset Series marked the last of 2021, this year’s Sunset Series was far from Carter Mountain’s first, and is unlikely to be their last. If you didn’t get a chance to attend this year, keep an eye out for tickets to next summer’s series starting in May 2022.

You can catch The Unsuitables at their next performance at Bald Top Brewing Company next Saturday, Oct. 9. Or if you just want a taste of fall, Carter Mountain Orchard will continue to sell their apple cider donuts for the rest of the apple-picking season.