The Rapp for June 14

This weekend and beyond

One of the rides at last year’s Amissville Carnival. Photo by Carl Zitzmann.
One of the rides at last year’s Amissville Carnival. Photo by Carl Zitzmann.

“America’s Got Talent” finalist Drew Stevyns belts out country-pop tunes from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday (June 17) at the outdoor pavilion at Amissville’s Narmada Winery, an excellent place for a picnic. Tickets are $10 ($5 for Maharaja Wine Club members); reservations required. Call 540-937-8215, email lori@narmadawinery.com or visit the narmadawinery.com website to purchase tickets.

Also this weekend, you could have breakfast in Amissville on Saturday, breakfast in Washington on Sunday, support the Rappahannock County Conservation Alliance by attending its annual Evening View Saturday evening, and attend the UUBridge congregation’s Brother Sun concert Sunday evening.

Also, Carl Zitzmann’s wonderful photo of an amusement ride at last year’s Amissville Volunteer Fire and Rescue carnival is just a reminder. This year, the big event starts Wednesday evening, June 27, and runs through Saturday night. The Amissville parade is Thursday, June 28, at 7 p.m.

You can find the details of these events, and many more, in the Rapp Happenings calendar.

Visitors Center hosts Community Day

You’re thinking because you live here you already know all there is to do and see in Rappahannock County? That would make June 23 an excellent day to prove yourself wrong with a visit to the Visitors Center (where non-visitors are always welcome, and don’t even have to show an ID) for the county tourism office and Tourism Advisory Group’s Community Day. From 9 to 5, they’ll have some free coffee and pastries (in the morning) and free hot dogs (during lunch hours) and lots to show and tell all day.

The Visitors Center is into its second year of operation, welcoming visitors and locals alike each weekend. More than l60 Rappahannock County businesses are members and have informational brochures available. Also available is information on things to do throughout the region, Virginia travel maps, event information and more. Visitors Center Manager Sandra Maskas and volunteers (from a cadre of 12 locals) offer helpful information and guidance on where to go and what to do while visiting, or hosting visitors, in Rappahannock County.

Enjoy some hospitality – as well as some breakfast or lunch – on June 23 at the little white farmhouse next to the county library. For more information, email info@visitrappahannockva.com or call 540-675-3153.

Democrats’ yard sale: call for items

Sketch by Tom Tepper.
Sketch by Tom Tepper.

Is your house bursting with items you’ve meant to haul off for months or years? Rappahannock County’s Democratic Committee can help you check this unpleasant task off your to-do list: The Democrats are once again organizing their annual flea market, the “Dog Days of August” fundraiser and indoor yard sale Aug. 25-26 at the Schoolhouse in Sperryville.

Items sought include small furniture, kitchenware, pet equipment, small electronics (no TVs), holiday decorations, pottery and glassware, outgrown toys and play equipment, linens and fabrics, picture frames, art work, costume jewelry, DVDs and CDs, books, play equipment and other items in good condition. (No clothes, large appliances, sinks or exercise equipment please!)

If you have questions or want to know how to donate, contact Jeanne Dixon at 540-675-1942.

Culinary group tours Rappahannock

Speakers and Les Dames’ farm tour participants included (from left) Extension agent Kenner Love; Waterpenny Farm’s Rachel Bynum; Susan James of Stonyman Gourmet; Nick Lapham of the Farm at Sunnyside; County Administrator John McCarthy; Chris Parrish, farmer and county supervisor; Les Dames d’Escoffier chapter president Katherine Newell Smith and chapter vice president Judy Rusignuolo. Photo by Cici Williamson.
Speakers and Les Dames’ farm tour participants included (from left) Extension agent Kenner Love; Waterpenny Farm’s Rachel Bynum; Susan James of Stonyman Gourmet; Nick Lapham of the Farm at Sunnyside; County Administrator John McCarthy; Chris Parrish, farmer and county supervisor; Les Dames d’Escoffier chapter president Katherine Newell Smith and chapter vice president Judy Rusignuolo. Photo by Cici Williamson.

Last Sunday (June 10), 50 culinary professionals and enthusiasts participated in a Farm-to-Fork Tour of Rappahannock County organized by Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Washington, D.C. Chapter (LDEI-DC).

The group was welcomed by County Administrator John McCarthy. McCarthy and tourism consultant Laura Overstreet discussed what Rappahannock County is doing to support and promote Rappahannock’s farms and develop agritourism in the region.

A panel discussion on “Farming in Rappahannock: Challenges and Solutions” was moderated by McCarthy and Kenner Love, Virginia Tech Agriculture Extension agent. Participants included Susan James, Stonyman Farm; Rachel Bynum, Waterpenny Farm; Amy Payette, Gray Ghost Vineyards; Nick Lapham, the Farm at Sunnyside; Chris Parrish, Parrish Farm; and Thomas Williams of Williams Orchards.

Farm visits were scheduled throughout the day.

Stonyman Gourmet Farmer was the gathering point for the day, and Stonyman served a locally sourced farm-to-fork luncheon in their “farm dooryard” garden.

Tastings of the terroir were enjoyed throughout the day: in addition to lunch, Southern Appalachian cheeses at Stonyman Gourmet Farmer; a full Gray Ghost Vineyards tasting to accompany lunch courses; bites from the gardens; and selected delices at the Inn at Little Washington.

The group was enthralled by a conversation with Patrick O’Connell, renowned chef and owner of the celebrated Inn at Little Washington. O’Connell discussed how local sourcing and farming, now including the Inn’s own kitchen gardens, have influenced his signature new American cuisine.

Participants Suzanne Butler and Henry Gwiazda of Chevy Chase observed: “The day surpassed our expectations for learning about superior, healthy food sourcing and how to incorporate these ingredients into fine dining. The day was completely enjoyable. The panel was great. The food was exceptional, delicious and healthy . . . a brilliant ‘10.’ Would that all learning experiences could be so enjoyable.”

The program was co-chaired by Susan James, from Stonyman Gourmet Farmer in Little Washington, and Drew Faulkner of Bethesda, Green Tables chair for LDEI-DC. Rachel Hayden, director of public relations at The Inn, helped organize the program, which was supervised by Katherine Smith, LDEI-DC president; five of the group’s officers and board members also attended.

Les Dames d’Escoffier International is a invitational organization of women leaders of high achievement in food, beverage and hospitality whose mission is education, advocacy and philanthropy. It is the only worldwide organization of its kind.                                        

Artists chosen for 2012 Studio & Gallery Tour  

The Artists of Rappahannock Studio & Gallery Tour, now in its eighth year, promises to be better than ever this fall. Five new and 13 returning artists will open their personal studios to the public Nov. 3-4 for a once-a-year art hunt that has been featured in the Piedmont Virginian and Virginia Living magazines, and draws art lovers from around the Mid-Atlantic region.

The artists who will be opening their personal studios all live and work in Rappahannock County. They include painters, sculptors, ceramicists, potters, jewelers, and photographers, as well as those who work in iron, wood, glass, mosaics and textiles. Many of these artists are nationally and regionally known. All have been carefully chosen for the quality of their work. In addition, eight galleries will hold special exhibits, swelling the number of artists participating in this year’s tour to more than 30.

The Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community (RAAC) created and sponsors this event in order to spotlight the artistic richness of the community, and to highlight the works of the many artists who live here. The fees from the event are used to support RAAC’s community arts-related programs.

New to the tour this year are Rosabel Goodman-Everard (painter) and Jerry Smith (furniture maker) of Sperryville, Mike Wolniewicz (furniture maker) of Chester Gap, Ruth Anna Stolk (painter) of Huntly and Rene Ruffner (painter) of Washington.

Among the 13 returning artists are five from the Washington area: Kevin Adams (painter), Peter Kramer (furniture maker/woodworker), Linda Tarry (mosaic artist), Brenda Van Ness (multimedia), and Nedra Smith (painter). Artists from the Sperryville/Castleton/Woodville area include Susan Dienelt (potter), Jeanne Drevas (potter/multimedia), Margaret Rogers (printmaker, etchings and drawings), Margot S. Neuhaus (painter/sculptor), Rick Myers (painter) and Libet Henze (potter). Nol Putnam (ironworker) and Benita Rauda Gowen (painter) again join the tour from the Flint Hill area.

“The beauty of Rappahannock County is an inspiration to everyone. This annual tour provides a special look at how it especially inspires the many artists who live in our community,” said Joanne Hilty, RAAC’s president. “RAAC began the tour in 2005 and each year we see it introduce new artists who open their studios for the weekend.”

One of the unique features of the tour is that it gives visitors a chance to experience the personal studios of artists and learn about their creative process. In addition, eight participating galleries will have special exhibits. These include the Washington galleries of Geneva Welch, Designs in Gold and Silver and R.H. Ballard. The Sperryville galleries are Confluent/River District Arts, Glassworks, Haley Fine Art, Middle Street and Old Rag Photography.

The tour is scheduled annually for the first week of November; this year it is Nov. 3-4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and costs $10.

“We operate rain or shine,” said Hilty, noting that the tour draws close to 1,000 people each year, many of them coming multiple years to the event. “Last year we had visitors from as far north as New York and as far south as the Carolinas as well as many visitors from the local community and surrounding areas,” said Hilty.

The tour starts at the fire hall in Washington, where visitors see samples of the work of artists so they can plan their personal tour. They then travel the bucolic back roads of Rappahannock County on a veritable scavenger hunt for studios during Virginia’s fall foliage weekend.

For more information on the Artists of Rappahannock Studio & Gallery Tour, visit raac.org or call 540-675-3193.

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