The Rapp column for Nov. 29

All Christmas, all weekend

The town of Washington hosts its annual Christmas in Little Washington Festival and Holiday Parade this Sunday (Dec. 2) from 10 to 4; the Rappahannock Hospitality and Visitors Association-sponsored annual event features an always-memorable parade that starts at 1, this year led by “George Washington” himself. After the parade, Washington and the “Committee for the Republic” present a living-history demonstration on the corner of Jett and Gay Streets, while Santa – and the Gold Top County Ramblers – hold forth at Stonyman Town Square, dispensing gifts and bluegrass, respectively. Magician Steve Kish wows the whole family at 2:30 at the Theatre at Washington, artisans man the markets from 10 to 4 at the Town Hall and the RAAC Community Theatre, and Washington Baptist Church offers a “Hanging of the Greens” service at 10 a.m. and a Christmas stamp display from 12:30 to 7.

Photo by Jan Clatterbuck
Photo by Jan Clatterbuck

After the parade, Rose Hill Veterinary Practice has its annual Christmas Open House on Sunday from 2 to 5, where your pet can have his or her picture taken with Santa.

In Sperryville, meant to coincide with Washington’s Christmas festivities, the Shops at the Schoolhouse are sponsoring a weekend-long Traditional Piedmont Holiday Fair with fresh-cut and live greens (including both living and cut Christmas trees), a curated collection of original wares by a dozen artists and craftspeople – and a pop-up barbecue stand provided by Josh Perrot’s Savory Smoke. Over in Sperryville’s River District, both River District Arts (see item below) and the Middle Street Gallery have new exhibits opening, Cafe Indigo has music on the menu and Copper Fox Distillery welcomes Old Rag Photography into its new space next door.

An exhibit inspired by rural life

A small works show called “Bucolic Moments” opens this Saturday (Dec. 1) at River District Arts (RDA), with more than 50 paintings, photographs and ceramic pieces created by 15 artists on display through December. An artist reception immediately follows the holiday parade in Little Washington, from 2 to 6 p.m. at RDA (3 River Lane, Sperryville).

Among the artists participating are Mary B. Allen, Jan Allmon, Toni Bragg, Armand Cabrera, Bonnie Dixon, Jacques Smith, Kathleen Willingham, Richard Young, Susan Hornbostel, Branden Eastwood, Joyce Harman, Bette Hileman, Margaret Meyer, Nol Putnam and Francie Schroeder.

Detail of a work by Jacques Smith that’s part of RDA’s “Bucolic Moments” exhibit.
Detail of a work by Jacques Smith that’s part of RDA’s “Bucolic Moments” exhibit.

“The criteria for the show was smaller works, 14-by-18 or less unframed, that captured the essence of country life,” said RDA art and marketing director Jim Allmon. “We had an avalanche of submissions and limited the selection to no more than five pieces per artist so we could show a variety of styles and mediums.

“The artistic talent that abounds here in Rappahannock County and neighboring counties is amazing,” Allmon continued. “The rural character of the region attracts artists because it is so inspirational.”

Allmon, who, with his wife, founded and owned fine art galleries in Woodstock, Vt. and Williamsburg over the last 20 years, adds that the show is “about 50/50” paintings and photographs, and all the works can be seen on RDA’s Facebook page.

River District Arts and its adjacent nine artist-run studios are open 10 to 5 Friday-Sunday.

Friends of Liberty’s holiday social/meeting

Friends of Liberty hosts its annual holiday meeting and social at Gray Ghost Vineyards in Amissville on Friday, Dec. 7. The event, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., is free and open to the public.

The winery offers wine and soft drinks at a cash bar in its tasting room and light refreshments served by Friends of Liberty, a local citizens’ group founded in 2010 to advocate for limited government based on the U.S. Constitution.

The speaker for the evening is Tracy Henke, executive vice president of Americans for Prosperity, who will discuss the 2012 election and the outlook for the cause of conservatism in the years ahead. AFP is an organization of grassroots leaders who engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets on the local, state and federal levels. AFP grassroots activists advocate for public policies that champion the principles of entrepreneurship and fiscal and regulatory restraint. Henke is a former aide to two U.S. senators from Missouri and served in the Justice Department under Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft.

The event is an opportunity for those who are interested in the work of Friends of Liberty to learn more about the Rappahannock-based organization, and for members to discuss plans for the year ahead. All those interested in advancing the goals of Friends of Liberty are welcome to attend. For more information, call Barbara Cioffi at 540-937-2504.

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