“What is pleasing to me most,” said Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department celebration committee chair Gary Settle, “is that it truly is a family gathering . . . families with their kids and pets, and lots of people meeting and making new friends.” Such scenes at the fire company’s annual Fourth of July fundraiser included lots of after-dark pyrotechnics and afternoon relaxing and playing (including Liza Dareing’s hula hoop moment at the Mountainside Physical Therapy booth), kids helping out (like Sydney Wharton and Camron Wayland at the Sperryville Rescue Squad booth) and hanging out (like Trinity Todd, second row, second from right, and Blake and Taylor Lillard accompanied by a friend, second row, far left) and, of course, politicians meeting and greeting (including Republican attorney general candidate Mark Obenshain, left, who also spoke to endorse Page County fuel distributor Todd Holtzmann, running to fill the 26th district state senate seat that Obenshain is vacating). Other photo opportunities included Kaye Kohler’s combination of fireworks drift and camera shake at right, which she says — if you look close — looks amazingly like a flying pig (third row, center). Speaking of feet hardly touching the ground on the way home, Bob Darby of Woodville won the SVFD’s $7,500 raffle first prize, with Julian Brown of Amissville taking second prize of $1,500 and Michael Brown of Fauquier County the third prize of $1,000. More than 4,000 attended the event, Settle says, a hefty increase over last year’s attendance.