Sperryville column for March 10

Lions Club leprechaun Norman Getsinger congratulates, from left, Teagan and Tanner Johnson and Julia Kolesnik for their Best Dressed awards at the Link last year.

The people’s parade

It’s the “people’s parade” this Saturday (March 12), a St. Patrick’s tradition for Irish and non-Irish alike! Come march in the Lions’ third annual parade just for fun, or come to watch and enjoy the festivities. The parade assembles at 11:15 a.m. on Main Street at the Sperryville Rescue Squad, proceed down Main Street and go over the footbridge at the Thornton River to the Link. Our high school band will lead the way, followed by the color guard of the Knights of Columbus of St. Peter’s Church, the Waggin’ Hearts Therapy Dogs and representatives of the Democratic committee . . . and then all of you! Dress in green, wave a flag and come to have fun. The party at the Link features an Irish band and an Irish stew and corned beef and cabbage lunch — and you know there will plenty of Irish blarney! Even if you won’t make it to the lunch, which is sold out for the third year in a row, do come and enjoy the parade.

The livestock’s parade

Mt. Vernon Farm moved about 200 cattle and 50 sheep from pastures on Turkey Mountain across U.S. 211 to the fields adjacent to Waterpenny Farm last Sunday morning (see the photo on page 1). The warm spring downpour only added to the excitement of Sperryville’s own cattle drive. Totaling 830 acres, Mount Vernon Farm has been farmed by the Miller family since 1827. Its 230 acres of pastureland sustains cattle, lambs and pigs. The farm is under a conservation easement and has won awards for its Chesapeake Bay-friendly conservation and grazing practices.

Welcome to Sperryville. Unless you were headed for church early Sunday, you missed this scene. Photo by E. Raymond Boc.

One technique used is management-intensive rotational grazing, of which Sunday’s drive was a sign (it happens three to four times a year). The rotation ensures health for the land, pastures and animals by preventing overgrazing and provides recovery time for the grass.

To see a seven-minute video of this cattle drive visit facebook.com/houseonwaterstreet.

Seat belts: wear them

It seems hard to believe that we even need to write about the need for seat belts when 63 percent of people killed in automotive crashes are not wearing them. In the not-too-distant past, three Rappahannock County residents not wearing seat belts were killed. Have we somehow failed our youth that they do not wear seat belts? Is there a culture of non-compliance that overrides common sense? My heart aches for these families. Can we combat this? Can we start a campaign on a local level? Any thoughts about solutions? Please email your ideas to us.

Rex Slack exhibits

Haley Fine Art continues its tradition of representing local artists. Suzanne and Andrew are pleased to announce an exhibit of selected works by long-time Rappahannock artist Rex Slack. His most recent paintings, which are primarily nocturnes, highlight highway and roadside imagery. These are done from memory and based on rural scenes which are emblematic of Rappahannock, where Slack has lived for almost 35 years. The exhibit runs through March at Haley Fine Art, which is open 10 to 6 daily (closed Tuesday-Wednesday). More at haleyfineart.com or 540-987-1000.

Miss Rappahannock and Mr. Mayor

Sperryville Volunteer Rescue Squad continues the tradition of fundraising with this annual event, which is.now a rite of spring in our county. This year’s emcee for the April 16 event is none other than the mayor of Little Washington, John Fox Sullivan. Make plans now to come to the elementary school for this community event.

Birthday wishes

Best wishes to Eric Kvarnes, who celebrated his birthday March 7.