The Rapp column for Dec. 29

Castleton’s ‘Seal of Approval’

Courtesy photo

Castleton Festival first lady Dietlinde Maazel was in Richmond last week to accept one of Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell’s “Opportunity Seal of Approval” award. Given along with the First Lady’s Opportunity Hall of Fame awards, the honors are part of Mrs. McDonnell’s second annual effort to recognize programs, activities, organizations and individuals who embody the ideal of creating a “Commonwealth of Opportunity” in their communities – in this case for Dietlinde and Lorin Maazel’s creation of a top-notch music festival for young musicians and lucky concert- and opera-goers. Five individuals and groups received the Hall of Fame award, 18 groups and individuals the Seal of Approval. With Maazel (right) in Richmond are (from left) Nina May, film director and founder of the Renaissance Foundation; Carly Fiorina former Hewlett-Packard CEO and the event’s guest speaker; and Maureen McDonnell.

‘Midnight in Paris’ (8 p.m. in Washington)

The Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community (RAAC) resumes its Friday night film program Jan. 6 at The Theatre in Washington with an 8 p.m. showing of  “Midnight in Paris,” a romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French capital for business who are forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better. The movie is rated PG13, runs for 94 minutes and stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Kathy Bates. As usual, the concession stand will be open for popcorn, candy and water.  For more information, including a review of the film, visit

Visitors Center: winter hibernation

The Rappahannock County Visitors Center will close for the winter month of January and will be open holiday weekends in February and March (Valentine’s Day weekend, Feb. 10-12; President’s Day weekend, Feb. 17-20; and St. Patrick’s Day weekend, March 16-18).  

Throughout the winter months, Visitors Center staff will maintain the outdoor information kiosk  with visitors guides and other tourism materials. The center is open Fridays-Sundays through the end of December (except New Year’s Day). It will reopen for the 2012 tourism season with its regular weekend schedule starting March 30. Meanwhile, check out or

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