The Rapp for March 14

Hee-haw! It must be almost spring

Yes, that’s RCES principal Cathy Jones acknowledging supporters at last year’s Donkey Basketball fundraiser. She and many other school staff and students will be back on their donkeys Wednesday night at the high school.
Yes, that’s RCES principal Cathy Jones acknowledging supporters at last year’s Donkey Basketball fundraiser. She and many other school staff and students will be back on their donkeys Wednesday night at the high school.

There’s just so much we could tell you about seeing a Donkey Basketball game, but we’re not going to do that. It’s really something you have to experience – and you can do that next Wednesday evening at the high school gym, where the second annual DB tournament starts at 6:30 (gates open at 5:30) with students and school staff mounting up to try to outscore each other. Bring the family (kids 5 and younger get in free, and there are pre-game donkey rides available for ages 12 and younger for $1, food, raffles and more).

As for this weekend, we can’t tell you about that, either. There’s so much going on – from a fundraising sock hop with Elvis E in Flint Hill, an antiques appraisal with baked goodies in Sperryville, an oyster dinner and Smithsonian concert in Washington and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations near and far – that you’ll just have to visit our events calendar to see everything.

Panther Band coffee house

The annual Rappahannock County High School Band coffee house is 5 to 9 p.m. April 6 in the elementary school auditorium. Be there or be . . . hungry.

The coffee house, designed to showcase and support music in the schools, features a candlelit dinner with all-you-can-eat pasta, salad, Italian bread, drinks, dessert and (naturally) endless coffee. Adults are $20 ($5 for students, kids 5 and younger are free); one door prize ticket is included with the cost.

The evening spotlights many local performers, including Bob Chappell, Charlie Thompkins, Rick Kohler, Hal Hunter, Smiggy Smith, Lorraine Duisit, Evan Espinola, Parker Critzer, Brian Chafin and many more, all leading up to a performance by the RCHS jazz band.

For reservations (especially of six people or more), call Jan Makela at 540-675-1373.

Empty Bowls: art to feed the hungry

Empty Bowls, a community fundraiser benefitting the Rappahannock Food Pantry, takes place from noon to 4 p.m. at River District Arts this Saturday and Sunday (March 16-17).

Empty Bowls provides an artistic way to help the Food Pantry.
Empty Bowls provides an artistic way to help the Food Pantry.

The entire community is invited to create their own soup bowl at RDA as part of an Empty Bowls project to feed the hungry. RDA will glaze the bowls for participants and have them ready for a Soups On! Supper on March 30, for which gourmet soups prepared and served by Thornton River Grille are being donated. The cost is $25 to make a bowl.

“You don’t have to be a potter to participate. In fact, no experience is necessary! We will have potters there to assist anyone who wants to create a bowl,” said Holly Link, RDA’s assistant art director and project chair.

Even if you don’t create a bowl, you can attend the March 30 supper; there will be extra bowls. Admission is $25 per person for anyone who didn’t create a bowl. All Empty Bowl proceeds go to the Rappahannock Food Pantry.

‘A Time to Break Silence’

Castleton in Performance presents “A Time To Break Silence,” a unique concert event demonstrating the powerful and vital human connections between art and freedom at 7 p.m. next Saturday (March 23) at the Theatre House at Castleton Farms (663 Castleton View Rd.).

Composer Wayne Oquin’s song cycle “A Time to Break Silence: Songs Inspired by the Words and Writings of Martin Luther King Jr.” is anchored by Juilliard bass-baritone and Orleans, Va. native Davone Tines. The song cycle illuminates Dr. King’s seminal and timeless ideals of freedom and justice.

Interspersed during the song cycle are performances from North Korean defector and pianist Cheol Woong Kim, singer Mamak Khade and two members of the Castleton Chamber Players, Eric Silberger and Daniel Lelchuk, who are performing a rarely heard violin and cello duo by persecuted Jewish-Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff. Author, philosophy professor and human rights activist Austin Dacey is emceeing the concert.

Tickets for the performance are $15. For more information, and to order your tickets, call 866-974-0767 or visit

Brunch and candidates March 23

One is a college student home for spring break. Another is the son of immigrants from India. The third is a sitting state senator. They, and maybe one or two others, will be here in Rappahannock on Saturday, March 23.

The occasion is the Blue State Bluegrass Brunch hosted by the Rappahannock Democratic Committee, at the Washington fire hall. The time is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.. The food, the music – by Smiggy and his guitars – and the fellowship of your neighbors are all free. So is the parking!

The speakers are Colin Harris, the college student from Orleans who is running for delegate in the 18th district. The son of Indian immigrants is Aneesh Chopra, who is a candidate for the nomination to become Virginia’s next lieutenant governor. So who is Aneesh Chopra? Well, he was named by President Obama as the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer.

Also standing up to speak and take a few questions is state Sen. Mark Herring, who is a candidate for attorney general in Virginia. Herring is one of those who opposed lifting the ban on uranium mining in the commonwealth.

The brunch is the third annual fun and food event held by the Democrats. All are welcome: independents and Republicans. Meet your neighbors, enjoy the food and think up a question to ask a candidate. If you have a question about the brunch, call 540-937-3780.

– Jed Duvall

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