The Rapp for May 16

Relay for Life this weekend


Walk to honor those who fought, who continue to fight and those who’ve won the fight against cancer at this weekend’s annual Rappahannock Relay for Life, at the high school starting at 6 p.m. Saturday – and going on into Sunday. You can still donate or participate — visit or call Karen Williams (540-635-4673) or Carolyn Leake (540-635-2073).

The shows go on, on Gay Street

Drama: Friday and Saturday; classical piano, Sunday.

RAAC Community Theatre presents Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya as one part of a busy weekend this Friday and Saturday (May 17-18) at 8 p.m. both nights. There are still seats available for both performances.

Canadian pianist Audrey Andrist
Canadian pianist Audrey Andrist

The cast lineup includes two father/daughter pairs. Andy Platt is playing the title role of Vanya and his daughter Erin Switzer appears as Yelena. Howard Coon portrays Doctor Astrov, while his daughter Lakota is playing Sonya. The other actors are Joyce Abell, Steve Carroll, Patty Hardee and Mike Mahoney. Tickets for the play are $15. For reservations, visit or call 540-675-3193.

Continuing the busy cultural weekend, Sunday afternoon (May 19), Canadian pianist Audrey Andrist returns to the Theatre at Washington at 4 p.m. in a solo recital. Andrist’s performance features two sonatas by Beethoven, as well as works by Bach and Mendelssohn. Tickets for the concert are $25 ($10 for students 17 and younger). For reservations, call 540-675-1253 or email

Public House’s first summer festival

Tastings from several local vineyards and some of Virginia’s top craft brewers, along with three popular country bands are the focus of the Flint Hill Public House Restaurant & Inn’s first “backyard festival” on June 15.

The Speakeasy Boys take the stage as part of the Flint Hill Public House’s first summer festival June 15.
The Speakeasy Boys take the stage as part of the Flint Hill Public House’s first summer festival June 15.

Tastings include many brewers, such as Legend Brewing, Bold Rock Cidery, Devil’s Backbone Brewing, Starr Hill Brewing, 3 Brothers Brewery, James River Brewing and Flint Hill Stout Brewing, as well as samples from participating local wineries (Little Washington Winery & Vineyards, Gadino Cellars, Desert Rose Ranch & Winery, Mountain View Vineyard, Gray Ghost Vineyards, DuCard Vineyards and Rappahannock Cellars).

The Shenandoah Travelers, the Speakeasy Boys and the Gold Top County Ramblers will provide entertainment throughout the day and early evening.

Tickets to the tasting and music are $20 and available online at Tickets at the door, if available, are $30. Non-tasting tickets are $10. Guests must be 21 or older to drink and an adult must accompany children at all times; pets are welcome but must be on leashes. Seating is not supplied, but guests may bring quilts or lawn chairs. Hot dogs and hamburgers are available from the grill at an additional fee; the restaurant’s full menu will be served only indoors or on the patio.

For more information, call 540-675-1700 or email

R.H. Ballard: No. 3, with a bullet

R.H. Ballard’s was recently voted number three on the “Best Gift Shop” list in Virginia Living Magazine’s reader’s survey.
R.H. Ballard’s was recently voted number three on the “Best Gift Shop” list in Virginia Living Magazine’s reader’s survey.

As the Washington’s own R.H. Ballard gallery and shop dispatched to customers in an email blast this week: The No. 1 spot as central Virginia’s “Best Gift Shop” in Virginia Living magazine annual reader’s survey, Best of Virginia 2013, “would have been wonderful, however . . . with over 25,000 readers participating in this survey, R.H. Ballard’s is elated that the shop, located in ‘Little’ Washington (with a population of 133), is in the same company as two lovely shops located in Richmond (with a population of 210,000), our fair capital and one of the largest cities in the state of Virginia.

“A huge thank you and lots of hugs to all of the special customers and fans who have been shopping there for many years,” wrote Joanie Ballard. “Number 3 is sweet as can be because of you!”

Spicy plum in the Big Apple

The Summer Fancy Food Show on the East Coast is a big deal for the specialty food trade. With its sister event on the West Coast, the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) brings in more than 40,000 attendees from 80-plus countries to see 260,000 innovative specialty food products each year.

For the past two years the show has been held in Washington, D.C., while the Jacob Javits Center in New York was renovated. This year it is back at the Javits Centers, and not only is Virginia well represented, but Rappahannock County’s Virginia Chutney Company is right in the thick of things.

The show dates are June 30-July 2, and Virginia is hosting a large pavilion, with companies exhibiting a wide range of specialty food and beverage products to corporate business prospects from around the world. Twenty-six Virginia firms will be on the show floor, with Virginia foods that include confections, snacks, spices, ethnic foods, hot sauces, peanuts, ham, potato chips, oils, natural and organic products, fruitcakes, sparkling ciders, pasta, pudding, cakes and cookies, gluten free products, frozen hors d’oeuvres/appetizers – and chutney.

One of the highlights of the Summer Fancy Food Show will be the 2013 sofi Awards Ceremony. The sofi awards from the NASFT are the highest honor in the specialty food industry; “sofi” stands for “specialty outstanding food innovation.” sofi award winners and finalists represent the best of the best in specialty food and beverages. This year’s finalists were selected from 1,885 entries from members of the Specialty Food Association. A national panel of specialty food experts selected 109 finalists across 30 awards categories.

The three Virginia finalists include Olli Salumeria, Pepperoni (meat, pate, seafood) of Mechanicsville; Route 11 Potato Chips, Lightly Salted Chips (snack food), of Mt. Jackson and the Virginia Chutney Company, Spicy Plum Chutney (condiment), of Washington.

That’s our Washington.

About Staff/Contributed 4730 Articles
The Rappahannock News welcomes contributions from any and all members of the community. Email news and photos to or call us at 540-675-3338.