Though it’s also true throughout the height of the fall season, this weekend’s activities, all of them within the borders of Rappahannock County, are numerous and diverse enough that we thought a brief run-through might help you get your schedule together. (For details on all of these activities, see the events calendar.)
Friday, 7 p.m.: Hunt Harris and others are sponsoring a community bonfire from 7 to 10 p.m. at 564 Warren Ave., near the fire hall; everyone’s invited. Parking’s available nearby; contact Harris at 540-987-8888 (or email@example.com) for more details.
Friday, 8 p.m.: The first of two performances of RAAC Community Theatre’s “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” a staged reading by Nora and Delia Ephron, is performed by RAAC’s historic first all-female cast. RAAC’s production is fully staged, set in a restaurant as a group of friends get together and reminisce and trade stories, on the surface about clothes, but the reality is much deeper. There’s a second show at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Saturday, 7 a.m.: Fundraising breakfast buffet till 11 at Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue. Cost is $8.
Saturday, 8 a.m.: Breakfast served until 10 at Amissville United Methodist Church. Donations accepted.
Saturday at 10 a.m., three things start at once:
• The annual Rappahannock Rough Ride, the bicycle ride that benefits the Rappahannock and Fauquier Free Clinics, starts in Little Washington with three self-paced courses over paved roads of 12 to 60 miles each (or 20- or 30-mile mixed-terrain rides, the actual Rough Rides). “This event is a critical part of our effort to get the word out to local families about our services,” says clinic director Rob Marino. “It is also a vital fundraising event to cover the cost of running two clinics and purchasing medicines for our growing patient base. We expect over 200 cyclists from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland to take part in this year’s event . . . always a popular ride thanks to the beautiful scenery in the county. We expect to raise over $20,000 on Saturday!” Call 540-428-3610 or visit fauquierfreeclinic.org for more information.
• The first-ever Rappahannock Wellness Festival runs through 8 p.m. on Gay Street in Washington, with vendors, demonstrations and consultations, as well as talks from author Marianne Clyde and herbalist Teresa Boardwine, among others. Admission is $10. From 3 to 7 over at 261 Main St., festival sponsors Little Washington Wellness Center & Spa and the Hair Gallery host a grand opening party and open house, respectively, with demonstrations, refreshments and more, from 3 to 7 Saturday.
• Chester Gap Volunteer Fire and Rescue’s open house goes till 3 p.m., with equipment displayed, games for kids, demonstrations, free hot dogs and refreshments. Come by and thank a fireman for his or her dedication. For more information, call 540-635-5482.
Saturday, 8 p.m.: If you’re trying to park on Gay Street, come early. Comedian and pianist Mark Russell performs at the Theatre at Washington; across the street at RAAC Community Theatre, the second performance of “Love, Loss and What I Wore” starts at the same time.
On Sunday, there are homecomings services, reunions and more around the county, and a RAAC membership party at 4 p.m. Check the event calendar for details.
The Theatre at Washington presents a concert featuring soprano Jacqueline Neimat at 8 p.m. next Saturday (Sept. 28). Neimat, a regular on the schedule during the Theatre’s fall season, will be joined by tenor Antonio Giuiliano, pianist George Peachey and narrator Elizabeth Daniels, who will introduce the operatic arias and place them in context.
The opening portion of the concert comprises duets and arias from the opera “Rigoletto” by Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.” After a brief intermission, lighter selections from Broadway and other popular songs make up the rest of the program. Country music fans should be pleased with the inclusion of Patsy Cline’s hit, “Crazy.”
Tickets for the 8 p.m. performance are $25 ($10 for students 18 and younger). For reservations or to obtain a copy of the Theatre’s fall schedule, call 540-675-1253 or email TheatreVA@aol.com.
While organizers plan for the summer 2014 festival, the Castleton Festival’s Dietlinde Turban Maazel announced last week the fall-winter “Castleton in Performance” season at the intimate Castleton Theatre House.
The season starts Sunday, Oct. 6, with a 4 p.m. piano recital by multiple competition winner Daniele Rinaldo; the Italian pianist will perform works by Verdi/Liszt, Scarlatti, Schumann, Debussy and Messiaen.
On Sunday, Nov. 3 at 4 p.m., “Ambassador of the classical guitar” Berta Rojas returns to Castleton, this time with famed Magdalena Duhagon, with an innovative program of South American works, some written specially for Berta.
Sunday, Dec. 8 at 4: mime and magician Leland Faulkner transform Theatre House into “A World of Wonder” for all ages.
Next winter’s performances include a multimedia performance by Dean Shostak (Feb. 2), who’ll introduce the audience to amazing glass instruments from Benjamin Franklin’s Glass Armonica (1761) to new instruments created for Shostak by glass artists around the world, presented in partnership with the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA). Another VCA cooperative effort is Feb. 17, a performance of Indian temple dance by Padmarani Cantu.
March 22 is Castleton’s second annual “Arts and Human Rights: A Time to Break Silence” event, a performance by SALT Opera, a group of young singers who explore our common humanity through the universal language of music with arias and songs from around the world.
April 5 brings back the irresistible Leipzig String Quartet with a world premiere of their new program celebrating one of Europe most influential figures of the 19th century: Lou Andreas Salome, narrated by Dietlinde Turban, with musical works by Wagner, Strauss and others. April 13, “Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible” Tomáš Kubínek, the world’s most unusual comic genius, acrobat, illusionist and humanitarian, performs a moving one-man show.
On May 3, all 24 Paganini caprices will be performed by charismatic violinist Rachel Barton Pine, who just recently took Europe by storm with her Paganini evening combining breathtaking virtuosity with a most passionate and poetic approach. The season closes May 18 with another rising piano star from the Ukraine, Vitaly Pisarenko, making his U.S. debut at Castleton, in collaboration with the Keyboard Trust.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit castletonfestival.org or call 866-974-0767. Subscription tickets for the season are $200, single price tickets are $30 ($10 for ages 17 and younger).
In celebration of National Public Lands Day, intended to encourage people to visit and support places like Shenandoah National Park through volunteer efforts, SNP is hosting a number of volunteer activities.
Beginning next Saturday (Sept. 28), visitors are invited to join park staff for locust lopping, in which volunteers cut and remove woody invasive plants in the Big Meadows area; building cages to protect native saplings which will be planted where invasive species have been cleared; and interpretive exhibit maintenance, in which volunteers help maintain the pristine look of the park’s numerous outdoor interpretive exhibits.
As part of the celebration, photographers and authors Ann and Rob Simpson will lead a special guided walk in the Big Meadows area of the park, beginning at Byrd Visitor Center at 11 a.m. They will also be available to sign their newest book, “Nature Guide to Shenandoah National Park” beginning at 10 and continuing after the guided walk.
Volunteer activities will take place in a variety of locations, including Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (at milepost 4.5) and the Byrd Visitor Center (at milepost 51); most meet from 10 to 3 p.m. For more information or to volunteer, contact the park’s volunteer coordinator at 540-999-3500 (ext. 3181).