The Rapp for Oct. 17

Galleries ramp up for tour

Nancy Keyser's oil is on display on this year's art tour.
Nancy Keyser’s oil is on display on this year’s art tour.

Washington artist Nancy Keyser’s oil (seen here) is among those on exhibit at Piedmont’s Virginian magazine’s Artist Showcase this month and next at River District Arts. Meanwhile, RDA is among the many galleries and artists on the Nov. 2-3 Artists of Rappahannock Studio & Gallery Tour.

Some of the newer artists on the tour have already been profiled, while RDA itself is featured in this week’s story on the many participating galleries.

No ticket for ‘No Ordinary Person’?

Too bad. Both this Friday’s and Saturday’s performances of the 15th annual “No Ordinary Person” storytelling show at RAAC Community Theatre are sold out, according to RAAC. To be placed on a waiting list for seats that may come up at the last minute, you can email

Tournament, rides, BBQ, music and more at RCHS Saturday

Rappahannock County High School’s first-ever Fall Festival and Cornhole Tournament is 11:30 to 3:30 this Saturday — come by for music, pony rides, carnival rides and games, vendors selling etched glass, jewelry, handmade scarves, fall crafts, artwork and more.

You’ll be helping RCHS’ eighth- through 12th-grade classes and clubs raise funds for their senior trips, proms and other activities. And from 8 to 4 Saturday, you can also help out just across the highway, where the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office is raising funds for its Children’s Foundation/Shop With a Deputy program by offering 15-minute helicopters rides on the Blue Rock Inn property for $25 to those who reserve ahead (call Lt. Janie Jenkins at RCSO, 540-675-5300, to do so).

At RCHS, there’s music by Turkey Ridge String Band from 12:30 to 2:30, a moon bounce and giant slide, face-painting, pumpkin-painting, BBQ and other food vendors, car wash, bake sale and the all-important, no-age-limit Corn Hole Tournament (for which two-person teams can register on the day of the event). For more information, contact Karen Sanborn at or 540-227-0745 ext. 3465).

Indian dinner at Narmada Saturday

Weather permitting, Narmada Winery’s Indian food special this Saturday (Oct. 19) will be served in the vineyard, starting at 1 p.m., and features chicken Malai and spicy Tandoori lamb chops. The entree choices come with a garden salad and stuffed eggplant and crispy okra, rice and onion kulcha. (Vegetarian entree is available.) Wine choices include Narmada’s signature wine Mom. The $45 per person fee includes two glasses of wine and a surprise dessert. Reserve at or 540-937-8215.

Ginger Hill: unique but not antique

Turning just three years old this weekend, Ginger Hill Antiques celebrates its birthday (and The Shops at Ginger Hill’s first birthday) with a shops-wide sale by its 30 dealers, and ginger-themed treats — gingerbread, ginger snaps, ginger cake and more — from 10 to 5 Saturday and Sunday. Turkey Ridge String Band will be playing bluegrass and Americana tunes from noon to 1:30 on Sunday. Call 540-987-8440 or visit for more.

Takao returns to Theatre Oct. 26

Concert pianist Naoko Takao returns to the Theatre at Washington for a recital at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. The program includes works by Mozart, Chopin, Schumann and Mendelssohn.

Concert pianist Naoko Takao is set to return to the Theatre.
Concert pianist Naoko Takao is set to return to the Theatre.

A native of Japan, Takao came to the United States at the suggestion of the late Alicia de Larocha, who heard her play while she was a teenager in Japan. Since coming, she’s received numerous awards, including the gold medal at the 2000 San Antonio International Piano Competition, and has performed as soloist at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, Strathmore and the Beethoven Festival in San Antonio. Her first visit to the Theatre here was as a member of the Smithsonian Chamber Players, and she is an accomplished and sought-after chamber musician.

Tickets are $25 ($10 for students 17 and younger); for more information or reservations, call 540-675-1253 or email

‘Copperhead,’ take two

The Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community (RAAC) re-screens Rappahannock-based filmmaker Ron Maxwell’s “Copperhead” at 8 p.m. next Friday, Oct. 25, at the Theatre on Gay Street. “Our equipment is in good working order now and we invite you to come free of charge to see this film,” said RAAC’s announcement, referring to the projection malfunction that sent most folks home early on Oct. 4. “We do apologize for the malfunction . . . and hope you will return to see this outstanding film as it should be shown.”

There’s a Q&A session following the film led by John Henry, spokesman for Maxwell. The concession stand have the usual popcorn, candy and water. Visit for a review of the film and other information.

Manage your land, keep Rappahannock beautiful

We all hope to get the most value from our land. For many of us that value is determined by the health of the plants and wildlife that call the backyard home. But is there more you can do to support the birds, bees and butterflies you love? Join the Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection (RLEP) for a forum on managing your property for wildlife habitat from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27 at the Theatre in Washington.

The forum is meant to provide landowners with an overview of how to manage parcels of land from the backyard to the 20-acre field, with information on understanding soils, planning and managing habitats, and recommendations on high-value plants to use in your efforts. For anyone already managing their land for habitat this will be a great opportunity to connect with new resources and other like-minded landowners in the community.

The event features three speakers. Starting from ground up, Evan Blumenstein with the John Marshall Soil and Water District will discuss the basics of understanding your property’s soils. Janet Davis of Hill House Farm and Nursery will talk about selecting native plants for maximum wildlife value. Sam Quinn, conservation manager at The Farm at Sunnyside, will provide an overview of large-scale habitat management of meadows and shrubland to attract species such as northern bobwhite quail.

There is no charge for the forum, but reservations are suggested by calling 540-675-RLEP or email

Day of the Dead observance

On Sunday, Oct. 27 at 10:30 a.m., the Unitarian Universalists of the Blue Ridge (UUBRidge) hold a celebration of the Day of the Dead at Hearthstone School. All are invited.

Many cultures have special commemorations of the dead long after their funerals are a distant memory. In our own country, easily visited family and church graveyards with generations from the same family are rarely available. The Day of the Dead offers a chance to remember together the lives of people who have been important to us and also to recognize our own lives — threads in a long tapestry extending from a past before history to a future beyond imagining.

In Mexico the Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, is a joyful and celebratory occasion dedicated not only to remembrance but also to intentionally laughing in the face of our certain mortality.

Some of the practices and symbols from this holiday are included in the UUBRidge observance, including the ofrenda, or altar with pictures of those who have died and sometimes also some remembrance of what they enjoyed in life (chocolate, a golf ball, a particular poem). All are invited to join and bring pictures of family, friends or others they wish to honor.

There will be a fellowship hour after the service and contributions of treats to share are always welcome. Hearthstone School is at 11576 Lee Hwy., Sperryville. For more information, email Marcia Kirkpatrick at

Copper Fox releases Belle Grove 1797 Whiskey

Employing his award-winning, small-batch distilling methods, Rick Wasmund of Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville is now producing Belle Grove 1797 Whiskey, based on the same Virginia grains and recipe used two centuries ago by Major Isaac Hite Jr., founder and owner of Belle Grove Plantation.

Belle Grove Plantation hosts a tasting event of Belle Grove 1797 Whiskey at 11 a.m. today (Thursday, Oct. 17) for the media and local businesses.

In 1797, Belle Grove was one of the largest plantations in the Shenandoah Valley and a center of society. In addition to having a thriving production in grain, Major Hite operated a distillery, making spirits from his crops. Belle Grove 1797 Whiskey provides a rare opportunity to taste and savor this history. Belle Grove Plantation is now a National Historic Landmark, a Virginia Historic Landmark and a historic property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The site and its surrounding 283 acres are also the centerpiece of the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historic Park.

A portion of whiskey and spirit sales will benefit Belle Grove’s mission of preservation and education.

“I have always been inspired by Belle Grove, and especially by its history of having a distillery integrated with its agricultural operations,” says Copper Fox founder and owner Wasmund. “The chance to reproduce a fine whiskey in the spirit of the era was irresistible and the results are beyond my expectations. Copper Fox is honored by our association with Belle Grove on this product and hope our customers will enjoy the whiskey as much as we enjoy making it.”

Belle Grove 1797 is available at Copper Fox Distillery in both aged whiskey and clear spirit varieties. It can be special ordered by Virginia ABC stores. It is also used in Belle Grove 1797 Whiskey Chocolates, which are produced by Cocoa Mill Chocolatier in Lexington, and sold at the Belle Grove Plantation Museum Shop.

Copper Fox Distillery’s products are pot-stilled in small batches and aged one barrel at a time honoring time-tested methods. Copper Fox was opened in January of 2000 when master distiller Wasmund began exploring distilleries around the U.S. and Scotland.

In spring of 2003, “Copper Fox Whiskey” was launched into the marketplace and was the first applewood chip-aged whisky in the world. By 2005, Copper Fox had moved into its River District headquarters and began constructing its still and processing equipment. Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky was first bottled in 2006. In the Beverage Testing Institute’s 2013 International Review of Spirits Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky and Copper Fox Rye Whisky each received gold medals and were noted as being “exceptional.”

Visit Copper Fox at 9 River Lane, Sperryville (10 to 6 Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday) or online at, or call 540-987-8554.

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