The Rapp for Dec. 26

Next edition: Jan. 9

As we move our offices next week from their location (for the last 60-plus years) on Main Street to the corner of Main and Jett streets a block away, we will not be publishing a newspaper on Jan. 2 — our next edition will be in mailboxes and on newsstands Thursday, Jan. 9. (And in digital format at

For news and updates between now and then, visit or our Facebook page.

Also because of the move, as well as the holidays, our usual Fourth (Estate) Friday will not take place this week. We’ll be back at the table to talk about news coverage and other community issues (and to buy your coffee) on the fourth Friday in January, at a location to be announced.

Hope your holidays are wonderful, and we’ll see you on Jett Street in the new year. (Our mailing address won’t change, by the way. It’s still P.O. Box 59, Washington, VA 22747. And our phone number is still 540-675-3338.)

New year, new bonfire

Last year’s first-ever Washington Christmas Tree Bonfire made for an inviting and warm evening. This year’s is Friday, Jan. 3.
Last year’s first-ever Washington Christmas Tree Bonfire made for an inviting and warm evening. This year’s is Friday, Jan. 3. E. Raymond Boc

Washington Volunteer Fire & Rescue is again sponsoring the town of Washington’s traditional (okay, second annual) Christmas Tree Bonfire on Friday, Jan. 3, according to Mayor John Sullivan. The burning starts at 6 p.m., but folks (kids, dogs, etc.) are welcome to start showing up (with or without your tree) at 5 p.m. at the site, which is on the county-office side of the Avon Hall pond. (Best to park along Gay Street and enter the property from the stub street next to RAAC Community Theatre, Sullivan said.) Sullivan says you can drop by Thursday, Jan. 2 to drop trees as well. WVFR volunteers will be serving hot dogs, hot chocolate and other refreshments, but mostly they’ll be monitoring the fire, a thing that is firmly among their areas of expertise.

Theatre greets 2014 with bluegrass

At 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, the Dark Hollow Bluegrass Band returns to the Theatre at Washington to open the new year and the new season. The band consists of Paul Fincham, five-string banjo and vocals; Larry Haynes, guitar and vocals; Bob Cook, lead guitar and vocals; Buck Morris, mandolin and vocals; Steve Lamb, upright bass.

Dark Hollow Bluegrass Band performs at the Theatre in Washington Jan. 11.
Dark Hollow Bluegrass Band performs at the Theatre in Washington Jan. 11. Courtesy photo

Group spokesman Paul Fincham notes that Dark Hollow has been playing together for several years. They are well known for their three-part harmony and traditional-style singing. Paul emphasizes that the sound is always controlled, “driving” but never over-amplified.

Influenced by some of bluegrass music’s best-loved performers, including Reno and Smiley, Stanley Brothers, Jim and Jesse, Charlie Moore, Charlie Waller and Flat and Scruggs, the band is also “known to be the best dressed Bluegrass band around,” says Paul, “like Flatt and Scruggs used to be when they performed. We always dress up for our shows.”

Raised in Rappahannock, Fincham now resides in Madison County, and describes the other members of the Dark Hollow Bluegrass Band as “local boys.” Though “local,” the band plays to a wide venue and has performed in major bluegrass festivals throughout Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Georgia. Dark Hollow Bluegrass Band has opened for such nationally acclaimed artists as Rhonda Vincent and Mel Tillis and have recorded several CDs.

Tickets for the Jan. 11 concert are $20 ($10 ages 17 and younger). Reservations are recommended, and can be made by phone at 540-675-1253 or email to

Democrats reorganize

The Democrats of Rappahannock County are holding their required reorganization caucus on Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Washington Town Hall on Gay Street. The meeting starts at 9, when new officers will be chosen. Refreshments will be served. “At the meeting two years ago, we were finished and out before 10:30,” says Jed Duvall, the current chair. Call him at 540-937-3780 if you have any questions.

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