The Rapp for Feb. 27

Thornton Hill race postponed to April 20

The Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds’ point-to-point races scheduled this weekend in Sperryville have been postponed due to lingering winter weather — they’ll now start at 1 p.m. April 20. Call Diana at 540-631-1919 for more information or parking passes.

Fourth (Estate) Friday: 9 a.m. at Country Cafe

Interested in a monthly community lecture/discussion forum? For the past couple of years, the Rappahannock News has hosted a small-scale version of just such a thing every fourth Friday — including from 9 to 10 a.m. tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 28) at the Country Cafe in Washington.

This Friday, however, we’d like to specifically invite anyone who’d be interested in helping us get going with a monthly community forum — presumably a regular evening event, at a venue somewhat larger than the two to four tables we usually push together at one of several local dining rooms, and an event at which anyone can come to hear about and discuss issues and topics of interest to Rappahannock County residents. If you have questions, call 540-675-3338 or email Otherwise join us for (free) coffee at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

First, Mary’s Rock. Later, the moon.

The moon as seen from near the summit of Old Rag Mountain.
The moon as seen from near the summit of Old Rag Mountain. Chad Heddleston

Ragged Mountain Resource Center founding director Hunt Harris is planning his first hike of the year this Saturday (March 1), this one to Mary’s Rock in the Shenandoah National Park. Harris, an experienced hike leader (and tennis teacher, although not usually at the same time) says that those interested should meet between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Old Hollow Store on U.S. 211 just east of Sperryville, after which the group will head to the Mary’s Rock Trail parking area at the old Panorama facility (off 211 just past Skyline Drive). Bring layered clothing suitable for the weather of the day, and nourishment. All ages are welcome, and donations appreciated.

Call Harris at 540-987-8888 (or email for more information — including about the moonlight hikes of Old Rag Mountain, another Harris speciality, which are tentatively planned for March 15 and April 12.

‘Enough Said’ on screen March 7

A scene from "Enough Said."
A scene from “Enough Said.” Courtesy photo

The Rappahannock Association for Arts and the Community (RAAC) screens the comedy “Enough Said” at 8 p.m. Friday, March 7, a 93-minute film starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini and Catherine Keener. It’s rated PG-13 and admission is $6; there’s also popcorn, candy and water at the concession stand. For a review of the movie, in which a divorced woman decides to pursue a man who turns out is her new friend’s ex-husband, visit

Harvest your needle felting skills

Needle-felting work by Donna LePre: your goal in her March 9 class.
Needle-felting work by Donna LePre: your goal in her March 9 class. Courtesy photo

“The Art of Needle Felting” is a class from 1 to 3 p.m. March 9 led by Washington fiber artist Donna LaPre at Flint Hill’s Studio School (540-878-3687 or Needle felting is a form of sculpting with wool that allows you to make three-dimensional objects, and this class will introduce you to the materials (including hand-dyed wool), tools and techniques to become proficient (or improve your basic skills). Various colorful vegetables will be the project you’ll attempt in the class, which costs $45 (all materials included).

March 9 is Balalaika Sunday

The sound of balalaikas, domras and other instruments will be heard at the Theatre at Washington starting at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 9, when the Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra performs folk music of Russia and its neighbors.

Founded in 1988, the WBS Orchestra was created to educate, entertain and preserve Russian folk and classical music. Its musicians have played such traditional folk instruments as balalaika, domra and gusli for audiences from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center. With 60 volunteers, WBS is the largest folk orchestra in America; about half are coming to Little Washington March 9.

Svetlana Nikonova is conductor of the orchestra. A professional domra soloist, Nikonova received her musical training at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. She went on to play with the world-renowned Andreyev Balalaika Orchestra for several years before coming to the United States in 2003. Soloists at the upcoming concert include Evgenia Tochenaya, a graduate of the State Academy of Music in Kiev, who will play the domra, and Andrei Saveliev, considered the foremost balalaika soloist in the U.S., also a graduate of the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory.

Tickets are $25 ($10 for ages 17 and younger). Reservations are recommended. Call 540-675-1253 or email

Memorable night benefits Scrabble

The first-annual Black History Celebration was held at the historic State Theater in Culpeper on Feb 15. The event, co-sponsored by Eugene Triplette, Alex Scott and the Theater, benefited the Scrabble School Preservation Foundation. The crowd of 150 were told the African-American story through song and narrative from early slavery times to the Emancipation by the River Bank Choir, under the direction of Zann Nelson. The African-American education journey was related by Stephanie Deutsch, based on her book, “You Need a School House,” tying the story to Scrabble School, a Rosenwald school built in 1921. The Unity Choir sang spiritual songs of the early era and joined the River Bank Choir to commemorate the African-American men from Culpeper County who joined the Union Army during the Civil War, while a sing-along national anthem closed out the program.

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