Our monthly Fourth (Estate) Friday caffeine-and-conversation hour moves to Sperryville tomorrow (Friday, June 27) — specifically to the Old Hollow Store, at U.S. 211 and Old Hollow Road just east of Sperryville proper. We’ll buy your coffee from 9 till 10 a.m. (you can always pay for an upgrade, breakfast being a popular item here), and we’ll be open to coverage suggestions, ideas and criticism from any readers who can come by. Look forward to seeing you at the big table at the Old Hollow Store. (Call us at 540-675-3338 if you have questions.)
Though it’s been open to all creatures (two-legged and up) since the project’s start about two years ago, the official grand opening of Washington’s Natural Habitat, Restoration Area and Nature Trail is at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Friday, June 27) at 564 Warren Ave., near the entrance to Leggett Lane. The wet spring and summer’s sunny first week are should provide a colorful natural backdrop to the celebration.
The opening ceremony, at which Mayor John Sullivan and others will speak, is sponsored by the town, the Old Rag Master Naturalists, the Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection and the Rappahannock Friends and Lovers of Our Watershed (aka RappFLOW) — all of which have provided the volunteers to rebuild the habitat, restore the Avon Hall pond and build the trail and its native plantings, as well as seek out relevant grants and other funding.
RSVP to town clerk Laura Dodd at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-675-3128.
The Amissville Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company’s annual carnival is underway — and, the most important detail: The fetching and fun-for-the-whole-family parade along U.S. 211 starts at 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday, June 26).
After the parade — and every night (starting at 6 p.m.) through Saturday — there are games, rides, food, pageantry and more. For more information, call 540-937-4218.
From June 27 through Aug. 3, the Middle Street Gallery in Sperryville exhibits works by member artists Paula Endo, Ann Currie and Robert Bouquet. The show, “Photos, Fiber and Stone,” combines two-and three-dimensional works of art spanning a range from natural organic materials to digital creations.
Currie says of her works, “Highly beaten flax fibers create a pulp with unique properties of shrinkage and translucency, and I have chosen this pulp to create three dimensional forms. [My works] include the forms and the paintings inspired by them. Oil paint, gouache and encaustic, found papers and handmade paper are employed to complete the expressions.”
Bouquet, a sculptor, will show work using his favorite stone — black soapstone — which is quarried in central Virginia. “As a very soft stone, it lends itself to the the use of hand tools — chisels, files and abrasives,” he says.
Photographer Endo provides a visual contrast between her experiences from having lived in Egypt in the early 1990s and a return to the region (Israel and the Palestinian territories) in 2011. “I want to share the feeling of tone and mood — my own perception contrasting the physical, personal and emotional realities of these two experiences in the Middle East,” she says.
An opening reception for the artists and the public is 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 12. At 3 River Lane in Sperryville’s Rappahannock Central complex, the gallery is open 10 to 5 Friday-Sunday. For more information, visit middlestreetgallery.org or call 540-987-9330.
Old Rag Gallery, next door at River District Arts, also holds a reception from 3 to 5 p.m. this Saturday (June 28) for a show by members Geoff Archer, Ray Boc and Joyce Harman of domestic animals — mostly horses, cattle, dogs and other creatures of Rappahannock County. The show runs through the month of July. All beverages at adjacent El Quijote restaurant, hot and cold, are discounted 20 percent during the reception.
The Castleton Festival’s founder and artistic director, Maestro Lorin Maazel, last week announced several new artists to the roster of previously announced stars and rising young talent participating in the festival’s summer program.
The Festival presents two full-length operas (“Madama Butterfly” June 28, July 6, 11, and 20 and “Don Giovanni” July 5, 12 and 18) and three symphonic concerts, plus an All-American Band Show, a theatrical reading of “Don Juan in Hell,” bluegrass with The Seldom Scene and fireworks, chamber music, recitals, talks, pre-performance cabaret, cooking classes and fine dining.
At a 1:30 p.m. theatrical reading July 12 of “Don Juan in Hell” are Broadway and television stars Maria Tucci (“Law & Order,” “To Die For”); Dylan Baker (“The Good Wife,” “Zero Hour,” “Spider-Man 2”), and Patrick Breen (“Blue Bloods,” “CSI Miami”). Tucci will also direct the reading.
Donald Runnicles, music director of Deutsche Oper Berlin, conducts the June 29 King Mozart symphonic concert at 2 p.m.
Acclaimed musician Joe Alessi, principle trombone of the New York Philharmonic, will be a soloist in the Festival’s All-American Band Concert at 2 p.m. July 4 (conducted by Rappahannock’s own Col. John Bourgeois).
The artists join 250 young musicians, faculty and previously announced performers and participants — including master flutist Sir James Galway, famed mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, violin virtuosi Eric Silberger and Julian Rachlin, famed cellist Alisa Weilerstein, bass-baritone Javier Arrey and others.
“In the last two weeks, we’ve seen the arrival of our orchestra, singers, production team and faculty, begun rehearsals, and welcomed our largest group of visitors yet — 200 third- and fourth-grade students from Culpeper who came here as part of ‘Castleton Alive’ to get a behind-the-curtains peek at Castleton and learn about opera. We’re positively buzzing,” said Nancy Gustafson, the festival’s general manager. “We are so fortunate to have Maestro Maazel here at this festival, held quite literally in his backyard. He is in great spirits, working daily with his 15 master class conductors, our impressive young orchestra and our talented singers.”
Mark your calendar: This year’s Culpeper-Madison-Rappahannock (CMR) Farm Show is July 10-14 at the Culpeper Agricultural Enterprises complex (10229 James Monroe Hwy., Culpeper) — a family friendly event that has something for everyone, including a watermelon party, an open pet show, horse-drawn carriage rides, a tractor-driving contest, and of course, the Little Miss CMR contest. All are invited to bring in their favorite homemade baked goods and flowers to be judged in the Homemakers’ building, or to participate in the apple pie contest.
The highlight of Farm Show is watching the 4-H members show and sell the animals they’ve worked hard to raise this past year. Visitors can see youth showing goats, sheep, swine and beef. If you are interested in purchasing one of their animals, come to the Monday evening sale.
For a complete schedule of events and entry forms, visit cmrfair.com.