The Rapp for July 3

The Fourth! (And the Third! And the Fifth!)

Rappahannock County’s annual Fourth of July celebration, a benefit for the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department, starts at 1 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, July 4) at Thornton Hill Race Course (4137 Sperryville Pike, Sperryville). There’s music, amusements, food, tailgating and, of course, fireworks at dusk. General admission is $25 per vehicle (tailgaters, $50). For more information, visit

Tonight (Thursday, July 3), Castleton hosts its annual bluegrass and fireworks event — the 7 p.m. concert with headliners the Seldom Scene inside the Festival Theatre, the fireworks at dusk in the meadow next door. Tickets are $25; call 540-937-3454 or visit (At 2 tomorrow afternoon, July 4, Castleton offers a special all-American concert conducted by composer and former U.S. Marine Band conductor Col. John R. Bourgeois. Tickets are $25; ages 11 and younger free.)

The for-all-ages "Recycling Puppets" show.
The for-all-ages “Recycling Puppets” show. Courtesy photo

And on Saturday (July 5), Coterie, Heritage Hollow Farm Store and the Shops at the Schoolhouse are offering a 11 a.m. performance by the Goodlife Theater Company — the Rappahannock-based company’s “Recycling Pirates” puppet show. The show is free and for all ages. For more information about the performance, beside the Thornton River at the Sperryville Schoolhouse complex, call 540-987-8249 or email

A surprise party for . . . well, it’s a surprise

With the proclamation that “surprises are a big deal with us,” the Flint Hill Public House Restaurant & Inn is offering a mega-surprise party for the right person or group, according to John Gruber, managing partner for the popular restaurant. “Our neighbors and the community have been instrumental in making the Public House a popular destination, it’s our third year and what better reason than to recognize someone special and have a party?” says Gruber, adding. “And at no cost to the person(s) being surprised.”

Since renovating and reopening under new management in 2011, the Public House staff has pulled off many surprise birthdays, anniversaries, engagements and other milestones, including a surprise event for a couple on leave from Afghanistan, says Gruber.

Nominations for individuals or groups to be recognized will be accepted until Aug 31, Gruber says, and then the facility will take care of all the arrangements for the party, including menu and logistics and pick up the tab. “The event is free” for the party to be chosen, he says. “It is our way of giving back to the community and we get to help honor someone deserving of a special recognition.” Gruber said there’s no limit to the size of the event and nominations can be for anyone — individuals, couples, families, organizations or groups. Gruber encouraged nominations to be creative, but clear and concise as to why the persons or group deserves the honor.

More information and nomination forms are available at the Public House or online at

Rappahannock rules the State Theatre July 12

The Turkey Ridge String Band performs at the Culpeper State Theatre.
The Turkey Ridge String Band performs at the Culpeper State Theatre. Courtesy photo

Culpeper’s State Theatre is mixing in some acts with a distinct local flavor for its Summer Concert series, and next Saturday (July 12), the Turkey Ridge String Band, led by retired Rappahannock schools superintendent Bob Chappell, takes the stage on Culpeper’s Main Street with guests Brian Taylor, a 2004 RCHS grad, and his wife Alexandra, both of Sperryville.

Dan Lewis, Turkey Ridge’s lead guitarist and vocalist, is a well-known Rappahannock artist, musician and antique dealer. The rest of the Turkey Ridge Band are Culpeper residents Brenda Jeffries on bass and vocals, Maries Fox on the banjo and Tad Loving on the mandolin.

For more information about the Turkey Ridge String Band’s State Theatre concert ($12 advance, $15 at the door) visit or call 540-829-0292. (And for a taste of Turkey Ridge’s brand of Americana music — to go with your wine — the band will also be at Narmada Winery at 5 p.m. this Saturday, July 5.)

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