It’s another eventful leaf-season weekend in Rappahannock County. In addition to the Theatre at Washington’s popular fall opera/Gilbert and Sullivan revue on Saturday and two nights of RAAC’s annual “No Ordinary Person” storytelling sortie (more about both shows below), here are some other worthwhile pursuits:
• Trinity Episcopal Church’s 58th annual House Tour and Dried Flower Sale begins at 11 a.m. this Saturday (Oct. 18), with self-guided tours of three diverse county homes included in the two-day event and lots of beautiful hand-crafted flower arrangements for sale. The fundraising weekend ends with an Evensong at the church led by Ronald Stolk, a Huntly resident and the organist for St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. For more info, visit trinwash.org.
• The Rappahannock County High School Fall Festival and Corn Hole Tournament is 11:30 to 3:30 this Saturday (Oct. 18): barbecue, rummage sales, moon bounce, pony rides, live music by Ryan Jewel and barrel train rides. During the festival, across the highway on the Blue Rock Inn grounds, the sheriff’s office offers 15-minute helicopter tours for $25 per person. The helicopter rides benefit the Rappahannock Children’s Foundation; the festival is a fundraiser for RCHS class activities and clubs. Call 540-675-5300 about the helicopter rides; call 540-227-0745 about the festival.
• At the Child Care & Learning Center’s free open house from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 17), you can check out the curriculum, scholarships, schedule and teachers — plus there’s food, refreshments, a pumpkin patch and “Crooning Critters,” a puppet show by Rappahannock’s own Goodlife Theater. Call 540-675-3237 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
• Castleton Community Volunteer Fire Company’s first shooting match of the season is 7 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 17) at the station (593 Castleton View Rd.); the Friday night tradition continues into December. For more information, call Terry Robey or Charlie Taylor at 540-937-4110 or 540-229-1222.
• Picking and singing on Saturday: Local folk trio Mandalele performs at Gadino Cellars from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 18). Bring a picnic; tasting fees apply. For more information, call 540-987-9292. At 6 p.m. Saturday, there’s a pickin’ party at the Sperryville fire hall (11871 Lee Hwy.). Tickets are $3 per person (ages 10 and younger free). Hurt Hollow and Blue Ridge Heartbreakers perform; food will be sold. For more information, call Michelle Jenkins at 540-987-9440.
• All day on Saturday, the Shops @ Ginger Hill Antiques, Mountainside Dance Center and Mountainside Physical Therapy are celebrating their fourth birthday in the parking lot at 12625 Lee Hwy. — where many of Ginger Hill’s 30 dealers will sell their wares — as well as inside, where there’s food, drink and bluegrass, Americana and oldies by Somewhere Tonight (Dan Lewis, Marie Fox, Brenda Jeffries and Tad Loving) and even more antiques and finds. Call 540-987-8440 or visit gingerhillantiques.com for more.
• The Indian harvest festival of Diwali, one of Narmada Winery’s most anticipated events during the year, is celebrated at the Amissville winery starting at 11 a.m. this Saturday (Oct. 18). Dinner platters (reservation needed) are available starting at 5 p.m., with butter chicken ($20) or paneer ($18), plus chole (chick pea curry), naan bread, rice, raita and a sweet. Antipasto and cheese platters also available, plus authentic Indian arts and crafts will be on display and for sale, courtesy of Kanika Bhatia and her mom, complemented by an ongoing photography exhibit by Chitra Ragavan, whose eye for the colors, both bold and subtle, is unequaled.
• Speaking of colors, Candace Clough’s next mosaic class, “Glass on Glass,” is this Saturday (Oct. 18) at Mullany Studio School in Flint Hill. The $65 fee includes a glass block and all supplies; Clough will show you how to design, cut and apply glass pieces to complete your work, and after curing, the pieces are grouted and can be displayed with lights or in front of a window. Call 540-878-3687.
At 8 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 18), the Theatre at Washington presents a concert featuring gorgeous arias from opera in the first half of the program, followed by the ever-popular music of Gilbert and Sullivan after the intermission. The four accomplished musicians bringing the performance to the Theatre are soprano Jacqueline Neimat, tenor Doug Bowles, pianist George Peachey and, serving as narrator, Elizabeth Daniel. This vocal concert has become an annual feature of the fall season at the theater.
The opening portion of the concert comprises duets and arias from operas, principally by Mozart, and the second part is devoted entirely to music of Gilbert and Sullivan — from “The Mikado,” “The Pirates of Penzance,” “HMS Pinafore” and “Utopia Limited.”
The witty and erudite musician Daniels, as narrator, introduces the operatic arias and places them in context. Her humorous and sometimes wry commentary has always been a diverting and enjoyable counterpoint to dramatic arias from grand opera. And, as she says, “Gilbert and Sullivan is always so much fun — always slightly zany — and makes everyone laugh!”
For tickets ($25, or $10 for students 17 and younger), call 540-675-1253 or email email@example.com.
The ever-popular “No Ordinary Person” is this Friday and Saturday (Oct. 17-18) at RAAC Community Theatre for the 16th year in a row. There might be a few seats still available.
This year’s performance features four Rappahannockers, including Dick Raines, Ira Chaleff, Sallie Morgan and Tom Oliphant, with stories ranging from baseball to pregnancy, cults and alien cultures.
Raines’ story, “My Difficult Pregnancy,” shares his perspective as a father on what was anything but a textbook birth. For the last 21 years, Dick has run Carfax, the internet company that provides vehicle history information. He and his wife Nancy split their time between their home in Arlington and their farmhouse on the flanks of Red Oak Mountain.
Chaleff, executive coach, workshop leader and author of several books on leader-follower dynamics, has owned property in Huntly for 17 years and for the past two years has made the county his full time home. His story, “The Youth, the Man and the Cult,” opens a window on a subject he has kept secret for 30 years, posing the questions: Why did I join a cult, and why did I stay in it for 15 years?
Morgan, chair of the RAAC Theatre Committee and organizer of RAAC’s Soup and Soul series, has appeared previously in “No Ordinary Person.” This year her story, “Alien in a Sallie-Suit,” recalls her first encounter with the third world at age 16. Morgan is executive director of the Mental Health Association of Fauquier, and has lived in Gid Brown Hollow with her husband Tod since 1976.
In “Game Seven,” journalist and author Oliphant takes us to New York’s Lower East Side in 1955, when the Brooklyn Dodgers held a sacred place at the heart of his and many other families. Tom was a long time journalist for the Boston Globe, as well as a columnist and commentator, including regular appearances on the PBS NewsHour. He and his wife Susan have been homeowners in Rappahannock for the past 30 years.
“No Ordinary Person” is directed by Joyce Abell and Sallie Morgan. Shows start at 8 both nights at 310 Gay St., Washington. Visit raac.org for reservations (click on “Community Theatre”). Payment online is encouraged; those who elect to pay at the door need to arrive no later than 10 minutes before showtime. No Internet access? Call 800-695-6075.
Gray Ghost swept back-to-back competitions, bringing home five gold medals last month. After earning four golds at 2014 Mid-Atlantic Southeastern Wine Competition in Winston-Salem, N.C. (for its 2013 Cabernet Franc, 2013 Gewurztraminer, 2013 Vidal Blanc and Victorian Red), Gray Ghost took gold for its 2013 Vidal Blanc at the 19th annual Tasters Guild Consumers’ Wine Judging in Port Aransas, Texas. Gray Ghost brought home a total of 14 medals in the two competitions, bringing its 2014 year-to-date total to 89 medals, including 13 gold!
Gray Ghost Winery is open 11 to 5 Friday-Sunday at 14706 Lee Hwy.; call 540-937-4869.