Pet parade, flowers, food and fun for Pantry Day May 9

Dog and sheep get to know each other at the 2014 Food Pantry Pet Parade.
Dog and sheep get to know each other at the 2014 Food Pantry Pet Parade. Patti Want

From contributed reports

It’s time to join friends and neighbors for a lively day commemorating Food Pantry Day in Rappahannock County on Saturday, May 9 — a day that includes a pet parade and flower sale and ends with a gala dinner. It’s an annual celebration heralding the remarkable achievements of the nonprofit pantry, which for the past six years has provided food to county folks in need.

“Once again, we’ve planned a great community celebration, starting with a morning pet parade at the Food Pantry site,” said pantry director Mimi Forbes. Families with children and pets are asked to arrive at the pantry to register at 9:30 a.m.; the public is invited to participate by cheering them on at 10 a.m. as they march around the Washington School front lawn, officially kicking off Food Pantry Day in Rappahannock.

“Leading the way will be parade master Dontez Harris, the Pied Piper of Petdom, and his assistant Jackson Heverly, tunefully leading the way for a merry band of followers including numerous dogs and other pets,” Forbes said. “Reportedly, among them will be horses and at least two hairless sheep!”

Just in time for Mother’s Day, visitors to the pantry can check out the colorful spring flower sale featuring a display of large multicolored bouquets. During the afternoon, the flower sale will continue at River District Arts and Thornton River Grille in Sperryville. Be sure to stop along the way at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on U.S. 211, where there’s a major bake sale. All proceeds from the flower and bake sales benefit the pantry.

Highlighting Pantry Day festivities will be a display and raffle of an extraordinary handmade baby quilt by master local quilter Charlotte Laing. The remarkable “Eye Spy” quilt (so named for a children’s rhyme game “I spy with my little eye . . . ”) features more than 100 charming quilt patches, each depicting something fun and engaging for a child — including a corn cob, monkey, fish, elephant and balloon. The quilt will be on display during the day at the pantry, and raffled off during the Pantry Day party and dinner that evening.  

The gala dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. is hosted by John and Beverly Sullivan at their newly renovated Washington home, and co-chaired by Food Pantry board member Gwen Bates and volunteer Barbara Black. “We promise a delectable seasonal feast, generously provided and prepared by Rappahannock restaurants, wineries, farms and businesses and served by a corps of devoted volunteers,” said Black.

A raffle of four special prizes will be held during the festive evening, including dinner for two at The Inn at Little Washington; Charlotte Laing’s children’s quilt; dinner for four at Foster-Harris House (with signed cookbook); and an overnight for two at the Flint Hill Public House.

“What could be better? Spring in Rappahannock, great food, lively company and a wonderful cause — please join us!” said Forbes.

Dinner reservations/tickets of $100 per person are available at the Food Pantry website ( or by calling the pantry at 540-675-1177 or Bette Mahoney at 540-675-3446.

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