The Rapp for June 9

Get ready for your Fourth

Photo by E. Raymond Boc
Raymond Boc

The Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department’s 10th annual Rappahannock County 4th of July Celebration takes place this year on Monday, July 4 under the big sky at Sperryville’s Thornton Hill Racecourse.

The annual event attracts upwards of 4,500 folks and includes one of the best fireworks displays around, in one of the most fetching spots in the region, for $25 per carload.

The festivities at 4137 Sperryville Pike (U.S. 522, three miles south of Sperryville) start at 1 p.m. and include live music by the Gold Top County Ramblers and Bobby G. and Friends, food, skydivers, antique cars and tractors, local nonprofit displays, children’s games, face painting, kiddie rides, a Cliff Hanger slide, dunk tank, helicopter display and, of course, fireworks at dusk.

“The event is work intensive and supported by every member of the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department and because of increasing costs associated with putting on an event of this magnitude, continued underwriter support is needed each year in order to sustain the event at its current level,” says event committee chair Gary Settle. “With this, very special thanks goes out to our current underwriters, Jamie, Lilla and Bill Fletcher, Hampton Foundation, B&B Signal Company, Cheri Woodard Realty, Eppard Construction, Greg Williams Tree & Landscaping Service, Greve Foundation, Hampton Inn Warrenton, LLC, Pepsi, Union Bank & Trust. Their continued support allows the citizens of Rappahannock County and its neighbors to enjoy fellowship and celebration at a location that is arguably one of the most breathtaking venues in Rappahannock County.

“I look forward to seeing everyone again this year! Come out and support your community and enjoy the best fireworks display in the area.”

General admission is $25 per vehicle; tailgating spots (with a better view, and room for a tent) are $50. For corporate sponsorships ($450 — or $550 after June 15), contact Settle at

For general information, call 540-987-8124 or visit

A concert free and wild

Director Emlyn Johnson and assistant director Daniel Ketter and five others perform a free "Music in the American Wild" concert June 17 at the Theatre at Washington.
Director Emlyn Johnson and assistant director Daniel Ketter and five others perform a free “Music in the American Wild” concert June 17 at the Theatre at Washington. Courtesy photo

At 7 p.m. Friday, June 17 at The Theatre at Washington, “Music in the American Wild,” a new initiative honoring the centennial of the National Park Service, offers a free concert by seven performers and 11 composers, all affiliated with Eastman School of Music. The new works, all inspired by the grandeur and history of the national parks, are being brought to seven parks and surrounding communities across the country this summer, including our own Shenandoah National Park. (Visit for more details.)

Under the leadership of flutist Emlyn Johnson, “Music in the American Wild” will tour three parks in the southeast in June 2016, with performances at Mammoth Cave, Great Smoky Mountains, and Shenandoah National Park. The tour continues in August at Mount Rainier, North Cascades, Olympic, and San Juan Island National Parks in Washington. Further events include performances at Locust Grove Historic Estate in Louisville and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., in support of the National Park Service centennial initiative “Find Your Park.”

The ensemble — Johnson on flute and Ellen Breakfield-Glick, clarinet; Lauren Becker, horn; Hanna Hurwitz, violin; Emily Cantrell, viola; Daniel Ketter, cello; and Colleen Bernstein, percussion — will perform works selected from compositions by Chris Chandler, Kevin Ernste, Ted Goldman, Tonia Ko, Aristea Mellos, David Clay Mettens, Robert Morris, Jeff Myers, Daniel Pesca, Adam Roberts, and Aaron Travers.

Save the Taste-y date!

Tables await Taste of Rappahannock attendees last year at the Barn at Mount Vernon Farm. This year's date is Sept. 10.
Tables await Taste of Rappahannock attendees last year at the Barn at Mount Vernon Farm. This year’s date is Sept. 10. Raymond Boc

Mark your calendar for the 19th annual Taste of Rappahannock on Sept. 10, once again at the Barn at Mount Vernon Farm in Sperryville, starting at 5 p.m. Come prepared to sample the best of locally grown meats and produce and locally prepared cuisine. Silent and live auctions will offer something for everyone, from paintings and pottery by Rappahannock artists to two tickets to “Hamilton” (plus hotel) on Broadway. The Headwaters Foundation thanks in advance the generous donors who contribute these gifts on behalf of the children of Rappahannock County. Watch this space (or visit for the opportunity to purchase tickets.

Lots of open doors on the Artisan Trail

Washington's Gay Street Gallery is among the 22 Artisan Trail venues offering special activities during this weekend's Open Door Tour.
Washington’s Gay Street Gallery is among the 22 Artisan Trail venues offering special activities during this weekend’s Open Door Tour. Courtesy photo

Our county is in full bloom and opening its doors to welcome you on its first-ever Artisan Trail Open Door Tour, this weekend (June 11-12), when 22 Trail members will be hanging up the yellow “Open Door Tour” banner to help you find a special activity to enjoy — including artist studios, farms and markets, demonstrations, workshops, tastings, tours, music, cultural adventures and more.

Although many other sites on the Rappahannock County Artisan Trail at large may be open during the weekend, you will definitely want to check out the following who are offering special activities: Kevin H Adams Studio, De’Danann Glassworks, Flourish Root, Kat Habib Ceramics, Wild Roots Apothecary, Molly Peterson Photography, Peckerwood Chainsaw Creations, Potomac Leather, Gay Street Gallery (see the story on page B1), Sage Imagery, Glassworks Gallery, Living Sky Foundation, Eastwoods Nursery, Gray Ghost Vineyards, Heritage Hollow Farms, Little Washington Winery, Narmada Winery, Rappahanock Cellars, Wits End Farm, Belle Meade Farm and B&B, Hopkins Ordinary Aleworks and B&B and the Rappahannock Historical Society.

For more information, visit the Rappahannock tour page at

Bluegrass brothers at State Theatre

The State Theatre of Culpeper hosts the internationally acclaimed Kruger Brothers in a concert not to be missed by bluegrass fans around the region. It starts at 8 p.m. this Friday (June 10).

Through their numerous CD releases, radio and television performances, workshops, and collaborative efforts, the Kruger Brothers continue to provide a unique voice in the world of folk, Americana and classical music. Their music may be heard online at

Jens Kruger is an inductee to the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame (2011) and is the fourth recipient of the coveted Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass (2013), which bring recognition to an individual or group for outstanding accomplishment in the field of five-string banjo or bluegrass music.

The album that cemented the Kruger Brothers’ sound and songwriting, “Up 18 North,” was released in 2002; the title track is an instrumental piece, with banjo clearly in the foreground, that remains a prime example of the type of close ensemble playing that characterizes the trio’s work.

Ticket ($22) are available at the theater box office (305 S. Main St., Culpeper) or online at


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