The Rapp for July 28 

Meet the reporter

Join Foothills Forum and the Rappahannock News for a special Fourth (Estate) Friday gathering 9 a.m. tomorrow (Friday, July 29) at Tula’s Restaurant in Washington. Reporter Randy Rieland, whose three-part series on Rappahannock County’s connectivity in the digital world began last week (and continues Aug. 4), will be on hand to discuss his reporting about cellphone and internet service in the county. As usual at Fourth Friday events, the coffee’s on us and the feedback is on you.

Artists talk at Gay Street Gallery

One of artist Jane Tolar's baskets, on exhibit Gay Street Gallery through Aug. 15.
One of artist Jane Tolar’s baskets, on exhibit Gay Street Gallery through Aug. 15.

This Saturday (July 30) from 5 to 6 p.m., two artists with works on exhibit at Gay Street Gallery in Washington through Aug. 15 will be at the gallery to talk about their work; the gallery is open for light refreshments from 4 to 7 p.m. Jane Tolar will talk about her unique basketry, and Davette Leonard speaks on her baroque still life paintings. Visit for more.

Night skies along Skyline Drive

Shenandoah National Park celebrates the importance of dark skies and the beautiful night skies that Shenandoah protects with a park-wide Night Sky Festival today (Thursday, July 28) through Sunday (July 31).

Join park rangers, special speakers and local volunteer astronomers during four days of talks, walks, audio-visual presentations and sky viewing throughout the park. Shenandoah and other national parks provide excellent opportunities to experience starry night skies and natural darkness. Join in to learn the basics of astronomy, discover the importance of protecting dark night skies and enjoy some close-up views of stars and planets.

Activities will take place in a variety of locations throughout the park, with events co-hosted by both Shenandoah National Park and Delaware North at Shenandoah National Park, the park’s authorized concessioner. Speakers include Shanil Virani, director of the John C. Wells Planetarium at James Madison University; Greg Redfern, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s solar system ambassador; Dr. Uwe Konopka, associate professor of physics at Auburn University; and astronaut Tom Jones, senior research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.

For a complete list of the weekend’s 34 events, visit All programs, unless otherwise noted on the schedule, are free. There is a $20-per-vehicle entrance fee to the park, good for seven days.

All you can bag, $10

The Back-to-School and Summer Clearance $10 Bag Sale at Firehouse Treasures Thrift Shop starts next Tuesday (Aug. 2), and includes all women’s, men’s and children’s clothing for the entire month of August at $10 a bag. Specially priced items not included. Thrift Shop hours are 10 to 5 Tuesday-Wednesday and 10 to 1 Saturday at 10 Firehouse Lane, Washington. Please hold onto your donations during the bag sale; the volunteers will be happy to accept them in September. For more information, call 540-683-6499.

RAAC’s Friday movies start Sept. 2

Maggie Smith stars at "The Lady in the Van," RAAC's Friday movie to start the fall season on Sept. 2.
Maggie Smith stars at “The Lady in the Van,” RAAC’s Friday movie to start the fall season on Sept. 2. Courtesy photo

Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community (RAAC) opens its 1st Friday at the Movies fall season with “The Lady in the Van,” 8 p.m. at the Theatre at Washington. Playwright Alan Bennett (played by Alex Jennings) forms an unexpected bond with Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith), a woman of uncertain origins who “temporarily” parked her van in Bennett’s London driveway and proceeded to live there for 15 years. Rated PG-13; 104 minutes. Tickets are $6. Popcorn, water and candy available for purchase. For more information, call 800-695-6075 or email

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