The Rapp for Aug. 25

Fourth (Estate) Friday is this Friday

The Rappahannock News’ staff will be at the Country Cafe in Washington at 9 tomorrow morning (Friday, Aug. 26) for our monthly coffee and conversation hour. All are welcome — all people, topics, criticism, good news, bad news, conspiracy theories, you name it. We buy your coffee no matter what you say (as long as it’s on the record). Email or call 540-675-3338 for more information.

Two candidates and 1000 Faces

No matter your party, it's a party at 1000 Faces Mask Theater's "The Half Hour News Hour From Planet Earth," Oct. 1 at Stone Hill.
No matter your party, it’s a party at 1000 Faces Mask Theater’s “The Half Hour News Hour From Planet Earth,” Oct. 1 at Stone Hill. Jules Coon

To be performed in the stone circle at Stone Hill (40 Springwish Lane, Flint Hill) on Saturday, Oct. 1, “The Half Hour News Hour From Planet Earth,” featuring the “2016 Presidential Election Circus,” is the latest play from Rappahannock’s 1000 Faces Mask Theater and its director Peggy Schadler, who calls it “a tragedy, a comedy and a circus. It’s both real and unreal, unbelievable, yet possible. There are Kafka-inspired bugs, a 3D Printer Political Party, and more, but in the end there is hope.”

Suggested donation for the performance, made possible by a grant from RAAC’s Claudia Mitchell Arts Fund, is $10; the gates open at 4:30, Miranda Hope’s back-in-Rappahannock band, Them Thar Hills, goes on at 5, and 1000 Faces at 6. For more, email

Chili Bowl 2016 is coming

The "Bestest Chili" perpetual trophy could be yours (and also holds a decent amount of chili) at the Piedmont Softball Association's annual Chili Bowl fundraiser Sept. 10.
The “Bestest Chili” perpetual trophy could be yours (and also holds a decent amount of chili) at the Piedmont Softball Association’s annual Chili Bowl fundraiser Sept. 10. Courtesy photo

Enter your chili (and eat a lot, too) in Piedmont Softball Association’s annual fundraiser for its fast-pitch girls’ league, 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at the old Bill Payne Auction Gallery (10 Maddox Lane, Amissville). All who bring a pot of chili compete for awards in three categories plus the “Bestest Chili” award, which transfers possession of the PSA Chili Bowl perpetual trophy for a year. Rollicking cake walks, a new Home Run Derby with prizes, moon bounces and all-you-can-eat chili included in the $7 admission ($4 ages 6 to 11; younger kids free). For more information, visit or email

Celebrating the parks at Gay Street Gallery . . .

Gay Street Gallery celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service with a special “pop up” exhibition of work by five local artists for this weekend only (August 26-28). Featuring photographers Hullihen Moore and Chris Johns and painters Phyllis Northup, Nedra Smith and Kevin Adams, the exhibition will showcase what has been called “America’s Best Idea” with images of national parks from around the country. A portion of all sales will be donated to the Shenandoah National Park Trust, the main philanthropic partner of Shenandoah National Park. The gallery hosts a reception with the artists, open to the public, from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Courtesy photo

. . . and in the park

Shenandoah National Park joins in the celebration of the Park Service’s 100th birthday by waiving the entrance fee to Shenandoah (and all other national parks) from today through Sunday (Aug. 25-28). The National Park Service was born on Aug. 25, 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation that created the National Park Service. Today, there are 412 national parks throughout the country and each one tells an important part of the American story.

Among the special activities (all of them free) at Shenandoah National Park: “An Interview with Stephen Mather” featuring Park Superintendent Jim Northup portraying Stephen Mather, the first director of the National Park Service, near the end of his stellar career in 1929. The living history interpretive program, which also features Park Ranger Michael Punches as a newspaper reporter asking questions about the many challenging issues regarding the formation and development of the National Park Service, starts at 8:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday, Aug. 25) at Big Meadows Amphitheater (mile 51 Skyline Drive).

At 10 Friday at Upper Hawksbill Parking Area (mile 46.7), there’s a Centennial Hike: Hike to the Highest Peak, where you can explore a high-elevation forest on the way to the summit of Shenandoah’s tallest mountain, Hawksbill (two hours, moderate 2.1-mile hike). And at 11 Saturday, at Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51 Skyline Drive), there’s “Time Travel with Bubba Jones & Family”: Meet President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Civilian Conservation Corps boys, and come prepared for a short stroll with Jeff Alt, outdoor recreation expert and award- winning author.

More events this weekend, and other park programs, are online at

Floral works at the cafe

Kids create floral works at Flourish Root's workshop, the subject of a month-long exhibit at Sperryville's Before & After Cafe that opens Sunday.
Kids create floral works at Flourish Root’s workshop, the subject of a month-long exhibit at Sperryville’s Before & After Cafe that opens Sunday. By Jen Perrot

Enjoy the photographed and live floral works created by kids at Sperryville’s Flourish Root Florals Studio, from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 28) at Before & After Cafe (31 Main St., Sperryville). Photographs (by Molly M. Peterson) and the kids’ floral works were made at a Flourish Root workshop funded in part by RAAC’s Claudia Mitchell Arts Fund. For more information, contact Jen Perrot at or 540-742-0097.

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