The Rapp for Nov. 1

Parade deadline!

Hear ye! One last reminder that the deadline to apply to march (or skip, ride, gallop, etc.) in the Little Washington Christmas Parade is this Tuesday, Nov. 6.

The always spectacular Christmas procession through the holiday adorned county seat will be Sunday, Dec. 2, proceeding along the entire lengths of Gay and Main streets.

To complete the application process, contact Caroline Anstey at or phone 540-692-5155.

Progress above the North Fork

By John McCaslin

Due to the recent flooding rains it took a while for the North Fork Thornton River westbound bridge replacement project to begin. Part of the problem surrounded the soggy median where contractors needed to install the temporary crossover. But now, river levels have receded several feet and the old bridge deck is demolished. Constructions crews still anticipate a completion date of July 2019.

Meadery launch

Hard cider and mead have come (back) to Rappahannock County in the form of Hinson Ford Cider & Mead, which recently opened in Amissville at 379 Hinson Ford Road.

Rappahannock has a long and storied history of fine hard ciders crafted from fine apples, and now both have joined forces, says Hinson Ford Meadmaker Dennis Kelly.

Dennis Kelly and David Shiff in the Hinson Ford Cider & Mead production room.
Dennis Kelly and David Shiff in the Hinson Ford Cider & Mead production room. Luke Christopher | Rappahannock News

He says while craft beer growth has leveled off in recent years, and mass-market beers have seen a decline in market share, hard cider has come back from the brink of extinction in the United States. According to the meadmaker, meads are currently the fastest growing segment of the alcoholic beverage market in the U.S.

Hinson Ford currently offers two hard ciders and three meads on draft, all dry and sparkling. They also have a still cider and a still semi-sweet mead. “If you have had mead before, forget what you know; if you haven’t had mead before, leave your expectations at the door . . . they’re like nothing you’ve tasted.”


Medicaid expansion

Word from Jennifer Parker, director of the Rappahannock Department of Social Services, is that Virginia state agencies will soon begin taking applications for Medicaid Expansion coverage, which begins on Jan. 1, 2019 for individuals aged 19-64 who are not Medicare eligible.

As always, your friendly staff at Rappahannock Department of Social Services are available to assist, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Otherwise, to access Medicaid Expansion benefits contact the CoverVa Call Center, 1-855-242-8282; VDSS Enterprise Call Center, 1-855-635-4370; Health Care Marketplace,; or CommonHelp,

Turkey Trot

Make plans now for the free “Turkey Trot Family Fun Run” on Saturday, Nov. 17th, at 9 a.m. at the Rappahannock County High School Track, sponsored by Commit to Be Fit.

The healthy outdoor event will feature a one-mile run for all age groups, a children’s 1/2 mile, games and activities, and a Thanksgiving-themed costume contest for adults, teens, and kids.

For more details and to register, visit

Loving van Gogh

RAAC’s “First Friday” night movie at 8 p.m. tomorrow at the Little Washington Theater is “Loving Vincent.” A story depicted in oil painted animation, a young man comes to the last hometown of painter Vincent van Gogh to deliver the troubled artist’s final letter and ends up investigating his final days there.

Cost is $6. Popcorn, candy and water are available for purchase.

Pumpkin smashing

What to do with all those pumpkins now that Halloween is over?

Pumpkins are good food, high in essential vitamins and minerals. Once we carve and light them, however, most people think their value is gone. But pumpkins produce a nutrient-dense compost as they rot.

You can turn composting your pumpkin into a fun activity for kids. Let them break it into pieces, then find a sunny location, leave the pieces there, cover with leaves and within a few months you will have an earthy-smelling compost rich in nutrients to spread onto your plants.

Mum’s the word

Don’t toss out those autumn mums just because they turn brown and appear dead. Properly cared for, chrysanthemums can easily be kept over the winter and will continue to brighten home gardens next year.

Yes, mums after blooming look like they’re finished, but don’t be fooled. Their roots survive with simple watering.

“When they were growing in a farmers’ field, they were watered every day,” explains Chris Mullins, Virginia Cooperative Extension horticulture and greenhouse specialist. “So if you have these in a pot on your deck or patio, you want to continue watering them just about every day.”

Mullins says leaving the brown plant material intact “will give the plant some protection in the wintertime. Probably sometime in May you’ll start to see some shoots coming up.”

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