Washington column for July 4

Step back in time

Let’s take a step or two back in time, say around the 80’s and 90’s, when Little Washington used to have their big July 4 celebration all day long. I looked forward to spending the holiday in the town of Washington with my family. It was an all day festival. We would pack a cooler full of food and drinks that would last the entire day.

Swing your partner round and round for the square dancing in the mid 90’s on the July 4 celebration at the court house in Washington. Photo by the Washington Fire and Rescue

In my eyes, the Independence Day festivities were the largest county wide entertainment. People from all around would come.

The celebration replaced the fire department carnival that once took place in Washington. Activities included the first annual Blue Ridge Antique and Classic Car Show, arts and crafts from throughout the county and Northern Virginia, bluegrass music at the courthouse, fire engine rides and many other attractions. The children had plenty of things to do to keep them occupied.

The White Elephant sale for the benefit of the Trinity Episcopal Church was my thing. They would have used furniture, cookware, you name it. Believe me you could get some good deals. Then I would go to the bake sale, a table spread with delicious cake, brownies and a variety of cookies. How could one pass that table up? I know I couldn’t.

The Rappahannock Library would feature its annual used book sale, and there would be political speeches in front of the courthouse. Local farms and food organizations would have displays of animals and crops. A chicken barbecue dinner took place in the evening, just in time to take to the lawn before the traditional fireworks at Avon Hall. Other games, rides, events and displays would round out the day.

I can remember well the Washington Volunteer Fire Department had their long line of donated dollar bills stretch down Gay Street, with Rev. Jenks Hobson and Ann Spieker working up a sweat trying to get people to donate money to make the line longer and longer.

I ask myself over and over what would it take to bring those happy days back to Little Washington once again.

Don’t forget to attend the Rappahannock County’s July 4th celebration, to benefit the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department, starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Ben Venue Farm.

Just by chance, if you run into Richie Burke, Gary Settle or Mike Leake while celebrating in Flint Hill, be sure to thank them for their long hours of work, and also don’t forget to thank the Eastham family for the use of their field for this year’s celebration. Thanks, guys!

And happy birthday, America!

Big July 4 sale

Firehouse Treasures Thrift Shop operated by the wonderful Washington Ladies Auxiliary will be having a big July 4 sale on July 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fifty percent off on clothes, shoes, handbags and hardgoods. Art work, furniture and jewelry is not included for the sale. Stop and shop until you drop for some good sales. For more information on the sale, call 540-675-1245.

Birthday wishes

Birthday wishes go out to Ava Genho and Tara Coppage, who celebrated July 1; Mary-Sherman Willis, July 2; Shannon Grimsley July 3; Julie Huff Garrett and Dick Manuel July 4; Ralph Bates July 5; Alice Alistair Nelson July 7; John MacPherson July 8; and Linda Hiemstra July 12.

WBC worship, picnic

Friends and family joined members of Washington Baptist Church for Sunday morning worship hosted by Dave and Donna Compton at the Compton’s farm in Amissville. More than 50 worshippers gathered this past Sunday, July 30, on a near perfect summer day for a service that highlighted the glorious splendor of God’s good creation.

Part old-fashioned hymn sing, the service also included special music appropriate for the setting. The service was followed by Washington Baptist’s annual church picnic. In addition to great food and fellowship, this year there were games for the kids, fishing in the pond, and carrots to feed to the horses. All agreed that this year’s was one of the best church picnics ever, according to Gary Aichele.

Chorus concert

Family and friends gathered at Castleton’s Theatre House Friday evening to enjoy the third annual Rappahannock Summer Chorus Concert for the Community sponsored by the Headwaters Foundation.

Keith Hudspeth returned again this year to lead singers in grades two through twelve in singing a broad repertoire of music. Joining Hudspeth this year was nationally recognized youth chorus director and clinician Bonny Tynch, as well as local accompanist Wendy Aichele. Twenty-six singers participated in the chorus this year, half of whom were new to the program.”

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