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Happy Camper

Word has it Happy Camper Equip­ment Co. in Sper­ryville will have a soft open­ing the day of the Great Rub­ber Duck Race Down the Mighty Thorn­ton River — which is a good thing, given the race will com­mence di­rectly ad­ja­cent to the ap­parel and home goods store at 2:30 p.m. on Satur­day, April 28th.

In a first for the county, the out­door life­style con­cept store packs a punch of­fer­ing revered ap­parel brands, de­sign-y home goods and apothe­cary brands from around the world.

To boot, Happy Camper Equip­ment Co. brand fur­ni­ture and ap­parel — all de­signed in Sper­ryville — will be avail­able to take home.

Fund­ing any­one?

Rap­pa­han­nock County has part­nered with Peo­ple In­cor­po­rated and the Vir­ginia Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment to give small busi­ness own­ers in the county ac­cess to af­ford­able as­sis­tance and fi­nanc­ing.

Funds are avail­able for build­ing ac­qui­si­tion and ren­o­va­tion, fixed as­set pur­chases, work­ing cap­i­tal and other re­lated costs for busi­ness startup and ex­pan­sion. Ex­ten­sive train­ing and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance is of­fered at no cost.

The fund­ing specif­i­cally tar­gets en­trepreneur­s un­able to ob­tain fi­nanc­ing to ex­pand or to open their own busi­ness and who will be cre­at­ing jobs in Rap­pa­han­nock County. Con­tact Jenny Knox at 571-359-3897 or [email protected]­

Ka­t­rina kind­ness

Hearth­stone School is invit­ing the com­mu­nity to the per­for­mance, “The Flood of Kind­ness, In­spired by Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina,” based on a book by De’Ante Web­ster of In­di­anapo­lis that sur­rounds a third-grade his­tor­i­cal fic­tion as­sign­ment at the age of eight.

The book was il­lus­trated by for­mer Rap­pa­han­nock res­i­dent and co-founder of Hearth­stone, Lau­rie Mar­shall, who now lives in north­ern Cal­i­for­nia. Web­ster and Mar­shall worked for six years to make a story to help chil­dren cope with mas­sive weather events.

Hearth­stone stu­dents, teach­ers and par­ents will present the play this Fri­day and Satur­day evening, April 13 and 14, at 7 p.m.

Friskies Supreme

On Fri­day, March 30, CBS aired on its pop­u­lar soap opera “The Young and The Rest­less” Rap­pa­han­nock mu­si­cian Ben Ma­son’s orig­i­nal song, “I Can’t Make You.”

It turns out the show’s writer went through 324 pieces of mu­sic be­fore land­ing on Ma­son’s song and he “loved it — all one minute and ten sec­onds of it, play­ing over a very steamy scene in­volv­ing two peo­ple who broke up but just want to have a baby,” Ma­son points out. “Now I’m send­ing lots more mu­sic out to CBS with raised lev­els of cho­co­late, straw­ber­ries and scented can­dles.”

The episode, he adds, “aired in 22 coun­tries and the U.S. so I’m hop­ing I can ac­tu­ally buy some de­cent cat food.”

Apart from solo ac­com­plish­ments, Ma­son has recorded with or opened for dozens of well-known acts, in­clud­ing Styx, For­eigner, John Cougar Mel­len­camp, the Dil­lards and Billy Ray Cyrus.

Pop a cork

April marks a new wine grape grow­ing sea­son, so what bet­ter time to toast Rap­pa­han­nock County’s fastest-grow­ing agri­cul­tural in­dus­try? Not to men­tion April is Vir­ginia Vine­yard Month.

The Old Do­min­ion is now home to more than 280 winer­ies — a num­ber that has more than dou­bled in the past 10 years. Nearly 300 vine­yards cul­ti­vate more than 3,800 acres of grapes.

Rap­pa­han­nock is home to sev­eral of the winer­ies — Nar­mada Win­ery, Gray Ghost Vine­yards, Mag­no­lia Vine­yards, Rap­pa­han­nock Cel­lars, Ch­ester Gap Cel­lars, Gadino Cel­lars, Lit­tle Wash­ing­ton Win­ery, Quievre­mont Win­ery, and at the base of Old Rag Mountain Sharp Rock Vine­yards and DuCard Vine­yards — as well as field af­ter field of ad­di­tional vine­yards from Flint Hill to Rock Mills to F.T. Val­ley.

Vir­ginia is in the top five U.S. states in num­ber of winer­ies and wine grape pro­duc­tion.

Mead­ows burn

We’re not sure ex­actly what day, but Shenan­doah Na­tional Park fire man­agers plan to burn 33 acres of Big Mead­ows some­time be­tween April 16 and May 31, weather play­ing into the fac­tor. A por­tion of Big Mead­ows (mile­post 51), the open area across from Byrd Vis­i­tor Cen­ter, is burned each year for the pur­pose of main­tain­ing the open vista by pre­vent­ing en­croach­ment by trees and shrubs..

The burn is an­tic­i­pated to take one day to com­plete. Smoke from the burn may be vis­i­ble in and around the Big Mead­ows area. All park fa­cil­i­ties will re­main open dur­ing the pre­scribed burn, but ac­cess to Big Mead­ows will be re­stricted dur­ing the burn.

Screen­play ready?

The Vir­ginia Film Of­fice 2018 Vir­ginia Screen­writ­ing Com­pe­ti­tion will ac­cept screen­play sub­mis­sions be­gin­ning to­mor­row, April 13. Now in its 30th year, the com­pe­ti­tion pro­vides Vir­ginia screen­writ­ers the op­por­tu­nity to present scripts to pro­fes­sion­als in the mo­tion pic­ture and tele­vi­sion in­dus­try. Sub­mis­sion dead­line is May 29 and each en­trant re­ceives a writ­ten eval­u­a­tion from the first round judges.

Dis­tin­guished past win­ners in­clude Break­ing Bad cre­ator Vince Gilli­gan, who won in 1989 for his screen­play Home Fries, and Me­gan Hol­ley in 2003 for Sun­shine Clean­ing.

Com­pe­ti­tion is open ex­clu­sively to Vir­ginia res­i­dents or stu­dents cur­rently en­rolled in Vir­ginia schools. Each script must take place in Vir­ginia, or at lo­ca­tions that can be filmed in Vir­ginia. Fea­ture film scripts must be ap­prox­i­mately 90 to 120 pages in length. Scripts made for one-hour series pi­lots also ac­cepted at ap­prox­i­mately 45 to 65 pages in length.

Email scripts screen­[email protected] vir­ Three win­ning screen­plays will be rec­og­nized be­fore a spot­light screen­ing at the Vir­ginia Film Fes­ti­val in Char­lottesvill­e in Novem­ber. Win­ners also re­ceive $1,000. Visit www.filmvir­, or call (800) 854-6233.

Sec­ond Satur­day

Have you ever stayed in a 1700’s man­sion, made your own jew­elry, dyed yarn, been a wine critic, or lis­tened to a real Ital­ian play a real ac­cor­dion? You can do it all Satur­day on the Rap­pa­han­nock County Ar­ti­san Trail.


Mag­no­lia Vine­yards and Win­ery: En­joy acous­tic gui­tarist An­drew O’Day from 2 to 5 p.m. as you re­lax over wine in the cozy tast­ing room. Open 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.



Color: Guided by artist Carolyn Roth, cre­ate a trio of mono­types, using the most ‘painterly’ method of print­mak­ing tech­niques. Email [email protected] con­tem­po­rary­ for reser­va­tions. $40.00 ma­te­ri­als fee. Class 1 to 4 p.m.

Grif­fin Tav­ern: En­joy lunch or din­ner, then work it off danc­ing to Vicki Marie’s All Stars from 8:30 to 11 p.m.


Blue Ridge Ar­ti­sans: Learn yarn-dye­ing ba­sics from Jen­nifer Tep­per Hev­erly and dye three skeins of yarn using three tech­niques: ket­tle dye­ing, hand-paint­ing, and speck­ling. Fee of $160. Must be 18 or over. Pur­chase tick­ets on­line www.blueridgea­rti­ Work­shop 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. De’Danaan Glass­works:

De­sign jew­elry from small pieces of col­ored glass; learn about fus­ing glass from stained glass artist Pa­tri­cia Bren­nan. Each stu­dent makes three projects of glass ear­rings and/or pen­dants. Call 540-987-8615 or email dedanan­[email protected] for a reser­va­tion. $30 fee. Class 1 to 3 p.m.

Ridge Line De­signs: Time to check out jew­eler Gina Ir­win’s new oneof-a-kind de­signs. Large se­lec­tion of jew­elry for sale. Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. River Dis­trict Pot­ters:

Cre­ate a col­or­ful ce­ramic tile for wall or table coached by pot­ters Doris Jones and Su­san Horn­bostel. Par­tic­i­pants will make an 8 x 11 dec­o­ra­tive tile. Ages 13 and up, all lev­els of ex­pe­ri­ence. $30 fee. Email su­san. horn­[email protected] for reser­va­tions. Class 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wild Roots Apothe­cary:

En­joy a plant walk, screen­print­ing demo, pa­per mar­bling, kom­bucha demo and tast­ing, wild food cook­ing demo and more. Day ends with a for­aged spring sup­per. De­tails at www.wil­d­root­sapothe­ 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Gadino Cel­lars: Gadino’s es­tate se­lected Spring White Wine Spe­cial Three Pack all day long and re­ceive a 20 per­cent dis­count on your pur­chase. Lis­ten to Bill Gadino play ven­er­a­ble ac­cor­dion tunes be­tween 1:30 and 5 p.m. Open 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Green­field Inn Bed and

Break­fast: Stay in Ge­or­gianstyle 1700’s man­sion on 83 acres of beau­ti­ful land. En­joy com­pli­men­tary round-trip ride to any town

of Wash­ing­ton restau­rant and a three-course gourmet break­fast. Men­tion Ar­ti­san Trail for 20 per­cent dis­count off two-night stay for Sec­ond Satur­day week­end. Lit­tle Wash­ing­ton Win­ery: Wine­maker Carl shares wine lore and teaches how to achieve aer­a­tion per­fec­tion and se­lect and or­der wine in a restau­rant. Sand­wich and cho­co­late pair­ings in­cluded. Book on­line. $40 fee. Class 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mid­dle Street Gallery:

Mar­i­lyn Ar­mor’s solo ex­hibit opens Fri­day, April 13 and in­cludes an artist’s re­cep­tion Satur­day 3 to 6 p.m. Her in­spi­ra­tion comes from the Blue Ridge Moun­tains, Cape Cod, and Taos. Open Fri. to Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Quievre­mont Win­ery:

Meet artist Pere­grine North, who has been cap­ti­vated by Na­tive

Amer­i­can na­tions and tribes since child­hood. North at 1 p.m. will dis­play graphite and char­coal orig­i­nals avail­able for sale. Open: Noon to 7 p.m. Wine Loves Cho­co­late: Taste eight Mal­bec wines and dis­cover the sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences in aro­mas, fla­vors, and food pair­ing abil­ity. Fee $40. Re­serve on­line. Class 2:30 to 4 p.m.

For more info: www.rap­pa­han­nock­count­yarti­ Click on Open Door Tour


The soon-to-open Happy Camper Equip­ment Co. in Sper­ryville and its pro­pri­etor Robert Archer (seen here) will have a groovy neon squir­rel for a mas­cot.

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