RappNews – by Roger Piantadosi
Gates open at 1 p.m. Saturday for the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department’s ninth annual Rappahannock County 4th of July Celebration at Thornton Hill Hounds Racecourse.
Admission is $25 per carload and includes fabulous fireworks at dusk high above one of the region’s loveliest meadows (at 4137 Sperryville Pike, three miles south of Sperryville), plus: live music by Dontez Inferno and the Gold Top County Ramblers (from about 4 until 9), food, skydivers, antique cars and tractors, local nonprofit displays, children’s games, face painting, kiddie rides, a Cliff Hanger slide, dunk tank, helicopter display, and a $10,000 cash raffle drawing at 9.
If you haven’t met any of the local or state candidates running for office Nov. 3, the afternoon’s patriotic celebration will likely be your chance to meet them all.
Tailgating spots (with a better view, and room for a tent) are $50. For more information, call 540-987-8124 or visit sperryvillefire.com.
. . . and the Second of July
Castleton Festival brings back its popular patriotic program at 7 tonight (Thursday, July 2) with an award-winning bluegrass ensemble, J.D. Crowe and the New South “Flashback” Band, whose concert at Castleton’s Festival Theatre is followed by a full-on fireworks display above the pasture next door.
Local favorites the Gold Top County Ramblers are the openers for the concert; tickets are $35. Refreshments will be available on site. Call 866-974-0767 or visitcastletonfestival.org.
Bluegrass fans or music history buffs will tell you, JD Crowe & The New South are legends and hall-of-famers. “JD’s 1975 album, that was the beginning of modern bluegrass music, “ says Phil Leadbetter, IBMA Dobro Player of the Year. “JD Crowe was my idol when I was growing up. I can still remember how nervous I was the first time I met him. It’s amazing but I consider him one of my best friends now. It’s been 20 years since we all played together, but we’re enjoying it so much that we’re thinking of recording another record this winter.”
Leadbetter says the band will be “playing songs from the 1994 album like ‘Waitin’ for You’ and ‘If I Could Go Back Home Again’, and also a lot of old favorites like ‘Old Home Place’ and ‘I’m Walkin’.” Visit jdcroweflashback.com for more about the band.
Castleton’s other big news this week: It becomes the first mid-Atlantic classical summer music festival to stream all its major performances live on the web, starting with Friday’s “Romeo et Juliette” at the Festival Theatre (July 3).
Everything from operas to symphonies to Jazz at Lincoln Center performances will be streamed directly on the castletonfestival.org home page, free — with the recorded feeds available to stream afterwards (or, at least, after the final performance of a given production).
Over a million viewers worldwide are expected to tune in for the 2015 sestival season, produced by an eight-person crew with five HD cameras. The French and Spanish operas will have English subtitles, and Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg’s sold-out lecture on July 11 will also be streamed live.
Other streaming highlights include Metropolitan Opera principal conductor Fabio Luisi’s July 19 performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Alessandro Taverna (and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2) and Wynton Marsalis with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Academy All-Stars July 25 at 7 and July 26 at 3, and his festival-closing performances with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Aug. 1-2.
The complete schedule of performances to be streamed live — and, of course, actual live performances you can get to in person, some of you without having to take too many paved roads — is at castletonfestival.org.
Welcome to the neighborhood
Join the new businesses at the Copper Fox Complex in Sperryville’s River District for a Open House Evening this Friday (July 3) from 4 to 7 p.m., when Flourish Root Florals, Heritage Hollow Farm Store, Kat Habib Ceramics and Wild Roots Apothecary celebrate their new locations and openings with local treats, “herbal goodness” and refreshments — plus Heritage Hollow is offering a free farm tour at 4 p.m.
The Copper Fox complex is at 7 River Lane (and no, the brewery isn’t quite open yet). Call 540-987-9429 for more information.
Working Woods on July 19
The next Working Woods Walk at James Madison’s Montpelier is 2 p.m. Sunday, July 19 at 11407 Constitution Hwy., Montpelier Station. Participants get to explore beyond the mansion and the lawn to the Montpelier Demonstration Forest on a two-hour guided hike, and see the beautiful wildflower meadow in bloom. Virginia Master Naturalist experts will talk about conservation and cultivation strategies that generate mutual benefits to man and nature, both in Madison’s time and today. The walk is $10 (or $5 with admission to the mansion tour); ages 5 and younger are free.
The tour, a Virginia Link to Education About Forests (LEAF) program, starts at the Visitor Center. For more information, go to montpelier.org/visit (and if weather threatens, call 540-672-2728, ext. 141 or 252).