It’s beginning to look a lot like . . .

The 12th annual Christmas in Little Washington, featuring a parade for all ages, local food vendors and an artisan market, is 11 to 4 p.m. this Sunday (Dec. 4), with the parade stepping off at 1:30 p.m.

The parade features the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the Rappahannock County High School Marching Band, antique cars, local fire and rescue trucks and Santa Claus. Following the parade, children may visit with Santa Claus at his workshop; there will be a small gift for every child.

The Inn at Little Washington hosts its first Winter Village Market at the center of town, building on the success of its summer farmers market. Local and regional food vendors also include Tula’s Restaurant and Bar, Pen Druid Brewing, Hopkins Ordinary Ale Works; Etlan’s Little Country Store and the SoBo Mobile food truck.

The artisan market features locally made and handcrafted wares from artists and shops around Rappahannock County and the Virginia Piedmont.

For more information, email event coordinator Keir Whitson at

Meet the playwright, win the artwork

Renee Calarco, author of the RAAC Community Theatre’s holiday production of “The 12 Days of Christmas,” will discuss her inspiration and process for developing the play immediately following the this Saturday’s (Dec. 3) matinee performance. Known as a “talk-back” in theatre circles, this session is designed for the audience to ask questions about the play and for the writer to get feedback.

In the play, little Shirley Partridge is tasked with rounding up all the birds and other characters for the annual singing of The Song. But she hits a few snags along the way.

“Michael Bobbitt, the artistic director of Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo Park, asked me to write a play around ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ song for their 2013 season,” says Calarco, who had adapted “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake” for Adventure Theatre in 2011. Calarco’s “Short Order Stories” received the 2007 Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play. And “The Religion Thing” was nominated for the 2013 Charles MacArthur Award.

Calarco’s script for “12 Days” calls for a cast of five actors who play all 21 roles, “But I knew I wanted the script to be flexible enough to accommodate more actors,” she says. The RAAC production will be the first one to take advantage of the flexibility, casting 21 separate actors for the speaking roles and creating extra non-speaking roles for several small kids.

Meanwhile, well-known Rappahannock artist Janet Brome, cast as one of the characters in “12 Days,” also created the show’s logo — a nervous partridge in a pear tree. At all five performances, RAAC Theatre will be selling raffle tickets to win the picture. The winning raffle ticket will be drawn after the last performance on Dec. 11. The winner does not have to be present to win.

Brome has studied at The Maryland College of Art and Design, The Corcoran College of Art, and The Art League in Virginia and been awarded several grants to continue her studies in art. She has taught art at Lord Fairfax Community College, the regional Governor’s School for the Arts, and privately in local studios. She is a member of the Blue Ridge Arts Council , the Washington Sculptors Group, and is one of a group of Rappahannock artists known as The Six Pack.

Her work can be seen at Blue Spiral 1 Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina, the Meghan Candler Gallery in Vero Beach, Florida, and at the R.H. Ballard Gallery in Washington.

For “12 Days” showtimes and ticket information, see the Events listings on page A3.

— Patty Hardee

Sands speaks at library Dec. 9

On Friday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m., the Second Friday at the Library speaker will be Mike Sands, who lives and farms in Flint Hill. Sands has decades of experience working to show that conservation and development can not only coexist but can enhance one another. He will tell us about his ongoing work with a large and thriving program called Prairie Crossing, in Illinois, which involves hundreds of homes, an organic farm and large expanses of preserved woods and wetlands.

Sands and his wife Betsy Dietel moved to Rappahannock in 2011, and they own and operate Bean Hollow Grassfed. In 2016 they received a Clean Water Farm Award from the state of Virginia. Sands will tell us what he has learned about how farming and rural communities and how they can best weather the pressures they face. For more information on the talk, which is free, call 301-246-0022 or visit

State-of-the-art emergency veterinary clinic

The Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia, located in Manassas, recently reopened their completely renovated and expanded state-of-the-art emergency clinic. The clinic has a hospital design with an intensive care unit, oxygen cage, isolation unit, treatment room, radiology, on-site lab, surgery unit, all new equipment, four exam rooms and a large waiting room. Open 24 hours a day/365 days a year including holidays, the Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia treats all types of dog and cat emergencies.

In addition to walk-in emergency services, the Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia provides referred internal medicine, surgery and behavior medicine services. For more information, visit or call 703-361-8287.

Quilt raffle benefits Food Pantry

The Rappahannock Quilt Club wants you to wrap up in a handmade quilt while helping to support the local food pantry.

All proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets ($1 each or six for $5) for the club’s sample quilt will benefit the Rappahannock Food Pantry. The drawing will take place next Valentine’s Day, but club members are already selling tickets. As a matter of fact, you can purchase them at the parish office of Trinity Episcopal Church from 11 to 4 pm during this Sunday’s (Dec. 4) Christmas in Little Washington event.

Many of the 20 club members created two squares each for the quilt, incorporating a tonal royal blue fabric that unified the more than two dozen individual blocks. Designs range from an appliqued fan to various stars to a pieced candle of hope in the window. Once the blocks were sewn together, the 73-inch square creation was machine quilted by a local artist.

After this weekend, tickets will be available at the parish office of Trinity Episcopal Church from 9 to 1 on weekdays. You may also purchase tickets by calling Charlotte Laing at 540-937-3511.

The Rappahannock Quilt Club has been meeting the second Tuesday of each month at the Amissville Methodist Church for past two decades. New members are always welcome. For more information, call Charlotte Laing at the number above.

— Cathie Shiff


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