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Towns & Villages Column by Billie VanPay

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Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014
Birthday celebration at Barrel Oak Winery
By Billie Van Pay

Friends of George and Rita Rowand will be happy to hear the couple is back in the country from their travels abroad, and on Friday, July 18, they gathered with their friends at Barrel Oak Winery for Rita Rowand’s birthday party. The couple is well known throughout the neighboring communities as they have been great neighbors and community members for many years. Not only are they well known among those in the horse and horse racing business, but among those who write for and read the local newspapers. Rita Rowand is the global relations specialist in the office of Global Strategies at George Mason University. In her community, she is particularly appreciated for the many years she volunteered her time as president of Middleburg Players while helping make the organization one of the most outstanding in the Route 50 Corridor and the surrounding area.

The gathering was a joint birthday celebration and an art show featuring equine artist Jennet Inglis, held together at the very popular and scenic Barrel Oak Winery at 3623 Grove Lane, Delaplane. The winery has been voted “Number 1 in Family Friendly Wineries” by Wine Enthusiasts. The list of events coming up soon at the winery is on the website. Families love to bring the family dog along for the occasion, select from an excellent variety of fine wines, sit on the patio, enjoy the live music and view the fabulous scenery. No wonder the winery is a family favorite.

Rita Rowand was instrumental in bringing Jennet Inglis’ art to Barrel Oak Winery, having seen the art at the artist’s solo retrospective at Mason Hall. According to Mari Selby, Publicity and Marketing Specialist, Rowand was impressed by the “… vividness of color and form in the exhibit which included a diverse range of work – from floral still life paintings to the rivers of Virginia, from scientific explorations to study of the human life form. Through Rita’s assistance and proprietor Brian Roeder’s appreciation for her art, Jennet’s monumental equine oil paintings are currently on exhibit at Barrel Oak.”

Inglis’ award winning equine art work has been shown in galleries, museums and now Saratoga Springs Race Track in New York. Her works can be viewed via her Facebook ‘Jennet Inglis at Inglis Art’ page. On Friday and Saturday, August 1 and August 2, she will be at BOW’s annual “Dawg Daze of Summer Celebration” for dogs and dog lovers, and she will be available to do pet portraits for customers.

Aldie Methodist Church: On Saturday, July 19, at Aldie United Methodist Church, neighbors met for a church social as a benefit for one of their community members. This was a cookout instead of the usual quarterly Aldie Spaghetti Dinner, a tradition put on by the women of the church. The dinners are free, but the donations are used for charity work the women of the church promote. The proceeds from the cookout will go to the Payne Erickson family who lost a great deal in their recent house fire. Mrs. Payne is the long-time Aldie Elementary School nurse. Those who wish to contribute to the fund may send their donations to Aldie United Methodist Church Women. For more information go to http://www.villageofaldie.com/umc
Wednesday, Jul. 16, 2014
Middleburg’s Summer Activities
By Billie Van Pay

Middleburg Farmers Market, open every Saturday morning and located behind the community center in the parking lot, is managed by Cindy Pearson, as part of the economic development program she has done so well all these years. The market has grown to include 26 vendors now and has become a very popular gathering place for those who love fresh produce and a wide variety of special food products.

One of the vendors is a family owned and operated farm, C. Hess Orchard and Produce of Martinsburg, W.Va. (304-676-9445), and there is always a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in season at its spot. The local Over-the-Grass Farm is known for its fresh produce and farm products (540-253-5228). Liberty Hill Farm from Berryville has pasture-raised poultry, freshly milled whole grain bread, free range eggs and fresh raw milk (540-955-6220), as well as among many other food items. Yolanda Leveque sells elegant, delicious cakes that look as if they belong on the cover of a magazine – special orders welcome (574-422-6467). Hammerdown Catering is responsible for the wonderful aroma with his smoked meats (703-582-2262). Great Harvest Bread Co., from Warrenton, has everything anyone needs in baked goods. Shenandoah Valley Produce, from Stephenson, Va., has fresh and many special produce items (540-450-6818). Popcorn Monkey has anything anyone wants in flavored popcorn (640-687-6539). Reikis has beautiful flowers and sells arrangements or by the stem. There are many other vendors, all with something special, which makes the farmers market special too. One visit and most customers want to come back again to this summertime advantage -- a variety of products in the center of town.

Linda Roberts, Blue Ridge Hospice Community Liaison, has announced a Donation Day for the hospice at Middleburg Bank, Saturday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the parking lot behind the bank. The large Blue Ridge Hospice thrift shop truck will be available for the public to drop off gently used clothing household items, books and furniture. Appointments can be made for pickup of large quantities or furniture. The hospice cannot accept donations of large appliances, tvs, exercise equipment, computer-related equipment or mattresses.

The donations will be used to stock the shelves at Blue Ridge Hospice’s seven area thrift shops. Proceeds from the thrift shop operations go toward the not-for-profit organization’s hospice services and to support care provided individuals who don’t have insurance or the financial means to pay for care.

Blue Ridge Hospice has been in operation for 33 years and serves the counties of Loudoun, Fauquier, Clarke, Shenandoah, Page, Rappahannock, Warren and the City of Winchester. Last year the hospice cared for 1,133 patients and assisted more than 2,000 family members through its grief and loss services. $367,900 was provided in charity care to the communities it serves. For more information, visit blueridgehospice.org or call (540) 536-5210.

On Tuesday, August 5, from 6 to 8 p.m., police communities across the country will participate in the 31st Annual National Night Out. Karin Kilday, Assistant to the Chief, Middleburg Police Department, has announced that this will be held in the same place as last year’s event, in the Middleburg Community Center Park, and is designed to heighten crime awareness and prevention as well as strengthen police/community partnerships. It is outdoors and a country fair style of event -- meaning there will be rides, music, food, demonstrations, all geared toward families. It is a social event and very casual though well-attended by the mayor, town council and area law enforcement, firefighters and K9 units. Last year, there was a very popular “dunk tank” in which participants got to dunk the police chief and other officers in a tank of water.

This year, at 6:30 p.m., Chief Panebianco will make an announcement and proceed to give a short presentation honoring Henry Milton Seaton and his sacrifice for our community.
Thursday, Jul. 10, 2014
Middleburg Hunt and Salamander Inn
By Billie Van Pay

Middleburg Hunt’s history rivals any other hunt in the country, and it is one of the best known of the hunts. Jeffrey M. Blue, M.F.H., and Mrs. John B. (Penny) Denegre, M.F.H., are joint masters of the famous hunt which was established in 1906. Middleburg Hunt can be traced to the foxhunting match between A. Henry Higginson’s Middlesex and Harry Worcester Smith’s American hounds in which Smith’s hounds won. The event established Middleburg as the axis of Hunt Country in America. Since that time, Middleburg Hunt has enjoyed its location; it has an extensive territory of about 15 miles surrounding the town.

Middleburg Hunt has a tradition of not only excellent foxhunting, but of having prestigious events and social occasions. The tradition of opening the annual Middleburg Christmas Celebration, the first Saturday in December, with the hunt parading through the town draws thousands of visitors to the area each year, as does the hunt’s point-to-point races. The Christmas Hunt Breakfast at Huntland, hosted by Dr. Betsee Parker, is always a lovely event. One of the most anticipated occasions of the year is the annual Middleburg Hunt Ball. This year’s ball on Saturday, June 28, was held in the Middleburg Ballroom at Salamander Resort and Spa. Cathy Spicer and Brenda O’Donnell were co-chairs of the arrangements. There was a silent auction and a special welcome from Sheila Johnson. The members and guests had dinner and danced to “The Main Event” while enjoying the elegance of the famous resort. The event was a huge success.

The pairing of Salamander Resort and Spa with the Middleburg Hunt was inevitable as the resort, a 340 acre oasis located at 500 North Pendleton Street in the town of Middleburg, is, of course, in the heart of Virginia Hunt Country. The resort has been named to numerous awards in travel publications including Forbes and has been the subject of a multitude of news articles since it opened in August of 2013. B.E.T. cofounder; Washington, D.C. sports executive; producer and philanthropist Sheila C. Johnson began her efforts to open the resort in 2005 and has succeeded in building one of the most luxurious accommodations in the nation. The 168-room resort is centered on equestrian activities, but there are other attractions including an oversized spa, a state-of-the-art cooking studio, the Gold Cup Wine Bar and a billiards room.

Guests can enjoy views of the countryside during their stay or while dining in the resort’s Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill which features fresh seasonal ingredients using farm to table elements. Intimate private dining is available to accommodate special meetings and occasions.

There is adventure, too, with the Tree Top Zip Tour. According to the website, the course is comprised of a series of rope bridges and zip lines that vary in length from 90 to 670 feet in length. Guests glide from tree top platform to platform on 5 different zip lines and 2 suspension sky bridges. The course spans over 20 acres and is over a half-mile long. See more information at SalamanderResortMiddleburg. com or call 800-651-0721
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