Welcome to American Craft Beer Week. According to the national Brewers Association, Craft Beer Week actually started as an entire month (July) back in 2006. But, it’s been whittled down to a more concentrated and impactful week each May, when brewers and beer enthusiasts throughout this fine country get to show a little solidarity and market their creations. Not surprisingly, Apocalypse Ale Works (1257 Burnbridge Rd.) has answered the call. Starting at 4 p.m. today, the taproom in Forest will be featuring a mango variant of their summery Cenful Blonde. Tomorrow, it’s Apricot Confessor (an ACBW variant); Friday, the Pineapple Hell Yeaah will be on tap; Saturday it’s the Blueberry Golden Censer; and on Sunday it’s a “Variant Explosion,” with all the fruitified variants from the week featured. It’s a lot to keep track of. We recommend clicking here for more info, or calling (434) 258-8761.
It’s yet another film night at Riverviews Artspace (901 Jefferson St.). Here are some basic plot points: A lone little girl is found wandering the New Mexico desert; she falls into a catatonic state; when she is revived, all she can say is “Them!” And that’s just the opening sequence of the 1954 creepy thriller Them!. It’s May’s entry in the Ken Faraoni Film Noir Series at Riverviews, and it happens to hold the distinction of being the first “big bug” picture to hit the silver screen back in the fifties. It stars a young James Whitmore, James Arness, Edmund Glenn, and Joan Weldon as lawmen and scientists battling a horde of enormous ants — i.e., “Them!” The 7:30 p.m. screening will be preceded by a brief and humorous overview of the film by local bronze artist and film buff Ken Faraoni. Tickets are $6; call (434) 847-7277 or click here.
It’s been pretty hard to get any reliable information on what’s actually being served at today’s A Taste of the Hill City 2017 event, but The News & Advance appears to be the primary organizer, and it is a newspaper. So, you might want to click here for some news. Here’s what we do know: chef-to-the-stars (which is different from celebrity chef) Brian Morris will be the master gastronomist; the theme is backyard barbecue; and the Virginia Distillery Co. will be on hand to provide fortified refreshment. Morris, by the way, is reportedly Steven Tyler’s personal chef, which presumably means that Aerosmith frontman will apparently be fending for himself this evening. A Taste of the Hill City runs from 4-9 p.m. at Phase 2 (4009 Murray Pl.). Tickets run from $15-$75. Call (434) 846-3206, and click here for tickets.
When it opened on Broadway in March of 1959, Sidney Poitier, Louis Gossett Jr., and Ruby Dee were all in the cast of what the New York Drama Critics’ Circle named the year’s best Broadway production. All three also starred in the 1961 film adaptation. Since that time, Lorraine Hansberry’s first and best-known drama has been lauded as a certified American classic. It tells the story an African-American family on the South Side of Chicago and their struggles to achieve some version of the American dream. The Academy Center of the Arts (519 Commerce St.) is staging a full production of A Raisin in the Sun under the direction of former EC Glass theatre director Jim Ackley. Performances this week are on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15, and $12 for students and seniors. Call (434) 846-8499 for more info, and click here for tickets. The Academy is also presenting a free staged reading of Clybourne Park, a 2010 play based on Hansberry’s drama, after the matinee, at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Without getting into too much technical detail, belaying is a term of art used in the climbing world to describe a variety of safety measures that climbers deploy in order to prevent falling. That’s a pretty important part of climbing, and the belayer is the essentially the person who has the job of making sure that his or her partner does not plummet to the ground. They can teach you how to do it at Rise Up (1225 Church St.), the cool indoor climbing gym downtown by the YMCA. The climber/belayer relationship can be somewhat intimate, so Rise Up has combined the terms for what they’re calling a “Belaytionship” special Show up with a buddy or a loved one on Fridays from 5-10 p.m. and get a two-for-one discount on all your rock climbing needs – a potential savings of $7-$30 depending on how much climbing gear you’ll need to get started. For more info, click here, or call (434) 845-7625.
If you mispronounce LynchburgDoes in just the right way, it rhymes with Lynchburg Grows. Just thought we’d point that out today because we’d like to spotlight all of the fine work the folks at Lynchburg Grows (1339 Englewood St.) have done over the past decade on the site of what used to be the Schenkel family rose farm. They saved and refurbished eight of the original nine greenhouses and have put them to use growing organic produce that, in addition to feeding the hungry, is available in weekly shares that you can find out more about right here. This evening, from 6-9 p.m., they’ll be offering a special Salad Days dinner. There will be a full salad bar and a selection of other dining options courtesy of Cheesy Rider Food Truck, Crisp, Entwined Events, Farm Basket, Isabella's, Lorraine Bakery, Magnolia Foods, Mookie's, Rivermont Pizza, Stephanie Fees, and The Water Dog. Tickets are $35 for adults, and $5 for kids ten and under. For reservations and info, click here or call (434) 846-5665.
Local playwright Teresa Harris delves into one of the more complicated aspects of Virginia Founding Father history in The Day is Past & Gone, a trilogy of short plays about Thomas Jefferson’s slaves. So, why not perform the trilogy on one of Jefferson’s most favorite sites — his Poplar Forest retreat. This evening from 6:30-8:30 p.m., the interconnected narratives of Jefferson’s housekeeper/cook Hannah, her son Billy, and a guy named Burwell Colbert will play out in different parts of the Poplar Forest’s estate. There will be a Q&A with the actors, Teresa Harris, and some of sites archeologists. There is also an optional overnight experience where guests will learn more about The Slave Dwelling Project, an attempt to preserve and shed light on historical slave dwellings. And, on Saturday, the experience culminates with an “Inalienable Rights: Living History Through the Eyes of the Enslaved,” a live-acted demonstration of the daily lives of slaves from 10 a.m-4 p.m. A two-day ticket is $30. Tickets for tonight are $15. Click here, or call (434) 534-8120 for more info.
Hanover Farm (13580 Ashland Rd.) in Ashland is known for its vegetables, but they’re breaking from routine for the second annual Strawberry and Wine Festival. With four bands, six food trucks and restaurants, ten wineries and breweries, and over forty (yes, forty) vendors signed on to participate, there’s going to be a lot more than just veggies on the menu. The festival runs today and tomorrow from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Two-day passes are available for $15 online through May 19. After that, you can grab a day pass at the gate for $12. Did we mention that there will be strawberries? Click here for tickets, and call (804) 752-2334 for more info.
Saturdays are always a great time for eating in Downtown Lynchburg. If nothing else, you can grab a nice bowl of pho, a cinnamon cruffin, a loaded-up crepe, and all sorts of fresh produce down at the Community Market. But, today is a little bit special. The Downtown Lynchburg Association is hosting a fundraising event at Riverfront Park featuring food by local restaurants, food trucks, and catering companies. Here’s a partial list: Hill City Smokehouse; Sourdough Pizza Co.; Taco Shark; the Water Dog; Uprooted; and Upper Crust Pizza. There will also be beverages from Apocalypse Ale Works, Loose Shoe Brewing Company, Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Bold Rock Cidery, and more. The event runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., admission is $5; call (434) 485-7250 or click here for more info.
In 2010, a playwright by the name of Bruce Norris made a pretty bold move and got well rewarded for it. In what might best be described as a professional fan-fiction move, he wrote a follow-up to an existing play. And not just any existing play: his play caught up with the same neighborhood that was the setting for Lorraine Hansberry’s classic 1959 play A Raisin in the Sun. Norris’ Clybourne Park premiered in New York and went on to win a Pulitzer Prize. The story follows two narratives, one set in the time of Raisin in the Sun, and one that occurs half a decade later. The Academy Center of the Arts (519 Commerce St.) is staging a reading of the play from 7:30-9 p.m. this evening, after the final performance of their production of A Raisin in the Sun. It’s a free event, and you don’t even need advance tickets. Call the Academy at (434) 846-8499 or click here for more info.
Virginia already has a solid reputation as a winemaking region. And it’s developed a pretty respectable craft-brewing sector as well. Now, it’s time to celebrate the up-and-coming whiskey distilleries of Central Virginia. Brew Ridge Tours has organized a tour that begins at 11:30 a.m. at Fifth and Federal. From there, the tour moves on to the Virginia Distillery Company, Silverback Distillery, Woods Mill Distillery, and Blue Mountain Barrel House. The tour is scheduled to wind up back at the Fifth and Federal around 7:30 p.m., where you can eat a nice dinner if you’re so inclined. Tickets are $169, and reservations are required. Click here or call (855) 446-7868.
Fans of the original Twin Peaks TV series, which ran for two seasons in the early ’90s and left a lot of viewers delightfully confused, have been waiting for this moment since cultural phenom peaked with a full-length feature film in 1992. Yes, Twin Peaks is back, with original showrunners David Lynch and Mark Frost at the helm, and most of the original cast on board. This time, there will be some rather exciting newcomers to the show, such as Laura Dern, Trent Reznor, Amanda Seyfried, and Tim Roth. For those of you who are not familiar with the original storyline, it centers around a deceptively simple question: Who killed Laura Palmer? Back in the day, Twin Peaks came into our homes via network television, specifically the American Broadcasting Company. In 2017, it’s a premium cable show that airs on Showtime. The nice thing is that you can get a free two-week trial of Showtime this month, which will allow you to stream the first two seasons and watch the two-hour season pilot and two additional episodes, all of are scheduled to go live at 9 p.m. on May 21. Click here for Showtime’s confusing schedule and more info.
The Academy Center of the Arts (519 Commerce St.) is what we like to think of here as a full-service culture provider. They’ve got theater, opera, and music pretty well covered, and they also host art talks, which are a nice way for local artists to discuss how it is they do what they do. This evening at 5:30, Jeremy Keesee and Parker Michels-Boyce hold forth on their current Academy exhibits. Keesee’s “Explore Everything” features photographs of “the obscure and overlooked,” which include scenes that deviate from conventional standards of beauty. “Elon Road” photographically documents the stretch of State Route 130 in between Madison Heights and Glasgos that became something of a healthy obsession for photographer Michels-Boyce. The joint talk is free, and both exhibits are up for viewing. Call (434) 846-8499 for more info, or click here.
The produce you get on Saturday is probably gone by Wednesday, one way or another. So, it’s a good thing the Lynchburg Community Market (1219 Main St.) has a mid-week option. Green Market Wednesdays are a little smaller, more intimate, and perhaps selective than Saturdays, but they’re an excellent way to re-up on your basic panoply of locally grown fruits, veggies, eggs, and meats. Lorraine’s is always open for fresh breads and pastries; there’s soul food and Vietnamese pho for lunch; and usually there’s a food truck or two in the general vicinity. It runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Call (434) 455-4485 or click here for more info.
Currently, executive chef Jason is serving everything from wood-fired pizzas made with a hundred-year-old sourdough starter, shrimp and grits with citrus glazed pork shoulder, and, yes, mac and cheese fortified with bacon. We also hear he’s been giving cooking classes at the Manor House at Locust Thicket (2627 Old Forest Rd.). And, starting tonight, he’ll be cooking up a special dinner theater menu for folks who are heading over to EC Glass High School to see their production of Lend Me a Tenor. Here’s the plan: for $50 you get a three-course dinner and a ticket to the show. Reservations start at 5 p.m. tonight through Sunday. Call (434) 384-2600, or click here.
Theater lore tells us that we cannot refer to the play that Shakespeare wrote to commemorate the ascension of the Scottish King James to the English throne by its name. It is bad luck, we are told. But when you are dealing with a drama that features three witches, two regicides, one crazy wife, and, oh yes, a head on a stake, bad luck seems the least of our worries. Local theatrical company Rogue Productions is putting their own spin on the Scottish play (a/k/a Macbeth), eschewing the conventions of a seated audience and taking their viewers on a “promenade-style show” down at Riverviews (901 Jefferson St.). Performances are at 7 p.m. tonight, Saturday, and Sunday. There’s also a 1 p.m. matinee this Saturday and next, and additional evening performances next week on June 1 and 4. Tickets are $15. Click here, or call (434) 847-7277.
Edgar Allen Poe may be buried in Baltimore, where the NFL franchise just happens to go by the name of the Ravens. (As far as we know, they are the only NFL team named after a poem.) But, while Poe did live and die in Maryland’s largest city, the father of American macabre was born and raised in Richmond, VA. He even spent a semester or two at UVA. So, it makes sense that the Poe Museum (1914-16 E Main St.) is in Richmond. And, if you’ve spent any time with the works of Poe, then you are probably not surprised to hear that the museum celebrates his legacy in some unusual ways. For example, on the fourth Thursday of each month they’re holding what they call an “Unhappy Hour” from 6-9 p.m. Today that includes music from the local band the Folly, food from the wood-fired ovens at Nota Bene, and activities like skull-themed cornhole, a Poe dress-up and photo booth, and a “Wheel of Misfortune,” which you can spin to see the grisly manner of your death (all taken from Poe’s stories and poems). Admission is $8; call (804) 648-5523, or click here.
We’ve used this joke before, and we liked it so much we thought we’d try it again: There’s the salsa you get with your chips at the local Mexican restaurant. And then there’s the salsa you can dance to, which may help burn off some of the calories from those chips. The folks at Lynchburg Salsa are regulars at the Glass House (1019 Jefferson St.), where they host a Thursday night event that begins with salsa lessons from 8 p.m. and continues with salsa dancing and socializing from 9-11 p.m. Cover is $5, and you don’t have to bring a partner. Call (434) 544-1176 for more info.
For the second time in as many months, the parking lot at the James T. Davis Paint & Design Center (3416 Candlers Mountain Rd.) will be filled with food trucks for a little lunchtime roundup. This time, the first 50 people to drop by the front paint counter will get a $5 voucher for food from the trucks. Here’s a list of the food trucks that are scheduled to be on hand: Nomad Coffee Co., Uprooted, Taco Shark, Action Gyro, and Mama Crockett's Cider Donuts. The idle cooking runs from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Call (434) 846-2721, or click here for more info.
The Lynchburg Hillcats have been hanging in there at a solid second place in the standings of the Carolina League Northern Division. Right above them, in first place, sit the Salem Red Sox. But all of that could change this weekend when Salem come to Lynchburg for a four-game series that pits Cleveland’s Single A affiliate against Boston’s best minor leaguers. The action gets underway tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Lynchburg City Stadium (3180 Fort Ave.). Tomorrow’s game is at 6 p.m. And on Sunday and Monday there are afternoon games at 2 p.m. Tickets are $9; call (434) 528-1144 or click here.
The further north and west you go, the more likely you are to hear the species known as procambarus clarkia referred to as “crayfish.” But as you get closer to Louisiana, geographically or spiritually, the “y” turns into a “w” and those tasty little mudbugs become crawfish, or even crawdaddies. Whatever you call them, eating them is the cool part: you suck the head, pinch the tail, and then pull out a tasty morsel of sweet, lobstery meat. There should be plenty of experts on the process in the house at the 8th Annual Louisiana Crawfish Festival at Bedford’s Bower Center for the Arts (305 N. Bridge St.). In addition to hundreds of pounds of live-boiled crawfish, there will be trad fixings like red beans and rice, corn on the cob, etouffée, and chicken gumbo, as well as music by Zydeco Crayz. The feast runs from 5-9 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance, and $35 at the door. It’s $10 for kids 12 and under, and free for those under five. Click here for more info, or call (540) 586-4235.
Ever heard the story of the red shoes? A girl finds a pair of magical red dancing shoes, puts them on, and can’t help but dance until she drops. The local rockabilly band Jenny & the B-Side Rockers hope to put the crowd under a similar spell tonight at Jimmy’s on the James (610 Commerce St.). The band goes on around 9 p.m., as the dinner rush is winding down, and will play until midnight. You can check out their music here, peruse the Jimmy’s dinner menu here, and call (434) 845-1116 for more info.
The Lynchburg Humane Society (1211 Old Graves Mill Rd.) has been promoting more than just the welfare of cats and dogs. Fostering the health and wellbeing of humans has also been part of the society’s outreach program. Thus, Cat Yoga. No, the cats don’t actually do any yoga, although that would be cool. Instead, local yoga instructor Bea Gutierrez does offers an hour-long yoga class while some of the Humane Society’s kitties wander around to provide a little encouragement. All you need is a yoga mat. The class runs 10-11 a.m. and costs $10. Half of the proceeds benefit the animals. Call (434) 448-0088, or click here for more info.
Hickory Hill Vineyards in Moneta features a tasting room, two scenic picnic areas, and the distinction of being voted Smith Mountain Lake’s Best Winery for four years running. The vineyard also has a longstanding summer tradition of holding Sunset Saturdays. Here’s how it works: visitors can bring lawn chairs and a picnic dinner to the Winery starting at 7 p.m. The Winery provides wine tastings, live music, and, if weather allows, a nice view of the setting sun. Tonight from 7-10 p.m., the Lynchburg soul-funk-and-jazz band Apple Butter Soul will handle the entertainment. Admission is $10 for adults, and free for kids and designated drivers. Hickory Hill is known for its “Lake Series” of wines (named after nearby Smith Mountain Lake), as well as its award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon. Call (540) 296-1393, or click here for more info and a complete schedule of this summer’s Sunset Saturdays.
The fine folks at Lynchburg Parks & Rec are making the most out of the lovely space they’ve got at Riverfront Park (1100 Jefferson St.) with all kinds of events throughout the summer. Point in case: they’ve got an outdoor film series scheduled, and it begins tonight with the time-traveling, family-friendly 1985 comic classic Back to the Future. Here’s how it works: bring beach towels or blankets down to the park before dusk, grab a spot on the lawn, and enjoy the movie under the stars. The screening begins at 8 p.m., and there will be a food truck alley featuring Upper Crust Pizza Company, Uprooted, Pok-E-Joe's BBQ, Nomad Coffee Co., and Maylynn's Creamery. There will also be a movie-themed photo booth. For more info, including a parking map and a complete Movies in the Park schedule, click here or call (434) 455-5869.
The great thing about the emergence of craft breweries along the Blue Ridge Mountains is the fact that there are now a bunch of local craft breweries and tasting rooms along the Blue Ridge Mountains. However, this can present a logistical problem: how does one enjoy an evening at a taproom without having to worry about driving back home that night? There’s the designated driver routine, and there’s Uber. But Brew Ridge Tours has another option: a scheduled trip from the lot behind the Water Dog (1016 Jefferson St.) to the “farm-to-fork” taproom and restaurant at Wild Wolf Brewing Company on Rockfish Valley Highway in Nellysford. Tickets are $36 and must be reserved in advance. The bus leaves at 7 p.m. from Public Parking Lot M, and returns at 11:30 p.m. Click here to register for the tour or call (855) 446-7868.
Why not get out, smell the fresh air, and do something good for your fellow humans this Memorial Day? The Lynchburg Road Runners Club and the Type 1 Diabetes Experience (a/k/a T1DE) are hosting both a 10K run and a 2-mile walk to raise money for diabetes research. The races start near the Depot Grille (27 9th St.) at 8 a.m. with prizes for the winners. To register, click here. To view the course, click here. Tickets are $30 for the run, and $20 for the walk. If you’re one of the first to pick up your pre-race packet (on May 26th from noon-6 p.m. and May 27 from noon-5 p.m. at Riverside Runners; or on race day from 7-7:30am at the Depot Grille), you might nab a snazzy t-shirt.
Local singer-songwriter Marie Anderson is braving the wilds of the wings this evening, which is just another way of saying that she’ll be performing on the patio at Buffalo Wild Wings (3812 Wards Rd.) from 8-11 p.m. If you’re lucky, you may still be able to get the limited edition Scorpion Rum sauced wings. Apparently, it’s “so spicy, the wings come with a taste of vanilla ice cream to help cool down the sting.” Kinda like a jalapeno fried chicken sundae. Nice. Anderson’s from the Smith Mountain Lake area, and she’s got a rather eclectic array of songs up on her ReverbNation page, including Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” Rihanna’s “Stay,” and “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio. For more info, call Bdubs at (434) 237-8111.
The Miller Home for Girls has been serving Lynchburg’s children since 1875 by giving them care and shelter, and now they’re asking for your help in a pretty delicious way. Blaze Pizza (4026 Wards Rd.), a new addition to the Lynchburg restaurant scene, is helping them to raise money tonight. From 5:15-8:15 p.m., if you show this flyer to the folks at Blaze, 20% of your purchase goes to Miller Home. The money helps Miller Home purchase necessities and amenities as well as services and activities for the girls in their care. To read Miller Home’s mission statement and take a look at some of the work they do and the people they help, click here. For a peek at the Blaze menu, click here.
It’s a good week for Shakespeare lovers in Lynchburg. In addition to Wolfbane’s production of Romeo and Juliet, the local theatrical company Rogue Productions is continuing their take on Macbeth. They’ve put their own spin on the Bard’s Scottish play, eschewing the conventions of a seated audience and taking their viewers on a “promenade-style show” down at Riverviews (901 Jefferson St.). Performances are at 7 p.m. tonight, Saturday, and Sunday. There’s also a 1 p.m. matinee this Saturday. Tickets are $15. Click here, or call (434) 847-7277.
Evil Dead: the Musical!, Bubble Boy the Musical, and a version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream fortified with ’90s boy-band hits are three of the more unique theater experiences the Appomattox-based company Wolfbane Productions have to their credit. Now, they’re putting their own spin on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In addition to setting the tragic romance in the Civil War era, they’re performing it outdoors at the site where General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant and his Union forces in April of 1865. Performances take place over the next five weekends at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (111 National Park Dr.), on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Gates open at 7 p.m., and the “curtain” goes up at 8. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for seniors and students. Group rates are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info on the production, food trucks scheduled to be on site, and Wolfbane’s other summer plans, which include a July return of Evil Dead: the Musical!, click here or call (434) 579-3542.
June is National Pride Month, and the Lynchburg Diversity Center is marking the occasion with a public-history project exhibit that delves into the past and present of the city’s LGBTQ community. “You are Here: A Queer History of Lynchburg” features artifacts going back to 1981 that offer an alternative look at life in Lynchburg, and the Diversity Center is reaching out to members of the local community to add stories, memories, pictures, and objects to the archive. The Lynchburg Diversity Center is located in suite 201 of Riverviews Artspace (910 Jefferson St.). “You Are Here” opens tonight from 5-8 p.m. as part of the First Fridays celebration at Riverviews. For more information on the exhibit and other Center activities, call (434) 515-1143 or click here.
Bean Tree Café (105 Cornerstone St.) is turning three years old and celebrating by giving stuff away. Throughout the day, they’ll be handing out free ice cream to guests, including samples of some of the cooler flavors from the local Homestead Creamery. The Virginia radio station the Journey/88.3 FM will be broadcasting live from the site, and there will be gift card and Bean Tree merch drawings throughout the day, from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. You can check out the café menu here. Click here for more info, or call (434) 534-3210.
If it’s the inaugural Friday of the month, which means there’s a full slate of activities happening downtown, including the usual gathering at Riverviews Artspace (910 Jefferson St.). Just a few blocks from Riverviews, at Renaissance Theatre (1022 Commerce St.), Baltimore-based artist Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon will unveil his latest works in a show titled Esoterotic. It features acrylic and mixed media paintings on dry-erase boards and canvasses. As Harmon explained in an email, “The inspiration of Esoterotic comes from my own body. The paintings are an observation of passion and sensuality as figure paintings in varying shades of red.” The exhibit reception at Renaissance Theatre runs from 5:30-8 p.m., which coincides with a glass-blowing exhibition at Vector Space, live music and exhibit openings at Riverviews, and much more. Most First Fridays events are free; click here for more info.
Venue Cinemas (901 Lakeside Dr.) is ringing in the summer season with a classic movie series. And they’re starting with a real classic classic: the 1965 musical The Sound of Music. No spoilers, but here’s the premise: It’s right before WWII, and Julie Andrews is an Austrian nun who does more singing than praying. Temporarily exiled from her convent, she goes to work for a wealthy motherless family, and more singing commences. As the war looms, she endeavors to help the family escape from Europe whilst flirting with Christopher Plummer, and engaging in quite a bit more song and dance. It screens at 11:45 a.m., 3:20 p.m., and 7:15 p.m. Click here for tickets ($2.25 or $3), and call (434) 845-2398 for more info.
What to get a pet that has everything? A personalized kibble receptacle hand-crafted by a local artist could be the right call. The Lynchburg Humane Society (1211 Old Graves Mill Rd.) has partnered with the Academy Center of the Arts to present a “Best Friend Bowls” fundraiser. It begins on Friday evening from 5-8 p.m., with a preview and reception featuring beer and wine, live music by Jessica Yakabouski, art by Willie Shouse, and adoptable pets. And, it continues through Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Water and food bowls packed with treats and toys will be on sale, there will be plenty of kittens and puppies on hand, and you’ll also have an opportunity to order customized bowls from the artists and participate in pottery lessons. For more information call (434) 448-0088 or click here.
The Uncle Billy’s Day Festival began almost 70 years ago as a commemoration of the Trade Lot, Altavista’s local trading post. “Uncle Billy” was actually Billy Lane, a member of Altavista’s founding family and a longtime Trade Lot merchant. The festival has since become a more entertainment-oriented affair, with two days of live music, food vendors of all sorts, a flea market, a car show, and a lot more. Saturday’s festivities include music by Lynchburg favorites Jenny & the B-Side Rockers and Funky Bone; wrestling, if you’re so inclined; a craft sale; and kids’ activities. For a complete schedule, check out the festival’s website. Admission to “UBD” is free, and so is parking, which is in the Altavista High School and Town Hall lots (there are shuttles to the festival grounds on 7th St.). It gets underway tonight from 5-11 p.m., and continues tomorrow from 9 a.m.-11 p.m., with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. Click here for more info, or call (434) 369-6665.
Although a last-minute entry in a Spartan Race may be ill advised, as the challenge does include crawling “under barbed wire and jumping fire,” it’s not too late to register. Nelson County’s Infinity Downs (home to the LOCKN’ music festival) will be the site for a potentially grueling and/or entertaining endurance contest. It all depends on whether you’re watching or participating. Entry fees for the race at Infinity Downs (1510 Diggs Mountain Rd.) run from $169 to more than $200. The first race begins today at 7:30 a.m., with 200 or more competitors entering the course at 15-minute intervals throughout the morning. The last heat is scheduled for noon. Tickets for spectators are $20 in advance, and $25 on the day of. Parking is $10. Click here for more info.
The Academy of Music Theatre opened in 1905 and just had its 110th birthday in 2015. The pink-façaded building is a downtown landmark, and although it closed down in 1958, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. For the past decade or so, an effort has been underway to raise money for reconstruction and preservation of the site and there’s now hope that the theater will reopen its doors in 2018. The Music Theatre’s parent organization, the Academy Center of the Arts (519 Commerce St.), will be screening a documentary made by local filmmaker Steve Smallshaw that details its history and its potential future. The 2 p.m. screening is free, but seats can be reserved by clicking here. Call the Academy box office at (434) 846-8499 for more info.
Kathleen O’Byrne’s Irish Tea Room (4925 Boonsboro Rd.) has been steadily injecting a little Irish tea culture into this town, one “cuppa” at a time. Today from 3-6 p.m. the process continues with instruction in the general etiquette of afternoon tea, which will include a 3-course tea service featuring sandwiches, pesto chicken tartlets, lemon curd and double chocolate dessert tartlets, ladyfingers, scones with jam and cream, and, of course, hot tea. It’s $34.95 per person and reservations for the 32 spots are required. Click here for more info, or call (434) 473-5983.
According to CNBC, scientists have found out that human beings feel unhappiest at 11:37 on a Monday morning. The folks at Rivermont Pizza (2496 Rivermont Ave.) are doing their best to make the tail end of Mondays a bit more tolerable with Monday Night Trivia. The hosts rotate each week, so you never know if questions will be about current events, weird movie factoids, or fodder for the Guinness Book of World Records. The gaming begins at 9 p.m. Teams can be as large as six people (larger, actually, but any more than six and you won’t be eligible for prizes). Call (434) 846-2877 for more info, and check out the RP menu here.
Nelson County’s Blue Toad Cider will be taking over the taps at Bootleggers (50 13th St.) this evening from 5-9 p.m. Three ciders will be featured: the Bourbon Barrel Peach Cider, the Hawaii Toad Ohh Pineapple, and the Black Cherry. Blue Toad makes their hard cider from real Virginia apples, so you can feel virtuous as you support the local economy. To take a more in-depth look at the Bootleggers menu, click here. If you have any questions about the takeover, call (434) 333-4273.
Lazy Days Winery (1351 N Amherst Hwy.) addresses the mid-week blues with Wine Down Wednesdays. Once a month, the Amherst County winery features a special drink for the evening (this time around, it’s strawberry sangria), music, and a place to kick back from 5-8 p.m. in the winery’s tasting room. The Porch Dogs will be playing an eclectic blend of oldies, pop, and rock this evening. Best of all, if you have a Lazy Days growler, you can get refills of that sweet, sweet sangria for $15 a pop. Call (434) 381-6088 or click here for more info.
Goodbyes are tough, so we’re going to stoically stifle to the urge to wax sentimental and just cut to the chase. Singer-songwriter Josh Walker has been threatening for months to leave Lynchburg for the thin-aired, mile-high excitement of big-city life in Denver, where he’ll be free to stoke his muse in the shadow of those sweet sensimilla ski slopes rumored to still be haunted by the friendly ghost of John Denver. That’s our stab at poetic insinuation. Walker’s an honest guy, so we never doubted his intentions. And now, having returned from a month on the road, he’s making good on his word. Josh and his wife Leslie are gearing up to hit the road for good. But first, he’ll play one more open mic. Jodie Davis, the host of the bi-monthly singer-songwriter night at Charley’s Restaurant (707 Graves Mill Rd.), is turning the proverbial microphone over to Walker this evening for a bittersweet sayonara. The music goes from 7-10 p.m., and the first ten people to sign up to play get a $5 gift certificate. Call (434) 237-5988 for more info, or click here. Also, Walker will play one more last gig with local guitar phenom Paul Mallory on Saturday night at the Stoney Badger (3009 Old Forest Rd.) from 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m.; call the Badger at (434) 384-3004 for more info on that.
If your family already gobbled up your fresh produce after Saturday’s farmers market, you can refill your crisper and put local meat on your table at Green Market Wednesdays at the Lynchburg Community Market (1219 Main St.). The mid-week option is a little smaller, more intimate, and perhaps selective than Saturdays, but it’s an excellent way to re-up on your basic panoply of locally grown fruits, veggies, eggs, and meats. Lorraine’s is always open for fresh breads and pastries; there’s soul food and Vietnamese pho for lunch; and usually there’s a food truck or two in the general vicinity. It runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Call (434) 455-4485 or click herefor more info.
We hate to get all hyperbolic, but tonight marks the end of an era for the downtown Lynchburg music scene. Or, maybe just a short pause in the action. Either way, charming songstress and gutsy guitarist Elizabeth Wise is swinging by from Richmond for what will be the last Local Lounge performance at Dish (1120 Main St.) for a month, two months, three months, who knows. . . A good showing tonight might help make a case for the eventual continuation of Dish’s weekly music showcase. Wise will go on just as the dinner service is dying down, around 8 p.m. or so, and play until 11ish. To view the Dish menu, click here, or call (434) 528-0070 for more info. Wise will stick around over the weekend to play two sets on Saturday: a quiet acoustic one on the patio at the Corner at Rivermont (2496 Rivermont Ave.); and a louder, more rocking one at Kegney Brothers (1118 Main St.) from 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
Assuming the weather holds up, there shall be music under the stars and right beside the traffic circle on the outdoor stage at Fifth & Federal Station (801 Fifth St.) this evening from 8-11 p.m. It’s really quite a sight, especially as the sun begins to set and the traffic melts away and you can almost forget for a moment that you’re actually in the middle of something akin to a city. Ben Delaurentis of Steal the Prize and a seasoned veteran of many an open mic around town hosts the festivities. Fifth and Federal has a cool, barbecue-centric menu, and like 57 or 58 different kinds of bourbon, whiskey, and rye. There’s no cover, which makes this a low risk/high reward kind of proposition. Call (434) 386-8113 or click here for more info.
With a debut collection that Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler has described as “compulsively readable…complex and heartening” and a forthcoming novel from publisher W.W. Norton, writer Odie Lindsey is doing pretty well for himself these days. The war veteran and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) fellow will be giving a reading from his book of short stories, We Come to Our Senses, from 7-9 p.m. at Riverviews Artspace (901 Jefferson St.). The stories revolve around the lives of southern veterans and their loved ones, and they have earned Lindsey glowing reviews from the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Review, and Kirkus (to name just a few). A cash bar will be available at the reading, which is free to attend. If you have any questions, you can reach Riverviews at (434) 847-7277. If you’d like to read a little more about Odie Lindsey and his books, click here.
Ever wonder what it’s like to snowboard in June? Drop into the “dryslope” at Liberty Mountain Snoflex Centre (4000 Candlers Mountain Rd.) tonight at a Family Fun Night that’ll feature skiing and snowboarding. You can fly over three jumps, roll up a quarter pipe and maneuver an array of rails, boxes and other features from 6-10 p.m. Equipment is included in the price of admission, which is $5 for adults and $3 for children 11 and under. For a more relaxed roll, the Snoflex also offers three tubing runs. Be warned: Attendees must sign a liability waiver. The event will include outdoor games, such as giant chess and cornhole, as well as local food trucks. For more details call (434) 582-3539 or click here.
Amazement Square (27 9th St.) is aiming to draw middle-schoolers away from the tiny fingertip screens we’re all attached to by springing some popular cell phone games to life. This Museum After Dark event, “Apps Alive,” will feature life-size versions of several time-sucking phone apps designed to please rising 6th through 8th graders, but that sound like they might appeal to parents as well. There will be a giant Words with Friends board; a Panda Pop station where participants use Nerf guns to shoot balloons filled with tiny pandas; a Snapchat scavenger hunt; a Temple Run-style obstacle course; and more. The event runs from 7-9 p.m., ticketsare $15, and pizza slices, water, and soda will be available for $1. Call (434) 845-1888, or click here for more info.
Mountain bikers can put their dirt track skills to the test against other area riders this weekend at Bedford County Parks and Recreation's Fat Tire Weekend. The event — held at the 250-acre Falling Creek Park, which is home to an 18-hole disc golf course and skatepark — has myriad contests over three days arranged by age, experience, sex, and type of race, including races for individuals and teams. A list of the various categories is available here. Bikers can pay entry fees by race from $3 to $30 or purchase all-weekend passes that run from $40 to $70. While some victors will receive cash, other races award winners with prizes and medals. Racers are invited to bring the whole family, and there will be free on-site camping and hot showers on the grounds all weekend. For more information call (540) 586-7682 or click here.
The Riverfront Park Concert Series is finally in full swing with the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming performance. The LSO was first created in 1983, and since then, they have played more than 200 shows for the greater Lynchburg community, which is only like six a year. Like the rest of the summer concert series, this performance will take place in Riverfront Park (1100 Jefferson St.), rain or shine. It runs from 7-10:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from local vendors. The concert is free, unless you want VIP tickets, which are $35 per person and include food and drink vouchers and access to premium covered seating. The concert will close with fireworks. Call the Academy Center of the Arts, at (434) 846-8499 for more info, or click here.
Come pay tribute to the Grateful Dead and tasty craft brews tonight as Lynchburg-based BigFoot County plays two full sets at Apocalypse Ale Works (1257 Burnbridge Rd.). The band is known locally for their jamming Dead covers, and we have it on good word from a band representative that tonight’s show is one of the few they’ve got scheduled for this summer. The band will also be selling a limited number of prints and shirts designed specifically for the show featuring both Apocalypse and BigFoot County logos. The Smoke Ring BBQ truck will also be on hand. It all goes down from 8-11 p.m. Click here or call (434) 258-8761 for more info.
Greg Redfern has been serving NASA as a Solar System Ambassador since 2003, which would put him somewhere above the Exosphere if we had actual embassies up there. Instead, he’s been confined to the terrestrial plane, where he has taught college astronomy classes for more than thirty years, collected many meteorites, and been known to enjoy spending long hours peering through a telescope. Now, he’s traveling the country talking about the inner workings of outer space and current NASA missions. He’ll be giving the talk, “This Isn’t Your Grandaddy’s Moon,” this evening at Bedford’s Peaks of Otter Lodge (85554 Blue Ridge Pkwy.) at 9 p.m. Afterward, he’ll take the audience outside for some informed stargazing. The event is free and open to the public. A flashlight is recommended. Call (866) 387-9905, or click here for more info.
Lexington’s annual “Rock the Bridge” fundraiser plans to figuratively shake, rattle, and roll under and on top of the real Nelson County Bridge. The event is a benefit for Lexington’s volunteer organizations and features craft beer tastings, t-shirt printing, live mural painting, human foosball, and musical performances by Rockbridge’s SPACECASE and Lynchburg’s L.A. Dies. There will be a number of breweries, cider houses, and wineries offering libations, including Ballast Point, Kentucky, Austin Eastciders, Heavy Seas, and Parkway. Tastings are $5 apiece, but you can also get a set of ten 4 oz. tastings, as well as a commemorative pint glass, for $15. It’s $5 for folks 21 and older, and free for everyone else. Food from JamRock Island Grille, Collin Donnelly, Mano Taquería, Sweet Things Ice Cream Shoppe, and Blue Phoenix Cafe & Market will be available. And there will be a dunk tank. The festival runs from 5-10 p.m. Call (434) 944-5446, or click here for more info.
With several interconnecting sections over at least 11 miles, Lynchburg’s biking and walking trail network offers plenty of options to walk or pedal throughout the city on shaded and paved trailways. The system, which has a relatively gradual grade for the Hill City, stretches from several entry points, including one at the Ed Page/Old Langhorne Road entrance where the Creekside Trail begins, and another off of Kemper Street. Both of those sections can be used to reach downtown, where the trek extends across the James River to Percival’s Island by way of the Riverwalk, which is 3.5 miles one way. The trail may be crowded on a Sunday, which isn’t a bad thing. Cyclists should expect to encounter large family groups of humans who often walk in packs. Make sure to say, “On your left” when passing. Large groups should be aware of cyclists and faster walkers who may want to pass, so make sure to give them room, too. You know, share the trail, gang. Here’s a map for guidance. If you’re interested in renting a bike, Bikes Unlimited (1312 Jefferson St.) has you covered for $12 an hour. For rentals info, click here or call (434) 385-4157.
It may not be prudent to paint the town red on a Monday evening, but you can at least paint a glass any color you wish while sipping wine tonight. Drinkable Arts is hosting a “paint and sip” party from 6-8 p.m. at Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar (3700 Candlers Mountain Rd.). It’s a little like a crafty tupperware party that pairs wine, painting, and people. For $30, attendees pick out a glass to decorate and personalize using tools and materials provided by Drinkable Arts. Use the promo code “PAINT10” to receive $10 off your ticket purchase when you click here. Additional glasses are $15. No wine is included in the price of admission, but you can order anything you’d like from the Wasabi menu. For more information call (844) 626-7746.
The Lynchburg Road Runners Club wants to keep folks moving this summer, so they’re hosting an all-ages and abilities race series on Tuesdays through the end of June. Tonight’s the second in the series of race events at the Lynchburg College track (1501 Lakeside Dr.). It starts at 6:30 p.m., and will feature a 1500 meter race, followed by a 200 meter open to all-comers; a 200 meter race designated by age group; and finally an 800 meter race. The entry fee is only $1 per person. Lynchburg Road Runners have been promoting running and fitness for more than 30 years, so we’re confident they’ll be around to host two more track events this month, on June 20 and 27, at the same place and time. For more info on the club and its events, click here or call (434) 846-7449.
Instead of negotiating with your coworkers over a Wednesday lunch spot, head to Wyndhurst on Enterprise Drive for a food truck rodeo today from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The event will showcase Taco Shark, Uprooted, Action Gyro and Mama Crockett’s Cider Donuts. They’ll all be lined up at the Summit (1400 Enterprise Dr.), and there will be outdoor seating available on the Summit North Lawn. Lunchers and munchers are also invited to bring picnic blankets. The Summit is a senior living community in the Wyndhurst area located near a stretch of coffee shops, bakeries, and restaurants. Wyndhurst Wednesday Food Trucks will be held the second Wednesday of July, August, and September. For more information click here or call the Summit at (434) 582-1500.