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Imagination Richmond brings family fun to Willow Lawn Saturday

Looking for a fun, family-oriented festival to attend this weekend? Imagination Richmond might be for you. The event will be held at The Shops at Willow Lawn May 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event, now in its fourth year, began when Willow Lawn Marketing Manager Sarah North felt there was a need in the region for a family-friendly community event at which children could enjoy and explore their imagination through music, art, dance and other children activities.

The community embraced the event after its first year, North said, and it has grown and evolved as it moved from inside the mall to outside in the brand new Willow Lawn plaza, with a children’s play area and ample seating.

Imagination Richmond includes live music from acclaimed children’s bands such as Silly Bus, The Diggity Dudes and more. In addition, expect to see Nutzy the Flying Squirrel, juggling entertainers, clowns, a moon bounce, train rides, arts and crafts and other popular activities for children.

Along with the entertainment, there will be Willow Lawn merchant specials and free giveaways to benefit families in the community. The event is modeled after the Mommy & Me (& Daddy Too) program which occurs monthly from April-October and is designed to enhance parents' interaction with their children.

The event is unique, North said, because it appeals to a large audience with popular local entertainment and is family-based.

“It gives parents the opportunity to enjoy festive activities with their children while sampling what community partners in Richmond have to offer for children," she said. "Parents bring their children to this event and are then rewarded with shopping and dining discounts, promotions, samples and free giveaways from the Willow Lawn merchants."

This year’s event is particularly special because of the recent multi-million dollar renovation at The Shops at Willow Lawn, giving locals the opportunity to experience the new area as well as enjoy the festivities. About 2,000 people are expected to attend the event, which is free (though donations will be accepted to benefit the Richmond SPCA).


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A new meaning for fried chicken

Is it heresy to say – in this bastion-of-tradition capital of the Old South – that it's time for Southern fried chicken to take a step back and make way for a new fried chicken king?

Count me among the new believers bowing to Bonchon Chicken's delectable double-fried bliss. Hand-brushed with signature garlic soy or hot sauce, flash-fried once and then again, the decadent drums and wings take "crisp" to a new level. If you're eating with a crowd and everyone bites in at once, be warned: you might need ear plugs to handle the din. > Read more.

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