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Fall festivals abound

(A sampling of fall festivals throughout Henrico County this month appears below; admission is free unless otherwise noted.)

Oct. 15 – Henrico County’s annual Harvest Festival will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at Meadow Farm, 3400 Mountain Rd., featuring hands-on activities and demonstrations, pony rides, a petting zoo, tethered hot air balloon rides, the Great Pumpkin Patch of Meadow (ages 3-12) and more. For details, call 501-5121.

Oct. 21 – Chickahominy YMCA, 5401 Whiteside Rd., will hold its fall festival from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the pavilion and pool area. There will be an open swim period, as well as a harvest hayride, pumpkin painting, apple cider and roasted marshmallows, a costume contest and more. For details, call 737-9622.

Oct. 23 – Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave., will host Goblins and Gourds from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Children’s Garden, featuring live music, pumpkin decorating, costumes and more. Admission is free for garden members and $7 to $11 for nonmembers. For details, call 262-9887.

Oct. 28 – Henrico County will host “Monster Mash” from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Dorey Park, 4999 Darbytown Rd., featuring arts and crafts, contests and games and monster music, as well as a spooky trail for
guests to travel, sponsored by the Varina H.S. Key Club. For details, call 501-5134.

Oct. 29 – Gayton Crossing Shopping Center will host its 14th annual Pumpkin Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring a petting zoo, balloon animals, juggler Jonathan Austin, the Gayton Trolley, entertainment by Southside Funk and personnel vehicles from local emergency responders, as well as a costume contest for children 12 and younger at 1 p.m. For details, visit http://www.gaytoncrossing.com.

Oct. 29 – The Great Pumpkin Palooza at The Shoppes at Innsbrook & Wilton Square will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring a petting zoo, costume contests, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, crafters and vendors, Thriller and Monster Mash Dance instruction by Rigby’s Jig and more. For details, visit http://www.innsbrook.com.

Oct. 29 – Gayton Road Christian Church, 12050 Ridgefield Pkwy., will hold its annual FallFest from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., featuring a yard sale, crafters, Brunswick Stew, a bake sale, kids’ games and a bouncy castle, face painting and more. For details, call 360-4464.

Oct. 29 – The Short Pump and Central locations of the Children’s Museum of Richmond will host a Spooky Party from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring Halloween-themed activities, games and art projects. The event is free with museum admission. For details, call 474-7000.

Oct. 30 - Mount Vernon Baptist Church, 11220 Nuckols Rd., will hold its Harvest Festival from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will be food, games, a cake walk, vendors, trunk or treat and more. Attendees are asked to bring non-perishable food items and basic home necessities to donate to the Food Pantry. For details, call 270-6600 x118 or visit http://www.mvbcnow.org/harvestfestival .

Oct. 31 – East End Assembly of God, 3294 Britton Rd., will hold its Harvest Festival from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., featuring inflatables, candy, hot dogs, a dunk tank, cake walk, hay rides and more. For details, call 795-9266.

Oct. 31 – Calvary United Methodist Church, 1637 Williamsburg Rd., will hold its Trunk or Treat event from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. For details, call 222-2891.
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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Innsbrook After Hours will present the Eli Young Band, with guest Erik Dylan, at 6:30 p.m. at the Snagajob Innsbrook Pavilion. Gates open at 5 p.m. General admission is $15… Full text

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