Imagination Richmond brings family fun to Willow Lawn Saturday
By Eileen Mellon, Special to the Citizen 05/17/12
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).
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will host a candlelight vigil of remembrance and hope Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at the University of Richmond, outside the Cannon Chapel. The public is invited to attend and join MADD to honor victims of impaired driving crashes, while helping to remind the community to be safe during the holidays. > Read more.
Among participants at the Seventh Annual Coordinators2Inc Golf Tournament and awards luncheon Oct. 3 were (from left) Rebecca Ricardo, C2 Inc executive director; Kevin Derr, member of the winning foursome; Sharon Richardson, C2 Inc founder; and Frank Ridgway and Jon King, members of the winning foursome.
Held at The Crossings Golf Club, the tournament will benefit placement of children from Virginia's foster care system into permanent families through Coordinators2. > Read more.
Event will help kick of Marine Corps' 'Toys for Tots' campaign
All 140 A.C. Moore locations will serve as drop-off centers this year for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, and all toys collected will stay in the local communities served by the stores in which they are donated.
On Saturday, Nov. 15, the Willow Lawn location will kick off the month-long program by hosting a "Make & Take" craft event for kids. Children ages six and older will be able to make a craft and take it home with them. Representatives from the Marines will be in-store to teach customers about the Toys for Tots program. A.C. Moore team members will be on site to help with the crafts. > Read more.
The Dominion GardenFest of Lights Grand Illumination takes place tonight at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden! This year’s theme is “A Legacy in Lights: 120 Years from Bicycle Club to Botanical Garden,” which celebrates the Garden’s history. You can also celebrate Thanksgiving again – tomorrow at Henricus Historical Park. More great events – Lavender Fields Herb Farm and Wilton House Museum will both host their holiday open house events this weekend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
Disney’s ‘Big Hero 6,’ lovable robot Baymax delight
It may be time for Olaf to step down as our nation’s reigning cartoon character. Big Hero 6, the latest animated feature from Disney, contains a challenger to the throne: Baymax (Scott Adsit), another lovably chubby white wonder, who will bring joy to children’s hearts and invade every home in America inside a six-foot pile of Disney merchandise.
Big Hero 6 (based ever so slightly on a Marvel comic of the same name) is the story of Baymax – and also his closest companion Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter). And then also their four friends, all of whom join together to form the titular superhero team.
At first, though, it’s only Hiro, a young boy and an engineering prodigy, who’d rather spend his time in underground robot fight clubs than do something productive with his gifts. > Read more.
Bella’s feels – and tastes – like Italy should
Short Pump is known for its share of chain restaurants and strip malls, but diners looking for something more distinct can certainly find it without heading downtown or to nearby Charlottesville.
In fact, local husband-and-wife restaurateurs Valeria Bisenti and Doug Muir brought a taste of Charlottesville (and Italy) to Short Pump when they took a chance and opened Bella’s second location in the same shopping strip as Wal-Mart and Peter Chang China Cafe. (Bella’s original location is on Main Street in downtown Charlottesville.)
For a local Italian restaurant, Bella’s is as “Mom and Pop” as its gets. Valeria is Mom, and Doug is Pop. Since its opening about six months ago, diners have been eating rich comfort foods and drinking Italian wines. > Read more.
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