Henrico County VA

A taste of France, in Henrico

At last year’s French Food Festival, (left to right) Cheryl Towner, Karyn Cumming, Sister Joseph Marie and “Chef Paul” Elbling were among the festival-goers celebrating France and its cuisine and culture.
Does spring weather bring on a craving to visit with friends at an outdoor cafe as you listen to music, sip wine and nibble French baguettes?

If so, then mark your calendar for April 21 and the Fourth Annual Little Sisters of the Poor French Food Festival.

Featuring French foods, breads, desserts, and chocolate, the festival will also provide live entertainment and a number of children's activities and games. For shoppers, a Parisian Marketplace and boutique area will offer French cookbooks, preserves and other French merchandise.

New this year, the event will boast a Cajun Corner featuring chef Sean Murphy of Lady N’Awlins. And as always, world-renowned chef Paul Elbling will oversee the food at the festival, which is prepared and cooked with the help of a dozen volunteers from the Knights of Columbus.

During last year's event, Chef Paul and his wife, Marie, the founders and former owners of La Petite France, marked their 45th wedding anniversary. Among the guests who congratulated and visited with the Elblings were Cheryl Towner and her daughter, Karyn Cumming, then a Holman Middle School French student (pictured above).

Admission is free, but suggested donations of $2 are appreciated to help defray event costs. All proceeds from the event will benefit the elderly poor who are cared for by the Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Joseph's Home.

For more than 138 years, The Little Sisters of the Poor have provided a home and loving care for Virginia’s elderly poor. In recent years, the rising costs associated with providing geriatric residential care and meeting state and federal licensing guidelines has made it increasingly difficult for the Little Sisters to cover their operating costs, let alone keep up with repairs and maintenance on an aging building.

In 2009, volunteers joined forces with Paul and Marie Elbling to create the festival and raise funds.

The festival will be held April 21 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the grounds of St. Joseph's at 1503 Michael Road. Free parking with convenient access to the festival will be located at the Forest Office Park next door. For information, visit
http://www.lspfrenchfoodfestival.com or call 288-6245.
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

Weekend Top 10


It’s Halloween! Ghosts and goblins are everywhere…especially at Dorey Park’s Monster Mash and the annual Pumpkin Festival at Gayton Crossing Shopping Center. But don’t let the fun stop on the 31st – the Latin Ballet of Virginia will present El Dia de los Muertos Family Festival on Nov. 1. And if you need a break from the candy, enjoy some classical music at the University of Richmond and the Weinstein JCC on Sunday. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Brews and bites done right

Urban Tavern’s big, bold themes impress

The Urban Tavern opened in August, replacing the former Shackelford’s space at 10498 Ridgefield Parkway in Short Pump. Because of local and longtime devotion to Shackleford’s, Urban Tavern has some big shoes to fill.

Without any background information, I headed to the restaurant for dinner on a Wednesday night, two months after its opening.

On a perfect fall evening, four out of eight outdoor tables were taken, giving the impression that the restaurant was busier than it was. On the inside, a couple tables were taken, and a few folks were seated at the bar. > Read more.

A terrible, horrible movie. . . that’s actually pretty good

‘Alexander’ provides uncomplicated family fun
It’s not surprising in the least that Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day doesn’t much resemble the book it’s based upon.

Judith Viorst’s 1972 picture book isn’t exactly overflowing with movie-worthy material. Boy has bad day. Boy is informed that everyone has bad days sometimes. Then, the back cover.

In the film, the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad-ness is blown up to more extreme size. Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) has a bum day every day, while the rest of his family (Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey) exist in a constant bubble of perfection and cheery optimism – to the point that the family is so wrapped up in their own success that Alexander’s being ignored.

So on the eve of his 12th birthday, Alexander makes a wish: just once, he’d like his family to see things from his perspective; to experience the crushing disappointment of one of those no good, very bad days. Once he has blown out the candle on his pre-birthday ice cream sundae, his family’s fate is sealed: one full day of crippling disasters for all of them. > Read more.

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Angela Easterling, an Americana/alternative country singer-songwriter from South Carolina, and guitarist Brandon Turner will perform at 2:30 p.m. at Glen Allen Library, 10501 Staples Mill Rd. Easterling will also discuss… Full text

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