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Civil War weekend planned in Henrico

The Civil War is returning to Henrico later this month.

As part of its 400th anniversary, Henrico County will host a series of free events Sept. 23-25 designed to spotlight the county’s role in the war and educate citizens through real-life interactions.

The weekend will begin with a symposium – “Henrico County: Gateway to Richmond” – at the Henrico Theatre in Highland Springs Sept. 23, featuring four Civil War historians, who will address various aspects of the war in Henrico.

The following day at Tree Hill Farm on Route 5 in western Varina, visitors will be able to experience what life was like for soldiers during the war, as part of an encampment on the site by re-enactors and a variety of other activities.

On Sunday, Sept. 25, National Park Service rangers will give tours of Fort Harrison in Varina, to mark the 147th anniversary of the 1864 battles there. Union and Confederate re-enactors will perform rifle- and cannon-firing exhibitions. Tours of the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm site also will be available.

County officials hope to attract a near-capacity crowd for the Friday symposium, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and feature:

• National Park Service historian Frank O’Reilly (10:30 a.m.),who will discuss the Battle of Malvern Hill, about which he is writing a book;

• John Coski (11:40 a.m.), a historian from the Museum of the Confederacy, who will discuss naval operations on the James River during the war;

• National Park Service historian Robert E.L. Krick (2 p.m.), who will discuss the Battle of Yellow Tavern in northern Henrico;

• and historian Jimmy Price (3:10 p.m.), author of the upcoming “The Battle of New Market Heights: Freedom Will Be Theirs by the Sword,” who will discuss that battle.

The event will be moderated by Andrew Talkov, the exhibit coordinator for Virginia’s Civil War Sesquicentennial at the Virginia Historical Society. Speakers will host question-and-answer sessions following their remarks, and a book signing will follow at 4 p.m.

Reservations are free but required for admittance; those who wish to attend may call 328-4491 to reserve a spot.

The Tree Hill Farm event “will be a little friendlier to those who don’t know a lot about the Civil War in general,” said Sam McKelvey, the Dabbs House Museum site manager who organized the planning efforts for the three events. The site, which overlooks the James River and the Richmond skyline, is the site at which Richmond Mayor Joseph Mayo unofficially surrendered Richmond to federal troops (though the official surrender occurred in the city).

Visitors to the Tree Hill event will be able to:

• experience living history demonstrations between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.;

• meet on site with genealogy experts to learn more about any ancestors who may have fought in the war;

• have their pictures taken in Civil War-style by period photographers;

• learn about storytelling during the war;

• hear about the role of slaves during the war locally;

• listen to Civil War music, as performed by several musical groups;

• witness a battle skirmish by re-enactors at 2 p.m.;

• take a candlelight walking tour of Fort Harrison at 8 p.m.

Tree Hill Farm is a private 500-acre tract of land on which a mixed-use development has been approved by the Board of Supervisors. But development has not yet begun, and the county worked with the landowner to open the site to the public for this event, McKelvey said.

“It’s such a great location, a very historic location,” he said. “We really wanted it there.”

Sunday’s event at Fort Harrison, 8621 Battlefield Park Road in Varina, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Details are available online at http://www.nps.gov/rich/index.htm or by calling 226-1981.

At the Sept. 23 and 24 events, Henrico officials will offer for sale limited-edition posters – “Hospital Tree at Fair Oaks” by Sidney E. King and Joseph Umble’s “New Market Heights, Fleetwood Seizing the Flag” and “Battle of Yellow Tavern, Wounding of Stuart” – that depict scenes from Civil War battles in Henrico.

The events are the latest in a yearlong series of special occasions hosted by county officials in celebration of Henrico’s 400th anniversary.

For details, call 501-1611 or visit http://www.henrico400th.com.
Community

Author, child abuse survivor to speak at Henrico event

To help celebrate twenty years of service to advocating for abused and neglected children in Henrico County, Henrico Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc. (CASA) will host an evening with bestselling author K.L. Randis on Tuesday, Aug. 26, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Belmont Recreation Center in Lakeside.

Randis is best known for her bestselling novel, Spilled Milk, which tells her painful – but ultimately triumphant – personal story of abuse and of child abuse prevention. The book is her first novel.

The event is free to the public, but seating is limited Reservations may be made by e-mailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Belmon Recreation Center is located at 1600 Hilliard Road. > Read more.

Philippines ambassador to the US visits Filipino Festival in Henrico


The Ambassador of the Philippines to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. attended the Ninth Annual Filipino Festival at Our Lady of Lourdes Church earlier this month. Cuisia (pictured above with festival performers) was welcomed by County Manager John Vithoulkas and Brookland District Supervisor Dick Glover (below) at the church, which is located in Lakeside.

While enjoying some of the cultural performances at the festival, the ambassador and his wife had a private lunch with Vithoulkas, Glover, Eldon Burton (an outreach representative from U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner’s Office) and Father James Begley, the pastor of OLL. > Read more.

Dragon boats invade the James

Hundreds of spectators filled the banks of the James River to watch two dozen teams of competitors in the Walgreen’s Richmond International Dragon Boat Festival at Rocketts Landing Aug. 2. The event included a number of races, as well as several cultural performances. The sport is billed as the fastest growing water sport in the world.(Photo by Roger Walk for the Henrico Citizen) > Read more.

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Entertainment

‘Planes’ sequel crashes

‘Fire and Rescue’ proves too predictable, boring

Planes: Fire and Rescue opens with a dedication to the hero firefighters of the world. It’s an admirable notion, and it makes sense, given that this is a film about planes that fight fires.

But here it might be a little out of place, as Planes: Fire and Rescue has a few things on its mind besides supporting the men and women who routinely throw themselves into burning buildings.

Like money. Lots and lots of money – into the 11-figures-and-counting range. In case you weren’t aware, 2006’s Cars was the biggest moneymaker Disney had in decades – not because of how much green the film printed at the box office, but because a combination of toys, games and snack foods stamped with the Cars seal of approval routinely pulls in tens of billions of dollars per year. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


This weekend in Henrico, you can learn about fall herbs or mad science. Enjoy some laughs from West End Comedy or Three-Penny Theatre’s production of “The Rivah Home Companion.” For music lovers, Jennifer Nettles is in concert tonight and the fifth annual GWAR-B-Q takes place tomorrow at Hadad’s Lake. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

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