Historic wedding comes to life
Henrico citizens had the chance to experience a royal wedding of sorts at Dorey Park earlier this month – a few weeks before Prince William and Kate Middleton formalize their royal union in a more official, and more publicly scrutinized, wedding in England.
The Varina Woman's Club April 10 sponsored a re-enactment of the wedding of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, a ceremony that originally took place in Jamestown April 5, 1614.
Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan, and Rolfe, an English settler whose strain of Spanish tobacco is credited with helping to save the Virginia Colony in 1612, lived for a time at Rolfe's Varina Farms plantation. Their marriage helped bring a period of peaceful relations between English settlers and Powhatan Indians in Virginia.
The re-enactment was performed according to the original ceremony and vows and featured a number of costumed re-enactors from the Chickahominy Tribe and Henricus Historical Park.
They included Pocahontas (portrayed by Dr. Mayflower Edwards), Rolfe (portrayed by Jared Lawson), Governor Sir Thomas Dale (portrayed by Dennis Strawderman) and Rev. Alexander Whitaker (portrayed by Mike Bell).
Though Whitaker did not perform the original ceremony, the Woman's Club opted to have his character perform the re-enacted version, since he was the rector of Varina Episcopal Church and taught Pocahontas.
Following their marriage in 1614, Pocahontas (also known as Rebecca Rolfe) and her husband lived at Varina Farms until 1616, when they traveled to England with their infant son, Thomas. But Pocahontas became ill and died in England as the family was preparing to return to Virginia.
Rolfe did return, remarried and died in 1622 – the same year the Powhatan Indians massacred English settlers in the region.
Members of the Chickahominy Tribe assisted with this month's wedding re-enactment. Birdie Sours of the tribe helped to arrange for other tribe members to appear, including her daughter, who portrayed Pocahontas, and her brothers, Troy "Dancing Hawk" Adkins and Oscar Adkins. Troy Adkins portrayed Chief Opitchapam, while Oscar Adkins portrayed Chief Opechancanough.
The two chiefs were brothers of Chief Powhatan and appeared at the wedding in his place, because he feared settlers would try to kidnap him.
Henrico County Recreation and Parks will present “Red, White, and Lights” at Meadow Farm Museum/Crump Park July 4.
Henrico County has hosted a Fourth of July celebration annually since 1981, but this year’s event will offer a later start time and expanded hours and be highlighted by new entertainment.
The free event will begin at 4:30 p.m. and will feature the Richmond Symphony, a laser-light show, patriotic performances, and family activities. > Read more.
The Tuckahoe Family YMCA and ReEstablish Richmond will host the third-annual Refugee Community Resource Fair Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to noon at the YMCA, 9211 Patterson Avenue in Henrico. The event is designed to provide refugees in the region information about jobs, local businesses, housing, health care, education and more.
As part of its strategic plan, the YMCA of Greater Richmond works to identify, address and eliminate economic, geographic and cultural barriers. > Read more.
Muse Paintbar, which combines painting instruction with a wine bar and restaurant, opened June 23 at The Shops at Willow Lawn in Henrico. The location is the company's 17th nationwide.
Guests can learn from local artists while sampling a wide selection of wine, beer and tapas. The facility held a soft-launch last weekend, allowing patrons a sneak peek at the studio’s artistic offerings.
Muse anticipates expansion across the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area this summer. Other locations are spread throughout the Northeast. > Read more.
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