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Lakeside Farmers’ Market voted No. 1 in Va.

The Lakeside Farmers’ Market was voted the No. 1 farmers’ market in Virginia by patrons who participated in a national contest during the past several months.

The America Farmland Trust’s “America’s Favorite Farmers’ Market Contest” sought feedback and votes from readers nationwide for their favorite markets from among the 7,000-plus in the nation.

Lakeside Farmers’ Market earned 1,393 votes, placing it first among the more than 100 markets in Virginia and third nationally in the “Small Markets” category for markets with 16 to 30 vendors.

In Virginia, Lakeside Farmers’ Market finished ahead of markets in Falls Church, Williamsburg, Powhatan and Charlottesville to claim the honor.

“It’s something that has brought a lot of pride and raises the level of recognition of the market, the vendors and the community itself,” said Peter Francisco, who along with his wife, Sharon, started the market in 2008. The Franciscos decided to actively promote the contest to vendors and customers this year – both in person during market times, through print advertising and online, hoping to win that recognition for the market and the Lakeside region. Now, the market’s supporters are excited about the results, Francisco said.

“They’re proud that they’re associated with the market that won.”

During its peak season (July and August), the market regularly attracted upwards of 1,500 visitors during its four-hour Saturday session, Francisco said. Wednesday sessions draw fewer people but still pull in steady crowds, he said. This year, the Farmers Market Too (an indoor area adjacent to the outdoor market)opened and has attracted another dozen or so food and craft vendors.

“We’re going to have to turn vendors away for the winter season” because the indoor space has nearly reached capacity, he said. Francisco and his wife have enjoyed watching the market grow each year and bring more visitors to Lakeside at the same time, but Francisco also has a practical reason for looking forward to market days.

“I enjoy the food too,” he said, with a laugh. “It’s a real disappointment when things go out of season and I have to go to the grocery store to buy them.”

The Lakeside Farmers’ Market, 6110 Lakeside Avenue, operates on Wednesdays from dawn to dusk and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. For details, visit http://www.lakesidefarmersmarket.net


Community

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden raises admission $1

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s admission has increased by $1 across all categories. Admission is now $12 for adults; $11 for seniors ages 55 and older; and $8 for children ages 3–12. Admission remains free for children ages 3 and younger and for members.

The last price increase was in 2011, before the Garden consistently hosted Butterflies LIVE! (which is included with admission). > Read more.

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

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Entertainment

‘Top Chef’ finalist to open Willow Lawn restaurant

A finalist in the Bravo television show Top Chef is bringing one of his four restaurant chains to Henrico County.

Bryan Voltaggio, who was the runner-up of the sixth season of Top Chef, (finishing second to his brother, Michael) and his business partner, Hilda Staples, will open their third Family Meal restaurant, at Henrico's Willow Lawn shopping center. The restaurant is expected to open early next year. > Read more.

US Army Field Band to perform in Henrico Aug. 3

The United States Army Field Band will present a free public performance at Deep Run Park in Henrico on Sunday, Aug 3 at 3 p.m.

Members of the band are soldiers who also serve as “musical ambassadors of the Army” and perform for schools and communities nationwide.

The Concert Band will be performing along with the Soldiers’ Chorus. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Get up and dance – square dance, that is – with the Tuckahoe Square Dance Club tonight! More musical events this weekend include family-friendly karaoke at Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House, the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus Concert and the Henrico Teen Theatre Company’s production of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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The film “Oliver” will play at 7 p.m. Aug. 1 and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Aug. 2 at Henrico Theatre, 305 E. Nine Mile Rd. Tickets are $1… Full text

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