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Business appreciation receptionLaunches free business tip lunches

Representatives from more than 100 businesses gathered June 5 at Cunningham Creek Winery for a relaxed evening of good food, drink and companionship.

The whole idea was to show appreciation for business owners in the county, said Jason Smith, community and economic development director.

“Although May is recognized as small business appreciation month across the country, by the time we had finalized other events, it just worked out best for all planning partners to host this year’s event in June,” Smith said.

Realtors, insurance agents, pharmacy technicians, restaurant owners, computer technicians, website designers, lawyers and more attended.

Fluvanna’s first micro-brewery, Antioch Brewing Company, was on hand to give attendees a chance to try their beer. Add a comment

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Fluvanna County Library Director Cyndi Hoffman is excited about a unique experience for children this summer at the library: two live theater performances of Pinocchio and Beauty and the Beast performed by the Hampstead Stage Company, a traveling troupe of actors based in New Hampshire.

The company was named for the four founders who were originally from Hampstead, England, and realized their dream of having a theater company to engage and educate. The theater has been around since 1983 and has grown into one of the largest educational theater companies in the U.S. with 2,000 shows a year.

Through the animation of two actors who perform multiple roles and quick changes, their shows encourage reading books and plays through the magic of performing. Children are treated to original adaptations drawn from literary classics, including Frankenstein and Robin Hood as well as authors like C.S. Lewis and Charles Dickens. Fairy tales and fantasy are brought to life by actors who energize their young audience, nurturing imagination and wonder. Add a comment

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Pickleball players ready for servePickleball is reportedly the fastest growing sport in the United States. You can now play this fast-moving, but not overly-taxing, sport in Fluvanna County and at Lake Monticello. The game is played on a downsized tennis court and folks are playing it indoors at Carysbrook and outdoors at the Lafayette tennis courts at Lake Monticello.

This game is becoming very popular with retirees because players can get some exercise and can work up a sweat, but they do not have to do a lot of running or lunging. Pickleball is played with a plastic wiffle ball that is about the size of a softball. The ball is volleyed with a solid wooden racquet, like a paddleball racquet. Add a comment

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enny Thompson, Louisa County 4-H extension agent, explained the identifying characteristics of venomous and non-venomous snakes.Be able to identify poison ivy (leaves of three) when hiking. Never wrap a lead rope around your hand while leading a horse. Make sure the driver sees you when approaching a tractor.

These were just a few of the numerous tips discussed as over 60 4-H members from Louisa and Fluvanna counties, including livestock clubs, horse clubs, Cloverbuds (pre-4-H ages), and Future Farmers of America members, rotated through the 10 stations at Youth Safety Day. Parents were welcome and younger visitors were even invited to a story time, which featured farm-themed books.

Organized by the Louisa County Women’s Committee of the Virginia Farm Bureau, the May 9 event was held at Charles and Betty Rosson’s Quaker Hill Farm in Trevilians. The goal of the evening’s sessions was to present a comprehensive, educational overview on farm safety focusing on youth involvement, with emphasis on animals, plants, insects and reptiles, machinery, all-terrain vehicles and food safety.

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BatteauBrian Coffield is keeping Fluvanna’s batteau history alive.

He bought and helped restore a batteau that he plans on guiding down the James River starting June 17 from Lynchburg to Maiden’s Landing in Goochland. Coffield and his crew of six, along with up to 24 other batteaux, will make the 120-mile trip in eight days as a part of the 32nd Batteau Festival. John Wilkinson, who lives in Lake Monticello, is part of Coffield’s crew.

Coffield christened his batteau the Queen Anne, taking his cue from the Rivanna River, named after the Queen of England.

Coffield works part-time as an attendant at the Pleasant Grove House Museum telling visitors about Fluvanna’s rich history of using batteaux to take goods from farmers to Richmond.

The batteau (French for boat) was designed flat-bottomed and pointed at each end. It was powered and steered with long oars or sweeps at the front and back.  The design allowed for easy navigation in the shallow rocky waters of the Rivanna, James and other rivers throughout the east.

The boats ruled river waters from 1775 to 1840 when canal locks, then trains, brought more efficient means of transportation.

While people have long been interested in batteaux, the modern era started when construction workers at a site in Richmond unearthed more than 40 of the vessels, Coffield said.

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