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Sterling Blog: It’s one peach of a week
This is a good week to be in Sterling, because there’s just so much going on. It’s honestly hard to keep up with it all. So we better get started.

Our Sterling Supervisor, Koran Saines, is raising money to refurbish our veterans’ memorial at the corner of Holly Avenue and Sterling Boulevard. Over the years, the metal has stained the stones and it just need a good “spit and polish” to make it reflect how much we value our veterans. The money will go to our local American Legion Post 150 and so all donations will be tax deductible. They are looking to raise $4,000 and they need your help! Simply visit the GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/restoresterlingveteransmemorial to learn more about the project. You’ll also see pictures and be able to easily make a donation to support this cause.

In two weeks, the Sterling Playmakers will be presenting “James and the Giant Peach” based on the classic tale by Roald Dahl. James, left an orphan at age 4 when his parents are overrun by rhinoceros, is sent to live with his aunts, Spike and Sponge. It looks bleak for poor James as for four long dreary years his oddly named aunts put him to work while leaving him only a hard floor to call his own at night. James’ life changes for the better when a peach, with the help of a little magic, grows to enormous size and he discovers a whole host of human-sized, talking insects to be his friends—and the adventure begins.

This show is staged as a traveling show, so you have to keep up with it. On March 2, the show opens at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 201 E. Frederick Drive, at 7:30 pm. The following Fridayand Saturday, March 3 and 4, 7:30 p.m., the peach will float over to Seneca Ridge Middle School, 98 Seneca Drive. The next week, the peach will be found March 9 at 7:30 p.m., at Sterling Park Christian Church, 800 E. Staunton Ave., and March 10, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., back at Seneca Ridge Middle School. The show is a perfect one hour for young attendees who have a bed time and all tickets are just $10, available at the door or online at sterlingplaymakers.com, where you can find more information about the show as well.

As an update to last week’s column, I did get back to Crooked Run, at 22455 Davis Dr, #120, and since I didn’t have friends dragging me off, I got tacos, nachos and corn fritters … oh my. Thank you Senor Ramon for making sure I’ll never want to eat at home again.
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Cascades Blog: All the world’s a stage
This time of year is usually perfect for breaking out of a boring winter routine by brushing up on an old skill—or learning a new one. And even though you may have forgotten all about indoor pursuits with this winter’s amazingly insistent spring-like weather, this is still a good time to explore a course or two that can offer a new approach to an old problem—or even make a dream come true.

Eastern Loudoun’s StageCoach Theatre Company has four workshops waiting in the wings designed to provide skill-building opportunities that can pay off big time in the workplace, even if that workplace isn’t on the stage.

Memorization Techniques provides practical tips for remembering lines and blocking for performance—techniques that also can be applied to other life scenarios. The one-day session takes place Feb. 27 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Tuition is $30.

Introduction to Voice-Overs, a two-session workshop, covers information needed to get started in the voice-over business, what producers are looking for, creating a voice-over demo, how to get hired, marketing your skills, how to get paid and more. The workshop is scheduled for March 21 and March 28 from 6-8 p.m. Tuition is $65.

Improv 4 Success, an interactive session in a friendly and fun setting, uses improvisational activities to help build confidence in thinking on your feet. The workshop offers a chance to hone listening skills, which can lead to better real-time contributions in the workplace. The session takes place March 22 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Tuition is $50 in advance and $60 at the door.

Dancing for Callbacks provides practice with basic dance steps designed to help simplify the process of learning choreography in real time during an audition. The session is March 26 from 1-3 p.m.Tuition is $30.
Classes are held at the StageCoach Theatre Company office at 44121 Harry Byrd Hwy. (route 7). Registration information is available online at stagecoachtc.com.

Bluebird watch

Karla Etten, coordinator of the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy bluebird-monitoring program, discusses the bluebird-nestbox project March 4 at the Loudoun County Public Library at Cascades. The presentation, open to families, covers current monitoring sites, collecting and reporting data, the bluebird diet and tips for gardening for bluebirds. At the session, attendees can join a monitoring team for the 2017 season and can register trails and nestboxes. The presentation takes place from 2-4 p.m. in meeting room B.
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Sterling Blog: Welcome to the neighborhood, Crooked Run Brewing
To go down Davis Drive and through the office parks that line it is to experience a cross section of businesses. From flooring places to trampoline havens to a flight school, you can find them all in our backyard—you just have to go look.

Last Friday, a new destination opened—Crooked Run Brewing, 2455 Davis Drive, Suite 120 (you kind of have to go around the back). Now, my plan was to go to the brewery on Saturday night, sample the wares – and the on-site taco taqueria by Leesburg’s own Senior Ramon – and report back to you as a good friendly neighborhood columnist. Because I’m willing to have beer and tacos for you—that’s how much I care.

Sadly, my plans were thwarted by the fact that, at 6:45 p.m., it seems everyone else in the area had the same idea—only they don’t have a column to write. My party of four simply couldn’t find a place to sit. However, in the spirit of journalistic ethics, I left the other three in the car so that I could report back to you on the brewery. They did not let me sample the tacos, so you’ll need to let me get back to you on that.

Crooked Run Brewing was started by Jake Endres and Lee Rogan way back in 2013. They set up shop in Leesburg’s Market Station. It must have gone pretty well, because just four years later they’ve opened a second location. Based on the scene on Saturdaynight, they might not have to wait long before opening a third.

One of the first things I noticed though about the location on Saturday is that this place is kid-friendly. Breweries aren’t exactly bars—it’s less “meat market” more “meet up.” I saw every age there, from still in the car seat to running around carrying those elusive tacos—not that I’m jealous. Meanwhile the parents were sampling the beers. As I was sadly leaving, there was a band setting up. Yes…beer, tacos, and live music.
The beers vary widely from “Shadow of Truth” Black Tripel (named because the brewers use triple the amount of malt used when making the standard Belgian Trappist style) to a Mango Empress Sour IPA (sour beers are made by introducing bacteria during the brewing process—and the results are quite tangy). In addition to samplers and pints, you can also get growlers filled so you can take some home. Please note that an opened growler will only last about 36 hours, so plan to invite over friends, say a friendly neighborhood columnist.

Crooked Run is open Wednesday and Thursday, 4-10 p.m.; Friday, 4 p.m.-midnight; Saturday1 p.m.-midnight and Sunday, 1-6 p.m. For more information you can visit them online at crookedrunbrewing.com. Welcome to the neighborhood, Crooked Run, we’re thrilled to have you here.
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