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Lansdowne and River Creek Blog: Thanksgiving celebrations
History has been quarreling about the location of the first Thanksgiving in the Colonies. Pilgrims entering Plymouth Rock were thought to initiate Thanksgiving to celebrate the harvest in 1621. However, Florida, Texas and yes, Virginia, all claim to have started the process. Since our locale is Virginia, we may tend to favor in an unbiased way that the first turkey consumed was in Virginia. And according to historical records, “Thanksgiving services were codified in the founding charter of Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia in 1619.”

The Turkey Trot

Moving up to present day, Lansdowne on the Potomac will have its ninth annual 5K Turkey Trot and one mile Family Run/Walk at 8 a.m. Nov. 24 at the Potomac Club. Prospective participates can register until Nov. 21 at http://www.Lansdownehoa.com.

The proceeds from this year’s race will provide resources for Loudoun Hunger Relief, an organization that helps the citizens of Loudoun County who cannot afford sufficient food to sustain themselves. These include children, senior citizens, the working poor, the ill or disabled and the homeless. There are also sponsorship opportunities. For those interested in sponsoring, call Nanci Patrick at 571-333-1212 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The entry fee for adults (18 years and older) to participate is $25; for those 17 and under it's $15. The entry fee includes a performance T-shirt and commemorative medal for finishing the event. Prizes will be awarded in various categories to first place finishers.

Race packets can be picked up from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 22 or from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 23 at the club, or on race day.

Thanksgiving brunch

The Lansdowne Resort and Spa will host a brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day – no turkey but omelets, pancakes and an assortment of goodies. For adults, the cost is $85, ages 4 to 12 is $30. Call 703-726-1449 for reservations.

Thanksgiving dinner to go

The River Creek Club is offering roasted turkeys and a wide assortment of side dishes fully prepared with comparable prices for Thanksgiving. Interested parties can call 703-779-2022 with questions or come to the clubhouse between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for pick up.

Have an enjoyable and safe Thanksgiving with family and friends.

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River Creek and Lansdowne Blog: Bluegrass and barbecue festival
The Potomac Club in Lansdowne will be going all out on Sept. 24 with a bluegrass and barbecue festival. It so happens that it precedes a community yard sale on Oct. 1. Is there some kind of connection between yards and bluegrass? Well, first things first. The festival will start at 2 p.m. and conclude at 6 p.m., assuming everyone will get their fill of music from the Jack’s Flat, billed as “Bluegrass Champs and Partygrass.” No weeds intended.

The menu of barbecue pork, pulled chicken supplemented by baked beans, potato salad and a host of other goodies would be enough to draw a crowd. Beer and wine will be on hand as well. The barbecue will be catered by Dixie Bones, which uses hickory wood fuel and meat that's smoked for 12 to 24 hours.

Not to be ignored, the club will have a kids zone that will include a “rock climbing wall, turbo tub, spider climber, moon bounce, and of all things, a “boot camp obstacle course” and “airbrush tattoos.”

This could prove to be the highlight of the year. The costs for attending the event range from $5 to $25, depending on age. Tickets are available at the Potomac Club or call 571-333-1212
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Bluegrass music originated in Appalachia, derived from settlers of Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English migrants in the 18th century. Through the years it has mutated into jazz-like presentations. In the past, it's been known as hillbilly, vocals accompanied by a fiddler and dancing jigs and reels, flat footing or clogging. The name bluegrass can be traced to Kentucky and a certain species of grass.

Tidbits From River Creek

–The member-member golf tournament held last week yielded an overall winner among nine different flights. Tom Moran and Tom Quinly – the two Toms – ousted Harry Faust and Brent Barber in one hole shoot out.

–Author and River Creek resident Engin Inel Holmstrom, a native of Turkey, is fashioning another book in the wake of one entitled “Loveswept,” the story of a Turkish girl, an English merchant marine, a sympathetic American and a not so nice husband.

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River Creek and Lansdowne Blog: Count Dracula comes to Belmont
“Count Dracula, the Musical,” will be performed at Belmont Ridge Middle School, by River Hawk Productions at 7 p.m. Aug. 18 and 19 and 2 and 7 p.m. Aug. 20.

A cast of some 70 middle school students will be circulating on the stage in the show about the notorious Count Dracula. It’s based on the novel by Bram Stoker that was published in 1897 and has since been the subject of stage plays and movies. Irish author Bram Stoker had extracted the character from European mythology in particular and tales from the Carpathian Mountains that form a 1,000-mile arc that juts into Romania. It’s the habitat of many types of wild animals that can feed into the creation of vampires. The name Dracula comes from Vlad Dracul, a 15th-century member of Romanian royalty.

Executive director Jason Augustowski and vocal director Jill Kerr have high hopes after “two-and-a-half-weeks of intensive rehearsals.” Mr. A, as he's known, says, “I’m just so impressed with this incredible cast and crew – so many of whom are rising sixth-graders. In less than three weeks, we’ve crafted a full Broadway production of a very intricate play. They have brought to life complex characters that will shock and wow audiences. I couldn’t be more proud of their hard work and dedication.”

According to River Hawk Productions, “The streets of London in the 1890s were a dangerous and sometimes a messy place.” Actors will be recreating this during the performance with some possible effects on the audience, but they said not to worry – no lasting effects.

With vampires and the like, you can expect some spookiness and the crew recommend that there be parental discretion for children age 10 or younger.

River Hawk Productions came into being in 2012. Since then, they have produced five shows: “Seussical,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Back to the 80s,” “Shrek,” “Tarzan” and “The Little Mermaid.” Having been to some of these, I can testify to the professional nature of the performances, not just in the acting but the staging, the props and sound effects.

Tickets are $10 for reserved seating and can be obtained in advance by visiting lcps.org/tickets. Tickets also can be purchased at the door.

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