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Family Lifeline’s Choco fundraiser event goes virtual February 4th

The 16th annual Choco airs on Facebook Premiere at 7 p.m. and will feature performances from local musicians and arts organizations, interviews, and more.

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Enjoy your chocolate from home: Family Lifeline’s Choco fundraiser will air virtually on Feb. 4 to keep staff and supporters safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 16th annual Choco airs on Facebook Premiere at 7 p.m. and will feature performances from local musicians and arts organizations, interviews, and more.

The event supports Family Lifeline, a nonprofit that provides intensive, in-home education, wellness, and support services that bring health and hope to Central Virginia’s most vulnerable children, parents, and seniors.

More than 700 guests typically attend the in-person Choco event, which features an array of food and desserts from local chocolatiers and bakeries, and a room-filled with chocolate fondue fountains. To help bring the experience home for 2021, Choco organizers created “House Party Boxes” with ready-to-heat meals featuring treats and samples from local vendors. A variety of box sizes are available from $200-$2,500. The boxes can be safely picked up from noon-5:30 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the Science Museum’s parking lot, which will be decorated to build excitement for the evening’s broadcast.

The event includes an online auction featuring a Kiawah Island, SC getaway, a once in a lifetime flight in a World War II-era Stearman Aircraft plane, a camping package, and more. Family Lifeline also has a “Surprise and Delight” raffle featuring a tower of 16 gifts worth an estimated $4,000. Raffle tickets are $50 or three for $125.

“While we can’t be together in-person, we still have an exciting and engaging Choco Sweet 16 planned for the Richmond community,” said Katina Williams, Family Lifeline’s President and CEO. “We’re thankful for all the volunteers, performers, and auction artists and vendors who donated their time and talent to make this year’s fundraiser a reality. Family Lifeline is committed to addressing disparities and advancing equity in our community by partnering with local families to promote positive change and family resiliency. Our Choco fundraiser helps us fund this critical work.”

The Feb. 4 event will include performances by some of Richmond’s favorite artists — vocalist Desirée Roots, aerialist Host of Sparrows, the Latin Ballet of Virginia, SPARC, the Richmond Triangle Players, and jazz musician James Gates.

“We wanted Choco to honor our many local artists and food service vendors who, like the families we serve, have been impacted greatly by the pandemic,” Williams added. “Choco gives them the opportunity to support our community and grow their visibility. We’re incredibly grateful for their support.”

CBS-6’s Virginia This Morning co-host Jessica Noll will emcee the event.

For more information, visit www.familylifeline.org.

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

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Events

Life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs arriving in Richmond for area’s largest drive-thru exhibit

The Richmond Raceway Complex will come to life starting Friday, September 24 with over 55 static and animatronic dinosaurs, fossils and 26 different species, as part of the Jurassic Encounter.

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The Richmond Raceway Complex will come to life starting Friday, September 24 with over 55 static and animatronic dinosaurs, fossils and 26 different species, as part of the Jurassic Encounter. This life-sized dinosaur drive-thru exhibit is the largest to hit the area in 2021 and brings a new attraction that is a blend of entertainment and education suited for all ages.

The Richmond Raceway Complex will be transformed into a prehistoric setting with dinosaurs and fossils of all sizes, a paleontological camp, and even an erupting volcano.

The Jurassic Encounter kicks off Friday, September 24, and runs through Sunday, October 10. The event is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Hours are as follows:

  • Friday and Saturday 9am-9pm (Friday 9/24 opens at Noon)
  • Sunday 9am-7pm
  • Wednesday and Thursday 1pm-7pm
  • Closed Monday and Tuesday

Guests remain in their vehicle for the duration of the tour and are able to visit the “Dino Village” at the end to browse gifts and souvenirs.  The tour is complemented by a free audio narration which is written with a focus on education and humor for all ages.

Timed tickets must be purchased in advance online and are priced per vehicle. There is the option to add on Dino Packs that include crafts and dinosaur-theme souvenir surprises.  More information can be found at www.drivethrudinos.com.

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Arts & Entertainment

Richmond Folk Festival Announces More Artists

Richmond Folk Festival has nine new artists for you to check out as we wait, with fingers crossed for the return of Folk Fest.

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The Richmond Folk Festival celebrates its 17th anniversary October 8-10, 2021 inviting fans to downtown Richmond’s riverfront to celebrate the roots, richness, and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional crafts, storytelling, and food.

The free, three-day, outdoor event is presented by Venture Richmond Events in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), the Center for Cultural Vibrancy, the Children’s Museum, and the City of Richmond.

Featuring six stages and showcasing music and dance from more than 30 artists from around the nation and the world, the Richmond Folk Festival today announces a second group of artists performing at this year’s festival—a program that will again be culturally diverse and artistically excellent, with some of the finest traditional artists performing throughout the weekend.

“We are proud to be back this year on Richmond’s beautiful downtown riverfront,” said Blaine Waide, associate director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts. “From returning favorites to up-and-coming artists making their Richmond debut to traditions like Sicilian traditional music
that we have never presented before, this year’s program lives up to the festival’s reputation for offering a dizzying variety of artistic expressions and experiences—all for free!”

Venture Richmond Events continues to closely monitor CDC and Virginia guidelines for COVID-19 protocols for large outdoor events. A commitment to safety and adherence to local, state, and federal ordinances and recommendations will guide all decisions regarding the festival.(see COVID-19 guidelines)

The nine newly announced artists to be featured at the 2021 Richmond Folk Festival include:

The Brotherhood Singers (African American a cappella gospel quartet singing)
Covington, Kentucky

Donny Broussard & the Louisiana Stars (Cajun)
Kaplan, Louisiana

Jasmine Bell & North Bear (Lakota hoop dance and Northern Plains drum)
Riverton, Wyoming

The Pedro Giraudo Tango Ensemble (Argentine tango)
New York, New York

Rosa Tatuata with Michela Musolino (Sicilian traditional music)
Clifton, New Jersey

Sugaray Rayford (blues)
Los Angeles, California

Taj Weekes (reggae)
St. Lucia by way of New York, New York

Tres en Punto (trío romántico)
Mission, Texas

The Western Flyers (western swing)
Burleson, Texas

The festival’s previously announced artists include:

Joanie Madden & Cherish the Ladies (Irish)
Yonkers, New York

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (bluegrass)
Charlestown, Indiana

Nava Persian Trio (Persian santour)
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Plena Es (bomba y plena)
Sunrise, Florida

Rare Essence (go-go)
Washington, D.C.

Sean Jones “Dizzy Spellz” feat. Brinae Ali (jazz, hip hop, and tap dance)
Baltimore, Maryland

Click here for extended artist bios, plus audio and video samples on our website.

Encore Performances on VPM

Every Saturday at 5:00pm, catch VPM broadcasts of favorite performances from the past 13 years of the Richmond Folk Festival, as well as the three years the city hosted the National Folk Festival (2005-07). Tune in to Richmond public radio VPM stations 107.3 FM & 93.1 FM for great musical memories. Add these shows to your calendar today:

Aug 28 Dale Ann Bradley
Sep 4 Lurie Bell, Andes Manta
Sept 11 Amargue Bachata Quintet with Andre Veloz
Sept 18 Ahava Raba with Yanky Lemmer
Sept 25 Sona Jobarteh
Oct 2 Maggie Ingram, Frank Newsome, The Paschall Brothers, Clinton Fearon

Interactive Scavenger Hunt

From now through Labor Day weekend, the Richmond Folk Festival is offering an interactive scavenger hunt. It takes about an hour or two to complete, and there are two routes from which to choose. The scavenger hunt presents opportunities to notice often-missed public art, learn about history and different cultures, and listen to relevant musical links along the way. Like the festival, both routes include hills, steps, and uneven ground. Those who successfully complete the festival’s scavenger hunt will be entered in drawings for prizes, with winners selected all summer long! The scavenger hunt runs through September 7.

For all details, please visit our website: https://www.richmondfolkfestival.org/scavhuntintro

More information on the festival and additional artists performing this year will follow soon. For
updates, visit www.richmondfolkfestival.org. #RVAFolkFest

To make a donation to the Richmond Folk Festival today, Text to Give! Text FOLK to 44321.

The Richmond Folk Festival is produced by Venture Richmond Events, in partnership with the
National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), the Center for Cultural Vibrancy, the Children’s
Museum, and the City of Richmond.

The Richmond Folk Festival is sponsored by Altria, Dominion Energy, CoStar Group, CarMax,
NewMarket Corp., City of Richmond, WestRock, Brown Distributing, Community Foundation,
Amtrak, LIDL, Virginia Lottery, Atlantic Union Bank, NBC12 & CW Richmond, VPM,
SummitMedia, Hilton Downtown Richmond, ONE Casino + Resort, American Civil War Museum,
National Park Service, Virginia Humanities, JAMinc., Plan 9 Music, RMC Events, PD Brooks,
SmartBox, Virginia Housing, Wells Fargo, Winn Transportation, House of Hayes, TNT Auto
Rental, Federal Reserve Bank, and Virginia War Memorial

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Events

First-ever ‘Sports Backers Fitness Festival’ announced for September 18 in Chimborazo Park

The free festival will feature fitness stations, exercise demos, and local vendors.

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The first-ever Sports Backers Fitness Festival takes place on Saturday, September 18, Sports Backers announced today. The festival promotes the fitness and outdoor activity opportunities available in Richmond and runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Chimborazo Park at 3215 E. Broad Street. Participation in the Fitness Festival is free, but attendees are asked to register beforehand.

The free festival features classes and demos led by members of Sports Backers’ Fitness Warriors program. The community health initiative trains area residents who have talent, passion, and potential to be professional fitness instructors for Richmond’s communities with the highest rates of chronic disease. Fitness Warriors currently lead free classes six days a week throughout the Richmond region, both in person and virtually, and the classes are geared towards all levels of fitness.

Fitness Warriors will lead sessions during the Fitness Festival in a celebration of active living and to help encourage participants to make physical activity a daily habit. A variety of activities and modalities are available throughout the day, including yoga, Pilates, Zumba, resistance bands, and high intensity interval training. The festival also features local health and fitness vendors to help guide participants on their active living journey. A vendor application is available at www.tfaforms.com/4924659.

”The Sports Backers Fitness Festival brings together many of our region’s most enthusiastic and passionate fitness leaders for a day of high-energy fun,” said Tiffany Copeland, Director of Fitness Warriors for Sports Backers. “At Sports Backers, our mission is to inspire people from all corners of our community to live actively. The festival supports this mission by encouraging attendees to sample a wide variety of activities and learn innovative ways to add active living into their lifestyle on a daily basis.”

Sports Backers is partnering with several corporate and nonprofit sponsors, including the RVA Community Development Corp., to deliver the inaugural Fitness Festival. These partnerships build connections with a wide range of community members and share the message of the importance of active living.

“We’re excited to help sponsor this event because Fitness Warriors reflects our values of economic empowerment and community-based leadership,” said Elaine Summerfield, Board President of the RVA Community Development Corp., a nonprofit that is working to support and sustain community assets and economic opportunity, with a particular focus on Richmond’s East End.

Additional supporters of the Sports Backers Fitness Festival include Markel, Mutual Assurance of Virginia, and the Market @ 25th. More details on the Sports Backers Fitness Festival are available at www.sportsbackers.org/events/fitness-festival.

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