(Photo courtesy Sandston American Legion Post 242)
Every year, it seems like the crowd at the Sandston Memorial Day Parade gets bigger, says Bobby Wade, an American Legion Post 242 officer who has worked on organizing the event since its inception eight years ago and has served as parade master for the last five years.
Preceded by a Veterans Recognition Ceremony at noon at Seven Pines National Cemetery (where more than 1,300 Civil War soldiers are buried), the parade is set to begin at 1 p.m. Monday at Seven Pines Elementary School on Beulah Road. It will proceeds through Sandston to Confederate Avenue, followed by live music, children’s activities and vendor booths.
Wade, who pauses his grass-cutting on a sunny Wednesday afternoon to talk about the event, says he expects at least 125 units, including members of a Mustang club and a Corvette club, the Highland Springs High School band and the Varina ROTC band. In a special tribute, the Virginia State Police will have a car in honor of Trooper Chad Dermyer, a Marine Corps veteran who died after being shot during a training exercise at Richmond's Greyhound station in March.
Though the sun is out as we speak, Wade has an eye on the weekend weather forecast, which calls for rain. Line-up takes place in a ball field, and it would be difficult to mark the spots for participants if the ground is a soggy mess, he says.
Wade also divulges that this could be the last year for the parade. It's simply too big an undertaking for him and Post 242 commander Temple Ancarrow, who've done the bulk of the work, aided by two members of American Legion Post 144.
"Last year, we almost decided it would be the last one, but to try one more year to see if we could get some help," he says. Although interest from attendees remains high,"the help is just not there."
Still, Wade says, if someone wants to step up and take over, "I'd be more than glad to help them."
In other happenings this weekend, the "Nature Connects" exhibition of Lego sculptures opens at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden on Friday, continuing through Sept. 18. included with regular garden admission of $12. 262-9887 or lewisginter.org.
Friday Cheers is holding RVA Music Night, with Nashville-to-Richmond transplant Natalie Prass in the line-up that includes Lady God and Sam Reed. The music starts at 6 p.m., with Prass set to take the stage at 8. $5. 788-6466 or venturerichmond.com.
It's also Fourth Friday in Manchester, and Artspace will feature several new exhibitions including "Phantom Limbs & Deciduous Appendages," The Lady Octavia’s collage illustrations and assemblage pieces, created using vintage paper sources, antique ephemera and oddities. An opening reception will be held Friday, May 27, from 7 to 10 p.m. and a closing artist talk is planned for June 19 at 2 p.m. Other exhibitions include the "Sharedspace Invitational," with works by 10 artists selected by Artspace members; "Shifting Focus," featuring digital photography and handmade books by Dawn Gillis; and "Common Ground," showing mixed media works by Richmond artists. 232-6464 or artspacegallery.org.
Here's a look at some of the other happenings around town over the next few days:
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings 5/25
Funk and soul are on tap at Innsbrook After Hours on a bill that includes Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. 6 p.m. $30. 423-1779 or innsbrookafterhours.com.
Jackson Browne 5/31
Rescheduled from January, the veteran singer-songwriter stops at Carpenter Theatre on his solo acoustic tour, featuring stripped-down renditions of classics like “Fountain of Sorrow,” “The Pretender” and (let’s hope) that memorable rewrite of Maurice Williams and Zodiacs’ “Stay.” 8 p.m. $37 to $85. 592-3400 or richmondcenterstage.com.
RVA Talent Showdown 5/31
The Tin Pan’s monthly talent competition, where up to 15 local acts vie for a cash prize and the chance to advance to the year-end grand finale contest. 7 p.m. $8. 8982 Quioccasin Road. 447-8189 or tinpanrva.com.
Béla Fleck and The Flecktones 6/2
The renowned banjoist and composer is leading his reunited quartet on a two-week tour that includes a stop at Maymont. 6:30 p.m. $30 or $65. 289-8980 or modlin.richmond.edu.
‘Twelfth Night’ 6/2-26
The 18th annual Richmond Shakespeare Festival at Agecroft Hall opens with this comedy in which a shipwrecked Viola disguises herself as a boy and falls in love with Count Orsino, while also attracting the affections of Countess Olivia. 7:30 p.m. $30. 340-0115 or quilltheatre.org.
This Latin Ballet of Virginia performance is based on the novel by Richmond author Meg Medina about family, identity and the power of a mother’s love. Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. $10. 356-3876 or latinballet.com.
‘Don’t Cry for Me, Margaret Mitchell’ through 6/4
Conor Backman and Jiha Moon through 5/27
A Hudson, New York-based artist and VCU alumnus, Backman draws on his education in sculpture and painting to incorporate three-dimensional elements in “Circular Garden” at Reynolds Gallery. The second exhibition, by Korean-born, Atlanta-based artist Jiha Moon, features paintings that explore cultural identity by combining imagery from both Eastern and Western cultures. VCUarts Fountainhead Fellows Whitney Oldenburg (an adjunct faculty member in VCUarts' Painting and Printmaking department) and Zachary Trow, are exhibiting in the upstairs gallery. 1514 W. Main St. 355-6553 or reynoldsgallery.com.
‘Signs of Life’ through 5/28
Artwork by Khaled Al-Saa’i, Marguerite Courtney, Hillary Fayle, Anoka Faruqee, Penelope Gottlieb, Jason Hackett, Ledelle Moe, Jaydan Moore and Clay Witt at Page Bond Gallery. 1625 W. Main St. 359-3633 or pagebondgallery.com.
'Push Me Pull You' through 5/29
Maine-based artist Anna Hepler’s exhibition at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond will feature wire and fiber sculpture, ceramics, woodcuts, etchings and cyanotypes. In conjunction, Quirk Gallery will present “Alphabet,” an exhibition of Hepler’s work on paper and small sculptural models in mixed media, through May 8. Visual Arts Center: 353-0094 or visarts.org; Quirk: 644-5450 or quirkgallery.com.
'Different Trends' through 5/31
Works by Ugandan artist Hassan Mukiibi at Elegba Folklore Society. 101 E. Broad St., 644-3900 or efsinc.org.
Anne’s Visual Art Studio has three art openings on First Fridays, May 6. A 6:30 p.m. talk with the artists (Terry Lynn Smith, Elaine Bankston, and Susan Hribernik) will be held followed by a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. 208 W. Broad St. 644-1368 or facebook.com/VisualArtStudio.
"Tribute: A Retrospective of David Wurtzel & James DelGrosso" through 5/31
Both artists have resonated with collectors in the Richmond area and beyond, Glave Kocen Gallery co-owner BJ Kocen notes. 1620 W. Main St., 358-1990 or glavekocengallery.com.
‘Slices of Life: RVA’ through 6/17
Richmond-area photographers capture life in their hometown. Pine Camp Arts & Community Center. 4901 Old Brook Road. 646-6722 or www.richmondgov.com/parks.
“Thomas R. Schiff: Virginia 360°' through 6/19
Contemporary photographer Thomas R. Schiff made these 40 panoramic images in Virginia between 2004 and 2013. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Free. 340-1400 or vmfa.museum.
‘Cowgirls are Easy to Love’ through 6/19
Visit Anne’s Visual Art Studio to see Terry Lynn Smith's figurative oil paintings with attitude. 208 W. Broad St. 644-1368 or facebook.com/VisualArtStudio.
‘Inside Out’ through 7/3
Suzanna Fields’ large, vertical paintings contrast gestural black-and-white mark-making with dense layers and economically incorporated color. Quirk Gallery. 340-6036 or quirkgallery.com.
Butterflies Live! through 10/9
Get up-close and personal as hundreds of butterflies flutter around you in the conservatory. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Included with garden admission, $12 for adults. 262-9887 or lewisginter.org.
‘Faces of Freedom, Stories of Service’ through 11/13
Opening at The Valentine, photographer Mark Mitchell explores how local military veterans’ years of service shaped their lives. 1015 E. Clay St. 649-0711 or thevalentine.org.
‘The Virginia Man’ through 1/29/2017
Stories of respect, responsibility and rebellion are preserved in the wardrobes of prominent and lesser-known Virginians on display at The Valentine. Museum admission is $10. 1015 E. Clay St., 649-0711 or thevalentine.org.
‘First Freedom’ through 3/2/2017
This new Library of Virginia exhibition looks at the revolutionary Virginia legislation that established separation of church and state. 800 E. Broad St. 692-3500 or lva.virginia.gov.