As this magazine comes into your hands, we'll be at the tail end of the holiday season, but keep that spirit for a wee bit longer and help out with one more event, the Miller and Rhoads Charity Christmas Tree contest.
Started last year, it features more than 50 holiday trees, each decorated by a local nonprofit and displayed in the big, plate-glass windows of the former department-store building downtown (now the Hilton Garden Inn).
In the tradition of television's Dancing With the Stars, the winning tree will be chosen by a panel of judges and by the people of Virginia. The decision of the panel of judges (I'm one of them) will count for only a percentage of the contest's point structure; the other part of the equation will be determined by an online vote. At stake is $1,000 for the winning charity.
Online voting closes Jan. 2 at midnight, so head to christmastreecontest.com/vote before then to pick your favorite. Winners will be revealed on Friday, Jan. 6, in the Hilton Garden Inn's ballroom.
Two days later, join Richmond magazine at the VMFA, where we'll get to meet Elvis' mystery woman in person, and so can you.
Back in 1995, staff writer Harry Kollatz Jr. launched a national search for her after we put Alfred Wertheimer's 1956 photograph of a sexy stairwell kiss backstage at the Landmark Theater on the cover of the magazine. Harry's search went nowhere, but reporter Alanna Nash found the mystery woman, Barbara Gray of Charleston, S.C., for Vanity Fair in 2011.
Gray will be here to celebrate Elvis' birthday at the VMFA on Jan. 8, with a cake and book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Come join us!
Finally, Richmond magazine is pleased to announce that next month, it will host the inaugural Elbys to recognize excellence in the Richmond region's restaurant community. Named for the founder of La Petite France, Chef Paul Elbling, the Elbys will be awarded on Sunday, Feb. 12. With community sponsors to date including folks such as the RMCVB, Brown Distributing and Richmond-based Cirrus Vodka, it's turning into what we hope will be a great premiere celebration of the region's restaurateurs. For tickets, visit richmondmagazine.com/elbys.