FunStuff: Charlottesville events May 17 and beyond

Batesville Day
Now that Batesville got its country store back, or "café-market" as the owners of the recently opened Plank Road Exchange are calling it, there will again be some tasty food at this year's Batesville Day, the area's iconic small town extravaganza with music, a parade, a 10K road race, and even an Ugly Truck raffle. The 10K starts at 8am, the parade starts at 11am, and the food, tunes, and fun go on until 2pm.
May 19, Batesville, 8am-2pm, Free


Maino at the Paramount
In between a line-up of opera, classic films, and Municipal Band of Charlottesville performances, the Paramount Theater has slipped in something edgy: Brooklyn-based rapper Maino. While reviewers say his new stuff isn't as hard-core, this ain't no string quartet either. Promoting his new album, The Day After Tomorrow, the 35-year-old hip-hop artist has been around the block, from shopping his mixed tapes on the streets of Bedford-Stuyvesant, to forming his own label. Will he be crazy, hard, and brash with the crowd at the Paramount, like he does on "Gotta Luv Me," or will he go a little more soft and reflective? Guess you'll have to go to find out.
May 19, Paramount Theater, 10pm, $20/$50


History Day
Did you know that Stony Point, the small community up Route 20 North, got its name because most of the subterranean bedrock has been pushed to the surface by the earth's force, making it the highest point between Charlottesville and Barboursville? Or that Jefferson and Madison are said to have attended services at the over 200-year old Preddy Creek Baptist Church? Well, you can find out more during Stony Point History Day, where speakers will share stories and documents about the community's early days. Local history buffs won't want to miss this one. It takes place at 2835 Watts Passage Road, just of Route 20 North. Oh, the photo is the Stony Point School circa 1940.
May 19, Stony Point Ruritan Club, 1-4pm, Free


Follow the Herd
Known for their light-jamming, soulful sound with a conscience, Donna the Buffalo borrows from country, rock, reggae, folk, and even zydeco to create a sound that has kept them on the festival circuit for over 20 years. The western New York-based band, led by guitarist Jeb Puryear and violinist/guitarist Tara Nevins, who share vocals and song writing credits, has often garnered those "hardest-working" band type kudos. She's known to grab an accordion and a scrubboard too, and their sets often go on for over two hours– to the delight of the fans who are called "the Herd," so get ready groove out.
May 19, Jefferson Theater, 8pm, $15/$17


Running with, not from, parents
Now in its 22nd year, the Virginia Discovery Museum’s Annual Discovery Dash features kids and their parents competing in a dozen different running races to raise money for the museum's educational programs. The event features quarter-mile, half-mile, and mile races, and even a series of parent/child relay races. In addition to awards, prizes will also be handed out in a raffle, including a Razor Scooter and and I-Pod Nano. According to the folks at the Discovery Museum, its the oldest kids track race in Virginia. While that might not seem like most impressive distinction, the fun and camaraderie the event has provided for young kids and their parents over the last two decades have been much appreciated.
May 19, Monticello High School, 7:45am-10am, $13/$25


18th Annual
Another long-time event, the 18th annual Virginia WineFest is also coming around. Held each year at Ash Lawn-Highland, the home of President James Monroe, the festival features wines from Virginia's most notable wineries, tastings, food offerings, crafts, house tours, and live music. It's also rain or shine, as the whole thing will move under tents and at the Hilltop Pavilion should the skies open up.
May 19, Ash Lawn-Highland, 11am-5pm, $15/$7/$20


The Presidential election
For a more sobering experience, why not head over to the Miller Center to find out how the Washington Post will be covering the upcoming Presidential election. It's bound to be an exciting election, as both sides are passionate about defeating the other. As recently reported, the Greene County Republican Party called for "armed revolution" should the President be reelected. Whoa! At the Miller Center, Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli, and political blogger for the Post, Chris Cillizza (pictured), a familiar face on the national news program circuit, will provide their take on how things could unfold. So fasten your seat belts.
May 18, Miller Center, 11am, Free


Lt. Dan at the Paramount
Life may be a box of chocolates, but on May 25 we know what we're going to get: actor and musician Gary "Lt. Dan" Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band at the Paramount Theater. Sinise, best known for the character he played in the 1994 film Forrest Gump, has since used that name recognition to form a band that has performed for service men and woman around the world. Apparently, the band serves up something for just about everyone: Hendrix and Stevie Wonder classics, big band tunes from the 1940s, and even stuff from American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. The Charlottesville performance will support ParadeRest. And attention big spenders: $500 gets you dinner at Fleurie, VIP seating, and a meet-and-greet with Sinise.
May 25, Paramount Theater, 8pm, $65/$200/$500


Ride the James
Head down Scottsville way and ride the last existing poled ferry still operating in America. Things like timber and farm produce were carried across the James by the Hatton Ferry over 100 years ago, then loaded on to freight trains. At a nearby store, people picked up mail and items shipped into Hatton, and the ferry was an important transportation link between Buckingham and Albemarle counties. In 2009, the ferry was nearly shut down by the state highway department, but a nonprofit was formed in 2010 that saved it. Today, it's a living bit of American history, and a lovely way to experience the waters of the James River. It operates on Saturday from 9am to 5pm, and on Sunday from noon to 5pm between April and October.
May-October weekends, Hatton Ferry, times above, $2 per person and $5 per vehicle.


Charlottesville future world
Paper City
is the May exhibit at the Chroma Gallery on the Downtown Mall that explores unbound ideas for the future development of our fair city. Will there be an aerial gondola that travels through the air above the buildings? Should the controversial "no bridge" scheme (depicted here) for the Belmont Bridge replacement project be built? Charlottesville Tomorrow will be hosting a private party at the gallery to re-visit the exhibit and discuss as part of its monthly News n' Brews gathering. Event-goers will enjoy refreshments and stimulating conversation about design dreams and reality in shaping our city's future.
May 24, Chroma Gallery, 5:30-7pm, free


This week's "FunStuff" was compiled by Dave McNair, and next week's "FunStuff" will be compiled by another newsroom staffer. To get your event considered, send a press release to

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huh, some no-name rapper at the Paramout.... way to go

huh, some no-name rapper at the Paramount.... way to go