FunStuff: Charlottesville events August 23 and beyond

Not just Hacking around
The original Americana band is back, they're more handsome than ever, and– if that weren't exciting enough– founder David Sickmen has returned to the fold. Fresh from a European and all-over-America tour, one of the biggest acts ever to emerge from Charlottesville, the Hackensaw Boys, returns to its roots for a big Friday-night homecoming at a venue whose front woodwork Sickmen himself actually refinished. That's no joke, and neither is the music from this eight-man acoustic unit that mixes old-times sounds with modern sensibilities. With Jim Waive & The Young Divorcees.
August 24, Jefferson Theater, 8pm doors, $13-15



Four-day fill-up
Charlottesville's cute little non-profit school for writers has hundreds of new and used books that it wants you to buy as a benefit to your brain– and the group's finances. With prices said to be 50 to 99 percent off the cover price, this Thursday-through-Sunday Summer Book Sale will also include CDs, audiobooks, and DVDs. It all benefits this next-door-to-the-downtown-Bodo's institution located at 508 Dale Avenue. Odd hours though: Thursday Noon-8pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 8am-7pm, and the final day– Sunday 8am-7pm– allows bargain hunters to fill a bag for $7.
August 23-26, Writerhouse, various hours, free till you buy 




And she's buying….
Remember all those rumors of a Led Zep reunion? Well, since it hasn't materialized, this may just be your best bet to climb the stairway to heaven and somehow feel a whole lotta love from what may have been the biggest of the monster bands of the 1970s, Led Zeppelin. It's Zoso, which has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as "head and shoulders above all other Zeppelin tributes." Touring nationally since 1999 and performing as many as 180 concerts each year, they seem to meet the Malcolm Gladwell test of practice, practice, practice. And not only do the four guys play vintage instruments but they also bring out visual imagery to recreate the magic and mystery of a real Led Zep concert (so you can photograph your friends like this).
August 29, Jefferson Theater, doors at 7pm, $12-$15




Paddle your friends
You can't really walk in the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson until you've gotten on your knees in a canoe. And that's not a lascivious statement; it's just that the Rivanna River was the main mode of transport in the early days of Charlottesville, and now you've got a chance to see Charlottesville as TJ did– from the water. So join the Sierra club for an afternoon of paddling down the Rivanna. The fee includes canoe or kayak rental and a shuttle back to the starting point. They'll meet at the Barracks Road Shopping Center and then car-pool south to the Crofton-to-Palmyra stretch. For more information and to reserve a spot, call Dave Redding at 434 -218-3146
August 26, meet-up at Barracks, 1-6pm, $30




Chefs in training
If you're like us, you think mac n' cheese is bland kid food. But one of the roving cooking schools in town promises to elevate this lunchtime staple a few notches with basil and tomato. That's just one of the dishes that Charlottesville Wine & Culinary will offer at its upcoming mid-day Sunday participation-style cooking class held in the intimate kitchen of the winery located at 1650 Harris Creek Road (just off U.S. 20 toward Scottsville). The menu, which also includes "breast of chicken Diane" and a "sinful" chocolate truffle torte, will be paired with First Colony wines and savored by the student chefs in the dining room– or al fresco on the deck if weather permits. Make a reservation for this lunchtime event by calling 434-979-7105.
August 26, First Colony Winery, 11am-2pm, $65


By the pool
Have you heard about these special concerts at Charlottesville's biggest and oldest pool? Well, the next one features the Buzzard Hollow Boys. We think they sound like the result of a crash between a pickup truck filled with blues musicians and one filled with country crooners, and we mean that in a nice way. You can decide for yourself this Saturday under the big ole oak trees at this Jefferson Park Avenue institution. Bring yer own lawn chair. Food and bevvies for sale. Bonus: swimming. Extra bonus: while teens need to pay the cover charge, younger kids are free.
August 25, Fry's Spring Beach Club, 5:30-8:30, $5

Get another prom
Ever wish you could get a prom-night do-over?  Main Street Arena and MoRawk Events present Prom: Take 2 to benefit the Sexual Assault Resource Agency. The musical spotlight will be on Soul Transit Authority with a mix of Motown and soul of the '50s through the '70s– with special guest DJ SuperJock JJ. And then later on the music shifts to the 80s, 90s and today with DJ Frenchbraid. There will be prizes for the best dressed from each era at this Saturday night event downtown.
August 25, Main Street Arena, 8pm-2am, $15


You're probably not lukewarm on Pretty Lights, aka Derek Vincent Smith, as his unique blend of hip-hop, synth, and sampling is not for everyone. But this emotion-filled Colorado-based musician brings not only danceable music but a state of-the-art light show at our town's biggest outdoor venue for a Thursday night fandango that's sure to have thousands of people dancing on the east end of the Downtown Mall.
August 30, nTelos Wireless Pavilion, doors at 6pm, $28


Start 'em quick
If you want to help a kid learn a lifetime sport and get a preview of the fun that can be his or hers this fall via Quickstart Tennis, then bring that kid out to Claudius Crozet Park this Saturday. There, Ellen "Dr. E" Markowitz and fellow pro Chris "Cubby" Cubbage will be serving up fun at a kids tennis festival. It's a special event designed to promote multi-day tennis clinics that will offered by QuickStart Tennis of Central Virginia, a volunteer non-profit group that promotes tennis, particularly for under-served youth. Earlier this summer, foundation donations led to the installation of three mini tennis courts at the park, and the plan is to eventually build a couple of full-size courts there.
August 25, Claudius Crozet Park, 3-5pm, free


Flag-waiving swims
As a small gesture to show gratitude and appreciation for the brave

men and women of the military who served or still serve America, the Albemarle County Parks and Recreation department will waive entry fees into Chris Greene, Walnut Creek, and (shown here) Mint Springs Park for all card-carrying, active-duty military and their immediate family members, as well as card-carrying veterans, for the remainder of the season. Alas, the season kinda ends on August 21, but the beaches reopen the weekends of August 25-26 and September 1-3. And even if you're not a veteran, there's no park user fee collected whenever the beaches are closed, which they surely will be after September 3.
August 25-26, three swimming parks, normal operating hours, free (for military)

Read more on: FunStuff