Sunday, February 19, 2017

Really Richmond Fun & Fabulous Things To Do This Spring, 2017

Really Richmond
Fun & Fabulous Things To Do This Spring

As the temps climb and the blossoms bud, it must be time to shake off those winter doldrums and get out and about in RVA.  Fortunately for us, there are lots of interesting and Really Richmond things to do so that boredom is never an option.  Whether you are a native, or just moved here, you can experience engaging activities that make you feel like you are welcome and belong (because you are and you do).  Here are just three of them:

Annual St. Paul’s Lenten Lunch Series – Starting Wednesday, March 1 and running weekdays through April 12, St. Paul’s Parrish Hall is the place to be if you crave truly local cuisine served in a hometown setting.  The Lenten Lunch series has roots going back to 1896, and has evolved into a food magnet for those in the know.  St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is at the corner of 9th and Grace Streets (815 East Grace Street, Richmond, VA  23219).  The entrance to the Lenten Lunch is easy to figure out about 11:30 every weekday starting in March by the steady stream of hungry folks lining up just to chow down on the excellent offerings inside. There are two seatings at 11:45 and 1:00 daily, with a Lenten Lunch service at noon each day. Attending the optional half hour special services are a great opportunity to see the interior of this stunning Greek Revival structure designed by Thomas S. Stewart in 1845.  His other landmark in Richmond is the Egyptian Building (1846), still a part of the VCU/MCV campus. St. Paul’s exquisite sanctuary interior features history from all ages, but is significant from an aesthetic perspective through the stained glass windows alone.  There are several masterpieces in glass by artists like Louis Comfort Tiffany.  Whether you sandwich the service in with the earlier or later lunch, you may be confident that whatever you order for Lenten Lunch is from Really Richmond recipes.  If you are pressed for time, or just cannot decide what to order, purchase one or a few of the frozen entrees available in the handy take out section.  If you need to get back to the office, grab a lunch or two to go while you are there.  For a real treat, experience a sit down meal that is truly memorable. The lines form early, especially on Cheese SoufflĂ© Day (Wednesdays). The meals are prepared and served by dedicated community volunteers who include significant social and business leaders.  All of the proceeds go toward helping local nonprofits.  At $8 per meal, including a drink, the price is definitely right.  For $2 extra you can add a delicious dessert - $3 will make it a la mode.  Lenten Lunch features the most guilt free calories in Richmond.  Go often, and take a friend or colleague. For more information on St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Lenten Lunches go to

The 5th Annual Virginia Antiquarian Book Fair – if you love to read, and enjoy meeting and mingling with others who do, or if you are seeking that one special item you cannot find anywhere, your journey likely begins and ends at the 5th Annual Virginia Antiquarian Book Fair.  The Virginia Antiquarian Book Fair returns this year to the popular Virginia Historical Society – hooray – convenient parking! The VHS is located at 426 North Boulevard, Richmond VA  23220 (next to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts).  Join other bibliophiles beginning Friday, April 7, 2017, 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm, through to Saturday, April 8 from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.  Get there early on April 7 for the noon VHS Banner Lecture given this year by Gary W. Gallagher, an esteemed Civil War historian and the John L. Nau III Professor of History at the University of Virginia. Repeat – get there early if you wish to attend the lecture.  These VHS noontime talks fill to capacity fast. The lecture admission is $5, and free for VHS members.  On Friday, after the lecture, stroll around the exhibit hall that will be packed with interesting and in many cases rare books, maps, autographs, photos, prints, posters, Virginiana and other ephemera.  You will want to return on Saturday to catch what you missed on Friday – bring a friend to share in the fun and to help you carry home all your treasures. This free conference is the connection for what is rare and remarkable.  For more information, contact the VABA at

Richmond:  Evolution of a City – How can you tell where you’ve been, if you do not know where you are?  Maps come in handy to find answers to those questions, and for 14 years, the Alan M. and Nathalie P. Voorhees Lecture on the History of Cartography has featured the celebrities of the world of cartography.  The Library of Virginia (800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA  23219) is the site of this fascinating and free conference.  The theme of this year is “Richmond:  Evolution of a City.” Many map-related activities, talks, and tours are available for the experienced map collector or the simply curious.  From 10:00 to noon, map appraisals by Old World Auctions will be offered.  An exhibition on significant maps featuring Richmond will be on view from 10:00 to 4:00.  Special tours of the Library of Virginia collections (worth the visit by itself) will be from 10:15 to 11:15.  The special collections tours are free, but reservations are required by contacting Dawn Greggs at  The highlight of the day is featured speakers who will share what they know from 1:00 to 3:00.  This annual event is sponsored by the Fry-Jefferson Map Society in care of the Library of Virginia Foundation.  For more information call 804-692-3813.

Alyson Lindsey Taylor-White,
Allyson is a historian and instructor of Richmond and Petersburg history at the University of Richmond.  History Press will publish her book on Richmond’s Shockoe Hill Cemetery this year.

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