Rockfish Valley News: October 2021

Rockfish Ruritan Park September Car Show. Photo: Jennifer Fitzgerald.

Rockfish Ruritan Park Hosts First Annual Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show

Over 100 spectators attended an event on Saturday, September 18th at the Rockfish Ruritan Park. There were 58 entries in a competition and 14 vendors set up.  Stephanie Thompson was awarded 2nd Place for her 1939 Chevrolet Coupe.  (pictured) Thompson said, “This car was fully restored as a hobby and passion of my Grandfather, Roy Thompson, now deceased. Our family enjoys taking it out and showing it.”  There were 15 total winners in five categories in addition to Best in Show.

2nd Place Winner Chevrolet Couple with 1st place winner Ford Model A

1939-older: 1st place – Dale Wood, 1930 Model A Ford; 2nd place – Stephanie Thompson, 1939 Chevrolet Coupe; 1940-1959: 1st place – Dick Carroll, 1949 Lincoln Couple; 2nd place – Joe Lawhorne, 1957 Ford Fairlane; 3rd place – Jeffrey Wilk, 1947 Whizzer motorcycle; 1960-1979: 1st place – Lee Sanchez, 1969 Dodge Super Bee; 2nd place – George Miller, 1967 International Scout; 3rd place –Mark McGann, 1968 Chevrolet Camaro; 1980-1999: 1st place – Guy Roberts, 1983 Chevy S10; 2nd place – David Ross, 1983 Chevy K-20; 3rd place – John Norder, 1999 Plymouth Prowler; 2000-newer: 1st place – Scott Sellers, 2010 Chevy Camaro; 2nd place – Darin Combs, 2019 Ford Mustang “The Gotham Knight”; 3rd place – Lauro Prieto, 2019 Chevrolet Corvette; Best in Show:  David Ross – 1983 Chevy K-20.

Nelson County Joins Regional Cigarette Tax Board

Nelson County Supervisors voted to join the Blue Ridge Cigarette Tax Board at their September meeting.  Setting a tax rate, from zero to 40 cents, will require a separate ordinance. Four persons, all claiming to be non-smokers, spoke in public comments against the tax. 

Redistricting is also under consideration in the county. Susan Rorrer, director of Nelson’s County Information Systems, provided 2020 U.S. Census numbers to the Board, reviewing district populations. Population numbers must fall within a specific standard deviation to be equally distributed in the five voting districts, Rorrer said. No decision was made and a presentation of alternative plans is slated for the Supervisors’ October 12 meeting. The numbers reported in the Central District are disproportionally higher than neighboring districts and will require some adjustment. 

Plein Air Paint Out

The Rockfish Valley Foundation (RVF) has scheduled a Plein Air Paint Out event October 8-10.  RVF is part of Art For Everyone, a joint celebration with Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival and Virginia Fall Foliage Festival in Waynesboro ( which are the same weekend.

RVF is hosting 29 invited professional artists to paint outdoors in the natural beauty of the Rockfish Valley and beyond in Nelson County. Schedule for artists day begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. Friday, October 8 and 9. A Youth Plein Air Paint Out and Class is offered from 9 a.m. to noon at Spruce Creek Park on Saturday.

Virginia Naturalists will offer Nature programs for all ages on Saturday at the Camille Trailhead, 721 Rockfish Valley Highway, Nellysford. Sunday features a short “Quick Draw” from 10 a.m. to noon., followed by a public display and sale at the Tuckahoe Clubhouse in Stoney Creek from 2 to 5 p.m. Details are available at

Cancellations and New Beginnings at RVCC

The Skate Nelson Festival set for October 9 at Rockfish Valley Community Center has been cancelled as the RVCC monitors local Covid rates. The new plan calls for a spring or summer event. 

Fall outdoor Flea Markets are also cancelled in October. The Winter Markets will resume November 6 after the Nelson Farm Market in Nellysford ends. This Community Market is held indoors with the local farm vendors frequently seen offering farm raised meat, produce, cheese, plants and handmade jams, baked goods, and crafts.   

The Quilt Exhibit and reception has also been cancelled. Questions regarding art exhibits and quilt displays are directed to [email protected].

Pancake Breakfasts continue monthly on the first Saturday and are run entirely by vaccinated volunteers, who are always needed. To help this community event, contact [email protected].  Auditorium seating allows for safe distances, and masks are required until seated. 

Save the Chestnut

The public is invited to the annual general membership meeting for the Virginia Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation Oct. 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Rockfish Valley Community Center at 190 Rockfish School Lane in Afton.

Sara Fitzsimmons, director of restoration for The American Chestnut Foundation, will speak on “The Role of the Virginia Chapter in the Science of American Chestnut Rescue, Reintroduction and Restoration.”

Dr. John Scrivani will lead a tour of Lesesne State Forest (located about 10 miles from the RVCC) at 3 p.m. It was first planted with chestnut trees in 1969 by the Virginia Department of Forestry. 

Please RSVP to [email protected] if you plan to attend in person or if you will need a Zoom invitation.

The Virginia Chapter offers a monthly, 45-minute-long Power Point presentation on Zoom that covers the history of the American chestnut tree, the blight and efforts to restore it. The next presentation is October 20 at 7:30 p.m. 


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