FunStuff: Charlottesville events October 11 and beyond

UVA Homecomings
Homecomings at UVA is an event-packed weekend every fall surrounding a home football game. Should be a good one this year, as Virginia and Maryland are ranked pretty closely in the ACC. But Homecomings isn't just about Saturday football. In addition to home soccer and women's volleyball games, a bunch of fun events open to the public are also planned. For instance, there's a big cook-out on the South Lawn on Thursday, October 11 featuring free Big Jim's BBQ and music from The C-Villians. On October 12, UVA promises a "Fridays After Five" vibe at the Amphitheater. There will be music by Love Cannon and more from the C-Villians.
October 11-13, UVA Grounds, 5pm, free


Martha's Market
This annual benefit for the Women’s Committee of Martha Jefferson Hospital has helped raise over $3 million to support breast health, women’s midlife health, heart disease, community outreach, and more. Every year, as many as 70 boutiques set up shop in the John Paul Jones Arena to create a huge once-a-year weekend marketplace. This is the event's 19th year, with all vendors donating 15 percent of their sales to the cause. Admission includes a parking and package check. Kids under 13 get in free.
October 12-14, John Paul Jones Arena, 10am-7pm, $10


Visit a palace
If you haven't had a chance to visit Swannanoa, the sumptuous but decaying 1912 Italianate palace on Afton Mountain, now, during its fall opening, is your chance. Built in 1912 by Richmond industrialist James Dooley, the Villa Medici-inspired mansion took 300 artisans eight years to build and features an array of fascinating detail, like a huge Tiffany stained-glass window. Later, it became a country club, and then it was leased by an oddball genius named Walter Russell, who, in addition to being an accomplished sculptor, writer, wood carver, and figure skater, founded the University of Science and Philosophy at Swannanoa with his second wife, Lao Russell, which existed there until 1998. The current owner has many times vowed to restore Swannanoa, but that has yet to happen.
October 11-November 4, Swannanoa Palace, 11:30am to 5:30pm, $6


When Santa Barbara-based Cali-reggae, roots band Rebelution released their first album Courage to Grow in 2007, they had a welcome attitude. “We feel people in the world could use some encouragement in this time to stay motivated," the band said. In 2009, Bright Side of Life hit number one on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart. Fresh off the release of their latest effort, Peace of Mind, which debuted at number 13 on the Billboard top 200 charts, Charlottesville will get to enjoy a band on the rise. And couldn't we all use a little Wednesday encouragement?
October 17, Jefferson Theater, 8pm, $17-$20


WriterHouse benefit
Here's your chance to mingle with the local literati while supporting local writers. The third annual Words and Wine Benefit for WriterHouse, the local writers' support and education organization that has fueled some considerable creativity, will be at the Glass House Winery in Free Union. Tickets to the event include wine and chocolate tastings, hors d’oeuvres, and a chance to win some great prizes, including vacation stays in France, Vermont, and Santa Fe. Get tickets to the Sunday event at WriterHouse at 508 Dale Avenue in Charlottesville, or buy them online at
October 14, Glass House Winery, 2pm-5pm, $30


Big climb story
In 2010, photographer and climber Cory Richards set out to climb Pakistan’s Gasherbrum II, the world’s thirteenth tallest peak– in the middle of winter. Expeditions typically tackle Himalayan mountains in the summer, and even then it's no piece of cake, but Richards and his team endured blizzards and made it to the top. The feat made him the first American to ever make a winter ascent in the Himalayas, and earned him an Adventurer of the Year award from National Geographic. As part of the Northface speakers series, Richards comes to the Jefferson on Tuesday to regale us mere mortals on the risks, rewards, and perils of Himalayan alpinism.
October 16, Jefferson Theater, 7pm, $8-$20


Cuban Missile Crisis re-visited
You think the Obama administration has a lot to deal with? Fifty years ago this October, the Kennedy administration, fresh off an embarrassing failure to invade communist Cuba, locked horns with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in a 13-day stand off that historians believe was the closest the world has ever come to all out nuclear war. Over at UVA's Center for Politics, they've assembled an impressive panel of scholars and experts to re-examine the crisis, including insights from Khrushchev's son, Sergei Khruschev. Other panelist include David Robarge, Chief Historian for the CIA, and Richard Reeves, author of President Kennedy: Profile of Power. Register online at
October 18, UVA's Wilson Hall, 7:30pm-9pm, free


Festive in Crozet
The Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival, an over 30-year tradition that has become one of the premiere such festivals in Virginia, draws over 100 artists and craftspeople from around the country. The weekend-long event, held rain or shine, showcases artists and artisans working with pottery, textiles, leather, glass, wood, metal, photography, paint, and more. There are also food vendors, of course, like Blue Ridge Kettle Korn, the Lion's Club famous gourmet hot dogs, K&R BBQ, La Cocina del Sol, and others. This year there's also a wine-tasting tent featuring top local vintages. Oh, and there's live bluegrass and Appalachian folk music, kids stuff like train rides, facepainting, sand art, and a bounce house. 
October 13-14, Claudius Crozet Park, 10am-5pm, $6


Fall, fete, art
Looks like its going to be a festival weekend. Waynesboro has a pretty well-known festival of its own, the Fall Foliage Festival Art Show, during which downtown streets are closed down and the area is transformed into a huge arts and craft gallery. Virginia Living Magazine selected this festival the 2012 Best Art Event in Virginia. Hosted by the Shenandoah Valley Art Center, over 150 creative folks from across the country will be there, displaying their paintings, pottery, jewelry, sculpture, and more in the weekend-long event.
October 13-14, Downtown Waynesboro,10am-5pm, free


River City wine & jazz
Adjacent to the art show, Waynesboro is also offering up another fun event: the 5th Annual River City Wine & Jazz Festival, featuring the guitar and vocal duo Barbara Martin and Vince Lewis, the old rockin' rythms of the The Boogie Kings, and the can't-help-dancing group Chunk of Funk 45. Of course, 10 area wineries will also be on hand.
October 13-14, Downtown Waynesboro, 12pm-7pm, $10