Wine festival on Saturday

Second Annual Miss Janie’s Sit & Sip Fast Approaching

PHENIX – The Gil-Har House at 6447 Patrick Henry Hwy., will be the place to be on Saturday, October 5. The second annual “Miss Janie’s Sit & Sip” wine festival will be held from 1-7 p.m. on the lawn of the sprawling, almost century-old home, rain or shine, to raise money for cancer patients in Charlotte County.

Being situated in the Southern Virginia Wine Region, last year Barksdale Cancer Foundation (BCF) chose a wine festival as a fundraiser and chose October as the month, to celebrate Virginia Wine Month. Jimmy and Pat Harding, owners of the beautiful Federal-style house, say they are delighted to share their unique home with others, and at the same time raise money for local cancer patients.

“What a wonderful way to raise money and to reach out to the public at the same time,” says Mrs. Harding, one of the original founders of BCF. “We are honored and pleased to be able to host such a unique fundraiser in our county, and for our patients.”

Tours of the house will be given on the day of the event for a donation of $5. Mrs. Harding will be available to share some of the many stories she has been told over the years about the Gilliam family, owners of the house from 1924 until the Hardings purchased it in 1995.

The home took several years to construct, as it was built using selected heart of pine which was sawed and sized at Mr. Ed Gilliam’s plaining mill. Mr. Gilliam was the builder and original owner of the home. Some unique features of the home include the main staircase, which was fashioned after one in a home in Farmville, and the layout of the house. Each floor contains five large rooms, a small service room, bathroom, and hall. Eddie Gilliam wanted a fireplace in his room and brought the parlor mantle from his birthplace in Prince Edward County to complete it, and it remains today. The floors, unfinished in 1924, were sanded by the Hardings when they bought the home and are superb. The home is furnished throughout with period pieces and numerous antiques.

Barksdale has booked two local bands to provide entertainment for the festival. The Stoney Ridge Band from Keysville will be at the event again, back by popular demand, as they were a big hit last year. They will play from 1-4 p.m. Spider Gilliam, featured singer and founder of the band, says he is excited to have his band perform again at the home that his grandfather built.

Public Consumption, a local favorite from neighboring Halifax County, will take the stage at 4 p.m. and will play until the end of the event at 7 p.m. The band has been performing together for several years and has a vast following in Mecklenburg and Halifax counties. They attribute their success to “a love of music and fun” and say they look forward to playing for such a worthy cause. The high energy cover band plays a mix of old and new country and rock, with a little “funk stuff thrown in.”

Wineries represented at the festival will be Bright Meadows of Nathalie, San Soucy of Brookneal, Three Sisters of Clarksville, and Tomahawk of Chatham. All four were very popular at last year’s event and all four wineries say they are pleased to be invited to return this year.

New to the wine festival will be offerings from Staunton River Brewing Company of Campbell County They have been brewing two- and five-barrel batches of beer using local ingredients since 2006, in addition to two-barrel pilot brews of seasonal and experimental ales to add to their lineup of light to stout beers. Those wishing to enjoy the brewery’s offerings will enter the gate on a non-tasting ticket and will be free to purchase the beer of their choice for $5 per cup.

A large variety of vendors will be at Miss Janie’s Sit & Sip, offering Premiere and Gingersnaps Jewelry, nail art, herbs, flowers, repurposed items of all types, handpainted wine glasses, several types of handmade jewelry, and numerous types of artwork for use indoors and out. Other featured vendors will represent “Va $earch”, which researches unclaimed assets and money in the state, Grace Community Church, and Southside Christmas Parents. Food will be available for purchase from the Charlotte County Lions Club. And B2X is generously donating internet for the day’s event.

A beautiful blanket chest, handcrafted and donated by popular local craftsman Lee Hall of Drakes Branch, will be raffled the day of the wine festival. The chest features punched tin inserts and is lined in cedar…it truly must be seen to be appreciated! Also to be given away that day is a 29”x55” crocheted throw, made and donated by Miranda Dunn of Red Oak. The throw pictures a bottle of wine and stemmed wine glass.

Tickets for the chest and throw are available for the price of $1 each at the following locations: Keysville Hardware, Phenix Town Office, Drakes Farm & Home, Wylliesburg Diner, Village Arts & Crafts in Charlotte Court House, Chase City Florist, from any board member and also the day of the event.

Tasting and non-tasting tickets for the event may be purchased online through PayPal or credit card by visiting the website, and clicking on the upcoming events tab. Advance tickets are $20 for tasting and $15 for non-tasting. Tasting tickets will be $25 at the gate or may be purchased in advance by calling the following: in Charlotte Court House, Terri at 434-470-1225; in Drakes Branch, Pixie at 434-391-4726; in Red Oak/Wylliesburg, Wendy at 434-470-1538; in Phenix, Pat at 434-547-2864; or from Keysville Hardware. This is a 21-year-old and over event.

Barksdale is a grassroots organization founded in 1999. Its sole purpose is to give monetary and services support to Charlotte County cancer patients. The foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit manned by volunteers, with no ties to any other cancer organization. To date BCF has given out 292 grants totaling $183,800. If you know someone in need, please call Wendy at 434-470-1538.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, it may be mailed to Barksdale Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 225, Charlotte Court House, VA 23923 or visit the website’s home page and click on the PayPal donate button and donate with your PayPal account or credit card.