4th Annual Wild Blue River Festival September 23rd

Paddle, Play, and More!
The Town of Halifax is pleased to present the 4th Annual Wild Blue River Festival. This celebration of the Banister River, Kings Bridge Landing and the outdoor/river recreation opportunities that Halifax has to offer. Join us for this year's family friendly event!

Once again this year we will have our kayak and canoe races from Kings Bridge Landing to Terry's Bridge. This 6.2-mile stretch of the Banister River takes you along one of Virginia's official scenic rivers. You will be guided through the best preserved batteau navigation wing dams in Virginia, and be sure to keep an eye out for blue heron and bald eagles overhead. How fast can you paddle one of the last undeveloped rivers in Virginia?

For 2017, we will be doing two races - a kayak race and a canoe race - to celebrate the Wild Blue River Festival and the Banister River.

Racers can pre-register online for $20 - which includes cost of insurance and guarantees a t-shirt!

Registration on the day of the event will be $20 - which includes cost of insurance. T-shirts for those not pre-registered will be $5 each and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information contact:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Schedule of events:

9:00 am : Event opens for visitors; race prep/check-in/registration
9:30 am : Kayak Race begins (includes both singles and tandem)

10:00 am : Canoe Race begins (Single Paddle)


Tool Sharpening Sept. 9th at the Halifax Farmers Market

Tool Sharpening September 9th at the Halifax Farmers Market

By Kathy Conner Cornell

     The Second Saturday with the Southside Master Gardener Association will feature tool sharpening from 8 to 11 am at the Halifax Farmers Market on September 9th.

     Garden tools are an extension of the home gardener's hand.  Good tools are an investment, one that needs to be protected especially when money is tight.  Fortunately, this is not difficult to do.  Bring your small hand tools to the Halifax Farmers Market on September 9th and the Master Gardeners will cheerfully clean and sharpen your tools.

     We all know that sharp tools, especially pruners, are easier to use, but did you know sharp tools are better for the plant?  Dull pruner blades can tear bark or mash a stem leaving a wound that is open and susceptible to the entry of diseases or insects.  The plant has defenses to heal from a sharp clean cut made at the proper place.

     One situation that is often overlooked is the need to keep tools clean and disinfected.  It is common for dirty tools to be carriers of disease.  Regularly disinfecting tools is as easy as having a squirt bottle of alcohol handy and spritzing tools before moving from plant to plant.  If pruning out diseased plant parts, it should be done with every cut.  The Virginia Extension Agency recommends using mouthwash or alcohol, but a weak bleach solution (one part bleach to nini parts water) or disinfecting cleaning solutions such as Lysol are good alternative disinfectants.

     It is a good idea to clean and sharpen your tools after every use.  The following is an effective method but if this seems too complicated just bring your tools to the market:

  1. Spritz tool with disinfectant before doing anything.  You do not want to spread disease pathogens to sharpening or cleaning implements.
  2. Use a steel wool pad in soapy water to clean the working surface.  This will cut through gummy resins and caked on dirt.
  3. Once clean, use a bastard or mill file to sharpen the blade.  Follow the angle of the bevel, pulling the file away from the tool edge.  Some tools have bevels on both sides so both sides will need sharpening.
  4. Tools such as trowels and shovels can be passed through a bucket of sand filled with oil.  Used motor oil works well.  This will provide a protective film on the tool to prevent rust. 
  5. A drop of lubricant such as WD-40 or 3-in-1 Household Oil should be applied to working parts to keep them operating smoothly.

     Bring your small hand tools to the Halifax Farmers Marketon September 9th from 8 to 11 am and the Master Gardeners will clean and sharpen them at no charge.  As always Master Gardeners will be there to answer your gardening questions and please visit the regular vendors with veggies, fruits, organic meats, herbs and eggs.  Inside vendors have an assortment of handmade items, collectables and even portrait photography.  If you want to know more about the Master Gardeners and their programs, contact Bill McCaleb at the Halifax Extension Office 434-476-2147 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Community Yard Sale Scheduled for Sept. 9th

National Farmers Market Week

Artist and Author Ron Miller at the Halifax Public Library


The Halifax Public Library welcomes artist and author Ron Miller for a talk on
August 24 at 6 pm.  His topic will be “Earth 2.0.”

Ron Miller is the former Art Director for the National Air and Space Museum’s Albert Einstein Planetarium.  As an illustrator and author he has more than forty titles to his credit, with his illustrations appearing on the jackets of numerous books and in many magazines.  In addition to his work as a writer and illustrator he has also designed stamps for the U. S. Postal Service and has served as a production illustrator for movies.

The library will be giving away a door prize of a library tote and two books at the program.

Jay Stephens


Halifax County South Boston Public Library


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