Free Doggie Nail Clipping at Farmers Market Sept. 9th

Plant A Flower Day at Town of Halifax Farmers Market

Wild Blue River Festival set for September 23rd

Wild Blue River Festival set for September 23

Whether you feel right at home in a canoe or kayak, or you’re a beginner on the paddling scene, the Wild Blue River Festival is a great time to do a little racing and find family-friendly fun on the Banister River.

King’s Bridge Landing (1041 Bethel Road), located in the Town of Halifax, is the place to be for this annual event, now in its fourth year. Visitors can get in on the paddling action, with kayak and canoe races set to begin mid-morning, while local and regional organizations share information and kids of all ages can participate in crafting and play activities.

The Wild Blue River Festival will take place Saturday, September 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The kayak race will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the canoe race will begin at 10 a.m. Race participants are encouraged to register online via The Wild Blue River Festival is listed by name on the Races page. The cost to pre-register online is $20, which includes the cost of insurance and a t-shirt. Pre-registration will close on Friday, September 8.

Racers can register the day of the event for $20, which includes the cost of insurance. T-shirts for those racers registering the day of the event will be $5 each and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. All racers will pay their registration fee on race day. First, second and third place medals will be given in each of four divisions – single and tandem kayak, and single and tandem canoe.

“King’s Bridge Landing on the Banister River in the Town of Halifax continues to see an increase in boat traffic, and more people are realizing what a great section of waterway this is, for fun, relaxation, fishing and family time,” said Mayor Kristy Johnson. “The Town of Halifax wants to encourage even more people to experience the Banister at this year’s Wild Blue River Festival.”

Paddlers will be able to experience this officially recognized Virginia Scenic River in an enjoyable, family-friendly environment. The float to Terry’s Bridge is just more than six miles, and paddlers will often spy blue heron and bald eagles along the journey.

Event planners are working to have canoes on-hand to rent the day of the event. Shuttling is also being planned to ensure participants can get back to their vehicles and get their canoes and kayaks loaded.

Paddlers and non-paddlers can enjoy the fun at King’s Bridge Landing. Crafts and games for visitors such as Gyotaku fish printing, do-it-yourself binoculars, cork boat building and racing, drawings for Paddle Prizes, and information from event partners like Staunton River State Park and Dan River Basin Association. Finally, our LOVE sign from the Halifax County Department of Tourism will be on-site to serve as a backdrop for memorable photos!

“We are fortunate to receive support from the community for our Wild Blue River Festival and part of our mission is the recognize our sponsors and partnering organizations,” said Olivia Epps, owner of Mix & Ripple and coordinator for the event. “We cannot succeed in this or other events without community support and we are continually grateful for that backing.”

To date, monetary sponsors for this year’s event include Staunton River State Park, Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital, and J. Brandon Scearce – Nationwide Insurance. Businesses and organizations wishing to sponsor the event and/or donate an item to the “Paddle Prizes” can contact Epps at 434.517.1056.

“Businesses and organizations working together is the key to continued success and strength in the Town of Halifax,” said Halifax Town Manager Carl Espy. “The Wild Blue River Festival is a great way to work together and a fun event which brings people together, both in our town businesses and on our waterways.”

Anyone seeking more information can visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Tool Sharpening Sept. 9th at the Halifax Farmers Market


Bring your Gardening Tools to the Halifax Farmers Market on September 9

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 9.  The new SSMGA cookbooks will be available.

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 9 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 nine parts water) or disinfecting cleaning solutions such as Lysol® are good alternative disinfectants.

Copies of the Master Gardener cookbook “Thyme to Eat!” will be available.  The cookbook was created to support Master Gardener outreach programs such as public gardening education, the children’s garden at the Southern Virginia Botanical Garden and Farmers Market programs, as well as scholarships for local 4H campers.   It is chock full of riveting recipes like Gnudi, Pan y Mas, Beouf Bourguignon and even a Squash Bug Trap – well, we are Master Gardeners!  There are also traditional favorites such as Sweet Potato Casserole and Pecan Pie.  Cost of the cookbook is $14.

Bring your small hand tools to the Halifax Farmers Market on September 9 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, option 0 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bring your garden tools to the Halifax Farmers Market on September 9 the Master Gardeners will cheerfully clean and sharpen them free of charge.

Community Yard Sale Scheduled for Sept. 9th