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Aug. 11-Oct. 14

Thirsty for adventure? Take a two-day beginner's course in whitewater kayaking that is designed for women and taught by women, right here on the mighty James. Learn everything from basic safety to playing techniques, beginning on calm water. Classes are scheduled for Aug. 11-12, Sept. 15-16 and October 13-14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. $130 covers all necessary equipment.

Register online at www.adventure

challenge.com, or call 276-7600.

Aug. 16-18

Get back to your roots or sprout some new ones at the Central Virginia Family Bluegrass Festival in Amelia County. The festival features such musicians as Goldwing Express, Williams and Clark Expedition, Lonesome River Band, and Michelle Nixon & Drive. Running Thursday through Saturday at the Amelia Family Campground. For hours and band schedule, visit www.ameliafamily

campground.com. Tickets are $20-$25 daily or $50-$60 for a three-day pass. Call 561-3011,

or visit the Web site.

Aug. 17-18

Sizzle with South American dance, from salsa to flamenco to merengue, at the Latin Ballet of Virginia's Summer Celebration and Fiesta Del Sol. Both performances at the Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Visit www.latinballet.com or call 379-2555.

Sept. 15

Interested in integrative medicine, but don't know where to begin? Blooming Gardenia: The Richmond Alternative Health Expo features 200 practitioners of more than 100 alternative therapies. At the Richmond Raceway Complex from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. Call Barbara Marsh at 771-1751, or visit www.rvahealthexpo.com.

Sept. 21-22

Guten Tag, Richmond! Culture and kraut clash at the third annual Oktoberfest, where you can enjoy German food, music, dancing, entertainment, children's activities, and several choices of beers and wine. At St. Benedict's Church in the Museum District, Sept. 21, 5-10 p.m., and Sept. 22, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Rain or shine. Free. 254-8810.

Sept. 21-Oct. 28

The classic and award-winning Southern coming-of-age novella, "The Member of the Wedding" by Carson McCullers, runs at Willow Lawn's Barksdale Theatre as part of the Barksdale's Women's Theatre Project. For ticket information, visit www.barksdale

richmond.org, or call 282-2620.

Sept. 22-23

You don't have to travel nearly as far as you'd think to see an authentic Native American celebration. The Chickahominy Tribe welcomes the public to its 56th Annual Fall Festival and Pow-wow, the longest-running traditional powwow in Virginia. Experience Native American dancers, drummers, singers and crafters, and historical and cultural exhibits. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Chickahominy Tribal Grounds in Charles City. Free. Call Keith Wynn at 966-2448, or visit www.chickahominytribe.org.

Sept. 28-29

"Electrify Your Writing," the James River Writers' fifth annual conference at the Library of Virginia, is a great opportunity for both beginning writers and seasoned authors to hone their craft. Hear from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Claudia Emerson as well as many other authors, agents, editors and publishers. Early registration is $140; after Aug. 31, $155; after Sept. 20, one-day-only tickets are available for $85. Visit www.james

riverwriters.com, or call 230-4575.

Sept. 30

Spend the day at University of Richmond's 28th annual Arts Around the Lake, featuring Richmond-area artists working in various mediums, including oil, watercolor, pottery, wood sculpture and jewelry. Enjoy the art while you stroll around the campus, or take some home. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Robins Center. Free. 289-8841.



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