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Cidery Cinema offers film fans a chance to get out and sing

If you’re ready to venture out after a little too much time at home, Albemarle CiderWorks is offering a screening of a classic feel-good film — after some time outdoors with animals.

The Cidery Cinema series continues from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the North Garden cidery, and if you were hoping the event would be a sing-along, your wish is granted. Fans of the film’s ABBA-powered soundtrack will be able to sing along with fellow devotees who understand. Other folks who are weary of winter weather may savor the 2008 romantic comedy’s settings in sunny Greece.

“I remember ‘Mamma Mia!’ as a summer film, but people are really taken with it,” said Guy Wallis of Albemarle CiderWorks’ marketing and events team.

Friday’s screening also arrives as the official 12 days of Christmas come to a close, and many people are ready to head outside after a long stretch of celebrating and curling up indoors.

“The fifth [of January] is a good time to have it,” Wallis said. “By the fifth, you’ve about had enough.”

Fans of animals and Virginia wildlife will want to plan on arriving earlier, in the afternoon. Friday happens to be National Bird Day, and representatives from Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary — including some of the sanctuary’s animal ambassadors — will be there.

Keep an eye out for Rosie the black vulture and Leonard the Virginia opossum; they’re among 10 animals who cannot be returned to the wild but play important roles in educating people about the needs of wildlife.

The wildlife event, a meet-and-greet session featuring native species, will take place from 3 to 4 p.m., and an optional guided nature walk will follow. The tasting room will be open, and all donations, plus 10% of all sales before 5 p.m., will benefit the Nelson County sanctuary.

“It’s National Bird Day, and I thought it would be nice to have a charity event,” Wallis said. “The sanctuary helps birds and all manner of creatures. We like to have some sort of educational value to everything we do.”

Wallis said the wildlife event will offer important tips to help people respond quickly, safely and appropriately when they encounter injured or displaced animals and birds.

The sanctuary helps both people and wildlife by “having a source of information out there — ‘Here’s what to do; here’s who to call,’” Wallis said. “You should always wear gloves [if assisting wildlife]. It’s valuable information.”

Plan on wearing comfortable, sturdy footwear to the family-friendly event, so you’ll be ready for the nature walk — and just in case you can’t resist dancing to ABBA’s hits.

“It’s going to be a really nice day,” Wallis said. “I tell everyone to dress warmly.”

Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary, which cares for more than 500 injured and orphaned creatures each year, will mark its 20th anniversary in 2024. To learn more about its work, go to

For directions and details, go to or call (434) 297-2326.


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