The Patsy Cline Celebration & Dedication at the Warrenton Horse Show grounds last weekend was all about red lipstick, a little sass and endless renditions of her hit "Crazy."
The festival's highlight was the dedication of the Patsy Cline Awards Pavilion on Sunday. In the 1950s, Cline climbed to the top of the open stucco building at the Warrenton Horse Show grounds to sing during the National Country Music Championships.
More than a dozen women from central Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina auditioned for the opportunity to sing at the dedication ceremony. The winner was Alletta Beebe-Smith, 52, a day-care teacher from Upperville, who belted out "Crazy" for a crowd of about 100 people.
Cline was born in 1932 in Winchester, about 50 miles northwest of Warrenton. She once lived in Loudoun County, attending Round Hill Elementary School and Lincoln High, and performed at Lake Whippoorwill and Rockwood Hall restaurant in Fauquier County. Her career was cut short when she died in a plane crash in 1963.
The festival featured a 1950s car show, country bands, craft sales, a pumpkin patch and a singathon.
Most of the women came dressed in western-style outfits, but nobody matched the zeal of Darlene Caudle, a registered nurse from Boonville, N.C., who took a day off work, drove 5 1/2 hours and showed up in a red suede dress and a cowboy hat. Her car's license plate reads: PTSY CLN.
-- Ian Shapira