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WAKEFIELD- It's a tradition that involves cooking shad (an oily, bony fish) over an open fire made from wood planks. It's also the traditional kickoff to the election season in Virginia.

This year's 'ShadPlanking'eventin Wakefield will put Virginia's USSenate race squarely in the spotlight.Incumbent Sen. MarkWarner (D)is the event's featured speaker, but challengers including Ed Gillespie(R)and RobertSarvis(L) are planning to attend.

Gillespie, a former counselor to President George W.Bush and Republican strategist, is the front runner for the GOPnomination.He will speak at a 'pre-Shad PlankingLuncheon' hosted by a local Republican womens group at noon before the 2 PMevent.

Sarvis,a Libertarian who received 6.5% of the vote in the race for governor last year, has confirmed that he will attend the event as well.

The 'ShadPlanking' event is a fundraiser for the Wakefield Ruritan Club. The event goes from 2-6:30PMonWednesday at the Wakefield Sportsmen'sClub, 12205BrittlesMill Road, Wakefield. Tickets are $25 and are available at the link below.

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