Here comes the sun…here comes the FUN!!!

7 Apr 19

April showers bring May flowers, spring has truly arrived!! And with spring our thoughts turn to sunshine, to social time to FUN!! Summer is a fun-filled busy time in downtown Blacksburg so we think you need to mark your calendars now and SAVE THE DATES!

Saturday, May 3, 5-10pm- 2nd annual Horseshoes & Hats: A Kentucky Derby Casino Night
In Kent Square
Tickets available NOW online only at: http://www.downtownblacksburg.com/casino_night.aspx
The event will include viewing the Kentucky Derby, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a Fancy Hat contest and Casino games- Craps, Roulette, Blackjack, Texas Hold ‘em, and River City Horse Racing. Must be 21 or older to attend.

 
Tuesday May 27, 6:02pm- CASH MOB for Mental Health America
Meeting place To Be Announced

We meet, the secret locally owned businesses to target are announced and off we go!
Rules:
1) Spend up to $20
2) Meet 3 new people
3) HAVE FUN!

Tuesday June 17, 5:48pm Cash Mob
Meeting place to be announced

63

Saturday, June 21, 1pm-11:30pm- Summer Solstice Fest
Main Street and Lee Street
Featuring Burnt Creative Craft & Vintage Market, Downtown Sundown 5k® Race, carnival, sand beach, live music, dog parade, petting zoo, and so much more.

Tuesday July 15, 6:12pm Cash Mob
Meeting place to be announced

Saturday July 19, 8am-2pm Art at the Market with Breakfast at the Farmers Market
Juried Art show and sidewalk sale featuring at least 30 local artists.
Take in a little breakfast with your art, as well as enjoying a bustling day at the Farmers Market. Live music included!

Friday-Saturday August 1-2, 10am-10pm STEPPIN’ OUT!
Crafters, art, sidewalk sales, live music and entertainment, family, food FUN!!!

Monday, August 18, 6:06pm Cash Mob
Meeting place to be announced

We have a few more activities and events up our sleeves so keep watching our website: http://www.downtownblacksburg.com/events.aspxor our facebook https://www.facebook.com/DowntownBlacksburg

Top 5 reasons for attending Horseshoes & Hats

14 Mar HH-logo-w-tag

With the 2nd Annual Horseshoes & Hats, Kentucky Derby Casino Night fast approaching we thought it would be fun to give you our Top Five reasons why you should attend. So in true David Letterman style here we go…..

#5- Fabulous Prizes
We have a fantastic variety of prizes ready for you to win including hotel packages, beautiful jewelry, massages, wine baskets and so much more.Holly

 

#4- Fancy Hat Contest
Dust off your best hat, buy a new one or create your own. Entry in the Fancy Hat Contest is included in the incredible reasonable ticket price ($35 single or $60 couple). For the men there is also a Best Dressed Gent contest. You will have your work cut out to beat last year’s winners who intend to make it a double!hh1

 

#3- Casino Games
Casino Games provided by Massino’s Casinos including Black Jack, Texas Hold ‘em, Roulette, and the ever popular Craps. A fun favorite of the evening is the River City Horse Racing.

 

#2- Watching the Kentucky Derby on the big screen
While dhh2rinking a Mint Julip with 200 of the most fun people in Blacksburg…..what more do we need to say?!!!

 

 

And the #1 reason to attend the event….An AWESOME great time!!!
HH

Did we miss anything? Tell us your Top Reason for coming to Horseshoes & Hats. We’ll even give away a FREE ticket to the event for the best answer!

For more information about the event please visit

http://www.downtownblacksburg.com/casino_night.aspx

Christmas shopping on a budget revisited

13 Dec And now I look like this when I think about Christmas Shopping.....
Post written by Laureen Blakemore
Revisted 11/27/13
Last year I confessed to you a startling fact: I DO NOT LIKE SHOPPING! and I am VERY IMPATIENT!  Hard to believe, I know, but it remains true.  And though I actually am mellowing to the potential joy of shopping I still foresee a fair amount of retail therapy in my future before I can truly embrace the joy!
christmas-shopping
And so, once again, I believe it remains relevant to share with you my very slightly revised post about Christmas Shopping on a Budget.
I used to find Christmas  shopping to be a pain in the……. well you know what. Standing in line in crowded shops combined with the pressure to find exactly the right gift for each person on my list was not only frustrating to me, but was actually rather annoying.  Over the years Christmas shopping became an  exercise in frantically grabbing whatever I could find, as fast as I could find it and getting out of the door and back home as quickly as was humanly possible. Not much thought went into anyone’s gift. Friends or family members, who were unfortunate enough to come shopping with me, were usually left re-evaluating our relationship as they watched me turn into an impatient, obnoxious lunatic as I desperately tried to navigate my way through crowds and badly laid out aisles to find my way to the nearest cashier or doorway.
Candle sticks, purses,coasters and more under $20 available in Ten Thousand Villages in Fringe Benefit

Candle sticks, purses,coasters and more under $20 available in Ten Thousand Villages in Fringe Benefit

And now…….well I shop downtown, right here in Blacksburg.While I would certainly not pretend  that I suddenly find shopping to be my most favorite activity in the whole wide world ever, I have found that I can tolerate it a lot better and sometimes I actually even enjoy myself!
I hear a lot of people saying that it is too expensive to shop locally so today I set myself a challenge- to find out if it was possible to shop downtown for Christmas gifts that cost less than $20 each. Turned out to be a bigger challenge than I expected because there was just so much available to choose from. In many instances I found delightful gifts which cost less than $10 so now I am spoiled for choice! Shopping for the holidays is made even easier by our downtown merchants who offer a whole variety of special shopping events throughout late November and December leading up to the big day. Starting with Small Business Saturday on November 30, the merchants offer late night shopping hours, special sales, Sunday hours, and themed night such as Ladies Night (Dec 12) and Gents Night (Dec 19). These themed nights feature  free gift wrapping, Wish Lists,  personal shopping assistance, special discounts, refreshments and more. Yes- they even give us refreshments while we shop!
Reusable water bottle available at The Lyric Theatre

Reusable water bottle available at The Lyric Theatre

So what brought about this change of heart in my shopping attitude I hear you asking?  Well really it’s probably down to 5 simple reasons and I  want to share those with you.
1) I now know our downtown store owners, and they know me. They are used to my “shopping phobia” and are quick to offer shopping advice if needed and equally quick to know when I just want to be left alone! I have never had to waste my time searching for a sales assistant to tell me the price of an item, or to find out if they have the size I need in stock. Downtown the sales assistants, or in many cases, the owners, are on hand almost immediately if a customer has a question. And there is certainly something to be said for shopping in the places where “everybody knows your name” (to quote from one of my favorite old shows “Cheers”)!
2)  Every time I go and shop downtown I can absolutely guarantee that I will bump into somebody I know in at least one store. So now in addition to purchasing items I can catch up with friends and acquaintances, swap ideas about gifts for you know who, whom they just happen to know too! Suddenly shopping is a much less daunting task, it’s a social experience and I truly do love to be sociable! Often the shopping trip becomes much more than that- how fun it is to catch up with others and maybe move on from the store to one of the great restaurants or to The Lyric to catch a movie, or on a sunny day to hang out together at Market Square Park.

Delicious locally made chocolates, mugs, puzzles,Seeds of Happiness and more available in Uncommonly Gifted for less than $20

Delicious locally made chocolates, mugs, puzzles,Seeds of Happiness and more available in Uncommonly Gifted for less than $20

3) Our downtown stores have more one-of-a-kind gifts, unique and unusual pieces as opposed to the mass-produced items that are found elsewhere. Our stores offer a more low-pressure shopping experience and so many different options, so I am able to spend more time finding gifts that really suit members of  my family and my friends.
4) In our downtown stores the staff  are more familiar with their merchandise, and offer personalized assistance  in a low stress environment. And if they do not carry something I am looking for they let me know where I can find it elsewhere!
All your Hokie gift needs under $20 available in  Tech Bookstore, High Peak Sportswear and Bookholders

All your Hokie gift needs under $20 available in Tech Bookstore, High Peak Sportswear and Bookholders

5) Smaller stores = shorter lines= less waiting time. Enough said!
We all know by now, I hope, that supporting local business is beneficial to the local economy as well. According to a Nov. 22, 2011, Forbes article by Deborah Sweeney, for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 gets returned to the community, either in employee paychecks, or through taxes. An Oct. 21, 2011, U.S. News article by Rachel Koning Beals corroborates this claim, adding that, in comparison, one Chicago-based study found that only $43 of every $100 spent at chain stores remains in the local economy. Sweeney describes local businesses as “the backbone of the community”. When you spend your money locally, you are supporting the people who live next door, the people who know your name!
Candles, tapestries, incense and more under $20 available in Nice Dreams

Candles, tapestries, incense and more under $20 available in Nice Dreams

And so with all of this in mind back to my challenge- Christmas shopping on a budget downtown. I found so very many items for $20 or less that I finally stopped looking. I have provided some pictures and ideas here for you as well as a list of most of  our downtown stores. I encourage you to take this challenge and come down and see how much is available- from $3 stocking stuffers in The Clothes Rack to $10 gloves in Fringe Benefit or Disappearing Tardis Mugs in Uncommonly Gifted: from a selection of art projects and coloring books in Mish Mish to all of your Hokie needs in High Peak Sportswear, Tech Bookstore,  or Bookholders: from beautiful works of arts and crafts in Matrix Gallery, The Gallery Store or Eucalyptus Massage Studio to cell phone accessories in Wireless Zone: from cool Kitchen accessories in Gourmet Pantry to all your gardening needs in Heavener Hardware. So many great gifts under $20 each, and in many cases, under $10 available in downtown Blacksburg! And if you are still not sure what would be the absolute best gift for your teacher/ boss/wife/friend/co-worker you can always get Downtown Gift Certificates  sold in $5 or $20 denominations at the National Bank of Blacksburg on Roanoke Street. They can be redeemed in more than 60 downtown businesses allowing the recipient to choose exactly where they want to spend their $$’s!
So come on downtown and take the challenge- get your Christmas gifts for $20 or less, you’ll be surprised how much fun you’ll have during your shopping local experience!
Gifts of art under $20 available in Matrix Gallery

Gifts of art under $20 available in Matrix Gallery

310 Rosemont
208 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-961-5326
Alligator Alley
401 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-4287
Beliveau Estate Winery
104 W. Roanoke St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-961-0505
Boo Boo bunnies and other gifts created by local artisans available at The Gallery Store for under $20

Boo Boo bunnies and other gifts created by local artisans available at The Gallery Store for under $20

Bike Barn
424 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-443-3323
Blacksburg Pipe & Tobacco
408 N.Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-8457
Bookholders.com
125 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-808-4481

Socks, soaps, gloves, glasses, jewelry and more under $20 available in Fringe Benefit

Socks, soaps, gloves, glasses, jewelry and more under $20 available in Fringe Benefit

Capone’s Fine Jewelry
101 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-953-1000

Clothes Rack
105 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-8147

Eats Natural Foods
708A N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-2279

Eucalyptus Massage Therapy
201 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552- CALM

Arts, crafts, books, toys and more under $20 available in Mish Mish

Arts, crafts, books, toys and more under $20 available in Mish Mish

Friends of the Farmers Market
P.O. Box 568
Blacksburg, VA 24063
540-239-8290

Fringe Benefit
117 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-9777

Gourmet Pantry
401 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-1995

Greenhouse Boardshop
203 College Ave.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-3872

Kitchen accessories, gourmet foods, fun kitchen products and more under $20 at Gourmet Pantry.

Kitchen accessories, gourmet foods, fun kitchen products and more under $20 at Gourmet Pantry.

Heavener Hardware & Lumber
801 Kabrich St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-1221

Heirloom Originals
609 North Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060
552-9241

High Peak Sportswear
209 College Ave.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-953-1293

Huge variety of gardening gloves and other great gifts for the home and garden lovers in your life. Available at Heavener Hardware.

Huge variety of gardening gloves and other great gifts for the home and garden lovers in your life. Available at Heavener Hardware.

John’s Camera Corner & Gentry Studio
213 Draper Rd.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-2319

Kent Jewelers
210 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-3241

Mad Dog
109 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-961-4038

Matrix Gallery
115 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-3566

Fancy frames,soaps,ducks and more under $20 available at Mad Dog

Fancy frames,soaps,ducks and more under $20 available at Mad Dog

Mish Mish
125 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-1020

Nice Dreams
115-B North Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-4733

polished by claire v.
101 South Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
1540-342-5895

Sandra Eileen Designs
106 Faculty Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Stocking stuffers, toys, hats and more under $20 available at The Clothes Rack

Stocking stuffers, toys, hats and more under $20 available at The Clothes Rack

Tech Bookstore
118 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-6444

The Artful Lawyer Gallery Store
320 N.Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540- 443.9350 ext. 707

Uncommonly Gifted
208 S. Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-1818

Unique gifts under $20 in Heirloom Originals

Unique gifts under $20 in Heirloom Originals

Vintage Touch
208A North Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-1901

Wireless Zone
304 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-961-4200

And now I look like this when I think about Christmas Shopping.....

And now I look like this when I think about Christmas Shopping…..

I used to look like this when I thought about Christmas Shopping.....

I used to look like this when I thought about Christmas Shopping…..

Okay, not really. Just checking to see who read to the end! Share your favorite downtown place to shop for the holidays here and be entered in a draw to win Downtown Gift Certificates. Draw will take place on December 23.

Holiday Trees in Kent Square

10 Dec Dec2013 008

Kent Square lobby has been transformed to a Winter Wonderland with 16 decorated trees provided by downtown merchants and non profit groups.Dec2013 016

Trees have been decorated by:

Blacksburg Museum & Cultural Foundation
Bollo’s/Gillie’s
Bookholders
Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.
Eucalyptus Massage Studio
First Bank of Virginia
Kent Jewelers
Mount Tabor Ruritan Club
New Life Christian Fellowship
NRV Association of Realtors
Pointe West Management
The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
Town of Blacksburg Neighborhood Services
Tuck Chiropractic
Uncommonly Gifted
YMCA at Virginia Tech

Park in Kent Square Parking Garage and bring the family to enjoy this spectacular new addition to the holidays in Downtown Blacksburg.

Voting for your favorite tree takes place from December 6-21

• Collect your ballot from Kent Jewelers, First Bank of Virginia or Uncommonly Gifted.
• Visit the trees in Kent Square and choose your favorite
• Return your completed ballot to any of the 3 locations & be entered to win PRIZES
• The winning tree will be announced Saturday Dec 21 at 1:30pm at a special reception in Kent Square.
Prize Drawing will take place!

Saturday December 21- Awards Reception- with “Cookies, Candy Canes & Cocoa”, Santa and Mrs Claus and YOU!

All are welcome. The winning tree will be announced and awarded. A random drawing will take place of all voters. Winners will receive Downtown Gift Certificates – the perfect holiday gift!

Event starts at 1:30pm.

Don’t forget to head down to The Lyric at 3pm for the FREE MOVIE- Home Alone- a gift to you from Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. and The Lyric Theatre

Dec2013 002 Dec2013 008 Dec2013 011 Dec2013 014  Dec2013 010 Dec2013 016 Dec2013 029 Dec2013 031 Dec2013 032 Dec2013 033 Dec2013 037 Dec2013 038 Dec2013 039 Dec2013 040 Dec2013 042 Dec2013 046 Dec2013 047 Dec2013 048 Dec2013 049 Dec2013 053

Downtown Blacksburg for the holidays

25 Nov local

Winter Lights, TubaChristmas & Holiday Parade- FRIDAY DEC 6Ken_Julia1

Downtown Merchants annual Open Houses- 4-8pm, late night shopping, free gift wrap, snacks and beverages, holiday specials.

4-7pm Crafts, Holiday Market, free hot chocolate and hot cider, Holiday music by Sharon Stacy in Market Square Park

4:00pm-5:30pm Pictures with Santa & Mrs Claus at The Lyric (bring your own camera)

4:30pm Blacksburg Children’s Master Chorale singing at Market Square Park

5:00pm Blacksburg Children’s Master Chorale singing on Henderson Lawn Stage

5:40pm Tree lighting with Mayor Rordam, Santa & Mrs Claus, music from the Blacksburg Children’s Master Chorale. Live on WSLS 10

6:00pm TubaChristmas co-sponsored by the Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. and the Department of Music at Virginia Tech on Henderson Lawn Stage

7:00pm Holiday Parade co-sponsored by Blacksburg Parks and Recreation Department and Virginia Tech Chapter of Circle K

Holiday Trees in Kent Square
Kent Square lobby will be transformed to a Winter Wonderland with 16 decorated trees provided by downtown merchants and non profit groups. Park in Kent Square Parking Garage and bring the family to enjoy this spectacular new addition to the holidays in Downtown Blacksburg.
Voting for your favorite tree takes place from December 6-21
tree

• Collect your ballot from Kent Jewelers, First Bank of Virginia or Uncommonly Gifted.
• Visit the trees in Kent Square and choose your favorite
• Return your completed ballot to any of the 3 locations & be entered to win PRIZES
• The winning tree will be announced Saturday Dec 21 at 1:30pm at a special reception in Kent Square.
Prize Drawing will take place!

Friday Dec 6- Kick off the Voting with “Cookies, Candy Canes and Cocoa” compliments of our participating tree “artistes”. 5-7pm in Kent Square lobby.

 

Special Holiday Shopping Night Events Downtown
Ladies Night- December 12, 4-8pm
Gents Night- December 19, 4-8pm
Featuring  free gift wrapping, personal shopping assistance, special discounts, refreshments and more.

In addition to these special events most downtown stores will be open later most nights and will also open on Sundays to provide you with plenty of Holiday Shopping Opportunities.

 

FREE HOLIDAY MOVIE

A gift to the community from Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. and Thehome Lyric Theatre.

Saturday 21 December at 3pm

Join us for a free showing of “Home Alone”

Santa and Mrs Claus will be making appearances at various downtown holiday events. Details and dates to follow soon!

Small_Business_Sat-1 (2)

Tuba, Tuba, Tuba!

24 Nov

tubas

Join in the fun as the town celebrates the Winter Lights Festival, with the annual lighting of the tree, parade, and Farmer’s Market happenings.  TubaChristmas will make this the best holiday celebration ever! Dr. Andrew Putnam will be our guest conductor.   Bring your tubas, euphoniums and all of your friends to downtown Blacksburg on Friday, December 6th, 2013.  Participants, please RSVP to ecrone@vt.edu. TubaChristmas is sponsored by Downtown Blacksburg, Inc, the School of Performing Arts, Music | Theatre | Cinema and the Harvey Phillips Foundation.

Schedule and Details:

  • Parking:  Kent Square Parking Garage – 207 Draper Rd, Blacksburg, VA 24060.
  • Registration:  3:00 to 4:00pm – $10.00 per musician  (Department of Music, rm. 243, Squires Virginia Tech)
  • Rehearsal:  4:00 to 5:15pm  (Department of Music, rm. 243, Squires Virginia Tech)
  • Break:   5:15pm to 6pm (Dinner will be provided for the musicians.)  Pizza, hot chocolate, coffee and water.
  • Performance:  6pm to 7pm, (Henderson Lawn Square, Outside. Warm weather dress and plastic mouthpieces are in order.)
  • Available for purchase:  TubaChristmas hats and/or scarves – $20.00, Music ‘Carols for a Merry TubaChristmas -(6×10.5) $20.00, Commemorative buttons – $10.00.

PLEASE RSVP to ecrone@vt.edu

About TubaChristmas

Merry TubaChristmas is celebrating its 40th Anniversary (1974-2012). Created by Harvey Phillips, Merry TubaChristmas 2013 concerts will be presented in over 200 cities throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. Every Christmas season, tuba and euphonium players of all ages, from specific geographic areas, gather to pay respect – through William J. Bell – to all the great artists/teachers who represent their heritage. Depending on the population of any given geographic area, TUBACHRISTMAS ensembles may attract multiples of 100 participants aged 8 to 85 years! The warm, rich organ-like sound of the tuba-euphonium choir has won the ears and hearts of every audience. It is no wonder that TUBACHRISTMAS is an established Christmas tradition in cities throughout the world.

TUBACHRISTMAS is a property and presentation of the

HARVEY PHILLIPS FOUNDATION, INC

e-mail: coord@tubachristmas.com Web site: http://www.tubachristmas.com

“. . .dedicated to developing, expanding, and preserving the music arts. . .”

Small Business Saturday- Nov 30, 2013

17 Nov Shop Local

small_business

The Downtown Merchants of Blacksburg encourage shoppers to stay home and enjoy Thanksgiving with family, and maybe even to avoid the craziness of corporate “big box” Black Friday. Instead we suggest coming out and supporting small businesses by buying local on Small Business Saturday.

Top Ten reasons to Think Local – Buy Local – Be Local
Information taken from Sustainable Connections

http://sustainableconnections.org/thinklocal/why

1) Buy Local — Support yourself: Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than a nationally owned business, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms — continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community.

2) Support community groups: Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.

3) Keep our community unique: Where we shop, where we eat and have fun — all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place. Our tourism businesses also benefit. “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust

4) Reduce environmental impact: Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.

5) Create more good jobs: Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our community, provide the most jobs to residents.

6) Get better service: Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers.

7) Invest in community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.

8) Put your taxes to good use: Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.

9) Buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy: A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

10) Encourage local prosperity: A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY®
THE DAY WE ALL SHOP SMALL®

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/small-business/shop-small/about/

“Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country.

Founded by American Express in 2010, this day is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
This year, Small Business Saturday is on November 30th.”

Support our local small businesses. Shop Local on Small Business Saturday, and every day!

DMOB_13298928

Student gallery showcased in monthly Art Walk

17 Oct

Though Blacksburg has a multitude of art galleries downtown, only one is soley managed by students.

 

 XYZ Art Gallery is the student-run gallery located on Main Street. It was founded by Studio Art students 20 years ago as a way to showcase their talent.

 

 “It’s kind of like a safe haven for studio artists to show their work in a public setting,” said Carson Bendel, president of XYZ Art Gallery.

 

 Students control every aspect of the gallery. Faculty advisors give some guidance, but students decide the shows, contact artists and organize events.

 

 “It’s a lot of fun because anything that anyone wants to do, we make it happen,” Bendel said.

 
Students who wish to submit work do not need to be art majors, and they are also encouraged to participate in running the gallery.
 
All artists, students or community members, are welcome to submit their work to the gallery for display at any time. The only requirements for a piece of work are for them to be finished and either matted or framed for display.
 
XYZ displays a variety of art mediums from paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics to new media. Animations have been shown using projectors, and performance art has been showcased occasionally as well.
 
In addition to displaying visual art, XYZ hosts musical performances, open mic nights, poetry readings and movie nights. The space is transformative, however, and is open to for other types of events as well.
 
“We had a meditation last semester,” Bendel said. “We’re gonna start doing yoga in the gallery.”
 
Intermediate yoga classes will be held at the gallery every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. for anyone to participate.
 
The current show in the gallery is Capital Vices Collection by Meggalif. It was the first show this semester and will be on display during today’s First Friday Art Walk.
 
“XYZ hadn’t been involved in this event a whole lot in the past,” Bendel said. “But it’s definitely something we’re looking forward to being involved in.”
 
The first Friday of each month, art galleries in Blacksburg hold an opening for a new artist or exhibit. Laureen Blakemore, director of Events in Downtown Blacksburg, helped organize it into a larger event known as the First Friday Art Walk.
 
The Art Walk starts at 5:00 p.m. and ends at 8:00 pm.
 
“The idea was to make it more public, let people know what was going on, and to bring people down into the galleries and stores so they could find out about these great art galleries,” Blakemore said.
 
Recently the Art Walk changed its format to a self-guided tour. The idea was modeled after a gallery in Ashville, N.C. that Blakemore visited as a part of the Downtown Revitalization Committee.
 
Brochures for the tour include information about each gallery participating, as well as a map of where each gallery can be found.
 
“We came back and worked with the Blacksburg Partnership and modeled our brochure on that idea. People can pick that up at any time and know where the galleries are,” Blakemore said.
 
Brochures are available in downtown stores, the Virginia Tech Visitor’s Center and participating galleries.
 
Not every participating location is a traditional gallery. Other venues include the Blacksburg Public Library, Bollo’s Café & Bakery, Eucalyptus Massage Center, Mish Mish, Inc., Gillie’s Vegetarian Restaurant, Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea and Pita Vera.
 
Groups of attendees range from families with young children to students to senior citizens.
 
“It fosters being local and enjoying your downtown,” Blakemore said.
 
Gallery owners and managers want more people to see and experience the downtown art culture.
 
“It’s definitely our goal to promote art in the community,” Bendel said. “I just want people to know that XYZ exists and that we’re doing really cool things.”
 
On Oct. 10, XYZ will open their Sci-Fi and Fantasy show with a reception running from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
 

A version of this article appeared in the Oct 4 issue of the Collegiate Times.

First Friday Art Walks
Take a self-guided Tour of all of the Gallery Spaces in Blacksburg anytime you like but on the following First Fridays participating Galleries will remain open until 8pm.
Friday October 4
Friday December 6
Gallery Guide & Art Walk brochures available in downtown stores, the Virginia Tech Visitor’s Center and participating galleries. Get details here: http://www.downtownblacksburg.com/art_at_market.aspx

Cash Mob Incorporates Buy, Eat Live Local Campaign

7 Oct

Post Written by Megan Campbell

Blacksburg, Va.— Locals of all ages gathered at Henderson Lawn on Wednesday evening, Sept. 26 for the monthly Cash Mob and incorporated Blackburg’s Buy, Eat, Live Local Campaign.

The participants, who included a variety of age groups, consisting of young children to seniors, waited patiently until 6:08 p.m. when the Cash Mob details were announced.

At the right time, Laureen Blakemore, Director of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. announced that the group would be “mobbing” Mish Mish, a local art supply store, and Cafe de Bangkok, a modern Thai cuisine restaurant. After, the group would join in on the fun at the Crooked Road Presentation at Market Square Jam.

Drumroll Please: Laureen Blakemore, Director of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. shares to the crowd where they will be venturing to that evening. The Cash Mob visited Mish Mish and later ate at Cafe de Bangkok. Photo by Megan Campbell

Drumroll Please: Laureen Blakemore, Director of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. shares to the crowd where they will be venturing to that evening. The Cash Mob visited Mish Mish and later ate at Cafe de Bangkok. Photo by Megan Campbell

 Drumroll Please: Laureen Blakemore, Director of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. shares to the crowd where they will be venturing to that evening. The Cash Mob visited Mish Mish and later ate at Cafe de Bangkok.

Each month, locals meet at a specific location in Downtown Blacksburg, not knowing where they will venture to that evening.

There are only three rules to the Cash Mob. Participants are asked to bring a minimum of $20, meet three new people and have fun.

A unique aspect of Blacksburg’s Cash Mob is that local non-profits are sometimes involved.

This time, the cash mob donated canned food and granola bars to Micah’s Backpack, a non-profit that address children’s hunger issues.

“Micah’s Backpack is Blacksburg’s weekend feeding program for low income kids at the five elementary schools, middle school, high school and two income-based pre-schools,” said Jennie Hodge, Director of Micah’s Backpack. “This is the second time that the Cash Mob has donated to Micah’s Backpack.”

Off They Go: The Cash Mob makes its way to the first stop, Mish Mish, a local art supply store. People of all ages were able to find several things to buy. Photo By Megan Campbell

Off They Go: The Cash Mob makes its way to the first stop, Mish Mish, a local art supply store. People of all ages were able to find several things to buy. Photo By Megan Campbell

For many locals, the Buy, Eat, Live Campaign is an important aspect to daily life in Blacksburg.

The monthly cash mob incorporates all three parts of the campaign, simply within a few hours of being downtown.

Cash mobbers are given the opportunity to buy at local stores, eat at local restaurants and are able to enjoy and participate in activities where they live, while giving back to the community.

For more information on Micah’s Backpack or the Blacksburg Cash Mob, visit www.micahsbackpack.org or www.facebook.com/DowntownBlacksburgCashMobs.

Please join us on Wednesday, October 23 at 6:12pm for the next Cash Mob
Meeting Place : Benches in front of Mike’s Grill
Partnering with the YMCA. Family Friendly event so bring the kids!

Summertime in Downtown Blacksburg 2013

31 May 27

Artcrawl with Scavenger Hunt
Friday June 7, 5-8pm
FREE and open to all!
Collect Scavenger Hunt form at participating galleries, return completed form to Community Arts Information Office (CAIO) by 8pm. Prizes will be awarded!

Participating Galleries:
Armory Art Gallery, Bollo’s Gallery, Burnt Creative Boutique, CAIO, Capone’s Fine Jewelers , The Artful Place, Eucalyptus Massage Studio Gallery,Gallery at Mish Mish, Gillie’s Gallery, Kent Jewelers, Matrix Gallery, Nest Realty, Perspectives Gallery, Pita Vera, The Artful Lawyer A Fine Gallery Inc

Cash Mob
Join us on Thursday, June 27 at 5:38pm
Meet at the Odd Fellows Hall, near Buffalo Wild Wings
We will shop in a locally owned store and then celebrate in a locally owned and operated restaurant. Partnering with Valley Interfaith Chil Care Center. Bring craft supplies such as washable markers, school glue, crayola finger paint, etc to donate to VICCC.
RULES:
Meet 3 new people
Spend $20
Support local businesses
HAVE FUN!!!!

Downtown Cash Mob dates for 2013
June 27- with VICCC
July 16- Ladies Only!
August 13
September 25- with Micah’s Backpacks
October 24- with the YMCA Please join us for the next Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. Cash Mob.

Blacksburg Farmers Market
Market Hours:
Wednesday 2pm-7pm
Saturday 10am – 2 pm
Special Events:
Sunday June 2, 10am – 3pm: Vintage and Antique Market, featuring food from Bollo’s and Pita Vera
June 12- Mingle at the Market- featuring wine from Beliveau Winery, beer from Bull and Bones and music by Welcome to Hoonah!
Saturday June 22, 9 – 11:30 am: Solstice Chef featuring a food demo and tasting with VT chef Randy Van Dyke, and the grand launch of our Mobile Kitchen!
July 10- Mingle at the Market
July 20- Breakfast at the Market
August 14- Tomato Tasting

Movies on The Lawn- Presented by the Blacksburg Museum & Cultural Foundation
Thomas Connor House Lawn. 104 Draper Rd
Admission and popcorn are FREE
Bring a blanket or chair and purchase some dinner from a local food vendor prior to the Movie.
Movie starts at dark. Rain date Saturday.
For details call 540-558-0746
Sponsored by The Town of Blacksburg, The National Bank of Blacksburg, First Bank of Virginia, Real Life Dental Care, The Blacksburg Partnership, Dr. Steve Jacobs, Stellar One Bank, First Bank & Trust Co, Rocky Acres, Plott & French Financial Advisors, Christian Insurance Agency, Starshine Events and The Lyric Theatre.
June 14- The Odd Life of Timothy Green
July 12- Paranorman
August 9- Zookeeper

Blacksburg Rescue Squad
Please join us for our annual open house Saturday June 15th from 1pm until 5pm.
There will be a demonstration showing how a victim is removed from a car damaged in an accident using the jaws of life. A real car will be used. There will also be tours of the ambulances and crash trucks. Bring the kids,have a bite to eat and meet members of your local volunteer rescue.
For more details visit: http://www.blacksburgrescue.org/events

Up on the Roof
May 30th, June 27th, July 25th, August 29th and Sept. 26th.
Blacksburg Premier Creative Professional’s mixer. We meet on the last Thursday of every month (April through Sept) on the rooftop of the Kent Square parking lot from 5:30-8pm – it is a happy hour networking social.

Market Square Jam
Blacksburg’s Market Square Jam kicks off the summer 2013 season on Wednesday, June 5. The Jam is a weekly event that takes place Wednesday evenings from 8-11 pm at the site of the Farmers Market on Draper Road. The season will run from June 5 – September 25.
Whether you’re a musician wanting to jam with others or just looking for some great music on a Wednesday night, come out to the Farmers Market and enjoy a great time.
June 5- The Jugbusters
June 12 – Katie and the Bubbatones
June 19 – Sam Linkous and Friends
June 26 – The Happy Hollow String Band
July 10 – Katie and the Bubbatones
July 17 – Sam Linkous and Friends
July 24 – Indian Run String Band
July 31 – Farm Use Only
August 7 – Black Twig Pickers
August 14 – Sam Linkous and Friends

For more information, visit www.blacksburg.gov/marketsquarejam.

Summer Arts Festival
“Friday Night” Out Concerts
6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
June 21-Cyrus Pace Quartet
June 28-No Strings Attached
July 5-Gerry Timlin
July 12-Three Minute Lovin’
July 19-Sexual Chocolate
July 26-Key West Band

6th annual Summer Solstice Fest
Come have a mid-summer frolic in Downtown Blacksburg on Friday June 21 5-10pm for the Carnival and Saturday, June 22, from one ‘til midnight for the Festival and Carnival.

Live music, dog parade, Treasure Island, Beer Garden, a giant sand beach, a Downtown Sundown 5K Run, Wing eating Contest,Water Wars, Carnival and much more! Bring the kids to an old-fashioned flea circus, crafts, activities, and festival foods.

Downtown Sundown 5K® – download your application here
 http://www.runaboutsports.com/images/Race_Docs/2013SundownRegistration.pdf

Art at the Market
Art at the Market 2013will take place on Saturday, July 20, from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Once again, this Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. event will be in conjunction with the annual Breakfast at the Farmers Market. Live Music provided by Kat Mills and Eric Lanoue.

Download the 2013 application. Spaces are limited, so be sure to get your application in quickly. Spaces will be assigned based on indicated preference (where possible) and in the order received.

With your participation we hope to make this the biggest and best Art at the Market ever!

Thanks to our Art at the Market Sponsors: Fringe Benefit, Mish Mish and The Community Arts Information Office

33rd Annual Steppin’ Out
August 2-3, 2013 from 10 am until 10 pm.
Steppin’ Out features over 200 artists and crafts people from around the United States selling unique handcrafted items – jewelry, pottery, textiles, metal work, basketry, stained & fused glass, yard art, fine art, furniture, toys, artisan foods and so much more!

For more details of all events visit www.downtownblacksburg.com

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