SGA & DBI bring 10 Days of Downtown fun to students!

9 Oct SGA-Logo-new

Post by Erin Fischer
with input from
Andrew O’Sullivan, SGA Director of Community Initiatives &
Laureen Blakemore, Director of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

With Halloween and 10 Days of Downtown quickly approaching, we have you covered on the latest happenings Downtown.SGA-Logo-new Once again Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. and the Virginia Tech Student Government (SGA) are working together to get students more involved in the Downtown community- their new home way from home! During the 10 Days of Downtown, students can receive 10% off at stores and restaurants on the calendar by showing their Hokie Passport. At the same time, they can visit shops/restaurants participating in the Loyalty Program, and if they collect 5 stamps by Halloween, they earn a free Blacksburg “Love Where You Live” t-shirt.

Monday, October 12th
SGA will be on Drillfield distributing the following in preparation for 10 Days of Downtown:
• Punch cards with flyer attached to explain program
• $2 off Farmers Market Tokens
• Maroon Effect Buttons

Thursday, October 22nd
Kickoff of 10 Days of Downtown
Pretty in Pink
• Various activities throughout the downtown area to raise money for the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation (VBCF). Details available at
PIP logo FH (2)• Pink Cupcakes with Gemstones and chance to win a diamond sponsored by Next Door Bake Shop & Kent Jewelers
• BUY & EAT DOWNTOWN ALL DAY to support VBCF! Participating Downtown Merchants will be donating a percentage of their proceeds for the day – look for the PINK ribbon! See for a list of participating merchants!


Wednesday, October 28th
Cash Mob
• Meet in Squires Lobby at 5:30 p.m.
• Get Goodie bag for attending
o Random SGA goodies
o Handful of Farmers Market Tokens
o Raffle tickets for free t-shirts
• “Storm” as a group to two stores
• Then “storm” a local restaurant for dinner

Saturday, October 31st
Downtown Trick-or-Treat  from 1-4 p.m.
• Featuring downtown Trick or Treat, Costume Contest at the Lyric, fun-filled activities on College Avenue with Blacksburg Police Department, Virginia Tech Student SGA, and more!
• SGA will have a table for students who received 5 punches to collect their free T-Shirts

The 10 Days of Downtown runs through Oct 22-31 and is a great time for students to get to know and love our local businesses- DBI_benchlogotry out somewhere new and enjoy 10% off while you shop and dine! For more information about the 10 Days of Downtown keep an eye open for the Table Cards in the VT Dining Halls, the SGA website and Facebook.

BUY. EAT. LIVE. WATCH. LOCAL. in downtown Blacksburg!

First Bank of Virginia- DBI Business Member of the Month

25 Sep Pictured above (L to R): Todd Murray, Area Executive; Tammy Baldwin-Boboli, Assistant Branch Manager; Wade Shearer, Teller CSR

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Business Member of the Month for September 2015 First Bank of Virginia.

 The team at First Bank is honored to be DBI’s Member of the Month. Although we’ve only been in Blacksburg for two years, it very much feels like home.
It’s a community we’re proud of, and it’s been a pleasure to partner with businesses like Community Housing Partners on tailored lending products designed specifically for their Solarize Montgomery program. It’s also been a joy to give back by volunteering for local chapters of the United Way, YMCA, and the Christmas Store.
Pictured above (L to R): Todd Murray, Area Executive; Tammy Baldwin-Boboli, Assistant Branch Manager; Wade Shearer, Teller CSR

Pictured above (L to R): Todd Murray, Area Executive; Tammy Baldwin-Boboli, Assistant Branch Manager; Wade Shearer, Teller CSR

We’d love the opportunity to partner with you too. Recently rated one of the best small business lending banks in the nation by, First Bank offers business owners flexible terms and competitive rates. We can help expand your customers’ payment options, simplify your cash flow with First Bank Merchant Services.
And on the personal side, we offer innovative products and services, such as our variety of checking accounts (including mobile check deposit), conventional and general mortgage service, and even wealth management. We take great pride in being someone you can depend on to help you achieve your dreams. Stop in, chat with us, and enjoy fresh baked cookies and coffee with your local community banking team.
If you can’t make it to our Blacksburg, Hokie-loving branch, we have 2 other locations in Montgomery County, with another 4 in the surrounding towns in Virginia, and 80 spread throughout North Carolina as well as parts of South Carolina.
If you prefer to check us out online, visit for more information. First Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and a Member FDIC.220 South Main St
Blacksburg, VA   24060

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Blacksburg Regional Arts Association- DBI- Non-profit Member of the Month


Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Non-profit Member of the Month for September 2015 Blacksburg Regional Arts Association

Mission: Our aims are to make quality art events affordable,attractive and accessible to our members and the public; and to encourage and support one another while fostering creativity and joyfully exploring the arts.

The Blacksburg Regional Art Association is a group of artists in Blacksburg, Va., and the surrounding area.  The association is dedicated to the pursuit and enjoyment of art both personally and in the community. Established in 1950, the association has continued through the all-volunteer efforts of creative people of all ages and styles of art, the enthusiastic support of the community and the ever-present urge to see, create and enjoy beauty in the world around us.


Mina Hejazi,Lois Stephens, Gerri Young, Teri Hoover

BRAA member, and current President of the organization Gerri Young shares what makes this organization so important to her.

“I moved to Blacksburg in early 2010, knowing only a handful of people.  I joined BRAA two weeks after I arrived.  It is quite clear to me that art was my passport to the town and to many new and wonderful friends.  In the last two years, BRAA has made great strides in re-making itself with totally new branding designed to give the organization a new look and feel with a new logo, new webpage, the first Facebook page, new luncheon venue and many new and different events.  All that has paid off with an increased membership from about 80 to around 120 and a greatly improved reputation in the Blacksburg art scene. We have many excellent artists working in a variety of media and it is heartwarming to know that a number of those new artists came to us with the same story of being new in town.  Many of them found out about BRAA through information in the Community Art Information Office, (149 College Avenue) followed the trail to our monthly luncheon and our webpage and are now active members enjoying our assortment of events and networking among themselves.  The enthusiasm and energy that is clearly part of our organization, founded in 1950, is something of which we all are proud.  It took a serious team effort  to create the organization we are today.”

The BRAA keep busy and use Facebook as one of their ways of communicating with each other and the public.

Members frequently hold workshops such as the upcoming Eco- Printing and Mark Making workshop. Oct. 16-18, 2015 at
Hahn Horticultural Garden Pavilion led by BRAA member Becca Imbur.  Eco-Print Workshop Flier

The BRAA also shares information about upcoming art exhibitions and juried shows such as the upcoming  New River Art 2015 13th Juried Biennial Exhibition Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley Pulaski, Va. Oct. 9 -­‐ Nov. 20. Call for Entry New River Art 2015 – july28 edition

The artwork of approved BRAA exhibiting members can always be found in Blacksburg. Various businesses in the area support us through an agreement which welcomes 2D and/or 3D artworks to be exhibited in their establishments on a quarterly or longer schedule.

Those community galleries are:
Community Arts Information Office
Brown Insurance
Main Street Inn
Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea
Real Life Dental Care
See Mark Optical
VTLS, Inc.
Zeppoli’s Restaurant
VT Women’s Center
Pointe West Management
Blue Ridge Cancer Care


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China Inn Asian Grill- DBI Business Member of the Month

28 Aug 26 china inn window

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Business Member of the Month for August 2015
China Inn Asian Grill

Located on Draper Rd right across from the Town Library, with it’s own parking lot the China Inn Asian Grill is a hidden gemdining1 in downtown Blacksburg.  Offering traditional Chinese food as well as American Chinese, Japanese, Asian and Thai food with full service dine in, carry out and delivery options available you are certainly given plenty to choose from. As an added bonus you can even use your Downtown Gift Certificates for Dine-in or carry out  service.

“The fried rice that comes with the lunches is surprisingly good.”

“Easy to find and park, or they deliver if you feel like staying in.”

123“This was hands down the best Chinese food I have ever had. Everyone was really friendly and the food came out in a timely fashion. This was authentic Chinese food and you would be remiss if you didn’t dine here at least once.”

China Inn
403 Draper Rd
Blacksburg, VA 24060


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Blacksburg Contra Dance- DBI Non-profit Member of the Month

27 Aug
 Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Non-profit Member of the Month for August 2015
We have held a monthly dance for a number of years.
Contra dance is social dance done to live music and a caller who leads the figures.  No partner necessary, no experience necessary,  no fancy footwork. It’s about enjoying the music and connecting with your partner and the other dancers in the room.
Usually folks switch partners every dance, and it’s normal to dance with folks one has not met before.  It’s a lot of fun, good exercise, and a great social opportunity.
Dances are held 3rd Saturday nights at the YMCA, 1000 North Main St.  All ages welcome.  All experience levels welcome.  non-drinking non-smoking environment.  Admission of $8 pays the band and callers and expenses.
Bands usually include a fiddle and the music is a wide variety of Irish, Canadian, old-time and other genres.  We’d love for more Blacksburgians to join us!

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Party on the Promenade!

19 Aug 2015Tailgate copy

Downtown Blacksburg Inc. and Up on the Roof invite you to:

Join us on Monday, 7 September at the Party on the Promenade before the Virginia Tech/ Ohio State Game!

 3:00pm- 6pm on College Avenue Promenade

The event will take place on College Avenue Promenade and will feature live music by “Train Wreck”, a performance by the Blue Ridge Mountain Cloggers, food, beer and wine, activities for the kids and plenty of pre-game fun for the whole family!

  A welcome for all fans – VT and Ohio State will be found downtown!

Supporting Sponsors: Cabo Fish Taco, Gobble Cakes
Beer Sponsored by Valley Distribution
Wine Sponsored by Beliveau Estate
Proud Porta Potty Sponsors: Pointe West Management, Champs Sports Bar & Grill

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Monday September 7, 3:00pm- 6pm on College Avenue Promenade

Virginia Tech Foundation- DBI Non-profit Member of the Month

8 Jul

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Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Non-profit Member of the Month for June -July 2015
Virginia Tech Foundation
Located at 902 Prices Fork Road, Suite 145 in Downtown Blacksburg

The foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit nonstock corporation established in 1948, and provides private financial support to enable the forward progress of Virginia Tech.


North End is a newly renovated 227,000 square foot mixed-use development that offers retail, restaurant, and office space in a pedestrian friendly setting with outdoor seating areas that will draw you in and make you want to visit again.  North End provides convenient parking for customers in the surface lot or the newly constructed 800-car parking garage and offers some of the finest businesses in Blacksburg including:

Five Guys                                            Tivon Salon & Spa

Buffalo Wild Wings                            New Image Barber Shop

Starbucks                                            Velocity Care/Carilion Clinic

Next Door Bake Shop                        Hokie Centric

Wicked Taco                                      Palm Beach Tan

NuSpark                                              Kaplan

Center of Dance                                P. Buckley Moss Gallery

Carilion Clinic Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

North End is located on the edge of campus at the intersection of Prices Fork Road and Turner Street in beautiful downtown Blacksburg, Virginia; one of the top ranked best performing small cities in the country.

If you haven’t been to North End, come shop, dine and enjoy…

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Palm Beach Tan, Next door Bake Shop, The Center of Dance, Wicked Taco and the P Buckley Moss Gallery are also members of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

She-Sha Cafe & Hookah Lounge-DBI Business Member of the Month

30 Jun FileItem-13761-sheshalogo3finalSMALLjpeg


Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Business Member of the Month for June -July 2015
She- Sha Cafe & Hookah Lounge
Located at 211 Draper Rd NW in the heart of Downtown Blacksburg

“I think one of the coolest things about She-Sha is the versatility of the space. While She-Sha is a great place to sit and get work done, it’s also where lots of people love to meet up with friends and hang out. We’ve had many customers say they’ve literally gotten their Masters Degree in She-Sha. That’s so cool! At the same time, though, we have lots of events like touring singer/songwriters, international DJ’s, local bands, open mic nights, poetry readings, and even small theatrical performances. Throughout the years, we have been totally open-minded to whatever the people of the town want this space to become. It’s been very organic. The business is run by people who love saying “yes”, and I think it shows on a regular basis. ss11

Speaking of organic, we have delicious organic fair-trade coffee and tea. We’ve got lots of great food from our kitchen like our Mojo Wrap which is like nothing else around. We’ve got some customers who say this is the single best food item they have ever had in Blacksburg. You can check out the fabulous menu right here! MENU

Another nice thing about She-Sha is the lack of TV’s and huge beer advertisements which are nearly impossible to avoid nowadays. Yes, you will find a lot of people in here at any given time with their laptops open, but it’s their choice. That’s really the key: giving people a choice and not shoving huge TV’s in everyone’s face.”

Upcoming events are as follows (but please note many more will be posted soon!):

July 17: “Funk 45 Friday” All Vinyl Night with the finest funk & soul, Latin funk, Afro-funk, and tropical flavors selected by Boogieburg’s vinyl collector Spark Arrester

Aug 7 & 8: “Global Dance Music Showcase” in celebration of downtown Blacksburg’s Steppin’ Out Festival featuring dance music from around the world selected by regional DJ’s

Aug 20: The WeatherVanes (touring four piece folk/rock band from Washington DC)

Look out this Fall for WUVT’s “Green Eggs & Jam” jam session night open to any local musician every other week.

John Gaskins, Manager of She-Sha

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Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. presents A summer full of fun- the ultimate “staycation”!

23 May BEER2

Join us downtown for a variety of family fun filled events throughout the summer.

Updated: June 6, 2015

And here’s a little sweetener from the Town of Blacksburg!
During these events, metered parking will be FREE in the downtown area:
Saturday, June 20 – Summer Solstice Fest
Saturday, July 11 – Summertime Small Business Saturday
July 11-18 – Blacksburg Restaurant Week
Saturday, July 18 – Art at the Market
August 7 & 8 – Steppin’ Out


Saturday, June 20, 1pm-11:30pm- Summer Solstice Fest. Free and open to all. Featuring live music, Dog Parade, Petting Zoo, Beer & Wine Garden, Water Wars, festival foods, craft vendors, games and activities for the whole family.



Saturday July 4, 5-10pm- Dr. Elvis on the Roof. Featuring live music with Dr. Elvis & The Pink Caddy Daddies, and Guilty Pleasures, beer and wine, festival foods and the best view of the fabulous Town of Blacksburg fireworks. Bring your own chair. No pets allowed. Donations to the Special Olympics of the New River Valley.


Saturday, July 11 Summertime Small Business Saturday- featuring special deals at participating downtown stores. PLUS the chance to win $500 in gift cards and gift certificates when you shop at local stores in partnership with Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. Buy. Eat. Live. Local.

July 11- July 18Blacksburg Restaurant Week. One Town. Seven Days. 20+ Delicious Deals.4

Saturday, July 18, 9am-2pm- Art at the Market with Breakfast at the Farmers Market. A juried art show and sidewalk sale, with a fabulous breakfast at the Blacksburg Farmers Market.

August 7-8, 10am-10pm- 35th annual Steppin’ Out Festival. Three stages of live entertainment, more than 200 craft vendors, merchant’s sidewalk sales and your favorite restaurants providing great festival foods.

Monday, September 7, 3-6pm- Party on the Promenade. A pre-game tailgate open to all ages on College Avenue.

2Downtown Blacksburg. It’s not on your way, it’s where you are going!

For more information visit our

Modern + Idea = Modea

6 May Company photo before heading out to Steppin’ Out 2014

Written by Taylor Martin & Emily Pote

Modea has been in the Blacksburg’s community for almost nine years after two Virginia Tech graduates named David Catalano and Aaron Herrington decided to use their entrepreneurial spirit to start the company in 2006. The company has been in several locations throughout Blacksburg and currently has its headquarters in Kent Square.

Company photo before heading out to Steppin’ Out 2014

Company photo before heading out to Steppin’ Out 2014

Modea, which is a combination of the words modern + ideas, was originally started as an advertising agency, but over the past few years has transformed into a digital consultancy and product studio. On the consultancy side, the company does website strategy and redesign for various clients, including nTelos and Duke Medicine. On the digital product side, Modea creates simulators and emulators for cell phone companies including Verizon and Telus, a Canadian company.

The office space is very modern, but also very inviting. It consists of two floors separated by a spiral staircase. The top floor, where the consultancy sits, is where website design happens, while the bottom floor is where the digital simulators and emulators are made. Both floors have their own distinct features, but everything still ties together. Whiteboard paint is on just about every wall of the office space, and sticky notes cover many the regular walls left. There are two big kitchens in the facility, each packed with complimentary drinks and snacks for the employees to munch on while getting work done. On Fridays, employees enjoy what’s known as FLF, Free Lunch Friday, where the company caters lunch for everyone in the office. As you can imagine, it’s a pretty popular day at Modea and it’s all to show employee appreciation.

Employees enjoying Buffalo Wild Wings for Free Lunch Friday (FLF)

Employees enjoying Buffalo Wild Wings for Free Lunch Friday (FLF)

One of the most popular spaces in the office is the two game rooms. These rooms were designed with the employees in mind. While on lunch or when they need a break, several employees can join together for a game of foosball or to battle on every game system imaginable from Xbox One to PS4.

The company has several uniquely named conference rooms throughout the office. Upstairs, room names range from THIS ROOM and THAT ROOM, while downstairs, the rooms boast names such as CONFIDENTIAL and TOP SECRET.

Downtown Blacksburg was chosen as Modea’s home for several reasons according to Emily Pote, the company’s Office Manager. “Blacksburg offers a great quality of life and has been rated one of the best places to raise a family.” Emily’s favorite thing about living and working in Blacksburg is “the view of the mountains every day. I’ve been here about seven months and I love that I haven’t gotten used to the gorgeous views yet.”

Employees of Modea, known as Modeans, have a relaxed environment allowing them to get work done in a non-stressful atmosphere. You often find employees sitting in plush chairs throughout the office instead of at their desk. The dress code is casual and varied with folks wearing everything from t-shirts and jeans to dresses and button up shirts. Educationally, Modea hires candidates from the “techy” fields, such as computer science, arts and design, and software engineering. Virginia Tech is a great recruiting source that Modea uses often as seen by the fact that several of their part-time employees are students there.

Modeans at the 2014 company holiday party, themed Masquerade

Modeans at the 2014 company holiday party, themed Masquerade

Modea and its 90 employees love being a part of the Downtown Blacksburg Community. “People are always asking me what Modea does and I’m happy to answer their questions,” Emily said. Modea also enjoys giving back to its home community in various ways including hosting and maintaining the Lyric Theatre’s website. As a member of Downtown Blacksburg, Modea supports the towns’ businesses by shopping and buying locally. In 2014, during Downtown Blacksburg Inc.’s annual Steppin’ Out, Modea made it a point to give each employee $10, of the company’s money, to spend at the festival. Modea loves to be a part of this community and strongly encourages every person and business to support each other.

Modea is a great business to have in our community. It is the type of company you expect to find in Silicon Valley, but instead it is right where it belongs, in the heart of Virginia, in Downtown Blacksburg.

Showing off our shirts and supporting fellow Modean, Gary Lowery's son Kam to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness

Showing off our shirts and supporting fellow Modean, Gary Lowery’s son Kam to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness

Modea is a member of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

Taylor Martin is a Junior at Virginia Tech. She is Public Relations Major. Taylor is currently working as a part time work study Intern for Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.


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