Know your Town Council

6 Sep

Citizens First invites you to the:
Blacksburg Town Council Candidate Forum
Wednesday, September 14th, 7pm-9pm
Community Room, Blacksburg Library

Come hear the positions of Blacksburg Town Council Candidates on the important issues facing Blacksburg in the coming years:
School property development
Blacksburg quality of life
Residential code enforcement
Downtown revitalization
Bikeways and safe routes to schools
Relations with Virginia Tech
Sustainable landscapes
Candidate management style

There are 5 candidates running for 3 positions this year:
John Bush
Leslie Hager-Smith
Melvyn Jay “Mel” Huber
Paul Lancaster
Michael Stuphin

Election Information
The election of members of Town Council and the Mayor are held on the general election date in November of odd-numbered years beginning in November 2009. The mayor serves a four-year term and the council members serve four-year staggered terms.

Citizens age 18 and over may register to vote at the Montgomery County Voter Registration Office, Room 220, Christiansburg, VA, 540-382-5741; at the DMV when applying for a motor vehicle driver’s license; by mail (applications available at the Blacksburg Library, Blacksburg Post Office, DMV, Christiansburg Library); or in person at special registration locations set-up prior to elections.

Blacksburg has two polling places for local elections: the Blacksburg Community Center and the Library. Call 540-382-5741 for voter registration information and locations that provide public assistance or are primarily engaged in serving persons with disabilities.
Blacksburg Town Council

Citizens First for Blacksburg is a non-partisan Political Action Committee constituted by Blacksburg area residents (including Montgomery County & Christiansburg) to promote good governance and vibrant citizen democracy.
You can find out more about Citizens First

What makes Steppin’ Out tick?

3 Aug collage1

Two days away from Blacksburg’s premier festival seems like a great time to take a look behind the scenes to find out what it takes to make Steppin’ Out great.

Admnission to Steppin’ Out is FREE!

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.(formerly Downtown Merchants of Blacksburg) has been bringing Steppin’ Out to the Blacksburg Community for 31 years.

Work begins in December when Steppin’ Out Craft Vendor Application packets are updated and compiled and Sponsorship Packages are sent out.

There are only two staff members working part time all year round putting together all of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. events and services.

Approximately 50 volunteers working 200 hours are needed to keep the festival running smoothly.

Food vendors from our downtown restaurants have to submit their applications for Health Department permits a month before the festival.

Town of Blacksburg Public Works Department staff are out putting up tents, tables, chairs,stages and more in the wee hours of Friday morning to be ready for the start of the festival at 10am.

Steppin’ Out t-shirts help to pay for the festival each year.

DLP Concerts schedule the excellent entertainment for all three stages.

Blacksburg Fire and Rescue Squad set up their center of operations at Steppin’ Out.

NRV Varmints Pet Sitting Agency provide a safe, fun area for dogs while their owners visit the festival.

There have been family reunions, high school reunions, college reunions,and even wedding receptions at Steppin’ Out.

This year will be the biggest and best Steppin’ Out ever with an expanded footprint into the Market Square Park and down College Ave to Otey St. containing 246 craft vendors and downtown merchants booths.

50 non profit and community groups participate in the event.

It takes many hours in the hot sun to mark the booth spaces for 296 booth spaces!

So now let’s hear from you? Send in and share your favorite Steppin’ Out story.

See you at Steppin’ Out!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Art at the Market

8 Jul Mccabecoolidge

Passionate about art? Love our Blacksburg Farmers Market? Is breakfast your favorite meal of the day? Love to buy local?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, we have the event for you! Saturday, July 16th, sees the return of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.’s annual Art at the Market. The event has been around for nigh on 20 some years and changed locations and titles three time. It has grown from a handful of artists displaying their latest paintings on a fence of Henderson Lawn on College Avenue under the dubious protection of a handheld umbrella; “Art on the Fence”; to artists showing their work in the alley behind the original Farmers Market; “Art Along the Alley”;to over forty artists in 2010 filling 10×10 booth spaces on the lawn of the Media Building on Draper Rd; “Art at the Market”.

Local artist, Sally Mook, remembers the event well having been a participant since 1987. “Art at the Market started out as Art Along the Fence, the fence being the one that enclosed Henderson Lawn from Main street to Squires Student Center on College Ave. Some artists brought their own setups, but a lot of us hung our paintings from the fence by looping the painting’s wire over the fence spikes or leaning paintings against the fence and resting them on the brick wall……
There was good shade from all the trees along Henderson Lawn and College Ave…. There was good camaraderie among the artists then just as there is now.
The idea that didn’t work out was “Art Along the Alley” – it was waaaay too hot there and that must have been the low point for Blacksburg’s sidewalk art show as I believe there were only 7 of us artists.
No matter what the weather, I’ve always loved being a part of this show. So many people come downtown to look at art and to visit, it’s truly a fun, hometown event for me.”
Nancy Norton, stained glass artist, shares an enthusiastic view of the event; “This will be my fifth year at Art at the Market. Through heat and rain and perfect weather, it is always a treat to see so many folks downtown and for them to have a delightful opportunity to see what our local artists are doing.”

Without a doubt this exposition of unique works showcasing local artists in all visual media has seen its popularity and success increase as each year passes. Attracting an increasing number of artists each year it has become the premiere arts event in Blacksburg.

Art at the Market is now held each year in conjunction with Breakfast at the Farmer’s Market, a family event featuring wonderful locally grown food, live music and the best produce the farmer’s have to offer! This is the ideal opportunity to take in a little art with your breakfast.

Art at the Market is another great event brought to you by Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. with sponsorship from
Fringe Benefit, the Community Arts Information Office, and Mish Mish

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Summer Fun…here it comes!

20 May dog_beercan

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. presents:
4th Annual Summer Solstice Fest

Saturday June 18, 2-11pm in Downtown Blacksburg, Main Street & Lee Street

Alberti Flea Circus
Alexander Black House Activities
Beer Garden- sponsored by Modea
Bike Rodeo- East Coasters, Blacksburg Police Dept. &; Blacksburg Rescue Squad
Blacksburg Recycling & Sustainable Blacksburg- Recycling Activities
Blacksburg Contra Dance Group
Blacksburg Fire Dept
Carriage Rides- MacArthur Inn
Chef Demos- sponsored by Gourmet Pantry
Dog Contests and activities- sponsored by NRV Varmints Pet Sitting
Downtown Sundown 5K race- to benefit BHS Field & Track Club
Fire Performers
Hula Hooping with Wild Earth Hoops
Midway Games and activities
Oyster Eating Contest- sponsored by Awful Arthur’s
Plant Sale- Hahn Horticulture Garden
South West Virginia Social Dance Group
Smithfield Plantation
Spa & Relaxation Tent- Beauti Control, Tuck Chiropractic and In Balance Yoga Studio offering yoga and massage therapy
Street performers including poi spinning, juggling, unicycles and more
VT Surf Club- Tarp Surfing
Sand Beach Activities- sponsored by Cabo Fish Taco
Sidewalk/Graffiti Art- interactive
Zumba- sponsored by New Tech Fitness

Main Stage Schedule
2:00- 3:00pm PanJammers
3:00- 3:30pm South West Virginia Social Dance Society
3:30- 5:00pm Badunkafunk
5:00-5:30pm Oyster slurping contest
5:45-7:15pm Alliens
7:15- 7:45pm Blacksburg Contra Dance Group
7:45-10:00pm Key West Band
10:00pm Awesomesauce in the beer garden
10:30pm Fire Show in the beer garden

Bike Rodeo Registration form: Bike_Rodeo_flyer

Downtown Sundown 5K Race registration form: 5Kreg form 2011

Participating Non-Profit Groups:
Downtown Blacksburg, Inc., Alexander Black House, Auburn UMC Women’s Group, Blacksburg Fire Dept, Blacksburg Live Music, Blacksburg Rescue Squad, Children’s Museum for Blacksburg, Hahn Horticulture Garden, MC Friends of Animal Care & Control, Mental Health Association, MOMS Club, New Life Christian Fellowship, New River Bicycle Association,New River Valley Apartment Council, NRV Macaroni Kids, NRV Roller Girls, Planned Parenthood, Rita’s- Alex’s Leomonade Charity, SEEDS, Smithfield Plantation, Special Olympics- Area 9, Sustainable Blacksburg, Virginia Interfaith Child Care Center

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Virginia Green Event

Main Stage Sponsor: Freedom First Credit Union
Beer Garden Sponsor: Modea

Media Partners:
Comcast Spotlight
Mix 100.7
The Bear 105.3

For specific information on Downtown Blacksburg Events please contact:
Laureen Blakemore, Director of Special Events
Tel: 540-951-0454
For regular updates please visit our website:

Prince William and Kate Middleton are married‎!

4 May

Royal Wedding Viewing Party
April 29, 2011
Presented by Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. and The Lyric Theater

Schedule of Events
5:00 a.m.—Guests arrive in the lobby as the Patent Pending Clarinet Quartet play Gigue from Sonata Op. 5 by Corelli, Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Handel and a Minuet by Brahms. The Quartet features Kelsey Lund, Lee Seidner, Rebecca Johnson, and Kayla Dottery.

5:20 a.m.—Musical entertainment continues with Molly Overson on Bassoon and with Luke Gusukuma on Flute playing “Six Minuets” by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Guests enter the lobby and treat themselves to typical English refreshments and a wedding cupcake created by Next Door Bake Shop. Morning tea and coffee are available at the front of the stage. The champagne and Bucks Fizz bar provide guests with a glass of bubbly for the celebration toast. Upon grabbing refreshments, guests take a pictures with the Roanoke Times Paparazzi and the Royal Couple. Several guests choose to try on the royal engagement ring from Kent Jewelers.

5:45 a.m.—Town of Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam and Christian Trejbal of The Roanoke Times judge contestants of the Funky Formal Wear and Silly Millinery Contests!

6:00 a.m.—Wedding ceremony begins at Westminster Abbey!

7:15 a.m.—Prince William and the new Princess Catherine depart Westminster Abbey, by carriage, and proceed to Buckingham Palace.

7:30 a.m.—The Bride and Groom arrive at the Grand Entrance of Buckingham Palace.

8:25 a.m.—The married couple reappear on the balcony at Buckingham Palace with the Queen and their families. William and Kate kiss, not once but twice to the delight of the audience!

Spotlight: Mad Dog

29 Apr

Dorothy Egger, owner of Mad Dog, has been a Blacksburg native since 1972. Egger grew up in Germany and is fluent in German and seeking to be fluent in Italian. This Virginia Tech alumnus prides herself as a world traveler and food connoisseur with her most unique travel adventures being in the African continent. She permanently established Blacksburg as her home along with husband, Dr. Dayton Egger, a distinguished professor in the School of Architecture and Design. In 2003, Dorothy purchased Mad Dog with her daughter who currently resides in Santa Barbara.

Mad Dog, located at 109 North Main Street, is a local family-owned women’s boutique. At first, Mad Dog served as a skater store selling skateboards and men’s clothing. The original owners changed the venue to offer women’s apparel and accessories. At this point, Dorothy and her daughter took over and adapted the store into a fashion-forward women’s boutique. Mad Dog offers daily to formal apparel, home decoration, accessories, intimates, antiques, paintings, and gift items. The majority of the apparel comes from Los Angeles and New York, while a portion is from Atlanta and Florida. The store carries various pieces of locally made items. Looking for accessories? Check out locally made maroon and orange Virginia Tech jewelry. Don’t miss the elegantly crafted bird feeders as you enter! These birdfeeders are locally crafted in Christiansburg by a master of cooper roofing trained in Switzerland.

What makes this store unique to Downtown Blacksburg? Customers and employees are welcome to bring their dogs. The dog-friendly store offers something for everyone. It is one of the best places to get a variety of affordable birthday gifts. The personalized gift wrapping adds the perfect finishing touch!

Stop by Mad Dog and get the latest arrivals for graduation and summer.  Isabella, the dog mascot, awaits your arrival!

“Artists and Apricots”

25 Apr

You’ve heard of Apple Records, right? How about Apricot Enterprises?
Well, if you’ve been in Blacksburg for very long you most certainly have passed the store, or even shopped there. Maybe it would help if you knew Arabic, because “apricot” translates to “mish mish”.
In 1967, owners Steve and Debbie Miller came to Virginia Tech as Architecture students …. actually Debbie was more of an artist. Both Virginians, Steve being from Richmond and Debbie from Alexandria, they connected sometime in those early years when good old VPI was still a very male-dominated school.
Three other friends by the names of Phil, Dave, and Jay joined Steve in recognizing the need for architectural supplies, and with a $300 loan they opened the first Mish Mish storefront in February of 1970. Debbie was an associate and the five of them opened for business on the 2nd floor of the 100 Block of Roanoke Street, next to a hippie store known as Humble Pie.
Obviously, it was a smart move to open such a store because today, 41 years later, they are as large as ever in their Main Street location. And their wares are not just for architects, or designers, or artists, or engineers ….. they are an integral part of the downtown Blacksburg landscape and cater to all kinds of creative people, whether connected with the college or not.
Many old-timers might remember their early store sites on Roanoke Street, followed by a move to the alley behind Bollo’s right next to the Lyric Theater’s back door, and then to a street-facing spot under the parking lot at Draper and Jackson Streets. That was back in the days one might find a resident cat hanging around the premises.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today you will find Mish Mish directly across from the Post Office, and you’ll also find added features. This locale also has an artist gallery where local talent display their creations on consignment, and where you can have custom framing done on your own prints. As you browse the store, you are only seeing the retail portion of this unique trade. Behind closed doors in the rear, and up the stairs, are thousands of square feet of storage and office space that are vital to keeping the place ticking.
Mish Mish is a bright, well organized shop with all kinds of tools for kids and adults to use. Even if you just need a good fancy pen for yourself or as a gift, this is the place. The owners and staff can help you find anything, and can even suggest what you might need for the project you have in mind.
Visit Mish Mish at 125 North Main Street, or go to their website at

Written by Blacksburg Resident Dennis Smith. Check out Dennis’ blog That 70’s Blacksburg

Spotlight: Southwestern Virginia Social Dance Society

17 Apr

SVSDS Dance Night: April 15, 2011

Since its establishment in 1990, Southwestern Virginia Social Dance Society or SVSDS, a local non-profit organization, has been encouraging dance in Blacksburg community by bringing together dancers from other local dance organizations under an inclusive dance family. These dance organizations include Solely Swing, Ballroom Dance at Virginia Tech, and SalsaTech. SVSDS’s current President, Chaky Sriranganathan, a Blacksburg native
has been dancing in the area with SVSDS for 8 years, teaching for Solely Swing and SalsaTech. As he described his passion of dance, he highlighted how SVSDS serves to bring the Blacksburg community closer together as part of a dance family.

Over the years, SVSDS was housed in various locations with the most recent locations being the old Center of Dance location on Draper Road and DanceTech. The organization partnered with the YMCA to construct a sprung dance floor at its current location in the Stuart Event Room at The Y Center. It offers weekly lessons from 7:30pm to 8:30pm and open dance from 8:30pm to12:00am on Fridays. Each night averages around forty to sixty dancers! Are you a newcomer to SVSDS or beginner dancer? Don’t worry; try SVSDS for the first time free of charge!

Currently, the organization is working with Solely Swing to host the VTLX (Virginia Tech Lindy Exchange). Lindy Exchange originally started with dancers in Chicago traveling to the west coast to meet new dancers and exchange community dialogue around dance. Attracting dancers all the way from San Francisco and Ohio, VTLX will run on April 29th, April 30th and May 1 and will feature two live bands! On Friday April 29th, SVSDS is presenting gypsy swing by Christabel and the Jons. The event will be held Stuart Event Room at the Y Center. Following day, Saturday April 30th, Soley Swing is presenting The Atomic Rhythm All-Stars, a swing band, at the Commonwealth Ballroom Squired Student Center. Both events will consist of a basic lesson, starting at 7:30pm on Friday April 29th and 7:00pm on Saturday April 30th for only $10/person. Bring your dancing shoes and join SVSDS and Solely Swing for VTLX!

You are cordially invited……

13 Apr prince william and kate middleton

Referred to by Christian Trejbal of The Roanoke Times as “Blacksburg’s traitorous celebration”, Downtown Blacksburg Inc. and The Lyric Theatre have taken on the role of “wedding planner” for this very special event!

The Royal Wedding Party will take place on Friday, April 29th,  in the Lyric Theatre.

The wedding cake is ordered and amidst much excitement the talented chefs of Next Door Bake Shop are keeping the design plans under wraps. The secret is  as closely guarded as that of the blushing bride’s dress. What we do know is that it will feature a unique wedding cupcake design and that it will be delicious.

There will be flowers and bunting, traditional decorations for British Street Parties which accompany any Royal Celebration. During the recent First Friday Wedding Fever event, participants enjoyed making some of the decorations.

Trejbal went on to state: “the royals couldn’t even pay America the courtesy of scheduling the festivities for a decent hour.”  Obviously due to the time difference the party in the Lyric will start before the birds are up, although for the Royal Couple it will be a mid-morning event across the pond.  As guests arrive at the Lyric at the uncivilized hour of 5am, they will be serenaded by ‘Patent Pending Clarinet Quartet’ and a Bassoon and Flute duet comprising of  Virginia Tech Music Majors. Not a bad way to start the day, really.   How many other early morning activities soothe you with such classical tunes as Beethoven’s “Six Minuets” or Handel’s “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”?

On March 22nd Mayor Ron Rordam signed a proclamation on behalf of Blacksburg Town Council, declaring April 29 a “Day of Public Celebration” to mark the nuptials of “the commoner Catherine Elizabeth Middleton and His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Phillip Louis of Wales of the Kingdom of Great Britain”. And in a heartfelt response to Trejbal’s editorial Mayor Rordam pleads “guilty to being a Royalist….if only for a day” and  admits to “getting choked up a little when they play God save the Queen.”

In keeping with British tradition wedding guests will be able to participate in a TOMBOLA. In this variation of a raffle, people purchase numbered tickets, each ticket having the chance of winning a prize. The winning tickets end in a “0” or  a “5” .  The drawn tickets are checked against a collection of prizes with numbers attached to them, and the holder of the ticket wins the prize. Guests will be drawing to win a plethora of imported British delights including delicious Cadbury’s chocolates, sparkling Vimto, Tetley teas, the infamous “Spotted Dick”, and so much more!

There will be tea and coffee, served in real teacups and saucers, of course; homemade scones, cucumber sandwiches and other nibbles all included in the price of the ticket. Care to indulge in a Buck’s Fizz? Step up to the cash bar to enjoy the champagne treat known in the Americas as a Mimosa!

Come in your favorite funky formal wear or your silliest millinery and you could win a smashing prize! The Roanoke Times Paparazzi will be  on the scene offering guests the photo opportunity of a lifetime–there will be two very special guests on that red carpet with you.

The event will be full of fun and surprises in addition to being able to watch the wedding of the century on the big screen in your favorite theatre. Tickets are a mere $5 a piece but be warned…they are moving fast! Tickets are available in the Lyric lobby, or call 540-951-4771.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors: the Lyric Theatre, and Downtown Blacksburg, Inc., and for the support of WDBJ7, New River Stage Town Criers, The Roanoke Times, Next Door Bake Shop, Gourmet Pantry, Kent Jewelers and Bollo’s Cafe, Mayor Rordam, the Blacksburg Town Council, and the Town of Blacksburg.

And to our dear friend, Christian Trejbal- thanks for the fun, we hope you will be our guest and join this “traitorous celebration”!

Wedding Fever!

26 Mar

Friday April 1st

In Kent Square Lobby

Royal Wedding- craft stations
Condo Tours- Pointe West Management offering tours of the Kent Square Condos
Next Door Bake Shop- Wedding Cupcakes and more
Hahn Horticulture Garden – Information about a delightful & desirable wedding venue
Calligraphy with Elizabeth Foster
Beauti Control- Spa hand treatments on the spot!
Body Harmony Massage- Chair Massages
Smithfield Plantation- destination wedding!
Mobile Town Hall with 4:30-6:00pm Don Langrehr & Krisha Chachra
The War Memorial Chapel at Virginia Tech- “Experience the Tradition.”

Round Town

Town Criers- announcing a special invitation to you!
FREE Wine & Cheese Tasting at Gourmet Pantry 5-7pm
Clay Corner Inn- free cookie bar 2-8 p.m.
Main street Inn- free refreshments 4-7pm
16 Squares Historical walking tour -starting 4 pm at the Old Town Hall, located at the intersection of Church and Jackson Streets. Call 540-558-0746 or email to reserve a space. The tour is free and open to the public, but spaces are limited.
In Balance Yoga Studio 20% off class packages and 25% off retail
Look out for Retail Specials all arround the downtown area
Collect a coupon card for downtown dining discounts!
Bike and Build in front of The Lyric 4-7pm

ART CRAWL with Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt forms to be collected at any of the participating galleries on April 1st from 4-7pm. All forms must be turned in by 7pm in the Kent Square Lobby. The winner will be the person with the most correct answers. Scavenger Hunt clues will be found in ALL participating galleries.

Exhibit TBA
Armory Art Gallery

Custom Designed works of art
Capone’s Fine Jewelry

The work of Christy Mackie and Cedric Rudisill
Clay Corner Inn

Weddings by the Blacksburg Regional Arts Association
Community Arts Information Office

Exhibit TBA
Experiential Gallery for Creative Technologies

The paintings of Knic Umstead
Gillie’s Gallery

Artwork by Amity Dewey
Kent Square Lobby

“Three Painters and a Potter”, featuring four talented young artists in the MFA program at Radford University
Main-Lee Gallery

Bimbur Books & Wedding albums with Becca Imbur, Annie’s Photo Fun- photography by David Hilgendorff
Main Street Inn Gallery

Featuring the Artwork & Jewelry of Blacksburg Artist Greta Panciera
Matrix Gallery

Paintings by Gemma Clasing
Next Door Bake Shop

Photo display of houses in central Blacksburg that have historically been owned by black families, narrated by Beatrice Walker, and a small display of town-owned historic sites in the Office/Visitor Center.
St. Luke & Odd Fellows Hall

Simone Paterson – professor in the School of Visual Arts at Tech
The Gallery at Mish Mish

The fun doesn’t need to end when the curtain closes.
Main Street Inn is offering a
Wedding Frenzy Honeymoon Package.
A special gift for all Honeymooners waiting in their room.
Reservations suggested
Coupon required for special rate

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29,235 other followers