Looking for something to do this holiday weekend? See our picks for some fun local events.
Big hitmakers, a country rapper, a rising songwriter, a couple of up-and-comers — even a guy who plays a country star on TV — are part of the Blue Ridge Music Festival on June 1 at Salem Football Stadium. A regional party favorite and a Roanoke Valley new country band are on the bill, as well. Nashville, Tenn.-based promoter Outback Concerts, working with the city of Salem, is reviving the Blue Ridge Music Festival name. The event last happened in 2005 and 2006, at neighboring Salem Memorial Baseball Stadium, with a bluegrass-heavy lineup over two October days at the ball park. This time around, they hope to draw fans of country music, which is enjoying lots of crossover success these days. If the warmer weather and more commercially popular lineup bring the crowds, the festival will become an annual, two-day event, Salem civic facilities manager Carey Harveycutter has said. At the top of next week’s lineup, Little Big Town (“Boondocks,” “Little White Church,” “Pontoon,” “Tornado”) and Hunter Hayes (“Wanted,” “Somebody’s Heartbreak,” “I Want Crazy”) bring the hit-power.
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A lot has changed for Festival in the Park since Memorial Day weekend 2012. Before the year was out, the organization that ran the event and others in downtown Roanoke, EventZone, had let its director resign, then lost its contract with the city. Festival in the Park, which began its existence as an autonomous organization, also cut its ties with EventZone, then aligned itself with the city’s new events contractor, Downtown Roanoke Inc. Because EventZone still holds some legal rights to the name Festival in the Park, this year’s version has a new, more convoluted name — Roanoke Festival in the Park Inc. presents Festival 2013.
Colt Ford is a proven modern country music hitmaker. Two songs he co-wrote with Brantley Gilbert — Gilbert’s No. 1 “Country Must Be Country Wide” and Jason Aldean’s No. 1 “Dirt Road Anthem” — got massive radio play, in addition to sales and downloads. Ford himself has had lots of sales and downloads through four albums and one EP. His most recent CD, “Declaration of Independence,” hit No. 1 on
Will Hoge started his career as a rock ’n’ roller, but by 2012, his songwriting had come to the fore. “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” a song that Hoge co-wrote and recorded on his 2009 album “The Wreckage,” became a No. 1 country single for the Eli Young Band. By the end of the year, on the power of that song, he was nominated for a Grammy Award, a
Last month, Roanoke conservationist/anthropologist Jerry Moles — a living enzyme for local action — emailed from the Slow Money conference in Boulder, Colo., summarizing its well-grounded topics. “There was a report on microorganisms. We’re just learning a few things in the soil but most are unknown.” I’d read this a few years back, via biologist E.O. Wilson, in his dismay over the current high-speed extinction of species. Wilson pointed out
I’ve always enjoyed the unique words and phrases that my relatives and other country people here in Southwest Virginia use. Some are self-explanatory, such as “leaning toward the peach orchard,” “cold as blue monkeys” and “sour as old man whiz.” Others need a definition, like “ high tail it” (hurry or move quickly), “stretching your blanket” (lying or exaggerating), “got the big eye” (couldn’t sleep), “directly” (soon) and “turtle” (the
Leisure Publishing Company’s newest magazine came out with a hitch. Thirty-nine hitches, to be exact, which is what you would expect of a wedding magazine. The Roanoke publisher, which puts out The Roanoker magazine, Blue Ridge Country and numerous other publications, debuted Bridebook last month, which bills itself as “Roanoke’s First Wedding Registry!” The magazine features nearly 100 glossy, colorful pages of wedding-themed content, geared toward brides-to-be, from gown styles
Take a close look at any of the items around you now and you’ll likely go on a tour around the world. You’ll see “Made in China,” “Made in Taiwan,” “A Product of Canada,” or maybe even “Made in U.K.” — those are just a few labels from the items on my desk . Then there’s the “Made in USA” stamp many folks are yearning to see on more of
It’s a holiday weekend with a lot of festivals in the valleys. For bluegrass fans, the big option is in Floyd County, where the Chantilly Farm Bluegrass & BBQ Festival has its third go-round. The bill, led by International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame member Doyle Lawson and his band, Quicksilver, is full of world-class ’grassers and some high-test local acts, too. Lawson, an East Tennessean whose band has won
Alexander’s, a downtown Roanoke stalwart for 33 years, has been named one of OpenTable’s Top 100 Restaurants for Service in the United States for 2013. According to the restaurant reservation website, the award is based on more than 5 million user reviews of some 15,000 restaurants across the country. Only four other Virginia restaurants made the list, and none is in our part of the state. Alexander’s owner Bridget Meagher
SATURDAY Stars and Stripes Forever: Patriotic Concert The Jefferson Choral Society will perform a patriotic concert that will include the Jefferson Youth Chorale and Cantate and the Chorus of the Blue Ridge. At 7 p.m., prior to the show, visitors can enjoy a moonlight serenade with music by Let’s Dance, who will perform selections from the 1940s. Bring your own chair. When: 7 to 10 p.m. Where: National D-Day Memorial,
TODAY Party in the Park Proceeds will benefit local charities and live music will be provided by Coastline. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. No coolers or pets are allowed. 6 p.m. $6; children under 12, free. Daleville Town Center, 90 Town Center St., Daleville. www.pitp.org. TODAY Party in Elmwood A portion of every Thursday’s revenue is donated to local charities, and music will be provided by The
TONIGHT Heather Luttrell With Christie Lenee Folk/Americana singer/songwriter Luttrell brings strong vocals to her original music. Lenee is a shockingly good guitarist with finger-tapping prowess to match her songwriting creativity. Details: 10 p.m. Martin’s Downtown Bar & Grill, Roanoke. Free. 985-6278, martinsdowntown.com, heatherluttrell.com, christielenee.com FRIDAY David Wax Museum This Boston-based band turned on crowds opening for The Avett Brothers at Virginia Tech and on its own at FloydFest with what
Open the door to Mockingbird Cafe & Bakery in Christiansburg, and all the best elements of a cafe come together: a jingling door bell, brightly colored walls, glass cases arranged with pretty foods, and a friendly face behind the counter. Setting-wise, Mockingbird won me over from the beginning. My companions for a recent visit felt the same. We took our time studying menu choices, local art and quaint floral tablecloths.
Walking through the Roanoke City Farmers Market with Billie Raper on a recent Friday was like being spotted with a celebrity. The manager of Blues BBQ came outside to chat him up, as did a chef at 202 Market. Farmer Mark Woods said hello, and a woman in a sport utility vehicle on Campbell Avenue slowed down to wave enthusiastically from the driver’s seat. “Hey, Billie!” she called. “We’re going
I am so law-abiding that I’ve only had one traffic ticket in my life. That was 25 years ago, and I was framed. And yet, somehow, I always manage to run afoul of lifeguards. I like to float facedown in pools, and when I’m in a lake, to also swim way out. OK, way, way, way out, like, where I’m closer to the people in the boats than to the
For the Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival, progress has been slow and steady. But even as the festival grows its lineup, it sticks with some longtime favorites. In its first year, a passel of local and regional bands filled the lineup at the Blue Mountain Festival Grounds, near Martinsville. Charlottesville’s Kings of Belmont and Ashveville, N.C.’s Sanctum Sully were on the bill. This time around, in its fifth year,
Like a great many other people, I am interested in family genealogy. I have not, as some people do, gone to the lengths of visiting churchyards or town halls in England or Germany, but I have spent a good deal of time with historical records, including Census records, in an attempt to identify as many of my ancestors as possible, including at least three who fought with Confederate regiments in
Dear Dr. Camardi: When we brought Dad to your clinic for dementia, we never had any idea that after you went over his case from top to bottom that you would say what you did about carbon monoxide poisoning. And I’m very deeply sorry for saying to your staff that we wasted our time in seeing you because you saved us from tragedy. I said that because, when we told
If you’re a cookie fiend, can’t resist meat, cheese or creamy salad dressings, haven’t munched broccoli since 1986 and are not sufferin’ succotash, you may be a super-taster. A new Stanford University study found that at least 30 percent of us are supertasters. We dislike bitter flavors and love sweets. And half of STs came into the world that way. The rest? Well, repeat exposure to added sugars, red meat
Carolyn: I’m having trouble dealing with my violent niece and nephew, 5 and 7. I have two children of my own a little older. We are a tight family that (mostly, despite this big issue) enjoys hanging out together quite often. It’s common for the 5-year-old to hold my 7-year-old down and just swing punches. The boy was kicked out of day care at 2 for his violent tendencies. In
Comparing drug benefits to risks is a delicate balancing act. Nowhere is this more apparent than with statin-type cholesterol-lowering medications such as atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor). These drugs can save lives, particularly for people who have had heart attacks or needed cardiac interventions. But others find the quality of their lives compromised by drugs meant to prevent trouble. One reader, R.R., wrote to protest an article we wrote about
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