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Pokemon Go: Catch ’em all in Abingdon

Over 8 million people have downloaded the new game Pokémon Go, and downtown Abingdon has been flooded with Pokémon trainers searching for Squirtles, Charmanders, and of course, Pikachu himself.

pokemon-tavern

We’ve put together this handy guide to hunting Pokémon in Abingdon, including where to recharge your phone for free, where grab a bite to eat while you’re hunting, what else to see in town while you’re here, and tips for how to catch ’em all without breaking any laws (or any bones!).

The Abingdon Police Department has an important message for players. “Attention all Pokémon trainers, we need your help. As you pursue Pikachu, or any other Poké-characters, please use caution.  Sometimes people do not understand that you are playing in augmented reality. Remember in the real world, laws apply.”  Read more here.

So remember, keep your eyes on the road while driving, respect private property, be safe, and have fun! And if you catch a particularly rare Pokémon in Abingdon, take a screenshot and tell us about it with the hashtag #PokemonGoAbingdon.

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Pokestops in Historic Abingdon

Known Poke Stops include the Abingdon Farmers Market, Barter Theatre, Washington County Library, the Virginia Creeper Trail and the sidewalk in front of The Martha Washington Inn & Spa.

In addition, wild Pokemon have been sighted all up and down Abingdon’s historic district, at places like The Tavern, and the stores at the Market District, Park Street, and Courthouse Hill.

While you’re out hunting, stop by one of Abingdon’s restaurants for something to eat or drink.

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Pokémon Gyms

Put your Pokémon to the test as you battle it out in one of these Gyms.   Remember, town parks are closed after dark, and make sure to respect private property.  Gyms located in Abingdon include the sculpture garden at the William King Museum of Art, Barter Stage II, Heartwood, the town park at the corner of Tanner St. and Park St., the Arts Depot and Veterans Park

 

 

Charge your phone for free

Did you know Abingdon offers two free phone charging stations in downtown? If your battery is running low while you are out hunting, look for the bright red English phone booths in front of the Municipal parking lot on Main Street and at the Creeper Trail Welcome Center.  Each phone booth contains a free charging station.

Phone Booth 2015

Top tips for how to get the most out of a street festival

Just in time for the Virginia Highlands Festival (July 29 – August 7, 2016), we have this insider’s guide to how to enjoy a street festival.

Becky Caldwell, Executive Director of the Virginia Highlands Festival says in this month’s Blue Ridge Country magazine, “I have a confession to make – I am a festival junkie…I prefer to eat my food off a stick and a paper plate than a fancy restaurant. Beer belongs in plastic cup, and the best dancing happens on the grass.”

The Virginia Highlands Festival showcases the region’s best art and culture, including fine arts, antiques, music, outdoor adventures, writing workshops, and Appalachian history.  See the full schedule at VaHighlandsFestival.org.

People dance in the street during the Thursday Jam at the Farmers Market in Abingdon, VA on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Copyright 2013 Jason Barnette

Check out her pro tips below, and then make plans to put them in to action at the 68th Virginia Highlands Festival in downtown Abingdon, July 29 – August 7, 2016.

1. Dress for the weather, and plenty of walking. Don’t worry about looking cute, because everyone has the same trickle of sweat running down the small of their back. Just be comfortable!  That means good walking shoes, loose, breathable clothing, and sun protection like a hat, visor, or sunglasses.

Families enjoy walking the street during the 2012 Virginia Highlands Festival in Abingdon, VA

 

2. Know that you will spend more on food and drinks at a festival than you probably did for a week’s worth of groceries. Embrace this fact, and enjoy your $10 burger.

3. Leave your diet at home. You know who eats a salad at a festival? No one! It’s time for funnel cake and BBQ – in that order. Besides, you’ll probably walk off all those calories anyway.

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4. Loosen up about the schedule. Things in a festival can change all the time because of traffic, weather, or general life craziness. Show up ready to explore, and don’t let yourself be limited to the printed event guide. Which leads us directly to Tip #5….

5. Try something new. The best thing about a festival is the sheer quantity of things happening all at once, that you don’t normally have access to. Check out that new band, play a game you’ve never played before, see some art, explore a park.

HighlandsFestivalArt-944x424Find out more about the Virginia Highlands Festival at vahighlandsfestival.org.

A Perfect Lake Getaway Outside Abingdon, VA

South Holston Lake in Bristol, TN

Just a 20 minute drive outside of Abingdon’s town limits, South Holston Lake stretches over miles of open water, surrounded by pristine mountain ridges.  About 60% of the shoreline is bordered by the Cherokee National Forest, and much of the shoreline is undeveloped, making it one of the most scenic lakes in Virginia. (The 7580-acre reservoir straddles the VA/TN border.)

The history behind the lake is as extensive as the lake itself. The Tennessee Valley Authority came to the area in 1942 to start construction on a dam. It was then completed in 1950. Local lore says that there were towns,farms, and graveyards flooded in order to build and create the South Holston Dam and Lake.

To help you and your family explore this undiscovered treasure in the Abingdon area, we’ve compiled a list of marinas, outfitters and public parks.  From boating, to scuba diving, to fishing, to simply having a picnic on the lake, there is something for everyone and every age.

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Boating

One of the biggest attractions is to boat on the lake during the summer. Many marinas offer boat rentals for families of every size.  With miles of open lake there is little crowding and a great place for swimming and boating without worry.

The Sportsman’s Marina is the most convenient access point for boating, located just 15 minutes from downtown Abingdon. In addition to boat rentals, Sportsman’s offers towables, kayaks, paddle boards, Jetblades, and an Aquapark.  Grab lunch at the Broken Ski Grill before heading out on the water.

Painter Creek Marina offers fully equipped half-day and full-day pontoon boat rentals, along with casual dining at the Painter Creek Grille.

Friendship Resort and Marina is a family-oriented marina surrounded by pristine national forest, offering boat rentals with seating for up to 10.

 

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Fishing

For those fishermen who have their own gear the Washington County Park is a great place to spend the day catching fish and relaxing by the lake.With many different places to stop and fish as well as other activities for the family this is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. 

If you are a beginner fisherman or simply want to teach your children how to fish, the Virginia Creeper Fly Shop offers fishing gear, classes and guided excursions.  Or, pick up some gear at Mahoney’s Outfitters, conveniently located on Cummings Street/Hwy 75, on the way to the Lake. 

There are many different kinds of fish that live in the South Holston Lake. Among some of the most popular fish are: Channel Catfish, Bluegills, Small and Large Mouth Bass and Black Bass.  Learn more at the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries >

Other Adventures 

Adventure Diving

If you and your family are extreme adventurists then Adventure Diving will fit the bill! This is your chance to see the South Holston Lake close up. Through their Discover Scuba tour they provide a short lesson and then a tour of the bottom of The South Holston Lake.  This is a great way to get up close and personal with this beautiful lake.  

Paddleboarding and Jetskis

Just a short 15 minute drive Abingdon you’ll find the Sportsmans Marina. They offer more than just boat rentals. They can provide jet skis, paddleboards, kayaks, tubes, and other water equipment for a fun day on the lake!

Places To Stay

When visiting the South Holston Lake it can be hard to only stay for one day. With the beautiful mountains, the rich local history, and small town eateries many visitors choose to stay for a few nights.  

Abingdon offers a number of affordable hotels, B&Bs and cabins with easy access to South Holston Lake.  For the best of both worlds, combine the comfortable lodging and great restaurants of Abingdon with a fun day on the lake.  Find out more about Abingdon lodging options >

Or, for the visitors who have a wild side or simply love waking up and watching a sunrise on the lake, there are a number of campgrounds around the South Holston Lake that provide an easy drive into Abingdon for the evening. Find out more about camping options at South Holston Lake >

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South Holston Lake is the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day, fish, and simply enjoy the mountains on a family vacation. With so much to do it is no wonder this is a visitor hotspot!

Cool activities for kids in Abingdon

Make your family vacation memorable with one of these cool, kid-friendly activities.  See live theatre, pet an alpaca, take a ghost tour, and explore the great outdoors. It’s always play time in Abingdon, so browse our list of cool activities for kids and decide how you’ll play today.

Bicyclists ride along the Virginia Creeper Trail in Abingdon, VA.

Bicyclists ride along the Virginia Creeper Trail in Abingdon, VA.

The Virginia Creeper Trail

The Virginia Creeper Trail is a bucket list trail, popular with families for its accessibility and easy downhill slope.  Bike rentals and shuttle service are available from the Virginia Creeper Trail Bike Shop in Abingdon or a number of outfitters in nearby Damascus. The most popular segment is White Top Station to Damascus, measuring about 17 miles, almost all of it an easy downhill ride.  vacreepertrailbikeshop.com

Adventure Mendota

“Float the Fork” – enjoy relaxed kayaking or tubing on the North Fork of the Holston River.  The  kayak trip is five river miles, tubing is just shy of one river mile.  Adventure Mendota will launch you with your squirt gun for some old-fashioned fun, then tube or kayak back to the pick up spot. adventuremendota.com

 

Abingdon Farmers Market

Considered the best farmers market in the region, the Abingdon Farmers Market offers art, crafts, baked goods and apparel, in addition to produce and meat. On Tuesdays, look for the Farm Fresh Kids booth. Every Tuesday afternoon, children receive hands-on experience in choosing fruits and vegetables, tasting and preparing different foods. After the lesson, children are given a $2 Fresh Buck coupon to spend on healthy foods at the market. Open Tuesdays 3pm-6pm and Saturdays 8am-1pm during the season. abingdonfarmersmarket.com

 

Abingdon Spirit Tours

Now in its 19th year, Abingdon Spirit Tours are led by the one and only Haint Mistress, Donnamarie Emmert. This tour is especially popular in the month of October, but it can be reserved throughout the year, weather permitting. It is a two hour walking tour of downtown Abingdon, where visitors are entertained with bits of Abingdon history as well as local ghost lore. Call 276-706-6093 for info.

 

Mini-Golf at The Martha

The Martha Washington Inn & Spa is well known for grown up treats like 4-star accommodations and spa services. But now kids can get in on the fun with a mini-golf course that is open to the public. In 2015, The Martha opened a mini links course on its property. The 18 holes feature Abingdon-themed obstacles.  Balls and putters can be rented at the front desk, and the course is open during daylight hours. themartha.com

Take a farm tour and pet the alpacas at Dreamland Alpacas just outside Abingdon, VA.

Take a farm tour and pet the alpacas at Dreamland Alpacas just outside Abingdon, VA.

Dreamland Alpacas

Pet the alpacas and learn more about these friendly relatives of the llama! This alpaca farm is open to the public, with a gift shop featuring products made from the cozy soft alpaca wool. In Meadowview, VA, just 15 minutes from Abingdon.  dreamlandalpacas.com

 

Barter Theatre

The state theatre of Virginia, Barter offers a diverse mix of musicals, plays and comedies. Many plays on the main stage are appropriate for older children. The Barter Players present theatre for young people, ages 5 and up. Call the Barter Theatre box office for information on specific plays. Youth tickets and family packages available.  bartertheatre.com

Get great views of the Virginia Creeper Trail as you do the zipline course in Whitetop, VA.

Get great views of the Virginia Creeper Trail as you do the zipline course in Whitetop, VA.

Creeper Trail Zip Line

Located at the top of the Creeper Trail. Take a zipline tour with stunning views of the mountains and the trail.  A Trip Advisor Reviewer wrote “It is an easy, four line run, great for first timers. The staff was friendly and thorough in explaining the necessary skills…They have an excellent Facebook page that they keep updated with pics of each day’s riders. Being able to see the range of people who do it (heights, weights, ages etc) was a comfort in deciding to give it a go.If you’re visiting the Virginia Creeper Trail, consider doing the zipline. You’ll be glad you did.” creeperzipline.com

 

Area festivals offer fun for the whole family. Pictured: Trail Days in Damascus, VA.

BONUS IDEA! Area festivals offer fun for the whole family. Pictured: Trail Days in Damascus, VA.

 

Summer festivals worth planning a trip around

Summer street festivals pack a lot of culture in to a short window of time, making them the perfect vacation activity.  From craft beer to street performers to old-time fiddling, these Abingdon, Virginia festivals are worth planning a trip around.

Abingdon's Main Street Busker Fest

Street performers at Abingdon’s Main Street Busker Fest, Labor Day Weekend.

 

Plumb Alley Day

May 28, 2016

In the heart of the town’s historic district, Plumb Alley is the shaded picturesque alley that runs between Main and Valley Streets.  A true small-town festival, Plumb Alley Day features booths, food, music, a dance performance, children’s activities, and a massive yard sale sponsored by the Kiwanis Club.

http://www.abingdonkiwanis.org/plumballeyday.html

Families enjoy walking the street during the 2012 Virginia Highlands Festival in Abingdon, VA

Virginia Highlands Festival

July 29 – August 7, 2016

Robert Porterfield, founder of both the Virginia Highlands Festival and the famed Barter Theatre, held the first Festival in 1949 at the Martha Washington Inn. His purpose was to preserve and celebrate the cultural heritage of this area. The Festival, over the past six decades, has grown in scope to represent all of Southwest Virginia. Now it not only preserves the arts, crafts and skills that developed in this region, but also imports talented artists and performers from all over the USA and the world for the enjoyment of area residents and visitors.

http://vahighlandsfestival.org/

Thursday Jams in Abingdon, VA

Abingdon’s All-American Independence Day Extravaganza

Freedom Celebration & Block Party

Saturday July 2, 2016

Abingdon celebrates Independence Day with a classic small-town American block party. Featuring live music from Jarekus Singleton and Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, a watermelon eating contest, kids activities including a foam pit, The Abingdon Fife & Drum Corps and a firework finale.  Free. Call (276) 676-22828 for info.

 

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Hops & Howlers Craft Brew Fest

June 18, 2016

The 3rd Annual Craft Brew Fest will showcase over 30 regional and national micro-breweries right in Downtown Abingdon, VA on June 18th, 2016. Hops makes sense…..what about Howlers? The festival also includes live music all day long, and is a tribute to Abingdon’s former name: Wolf Hills.

http://www.hopsandhowlers.com/

Listen to live music along The Crooked Road

Mountains of Music

June 10 – 18, 2016

Make Abingdon your home base for this multi-day, multi-town celebration of traditional music.  Follow the music for the second annual Mountains of Music Homecoming along the Crooked Road. The Crooked Road is a year-round destination for traditional music lovers. Concerts celebrating old-time, bluegrass, gospel, traditional singing and dance, and many other styles will be presented in over 25 different communities where this musical heritage lives and breathes.

http://mtnsofmusic.com/

 

BONUS: Fall Festivals to put on your calendar right now

Abingdon's Main Street Busker Fest

Main Street Busker Fest September 3, 2016

http://www.mainstreetbuskerfest.com/

 

Rhythm & Roots Reunion September 16-18, 2016

http://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/festival/

 

Washington County Fair September 12-17, 2016

http://www.washcofair.com/

Top treats for Mom this Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, you’ll find the perfect way to treat mom in Abingdon.  Take her to a farm to table brunch, rejuvenating yoga, music on the lawn, or a play at Barter Theatre. Can’t decide what she’d like best?   Choose all of the above and spend the day in Abingdon.

 

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Whitetop Yoga

“Yin & Yang: Achieving Balance,” Sunday May 8th at 11:00am.

Is mom feeling a little stressed? Start the day with a restorative yoga class at Whitetop Yoga. Yin and Yang represent the dualism that exists in all of creation. To achieve bliss, we must balance these two contrasting energies. “Yin & Yang: Achieving Balance” offers the benefit of Yin and Yang together to allow the practitioner to leave feeling balanced, harmonious, and blissful. www.whitetopyoga.com

Sausage and bacon are ready for eating during a Sunday Brunch at Heartwood in Abingdon, VA on Sunday, May 19, 2013. Copyright 2013 Jason Barnette

Mother’s Day Buffet Brunch at Heartwood

Brunch 10am – 4pm

Now that mom is feeling blissed out from her yoga class, treat her tastebuds to some bliss at the Heartwood Mother’s Day Buffet Brunch. Menu includes Pork Loin Rose topped with Apple and Pear Chutney, Mammaw’s Pot Roast, Crab Cakes, Buttermilk Biscuits, eggs, bacon, sausage, french toast, full salad bar and more. Children under 5 eat free! Reservations strongly suggested. Call (276) 492-2400. www.HeartwoodVirginia.org

Music on the Lawn at The Martha, in Abingdon VA

Music on the Lawn at The Martha

Amythyst Kiah 1pm – 3pm

Sunday afternoon, head to The Martha Inn & Spa for Music on the Lawn. These concerts are free and open to the public, come out and enjoy the fresh spring air! Amythyst Kiah is a Southern Gothic, alt-country blues singer/songwriter based out of Johnson City, TN, which has been her permanent residence for nearly a decade. Location: The Lawn of The Martha Hotel & Spa –  (Rain or Shine, in case of rain concerts held indoors in the ballroom The Martha) Time: 1:00-3:00 pm Tickets: This event is free to the public. www.abingdonmusicexperience.com

Barter Theatre

Classic Nashville Road Show at 3:00pm

“Features some of the most UNFORGETABLE SONGS in Country Music History; Performed to Perfection!”

This tribute to the true legends of country music begins in the heyday of The Grand Ole Opry and tells the stories of: Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton and more. And, what would it be without a comedy tribute to everyone’s favorites, Minnie Pearl and Rod Brasfield. Featuring your favorite classic country songs: On the Road Again; Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man; Crazy; Hey, Good Lookin’; Stand By Your Man; Coal Miner’s Daughter; Harper Valley PTA; King of the Road and so many more!  Ask about the Sweet Deal and Whole Shebang packages and save.   www.bartertheatre.com

 

BARTER THEATRE OFFERS $20 TICKETS TO ALL PERFORMANCES

April 26, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

New Pricing Model at Barter Theatre Offers Simplified TicketingBarter_Main_Exterior_Aug2015

ABINGDON, Va.—Big changes at Barter Theatre, the nation’s longest running professional theatre, seek to improve patron experience and make theatre affordable for everyone.

With a new ticketing system, pricing model and website, the Barter Theatre patron experience is evolving to better suit the needs of patrons in the community and the region all while promoting continued growth in tourism and economic development.

Producing Artistic Director, Richard Rose, said, “Over the last 6 months or more, Barter has been working behind the scenes to make the patron experience at Barter even better. Along with our new website, a new and more friendly ticketing software, and many other benefits for our patrons, Barter has created a more affordable ticket pricing structure that will make the Barter experience accessible to everyone.”

This new pricing model offers simplified prices and less expensive tickets to every show. One featured aspect of the program will include a selection of $20 seats to each performance at both Barter Theatre and Barter Stage II. While a limited number of $20 seats are available, the remainder of seats will be sold at graduated pricing levels encouraging patrons to purchase tickets well in advance of performances to get the best pricing available.

Recently, Barter Theatre began a partnership with TRG Arts, a firm dedicated to helping arts organizations grow patron loyalty. This partnership has resulted in the profound changes happening at Barter Theatre. J.L. Nave, a consultant at TRG Arts said, “TRG Arts’ focus with all of our clients is to help arts organizations reach the broadest audience possible. We are excited about this significant step Barter Theatre is taking to be more accessible than ever.” This partnership, which will continue well into the future, has already netted impressive results and modifications to all aspects of Barter Theatre’s patron communications.

$20 tickets to each show in the 2016 season are available through the Barter Theatre box office or website as of April 26. To purchase tickets please call 276-628-3991 or visit bartertheatre.com.

Barter Theatre, the nation’s longest running professional theatre, is funded in part by The National Endowment for the Arts and The Virginia Commission for the Arts. Barter Theatre’s 2016 season is made possible by season sponsors Eastman Credit Union, Food City, Meade Tractor, Mountain States Health Alliance and The United Company Foundation.

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Media Contact:

Kathleen Bundy

276-619-3343

www.bartertheatre.com

Celebrate the season with spring fling weekend April 16-17

The trees are blooming, the mountains are greening, and Abingdon is celebrating all weekend long, April 16-17. Spring events offer multiple ways to get outside and enjoy the spring, with activities for all ages.

Abingdon encourages visitors to go green, and leave their car at one of the town’s easily accessible public parking lots. The events are happening town-wide, and most are within a short distance of free public parking, and connected by Abingdon’s urban greenway, the Creeper Trail Extension, which runs from the Farmers Market Pavilion to the trailhead of the Virginia Creeper Trail.  All activities are free.

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Farmers Market Opening

The Abingdon Farmers Market opens for the season, with a raffle, food samples, cooking demonstrations and over 50 local vendors selling produce, meats, eggs, seedlings, crafts and hot foods. The first 45 guests will receive a reusable shopping and a seedling.  8:00am to 1:00pm at the Farmers Market Pavilion, 100 Remsburg Drive. Find out more >

 

Earth Day

Just across the street, Abingdon celebrates Earth Day with free kids activities, e-waste recycling, a build-your-own-rain-barrel workshop, and dozens of booths from local businesses and non-profits. 9:00am to 1:00pm on the lawn of the Fields-Penn House, 208 W. Main Street.

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Virginia Creeper Trail marks Opening Day for Trails

Take a short walk or bike ride down the Creeper Trail Extension to the trailhead of the Virginia Creeper Trail for Opening Day for Trails.  This nation-wide celebration kicks off the outdoor recreation season.  The Creeper Trail is celebrating with a bike tune-up day at the Creeper Trail Bike Shop, free juice samples from White Birch Juice, an open house at the Creeper Trail Welcome Center, and a nature walk along the trail at 11:00am with Wayne Miller.  11:00am – 3:00pm at the Creeper Trail Welcome Center, 300 Green Spring Road.

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Live music at Wolf Hills Brewing

Saturday night, Wolf Hills Brewing presents the bluegrass group The Crooked Roadies at their tasting room on Park Street.  Warmer weather means the brewery will open its doors, and audiences will spill out in to the fenced-in back patio to enjoy the band while enjoying the spring.  5:30pm – 8:30pm at Wolf Hills Brewing, 350 Park Street.

Music on the Lawn in Abingdon, VA

Music on the Lawn at the Martha

Sunday afternoon, enjoy a free outdoor concert with Music on the Lawn at the Martha.  The sounds of 1930s Gypsy Jazz are kept alive by the Roanoke band Le Hotclub. Concerts take place at the gazebo on the side lawn of the Martha Washington Inn & Spa.  Bring lawn chairs or a blanket for this free, family friendly event. The Martha will offer food service to concert-goers, or bring a picnic.  1:00pm – 3:00pm at The Martha Washington Inn & Spa, 150 West Main Street.

Spring also means extended hours for Abingdon’s restaurants, many of which also offer porch or patio dining, including 128 Pecan, The Peppermill, Political Dogs, Pop Ellis Soda Shoppe and Rain.  See all restaurant listings.

To take advantage of everything happening during spring fling weekend, visitors will want to spend the night Saturday at one of Abingdon’s hotels, B&Bs or cottages.  See all lodging listings. 

Abingdon’s Earth Day Celebration

 

Earth Day 1Get inspired to go green at Abingdon’s Earth Day Celebration, Saturday April 16th.  This free event is perfect for families, with workshops for all ages, non-profit exhibit booths, a recycling program and free giveaways.

Safely recycle your old electronics and important documents with free E-waste recycling and document shredding services. It’s a win-win: you have peace of mind knowing that your personal information is safe, and you keep them out of the landfill!

Visit dozens of exhibit booths set up by local eco-friendly businesses and non-profits, who will share ideas and give out educational materials.  The theme this year is Air/Atmosphere.

earth-day-2Grab a snack at one of the food vendors. (Food vendors will also be available right across the street at the Abingdon Farmers Market).

Some of the activities available: Recycle E-Waste, Securely Shred Documents, Eco-Friendly Exhibitors, Food Vendors, Kids Zone, Free Giveaways, and Donations Accepted for Non-Perishable Food Items, Pet Supplies and Gently Used Shoes. The event takes place at the Fields-Penn House next to the Abingdon Farmers Market

Make your own rain barrel in a free workshop (registration is required, call 276-525-4542 or email sleab@tnc.org)

Kids can make green crafts with recycled materials, led by William King Museum of Art.

earth-day-3Donate to a local non-profit: Keep SWVA is accepting gently used shoes that will be refurbished for developing countries. Sustain Abingdon will be collecting pet supplies to help our local animal rescue organizations, such as food, treats, dawn detergent, bleach, towels, cat litter, etc.  And Second Harvest Food Bank will be holding a food drive. Bring 2 cans of food and get a FREE gift (one per family.

Takes place on the lawn of the Fields-Penn House, 208 West Main St. from 9am-1pm Saturday, April 16th. Admission is FREE.

Five Must-Do Excursions on the Virginia Creeper Trail

The Virginia Creeper Trail is best known as a biking trail, with the most popular activity being a shuttle ride to White Top Station, then an easy 17-mile coast downhill to Damascus through some of the most beautiful scenery in Virginia.

But the 34-mile-long trail recreation trail offers more than just biking. Check out these five Creeper Trail excursions and then start planning your spring getaway.

Abingdon Vineyard and Winery

From the Abingdon trailhead, it’s about 8.5 miles to Alvarado Station. Hop off the trail for a glass of wine at Abingdon Winery, just ½ a mile away on Alvarado Road.  Try a flight of wines in the tasting room for just $5, then buy a bottle to enjoy on the patio overlooking the South Holston River. The winery offers cheese and crackers for sale, or bring a picnic! Find out more at www.abingdonwinery.com

Fly Fishing at White Top Laurel Creek

Some of the best fly fishing in the Commonwealth can be found at White Top Laurel, along the Virginia Creeper Trail. The easiest access point is at Creek Junction, near mile marker 27. Access is also available by car. Visit the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area website for more information Or contact Virginia Creeper Trail Fly Shop for guided trips.

Birding/Wildlife Walk

For a kid-friendly activity, pick up a free nature guide at the Virginia Creeper Trail Welcome Center, located at the Abingdon trailhead. There are guides available for bird watching as well as a general wildlife guide.

Mount Rogers National Recreation Area

Use the Creeper Trail as your starting point for an epic wilderness adventure. The Creeper Trail intersects with the Appalachian Trail in Mount Rogers National Recreation Area; you can also access backpacking trails, camping, mountain biking and swimming. Click here to learn more.

Explore the trail’s unique history

Before it was a Hall of Fame trail, steam trains crept up the steep mountain grades of the Virginia Creeper railroad line.  There are many ways to access the trail’s unique history. Tour Green Cove Station, the only original passenger station remaining on what was the Abingdon Branch. Check out the collection of O. Winston Link photographs at the Virginia Creeper Trail Welcome Center, on loan from William King Museum of Art. Take your picture in front of “the Mollie,” a steam engine on display a the Abingdon trail head.