Thursday, July 20, 2017

Interstate 81 exit 14 northbound off ramp temporarily closing

Closure begins at midnight July 27, will be in place approximately 15 days
BRISTOL – Beginning midnight July 27 (Wednesday night/Thursday morning), the northbound Interstate 81 exit 14 off ramp will be closed for approximately 15 days and motorists will use exit 13 to access the exit 14 area.
Northbound traffic will use exit 13 and either Route 11 or Old Jonesboro Road to access locations around exit 14.
The closure of the off ramp is necessary to finish the connection between the new off ramp and the interstate. Following the closure, northbound traffic will be using the new section of roadway, new bridge and new ramp for exit 14.
During the off ramp closure, the blue traveler information signs at exit 14 will be temporarily located to exit 13 to help visitors find their destinations. There will also be message boards to direct Virginia Highlands Festival traffic to Old Jonesboro Road.
The reconstruction of the Interstate 81 exit 14 interchange in Abingdon was awarded in late 2015 and work began in January 2016.
W-L Construction & Paving, Inc., Chilhowie, Va., received the $29 million contract which includes replacement of the two interstate bridges over Route 647 (Old Jonesboro Road); separation of the northbound exit and entrance ramps; widening of Old Jonesboro Road; modification of Dennison Drive; and adding signals at the ramp intersections.
The entire project is currently scheduled to be complete fall 2018.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

HomeStay Ordinance

An ordinance of the council for the Town of Abingdon, Virginia to enact Chapter 18- Business Article VI.; 18-35 - 18-40 HomeStay Regulations. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Abingdon, VA Receives Two 30 in Thirty Grant Winners for 2017!


KVB awarded E.B. Stanley Middle School, in Abingdon Virginia, a $500 30 in Thirty grant for their beautification project. They will use this money to finish the construction of a rainwater collection system. The water will be stored in a 2,500 gallon tank for Abingdon residents to use in the community garden. Treated water contains chlorine and fluorine, which can kill beneficial bacteria found in soil. This project will help the garden flourish with fresh rain water, and saves the County money by eliminating the need for them to provide fresh water.
Government, non-profit, civic, and service organizations in Virginia were invited to apply for 30 in Thirty grants for $500 to $2,000 describing how they plan to address Litter Prevention, Recycling, Cigarette Litter Prevention, or Beautification in their communities.
Since 2011, Keep Virginia Beautiful has provided over $145,000 to 195 projects throughout the Commonwealth.  This year, we partnered with Altria, Keep America Beautiful, and Deep Run Dance Marathon to make the program possible.
Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful has been awarded a 30 in Thirty Grant of $750 in the Cigarette Litter Prevention category. Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful in Abingdon is expanding their Cigarette Litter Prevention Program to two other counties across the Southwest, Lee and Dickenson. Cigarette butts are a concern because many people do not consider it litter. Efforts will be focused on county fairs where they can reach a lot of people in a short amount of time. Their plan includes educating the general public about cigarette butt litter through social media postings, and handing out pocket ashtrays. They will recruit a task force to conduct litter scans to count and pick up cigarette butts before the county fairs, then install ash receptacles for the public to use. Another count and cleanup of cigarette butts will be made after county fairs to show the decrease in litter, and an increase of public awareness.

Government, non-profit, civic and service organizations in Virginia were invited to apply for grants for $500 to $1,000 telling how they are addressing these pressing issues:  Litter Prevention, Recycling, Cigarette Litter Prevention, and Community Beautification. Since 2011, Keep Virginia Beautiful has provided over $110,000 to 140 organizations throughout the state. This year, for the first time, we are awarding 45 grants because of the generosity of our partners at Altria, Keep America Beautiful, WestRock Foundation and Trex.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

VA Highlands Small Business Incubator Board Opening

The Town of Abingdon is taking applications for someone to serve on the VA Highlands Small Business Incubator Board.  This board meets the second Thursday of each month at 3:00 p.m. at the Incubator building.  This position is to fill an unexpired term of a member who is no longer able to serve.  Applications can be found online at under forms/downloads.  Please submit applications to Kim Kingsley, Administrative Assistant, by July 31st at 5:00 p.m. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Abingdon Police Department

For Immediate Release

Town of Abingdon, VA Firework Information

As you plan your Independence Day celebrations, it is important to understand the laws regulating firework use in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Abingdon Police Department is providing a list of permitted fireworks and safety tips.
  • Permitted:
    • Sparklers
    • Fountains
    • Pharaoh’s serpents
    • Pinwheels
    • Whirligigs
  • Prohibited:
    • Firecrackers
    • Skyrockets
    • Bottle rockets
    • Roman candles
    • Torpedoes
    • Any fireworks which explode, travel laterally, rise into the air, or fire projectiles into the air.
·         Safety Tips
    • When lighting fireworks - Set family boundaries. Have a designated adult light all fireworks. Use eye protection. Light one at a time, move away quickly, and keep at a safe distance until the display is finished. To prevent injuries, never throw fireworks and never hold fireworks in your hand. Never re-light a “dud” firework.
    • Always read and follow the directions on the label.
    • Only use fireworks outdoors and away from anything flammable.
    • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
    • Use fireworks in parking lots, driveways, and gravel/dirt areas.
    • Do not use under the influence of alcohol
    • Have a rake or shovel as well as a bucket of water, wet towel, and a garden hose nearby.
    • Monitor the area for several hours after using fireworks.
·         Be mindful of neighbors, especially veterans.
o    For military veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), multicolor pyrotechnics, and unexpected blasts can trigger memories of combat and induce anxiety.
o    Please advise neighbors and veterans in your area of firework usage, so they can plan accordingly.  
·         Keep pets safe
o    Loud noises associated with fireworks make dogs nervous. Frightened dogs feel more secure in small, familiar spaces. If pet owners crate their dogs, they should put them in the crate during a fireworks display. If not, pet owners can prepare a small, dimly-lit room, and can leave on the television or radio to drown out the fireworks. Dogs should never be left alone outside during a fireworks display. The noises could prompt them to run away to get away from the noise.
o    Also many dogs think the fast moving twirling, spinning fireworks are something they should go fetch and bring back to their owners, this could harm the pet. Also, pet may be prompted to carry the flaming fireworks off into the dry grass or woods, and start a fire.

The Abingdon Town Code addresses fireworks through the following code sections:

·          Sec. 34-81. - When manufacture, transportation, sale, storage, use of fireworks unlawful.
Except as otherwise provided in this article, it shall be unlawful for any person to transport, manufacture, store, sell, offer for sale, expose for sale, or to buy, use, ignite or explode any firecracker, torpedo, skyrocket, or other substance or thing, of whatever form or construction, that contains any explosive or inflammable compound or substance, and is intended, or commonly known, as fireworks and which explodes, rises into the air or travels laterally, or fires projectiles into the air, other than sparks or those fireworks excepted under the provisions of subsection (a) of section 34-83. (Code 1985, § 7-14)
State Law reference— Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 59.1-142.
·         Sec. 34-82. - Permit for exhibition or display.
Any person desiring to conduct or present a display of fireworks may do so if he has obtained a permit for such display from the town manager. It shall be unlawful for the holder of such a permit to fail, neglect or refuse to comply with the terms of such permit in conducting or presenting an exhibition or display of fireworks pursuant thereto. (Code 1985, § 7-15)
·         Sec. 34-83. - Article inapplicable to certain fireworks; use of such fireworks.
This article shall not apply to the use or the sale of sparklers, fountains, Pharaoh's serpents, caps for pistols, or to pinwheels commonly known as whirligigs or spinning jennies.
The fireworks listed in subsection (a) of this section may only be used, ignited or exploded on private property with the consent of the owner of such property. (Code 1985, § 7-16)
State Law reference— Similar provisions, Code of Virginia, § 59.1-147.
·         Sec. 34-84. - Penalty.
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, be punished by confinement in jail not to exceed 12 months, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000.00, or both such fine and imprisonment. (Code 1985, § 7-17)
State Law reference— Penalty for violation, Code of Virginia, § 59.1-145.
Remember, no matter how breathtaking fireworks are or how easy they appear to use, they are potential fire starters. The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries and property damage is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Abingdon’s West Main Street sees changes with old sign, new businesses

June 22, 2017

Abingdon’s West Main Street sees changes with old sign, new businesses
83-year-old sign painter to restore a piece of Abingdon history

ABINGDON, Va.— New businesses are breathing new life to West Main Street in downtown Abingdon. The town has long been known for its unique historical character, with brick sidewalks and original brick buildings.  Now a group of businesses, old and new, are participating in a façade improvement project sponsored by Abingdon Main Street and the Economic Development Authority. As part of the project, a local business owner is restoring the original sign on the side of 280 W. Main Street – and he’s hired 83-year-old Carl Jessee to do it.

The fading and peeling paint of an old general store sign on the east side of the Market Place Building on West Main Street is getting new life from the 83-year-old sign painter. To achieve an authentic look for the sign, which is believed to have originally been painted in the 1950s, Lane asked Bristol Sign Company owners Carl Jessee and his son, JJ Jessee to oversee the restoration.

Bobby Lane, owner of the Market Place Building and Wolf Hills Antiques, wants to preserve a piece of the past on a block located west of Cummings Street, and improve his visibility at the same time. Wolf Hills Antiques is one of four new businesses to open on West Main Street in the past year, and curb appeal is at the forefront of business owners’ minds to bring in new customers.

New businesses on the same block include the bakery 149 Sweets, salt therapy center Salt of the Earth, and The Candy Shed. 

The Jessees’ and the Lanes’ goal to improve the facade the Market Place Building lines up with the goals of many business owners and community members in Abingdon, Va. The non-profit Abingdon Main Street in partnership with the Economic Development Authority is sponsoring a façade improvement grant program that will offset costs for local businesses who want to repair and upgrade their storefronts.

The non profit organization Abingdon Main Street is focused on making downtown Abingdon a place that people want to shop, dine, and stay. Abingdon Main Street has acquired grants and sponsorship for facade improvement, and will implement the grant program as a pilot in 2017, in anticipation of expanding it in years to come.

“One of Abingdon Main Street's goals is to help business and property owners preserve the unique and welcoming atmosphere of our downtown area and to also improve and update it when necessary. Part of our work is to direct resources to them to achieve this goal,” said President of Abingdon Main Street Scott Sikes.

Repainting the faded old sign will be in addition to basic improvements to repair, repaint and freshen up storefronts.

“We didn’t want to get rid of it,” said Lane,“ but it’s an eyesore. Since this is an antique shop, we decided to restore it. We don’t want it to look too fresh, though. We want to make it look old.”

Painter Carl Jessee has two signs in the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. He carved the totem pole that resides in Sugar Hollow Park and has done sign work for the Bristol Motor Speedway.
Carl opened Bristol Sign Company in 1969, and has 65 years experience in the field. The Jessees have extensive knowledge about how wall signs such as the one on the Market Place Building are painted. Carl is now retired from the sign business and owns an art and frame shop in Bristol, Va.
For more information on the façade improvement project, email


Abingdon's Thursday Jams concert moves indoors tonight The Marcus King Band with opener The Get Right Band perform at Wolf Hills Brewing


Abingdon's Thursday Jams concert moves indoors tonight
The Marcus King Band with opener The Get Right Band perform at Wolf Hills Brewing

Abingdon, VA -- Due to the forecast of rain and thunder, Abingdon's Thursday Jams concert moves indoors to the rain location, Wolf Hills Brewing. The Marcus King Band performs, with opener The Get Right Band. Music starts at 7pm, and the concert is still FREE. Food provided by Toni's Hawaiian Tacos, and the bar will be open.

For more info call the Abingdon Visitor Center at (276) 676-2282


Friday, June 16, 2017

N. Church Street Tennis Courts

The N. Church Street Tennis Courts have been repainted and are ready for play. Lights may be operated from 6:00 pm till 10:00 pm daily. 

Abingdon is Celebrating Independence Day Extravagantly

June 15, 2017

Contact:  Amanda Leslie Livingston
                Marketing Manager
                Abingdon Convention & Visitors Bureau
Abingdon is Celebrating Independence Day Extravagantly

ABINGDON, Va.—On Saturday, July 1, 2017 downtown Abingdon will be alive with an All-American Independence Day Extravaganza. This free event takes place at the Abingdon Market Pavilion and along Remsburg Drive in downtown Abingdon. Free activities include a watermelon eating contest, a kids’ craft area, historical reenactors, block party with a foam pit, stilt walkers, antique tractor show, blues concert, and firework finale. Food trucks will be present to provide concessions.

At 4:00 p.m. the festivities begin with a watermelon eating contest for those ages 5 to 18. Just like any good watermelon eating competition, no hands or other unique equipment is allowed to be used. Potential contestants should arrive at 3:30pm to sign up, accompanied by their parent or guardian.

Paper Moon Studio will be hosting the Kids’ Craft area from 4:30 to 9:00 p.m. Kids of all ages can participate in creative craft projects for free. Activities at the craft area include a drawing mirror, yard games, and rotating art projects every hour.

From 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., historical reenactors will be celebrating Abingdon’s rich Revolutionary War history and influence. Join the reenactors at Fields Penn Lawn (corner of Remsburg Drive and Cummings St.) to learn about the Overmountain Men and their victory at King Mountain.

The block party and foam pit begin at 5:00 p.m., just an hour before Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin takes the stage at Abingdon Market Pavillion to kick off the free blues concert. Bob has played on several Grammy-winning recordings, won numerous W.C. Handy/Blues Music Awards for his playing and producing, and is a “Keeping The Blues Alive” award recipient.

At 7:15 p.m., The Nighthawks will take the stage. Mark Wenner, Paul Bell, Johnny Castle, and Mark Stutso make up the 21st-century version of the legendary American roots band.

To finish out the night of blues, Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin will join The Nighthawks on stage to play a special Muddy Waters tribute.

The entire extravaganza will end in true American style with a firework finale at 9:15.

All activities will take place on Remsburg Drive in downtown Abingdon, either at the Fields Penn Lawn, the Abingdon Market Pavilion or along Remsburg Drive. Public parking is available in the Municipal Lot off of Main Street, or on the street as available.

For more information about the free activities and the bands performing visit

Photos available at:


Monday, June 5, 2017

Public Notice: Roadway Resurfacing Announcement

Agendas for the June 2017 Work Session and Regular Council Meetings

Veterans Cookout at Veterans Park on June 17th, 2017



June 2, 2017     

Abingdon, VA – Everyone knows Virginia is for Lovers, and Saturday June 10th, Abingdon celebrates the love of 20 couples who will get married or renew their vows at the Summer Lovin’ Concert. 

The Summer Lovin’ Concert takes place at the Abingdon Market Pavilion in downtown Abingdon.  The festivities will kick off with a joint wedding ceremony at 5:00pm, after which the happy couples and their friends can party to the upbeat sounds of the Carolina Breakers.   No need to get married-the public is invited to crash this wedding for FREE!

Wedding guests can enjoy a free slice of wedding cake while supplies last, and visit the beer garden for a cash bar (offering beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages for sale).  ​Sponsor Nancy’s Fancys will create the wedding cake, while sponsor Blue Door Garden is providing wedding bouquets for the ceremony.

Nine couples are legally getting married at the concert, with an additional 11 renewing their vows. One lucky couple also won a free night at The Martha Washington Inn and Spa for their honeymoon.  Non-denominational officiant Ben Casteel will perform the ceremony. 
Based in Myrtle Beach, SC, the Carolina Breakers are a high-energy band with five lead vocalists and a horn section covering beach music hits, plus Motown, Funk, Rhythm and Blues, Disco, Beach and various other special requests. Fans of beach music will want to shag the night away to this upbeat band.

Wedding ceremony starts at 5:00pm, concert at 6:30pm. This event is free and open to the public. No outside alcohol or coolers allowed. Food trucks will be on site. Proceeds from the beer garden benefit Abingdon Main Street.

For more information, visit or call 276-676-2282.


Scottish Fiddler Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas Play Abingdon’s Heartwood during Mountains of Music Homecoming


May 26, 2017

Contact:  Jack Hinshelwood, Executive Director
                The Crooked Road & Mountains of Music Homecoming
                (276) 492-2402 O, (540) 239-2110 M

                Karen Tessier
                Mountains of Music Homecoming Public Relations
                (828) 398-5250 O, (828) 231-6268 M

Scottish Fiddler Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas Play Abingdon’s Heartwood during Mountains of Music Homecoming

Abingdon, VA: Master Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas will take the stage at Heartwood, Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, June 13 in Abingdon. This concert is part of The Crooked Road’s signature music and cultural celebration, the Mountains of Music Homecoming.

Alasdair Fraser has been a major force behind the resurgence of traditional Scottish fiddling in his homeland and the U.S., inspiring legions of listeners and learners through his recordings, annual fiddle camps and concerts.  His repertoire spans several centuries of Scottish music and includes his own compositions, combining profound understanding of the Scottish tradition with cutting-edge musical explorations.  His film credits include solo performances on the soundtracks of several major films, including The Last of the Mohicans and Titanic.  Fraser has released several critically acclaimed albums, including the Indie Award-winning Dawn Dance and has contributed to more than fifty acclaimed albums as guest artist.  Fraser performs in concert as a soloist, with pianist Paul Machlis, guitarist Tony McManus and skilled cellist Natalie Haas. 

Tickets to this concert are available online at, and locally at Heartwood (276 492-2400) in Abingdon.

Attendees to this concert may also enjoy taking part in other nearby Mountains of Music Homecoming events, including Celebrate Appalachia, a series of events celebrating the spirit of Appalachia at the Wayne Henderson School of Appalachian Arts in Marion, or the Scots-Irish genealogy workshop at the Damascus branch of the Washington County public library.  Hardy hikers who rise early can join in a 9:00 AM hike to Beartown Mountain with the Russell County Health & Fitness Center.

The Mountains of Music Homecoming is an extraordinary nine-day music and cultural showcase event that stretches across the three hundred and thirty miles of The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. With 26 featured concerts and 130 cultural events, the Mountains of Music Homecoming invites travelers to follow the music through the heart of the scenic, culturally rich Crooked Road region. The theme for the 2017 Mountains of Music Homecoming is The Year We Sang.

The Crooked Road’s 76-page Official Guide to the 2017 Mountains of Music Homecoming is free and available at all Virginia Welcome Centers, at Southwest Virginia public library branches, and at Southwest Virginia branches of New Peoples Bank, the Bank of Marion, and Union Bank & Trust.

The Crooked Road thanks the Abingdon Rotary Club, Guest Services, Inc., Walt and Janet Crickmer, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Forestland Group, LLC, WBRF, Martha Washington Inn & Spa, New Peoples Bank, and Hicok, Fern & Company for helping to make the 2017 Homecoming possible. For tickets, schedules and more information about all Mountains of Music Homecoming concerts and cultural events, visit

For hi-res images and more info, click here.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Abingdon Recognized for its Appeal to Postgraduates Starting Their Careers

Abingdon Recognized for its Appeal to Postgraduates Starting Their Careers

Abingdon ranked as one of the best cities in the United States for postgraduates to move to and start a career according to LendEDU’s new report.

Analyzing over 30,000 U.S. cities based on factors deemed important to postgraduates such as cost of living and age demographics, Abingdon ranked #84.

A number of other factors were taken into account. The full report and methodology can be found here:

Memorial Day at Veterans Park

Temporary Lane Closure for June 2017

APD Job Posting

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May 20 & 21 to “Paint the Town” in Abingdon!

May 20 & 21 to “Paint the Town” in Abingdon!
The Virginia Highlands Festival in partnership with the Abingdon Arts Depot and the William King Museum of Art announces their 2nd annual plein air paint-out and pop-up gallery to provide an opportunity for local artists to show their work, highlight all that downtown Abingdon has to offer, and build support for the Festival’s annual art prizes.

On Saturday, May 20 from 10am-3pm artists are invited to come and paint outdoors throughout Abingdon’s Main Street district. Historic architecture, quaint shops, and abundant natural beauty provide the backdrop for your imagination. Artists in all forms of media are welcome, and pre-registration is required. Please visit the Festival website for the registration link and detailed information.

On Sunday, May 21 from 2-4pm the WKMA hosts a pop-up gallery where the art created on Saturday will be available for sale. This fast and fresh work is sure to be one-of-a-kind. All proceeds from the art sale will be shared between the artist and the Festival in support of its Juried Fine Art prizes. Attendees will be able to vote on their favorite piece of new work to receive the event’s People’s Choice prize of $100.

"We are extremely pleased to partner with the Virginia Highlands Festival and William King Museum of Art in this new and creative project." said Susan Yates, Arts Administrator at Abingdon's Arts Depot. "The Arts Depot has proudly housed the Festival's Juried Fine Arts Exhibition each year since 1990. Future artists that are accepted in the Festival's shows will certainly benefit from additional prizes and awards generated through this activity. The entire arts community is strengthened when our organizations work together."

“We are privileged to give artists the time and space to create new work, and to give our town access to these artists and to the creative process,” said Festival Executive Director Becky Caldwell. “In my experience, when you help create something you’re excited to see it live on!”

In addition to the Arts Depot and the William King Museum of Art, the weekend event is sponsored by Necessities (266 W. Main St, Abingdon), Anthony’s Desserts and Zazzy’z Coffee Roasters.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Abingdon Garden Club’s 18th Historic Garden and Home Tour 2017

The Abingdon Garden Club is proud to announce that their 18th Garden Tour will be held on Saturday, June 17th, from 10 a.m. - 5p.m., rain or shine. Tickets are $10.00 per person and will be on sale starting June 1st at various downtown Abingdon businesses, including Greer Jewelers at 253 W. Main Street, and Necessities at 266 W. Main Street. You can also pick up tickets the day of the tour at the Visitors Center, 335 Cummings Street or at any of the gardens on display.

This year there will be seven gardens open to the public for a leisurely, self-guided tour which will feature: outdoor kitchen entertainment centers, horse paddocks, a pond with cascading waterfall, a running creek, hardscapes and patios with specimen trees and an abundance of beautiful flowers, plus the butterfly garden at Eberhardt Park. The home of William and Kristy Davis will also be open for guests to view their first floor.

Proceeds from the event will go toward purchasing plants and flowers for the community to enjoy at Eberhardt Park, the Blue Star Memorial, the Shakespearean Garden at the William King Museum of Art, and the Cancer Center at Johnston Memorial Hospital.

The Abingdon Garden Club was formed in 1927 and has continually been involved in community education and beautification.

Please come join us for an exciting day of simple beauty in the gardens of several homes for our Garden Tour.