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.