Thursday, June 28, 2018


Abingdon Fire 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 Fire 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.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Love Where You Live- Open For Business

Mayor, Cathy Lowe and Community Development Director, Tonya Triplett began a “Love Where You Live” initiative to support the small business community in Abingdon. This initiative is a great way to help market businesses and to tell them about the free small business support services offered by Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator and the Town Community Development Director.

“The “Love Where You” initiative is our way of saying thank you for investing in Abingdon and what can we do to help keep your business healthy, said Mayor, Cathy Lowe.” “As a 30-year owner of a small business, I understand the pleasure and pain of owning a small business. Something as simple as flying a uniformly designed flag that says OPEN can help attract customers to your business and give everyone a sense of community. We started distributing the flags, poles and hardware last week to the small retailers and restaurants. It is taking longer than we anticipated getting them distributed because with each stop we discuss each business and potential opportunities.”  

“It has been a pleasure working on this project, said Community Development Director, Tonya Triplett.” “Small businesses are extremely important to Abingdon and we want to do everything we can to help them be successful.”

Our hope is that the new Council will continue to support this effort until all businesses who want a flag will receive one.

Holiday Trash Schedule Notice

Visit - Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum

On Saturday, about 20 members of the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum, Johnson City, visited the Town.  

They stopped at the Station, and spent considerable time with the Class M.  Here is a group pic.  

There were many compliments regarding how well the Town is taking care of the M and the caboose.

I explained that the caboose is being prepared for repainting, and that sometime in the future, the M might also be repainted.

Some of the visitors took time to look at the O. Winston Link display in the Findlay House.

-Charles Seaver
Washington County, VA Historical Society

Park Street Meeting Notice

Park Street Public Meeting
July 10, 2018
5-7 pm
Abingdon Fire Department
316 Park Street

Please come review and comment on the plans for the Town’s upcoming Park Street Project.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Abingdon celebrates Independence Day June 30, 2018 with a day of family fun

June 14, 2018

Abingdon celebrates Independence Day June 30, 2018
with a day of family fun

ABINGDON, Va.—On Saturday, June 30, 2018 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 car show, concert, and firework finale. Food trucks will be present to provide concessions.
The free concert starts at 7:00pm, featuring the gospel-blues and southern soul of Devon Gilfillian. This young songwriter grew up outside of Philadelphia,  absorbing  everything  from the R&B swagger of Al Green and Ray Charles to the rock & roll heroics of Jimi Hendrix. Now based in Nashville, Gilfillian recently had the honor of singing the National Anthem at the NFL Draft, and has been featured as a Rising Artist in Rolling Stone Magazine, for Southwest Airlines as well as countless others. He also headlines several festivals in 2018, including Floyd Fest and Rhythm & Roots Reunion in Bristol.
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 are allowed. Contestants should arrive at 3:30pm to sign up, accompanied by their parent or guardian.

William King Museum of Art will be hosting the Kids’ Craft area from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. Kids of all ages can participate in creative craft projects for free. Activities at the craft area include rotating art projects every hour.

Other draws for families include an antique car show, historical reenactors celebrating Abingdon’s rich Revolutionary War history, and a block party and foam pit.  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 on Main Street, or on the street as available.

For a full schedule of events and activities, visit


Notice of Meeting- Mickey Newman Funeral

Thursday, June 14, 2018


VDOT PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE: A public hearing has been scheduled regarding UPC 109440 – Exit 19 on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. The hearing will be held at the Abingdon High School, which is located at 705 Thompson Drive, Abingdon, VA.

In Memory Of Graham Michael “Mickey” Newman

We are saddened to hear of the passing of our friend and former Town Manager, Mickey Newman. Mr. Newman guided the Town for twenty-five years, but will probably be best remembered for his love of providing recreational opportunities.  In fact, he would often say that, “…the town spends more on recreation, per capita, than any other locality in the commonwealth.” His leadership was a key factor in establishing the Coomes Recreation Center and the Virginia Creeper Trail.  We thank our friend, and leader, Mr. Newman for his service to our community. His wit, wisdom, and steadfastness will be greatly missed by his many friends and both current and former employees. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Newman family at this time.  

Sustain Abingdon Committee Meeting on 8-8-18

Wednesday, August 8th at 12:00PM at Town Hall in the Arthur Campbell Room- 

Sustain Abingdon Committee Meeting 

Tourism Advisory Committee Meeting on 6-26-18

Tuesday, June 26th at 3pm at the VA Highlands Small Business Incubator – 

Tourism Advisory Committee Meeting

Recreation Advisory Commission Meeting 7-16-18

NOTICE OF VACANCY: Sinking Spring Cemetery Committee

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Gallery @ Barr Photographics announces the third installment of the Corner Gallery’s 2018 exhibition series


The Gallery @ Barr Photographics announces the third installment of the Corner Gallery’s 2018 exhibition series with the return of Olney, Maryland artist Caroline Baker, with a collection of 3-D assemblage art and mixed media paintings, entitled, "Shipping & Handling”. Caroline’s art forces inspection and introspection of our daily routines.  Her expressionism, is created from ordinary objects and emotions in life that are disjointed, but when combined produce a very powerful statement about who we are and how we live.

Caroline Baker is originally from the Baltimore-Washington suburbs and has returned to live there after years of living in the Central Appalachian coalfields of Southwestern Virginia. Along with the change in scenery, her work has changed from site-specific contemporary landscapes to combines, which visually explore ephemeral information through objects, print and digital media. Her artwork often includes collage, fiber arts, painting and construction techniques. A background in arts education and various other fields including graphic design, environmental science, drafting and horticulture often find unconventional and subtle appearances in the content and application of her artwork. Caroline works at studio 329 at Artists and Makers Studios in Rockville, MD, The Gallery at Raw Ink Live in Gathersburg, MD and her live-in recreational room studio with a rescued house rabbit to assist in Olney, MD. Caroline holds a M.A. in Teaching, East Tennessee State University, 2007, and a B.A. in Visual Art, University of Virginia’s College at Wise, 2000.

In her Artist’ Statement, Caroline states, “My current body of work often takes the form of assemblage using everyday items that could be described as “kipple” - objects without use that may seem to reproduce, as a form of environmental- human entropy, objects that briefly had a use in the ordered environment, that have become the very symbol of disorder. My process often involves several stages of construction/deconstruction/construction as a metaphor for our human existence as both physical and mental/spiritual and as a collection of connected information or data.

 Shipping & Handling will be celebrated with a reception and art talk by Caroline Baker, to which the public is cordially invited, on Friday, 15 June from 7 - 9:00 PM in The Gallery @ Barr Photographics, 152 E. Main Street, Abingdon, Virginia.  Shipping & Handlingwill hang, and be offered for sale, through 31, July.   The Gallery @ Barr Photographics is housed in the Greenway Trigg Building, located in the heart of Abingdon’s main street historic district.  Please call 276- 628-1486 or visit for further information.

Photo #1: “Dogma VI” Mixed Media by Caroline H Baker

Photo #2: “Apples to Apples” Mixed Media Assemblage by Caroline H Baker

Stanley Street Sidewalk Project

The Town of Abingdon has a current project to create a safe pedestrian pathway by constructing new sidewalk from Thompson Drive to the Coomes Recreation Center.  Construction is set to begin on Monday, June 18th and finish in approximately thirty days.  If there are any questions, please contact Matt Bolick, Director of Public Services and Construction at 276-628-3167. 

July 2018 Town Council Meeting Notice

Friday, June 1, 2018

Lois H. Humphreys Park On Main Dedication

Town of Abingdon, VA

Hear ye, Hear ye!

You are invited to the Dedication Ceremony of the “Lois H. Humphreys Park on Main” on Monday, June 18, 2018 at 11:30 AM. The park located between 303 and 319 West Main Street will be dedicated and named for former Mayor Lois H. Humphreys.

Following the Dedication Ceremony, the Virginia Highlands Festival will announce their 2018 schedule at the newly named, “Lois H. Humphreys Park on Main.”

Everyone is invited to attend these events and share this exciting day in Abingdon with us.