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Features

  • Once again, the most anticipated competition of the year is underway. Not the Superbowl, not the World Series, not the Boston Marathon – the United Way Celebrity Bagging Challenge.

    For the eighth year in a row, local celebs will engage in a battle royale to see which Food City can raise the most money for United Way of Southwest Virginia.

  • INDEPENDENCE — Each year about this time, people’s thoughts turn to turkey dinner with all the trimmings. We look forward to a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner where we eat too much and spend time visiting with family and friends.

  • HILLSVILLE – Saturday’s Veterans Day parade in Hillsville will have a special guest as grand marshal — Carl Anderson, 93, of Galax, is one of only four living veterans from D-Day, the turning point of World War II.

    Anderson was drafted and spent three years in the service from 1942-1945. He saw action in several locations including Normandy, the Rhineland, Central Europe and Northern France.

    Entering the War

  • “My dad never, ever talked about it,” said Louise Bartlett, born in the Twin Counties but residing now in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, daughter of World War II U.S. Navy veteran Roy Alderman. “He was very gentle and easygoing, despite having gone through all that.”

  • HILLSVILLE – The 2nd annual Boo Ridge Halloween Spooktacular Trail of Terror Run/Walk drew a large crowd of goblins, superheroes, princesses and farm animals despite the rainy weather.

    The event was held as a fundraiser for the Carroll County Special Olympics (CCSO) on Oct. 10 at Hillsville Elementary School. Participants competed in the Little Goblin Fun Run, the Monster Mile and the Trail of Terror 5K, as well as costume contests in several different categories. All proceeds went to the CCSO for its yearly activities and events.

  • The Galax Downtown Association will once again host the Galax Downtown Safe Halloween Bash.

    As in years past, local businesses, churches and organizations will gather in the center of downtown to play games and give treats to fun-loving kids of all ages.

    Costume contests, free hotdogs and drinks for the children, ghoulishly fun music, pumpkin carving and more activities are planned for Saturday.

  • HILLSVILLE – Despite the colder weather, a good turnout made the inaugural Historic Hillsville Chili Shootout on Oct. 17 a success.

    The contest was held behind the old Hillsville Courthouse and will become a staple for the town, organizers say.

  • BAYWOOD — Canines, felines and even fowl were welcome at the Church of the Good Shepherd near Galax last Saturday during the annual Blessing of the Animals service.

    Held each October in honor of St. Francis, the church off U.S. 58 in Baywood opens itself to the community’s four-legged family members. According to organizers, the church formerly held ceremonies on the lawn in front of the church, but in recent years they’ve opted for opening the church for several hours, allowing owners to bring their furbabies by for a quick blessing at their convenience.

  • “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” a campy cult classic musical comedy film that spoofs old sci-fi and horror movies, came to the Rex Theater in downtown Galax last Thursday night.

    It featured a costume contest, elements of traditional audience participation and lots of silly, good-natured fun.

    The movie is enjoying its 40th anniversary year, which provided a delightful “Time Warp” for fans and newcomers alike.

  • The rain didn’t stop the community from celebrating Oct. 10 during the annual Mountain Foliage Festival in Independence.

    Members of the community gathered on Main Street for a day full of town traditions, shopping, games and other forms of recreation.

    The Grand Privy Race consisted of four teams this year. First-place winners in the annual outhouse race were the Grayson Wrestling Team, followed by the Independence Volunteer Fire Department in second place, Core Fitness in third place, and United Way in fourth place.

  • “You guys, please eat something!” Stephannie Dees, one of five directors for a Backpack Buddies group – there are about 13 separate groups, locally, she says – yells at her volunteers across Galax Presbyterian Church’s Warwick Hall.

    The volunteers crowd around the hall’s kitchen window, where snacks of pimento cheese and chicken salad have been set out. It’s a bit before noon and everyone’s just spent the majority of an hour stuffing sacks with food donations.

  • INDEPENDENCE — This year’s Mountain Foliage Festival is sure to get the community geared up for fall with a variety of craft vendors, music, games and entertainment fit for everyone in the family.

    The 33rd Annual Grand Privy Race — an Independence tradition — begins at 11 a.m. Contestants in the race make their mad dashes towards the finish line in custom-built mobilized outhouses.

  • HILLSVILLE – Teams and individuals participated last Sunday in the Hillsville Walk MS at the Grover King VFW Post grounds.

    The walk is an organized event that benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

    This is the second year that organizers Regina Dalton and Karen Walker have put together the walk, and both are battling the disease. In addition to the walk, they host an annual motorcycle “Cruisin’ for a Cure” in July, which is in its sixth year.

  • The annual Lord’s Acre Harvest Sale features home-baked pies and cakes, home-canned goods, fresh-cooked foods, handmade crafts and bushels of fall produce for sale at Felts Park in Galax.

    The event supports local churches, and is sponsored each year by the Carroll-Grayson United Workers for Christ Association.

    This year’s sale is on Saturday. The day begins with a worship service at 9:30 a.m., followed by the sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • HILLSVILLE – “Will you hand me that head?” “Am I bloody enough?” “Can you paint the back of my ear?”

    No, these aren’t questions heard on the set of a new Hollywood horror film. These questions, and even stranger ones, will be common conversation for those involved in the Night Watch Haunt in Hillsville.

  • HILLSVILLE – The 4th annual Christian Family Fun Day will take place this Saturday, focusing on the theme of kindness.

    People from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia are expected to attend, with the total reaching into the thousands.

    Richard Edwards, organizer of the event, said, “We want to create a fair atmosphere for kids and families who may not get to go anywhere else all summer, where they don’t have to worry about money.” This is an all ages event and everyone is invited to participate.

  • The ninth annual Truckers Parade Against Cancer is geared up for Sept. 19 this year, and plenty of truck drivers are ready to roll for a good cause.

    Held each year, the parade ― a convoy of truck drivers ― join together on a trip through the Galax, Grayson and Carroll localities to raise money for the local Relay for Life events. Funds from the Relay events then go to the American Cancer Society.

  • INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County citizens joined people in other communities both locally and in other spots across the nation in a show of support for law enforcement on Sept. 11.

    Beginning at noon, a crowd lined up in front of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, to stand in support of police officers for one hour.

  • Hillsville’s Grover King VFW Post #1115 honored local service men and women on 9/11 at the Veteran’s Memorial.

    In attendance were members of Carroll County Fire and Rescue, Hillsville Volunteer Fire Department, Carroll County Sheriff’s Department and Hillsville Police Department. “We cannot thank you enough; be heartfelt enough,” stated Don Dobbins, past post commander, current member of the VFW and coordinator/speaker for this event.

  • Between 75 and 100 people gathered in the Galax Police Department courtyard on Friday to honor the work of local police officers.

    Led by Travis Haynes of Galax, a firefighter with the Galax Fire Department, the brief, informal ceremony included a few words from Haynes, a prayer led by the Rev. Tom Whartenby and a laying of hands on the police station.

    Members of the fire department were also present and wearing their uniforms as a sign of respect.