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Features

  • The annual Labor Day Gun Show & Flea Market was in full swing this weekend in Hillsville.

  • FRIES — Oral-B has gone to the far reaches of the United States to visit locations named  “Manual Road” to promote its fall marketing campaign, which is intended to encourage manual toothbrush users to switch to its new product, the Deep Sweep electric toothbrush.
    The company visited Manual Roads in Erath, La.; Bainbridge Island, Wash.; and Standford, Ky.; before making their fourth stop at Manual Road in Fries on Aug. 17.
    The nationwide “WOW Experiment” tour is also a chance to film locals for the product’s new commercial.

  • Locals who have kept up with the new Food Network series “The Shed” will see familiar surroundings on Monday night, as the next episode will chronicle the barbecue team’s visit to Galax in July for the 2013 Smoke on the Mountain competition.

  • Scenes from the Carroll County Agricultural Fair, held Aug. 21-26 at the Southwest Virginia Farmers Market in Hillsville. For more information: carrollcountyvafair.org

  • Two winners were chosen to transform themselves through personal training. The Gazette is following their progress. This is the first report since Travis Haynes and Treva Osborne began their journeys.

  • The Rotary Club of Hillsville will observe its 75th anniversary on Thursday.
    The club was chartered on Aug. 8, 1938. Club meetings were held at the Hillmont Hotel on Main Street for several years.
    Other meeting venues have included Mountain Top Restaurant, Blue Ridge Tavern, the Red Barn, Corner Restaurant, the Tompkins House, Shenandoah Restaurant, Captain Pete’s Seafood Restaurant, Peking Palace and Countryside Restaurant.

  • MOUTH OF WILSON ― Park officials, volunteers and outdoor enthusiasts gathered at Grayson Highlands State Park on Saturday to introduce the Split Rock Trail, a new 1.3-mile loop trail that offers both hiking and climbing opportunities to the public.

  • Galax and Independence will both hold National Night Out Against Crime events on Aug. 6.
    National Night Out, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is a community-police awareness event that takes place in areas all over the United States. It is always held the first Tuesday of August.
    The events are organized by local police departments, non-profit organizations and volunteer departments. The goal is to increase awareness of police programs in the community, including drug prevention, neighborhood watches, and other crime prevention efforts.

  • Creek Bottom Brews will host the first-ever Galax Rhythm and Brews Fest on Saturday from 1-8 p.m., at its location on Meadow Street.
    The event is sponsored this year by the Galax Downtown Association, and will feature craft brews from six different breweries and two cideries, along with live music and food for everyone to enjoy.
    Participating breweries include Green Flash Brewing, Parkway Brewing, St. George Brewing, Foothills Brewing, Blue Mountain Brewery and Ommegang Brewery.

  • Twenty-three barbecue teams from all over the country were lined up shoulder to shoulder last weekend for the first-ever dual competition at the 9th Annual Smoke on the Mountain contest in Galax.
    This year’s event featured both Memphis Barbecue Network and Kansas City Barbecue Society contests. The MBN winner in Galax is also named the Virginia state champion each year.

  • A fifth grader from Laurel Elementary School created the art for an anti-tobacco campaign going up in areas of Southwest and Southside Virginia.
    A project of the American Lung Association in Virginia, the Healthy Grounds for Our Youth effort seeks to keep the use of tobacco products off school campuses, even outdoors, according to Billie Murray, project manager.

  • A total of 22 teams competed on July 19-20 in Galax at the 9th Annual Smoke on the Mounatin BBQ Championship. Barbecue teams from all over — from local contenders to nationally known celebrity cooks — gathered for the city's first dual contest, featuring both the traditional Memphis Barbecue Network competition and, for the first time in Galax, a Kansas City Barbecue Society contest. Below are the winners in each category. Watch The Gazette on Wednesday for photos and coverage of the event.

  • FRIES — Blue Cat on the New has reeled in the contract for a pilot program to increase accessibility on the New River Trail State Park.
    Only this outfitter, with locations in Fries and Draper, has received permission from the state to host tours of portions of the popular trail using golf carts.
    Business owner Donnie Turner’s application was accepted last winter when the state park system sought proposals.
    The tours out of the Fries location can stretch to about 2.5 hours and extend as far as Byllesby Dam and the Gambetta area.

  • HILLSVILLE — A new idea to raise money to “flush out cancer” continues to float around the community.
    A group of Galax-Carroll Relay for Life participants, Team Lifesavers, have been stealthily placing their plumbing-related fundraising tool in some high-traffic locations.
    “Our team is made up of teenagers who are working in memory of those lost to cancer or in honor of those who have survived or are fighting now,” the accompanying documentation says. “Please help us by supporting our effort to ‘Flush Out Cancer.”

  • The 9th Annual Smoke on the Mountain barbecue championship will offer a dual competition for participants this year. In addition to scoring points in the traditional Memphis BBQ Network competition, vendors can also place in the Kansas City BBQ Society contest.
    Smoke on the Mountain, the official state barbecue cook-off, is held in downtown Galax each year in July. This year's event is July 19-20. The smell of authentic barbecue prepared by award-winning vendors is enough to draw in thousands of people each year for the two-day event.

  • The winners of the Personal Training Transformation Challenge have been announced, and the two selected from more than a dozen entries soon will begin a 12-week personal training session through the Twin County Wellness Center of Twin County Regional Healthcare.
    The winners were chosen in two separate categories: personal training and medical rehabilitation. Travis Haynes was chosen to receive the personal training challenge, and Treva Osborne was picked for the medical rehabilitation challenge.

  • INDEPENDENCE — One thing’s for sure – when it’s time for a baby to be born, it’s going to happen when it’s time, whether it’s in a hospital or in the back of a rescue squad ambulance.
    This was the case early June 6 when the Independence Volunteer Rescue Squad was en route to Twin County Regional Hospital in Galax with a maternity patient.
    The squad was dispatched to the residence of Jessica Billings on Old Bridle Creek. They loaded her onto the ambulance at 2:10 a.m.

  • Local churches are uniting to bring a four-night youth event back to Galax on July 21-24, this year with a focus on extreme sports and skateboarding.

  • Fourth of July celebrations are abundant this Thursday, with parades, fireworks, music and more in multiple locations. Here’s a guide to the Fourth festivities in Independence, Galax, Hillsville, Fries, Lambsburg and Ivanhoe

    Independence
    The Town of Independence will offer a full day of events.
    The festivities will kick off at 10 a.m. with the annual parade, which will start at the intersection of U.S. 58 and U.S. 21 at the 1908 Courthouse and end at the Food City parking lot at the Guynn Shopping Center.

  • The annual Galax Firemen’s Carnival begins its festivities on June 24 and continues through June 29 at Felts Park in Galax.
    Normally held on the week of July 4, the carnival was pushed back this year due to scheduling conflicts, according to the fire department. “Normally, when a carnival is booked, it is from a previous year with a city or town. We have recently been carnival shopping and these dates are what we got,” department officials explained on the GVFD’s Facebook page.