• Staff Reports

    All signs are pointing to a vibrant season of autumn color this year, thanks to plenty of summer and early fall rain, according to Virginia Tech tree physiology expert John Seiler.

    “It looks like a really good fall, as all the soils have been recharged with good rainfall,” Seiler said. “The trees are in a really healthy position.”

    The Virginia Department of Forestry posts foliage reports at its website, dof.virginia.gov/fall/index.htm (or by calling 1-800-424-LOVE).

  • Staff Report

    Addyson Delp, 7, of Galax will be representing the state of Virginia at the 6th Annual America’s Majestic Miss National Scholarship Pageant, to be held next month in Atlanta/Marietta, Ga.

    Delp currently holds the title of America’s Majestic Miss Virginia Princess.

    She is the daughter of David and Kristina Delp and is in first grade at Oakland Elementary.

  • Staff Reports

    Little ghosts and goblins (and their parents) will find plenty to do on Halloween in the Twin Counties, with fun family events planned for Galax, Hillsville, Independence, Fries and Woodlawn.

    The Galax Downtown Association is busy planning this year’s free Downtown Halloween Bash on Oct. 31.

    As in previous years, all local businesses, churches and organizations are encouraged to gather in downtown to play games, give treats to children of all ages and enjoy an outing for the entire family.

  • HILLSVILLE — Main Street in Hillsville was full of festivities for the fall season this past weekend, during the town’s second annual Harvest Festival, a combination of the previous Carroll County Pumpkin Festival and the town’s Historic Chili Shootout.

    Local contestants, as well as travelers from surrounding areas, gathered on Main Street and behind the historic courthouse Sept. 29 for live music, a cornhole tournament and cold brews while waiting to sample unique chili recipes.

  • HILLSVILLE – A local church that has kept seasonal traditions alive for nearly 70 years will be holding its annual fall festival on Saturday.

    The tradition of apple butter making started at Mountain Plains United Methodist Church back in the 1950s. The tradition has thrived, and the church members and people from the community still use the same recipes and procedures that were developed almost seven decades ago to cook apples over an open flame.

  • Staff Report

    MOUTH OF WILSON — Grayson Highlands State Park’s 42nd annual Fall Festival will be held Sept. 29-30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    There is a $10 per day parking fee. The event is sponsored by the Rugby Volunteer Rescue Squad, Fire Department, and ladies auxiliary.

    Live bluegrass and old-time music will be featured on Saturday. Music starts at 10 a.m. and will continue throughout the day.

    This year’s lineup includes:

    • 10 a.m. - Recorded music

    • 11 a.m. - To be announced

  • WOODLAWN – A church that has been in the Carroll County community for over a century will hold a reunion on Sept. 23 for a celebration of the history and hard work that has been involved in the congregation’s religious prosperity throughout the last 150 years.

    The History

    Woodlawn United Methodist Church was founded on May 4, 1868, when Elbert S. Fulton and his wife donated the land to the church’s first trustees, T.M. Dobyns, Sam Williams, James M. Kyle, B.W. Dobyns, Michael Kinzer and E.B. Vaughan.

  • HILLSVILLE – Memories will remain dormant for another 50 years, as another time capsule has been buried in downtown Hillsville in front of the Former Carroll Drug on Main Street.

    Members of Friends of Hillsville helped coordinate the ceremony, and with the help of Tom Jackson (who owns the building where the new and original time capsules were buried), Joey Haynes, Bill Gallimore, Mayor Greg Crowder and Council Member Barry Jessup, a newly constructed capsule was placed back into the ground to be opened in 2068.

  • INDEPENDENCE ― At the game against the Alleghany Trojans on Aug. 24, the Grayson County Blue Devils football team was joined on the field by none other than the Blue Devil himself.

    The new mascot made his first public debut, donning a Grayson Blue Devils football jersey and carrying a flag bearing the message “Go Blue!”

    Throughout the game, he trotted along the base of the bleachers, giving hugs to younger fans, dancing along to the band as they played and participating with the cheerleading squad as they chanted messages of team spirit.

  • Staff Report

    HILLSVILLE — This weekend’s annual Labor Day Flea Market & Gun Show will transform Hillsville from a quiet town of 3,000 to one of the largest retail venues in the Southeast during the four-day holiday weekend.

    The event runs from Friday to Monday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.

    The number of vendors of new, used and collectible stuff nearly equals the number of town residents — and attracts an estimated crowd of around half a million shoppers.

  • HILLSVILLE – From famous apple pies and antique tractors, to friends on the Ferris wheel and funnel cakes, the Carroll County Agricultural Fair paraded into town for its first night of 2018 on Wednesday.

  • GLADEVILLE – The Carroll County community has joined together to honor the memory of a local woman who served in the field of education for many years at both Gladeville Elementary School and Woodlawn High School.

    On Aug. 3, Gladeville Elementary multimedia specialist Amy Collett proudly unveiled a mural created by local artist and retired art teacher, Jeanette Roth. The creation of the mural was made possible through a generous donation by the Gladeville Ruritan Club in honor of Joe and Mary Alice Holderfield.

  • HILLSVILLE – This year’s Carroll County Agriculture Fair opens today, Wednesday, at the Southwest Virginia Farmers’ Market, off Interstate 77 in Hillsville.

    The event kicks off with a fair parade on Wednesday from 4:30-5:30 p.m., featuring the Carroll County High School Band, 2018 Miss Carroll County Pageant winners, antique tractors and more. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held in the main arena to kick off the official start to the fair, which runs through Sunday.

  • For the past five years, a basketball tournament in Galax has brought the community together for a day of fun and competition; and participants say it’s about far more than sports.

    The fifth annual King of the Hill Basketball Tournament took place July 28 at the Rosenwald Felts Community Center in Galax.

    Rayshawn Tucker, his wife Sarah and Whit Richardson put on the event each year.

    Basketball was the star attraction, though cornhole, free food and a run through sprinkling water provided by the Galax Volunteer Fire Department were also on order.

  • Three stockpots burble away on a makeshift stove; brightly-colored homemade banners flutter here and there; and Mary Edna Thompson, aka the Soup Lady, occupies the temporary kitchen/dining/music area made up from a handful of tents in Felts Park.

    Thompson, from Hillsville, created and has manned the Soup Kitchen during every Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention “for about 40 years,” she says.

  • Staff Report

    HILLSVILLE – The Carroll County Agriculture Fair, selected as the top event in Virginia by the Virginia Association of Fairs two years in a row, hopes to continue that tradition in 2018.

    This year’s fair is Aug. 22-26 at the Southwest Virginia Farmers’ Market, off Interstate 77 in Hillsville.

  • A lifelong resident of the Twin County area was awarded his second gold medal in the Virginia Commonwealth Games on July 27, after finishing leaps and bounds above the archery competition for the second consecutive year.

  • Sometimes in life, it’s the little things that matter most — the off-the-cuff-joke, the last-minute flourish added to a simple outfit, the nonchalant addition of a musical playlist to a road trip — that have the biggest impact and leave a lasting impression.

    In other words, ancillary matters actually do matter.

  • FLOYD — Just down the road from Galax, music fans can answer the call of the wild this week at FloydFest 18~Wild, an outdoor music festival featuring an eclectic mix of superstars and local favorites, including Foster The People, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Old Crow Medicine Show, Gov’t Mule, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, Tyler Childers and Greta Van Fleet.

    The award-winning festival features 100 bands on eight stages over five days, right in the Blue Ridge Mountains town of Floyd, from July 25-29, 2018.

  • The Great Galax Duck Race of 2018 took place at 10 a.m. on July 4, starting at the bridge next to the Vaughan-Bassett Furniture factory and ending in Chestnut Creek next to CVS with the capture of almost 4,000 felonious fowl by the Galax Volunteer Fire Department.

    For weeks, a flock of yellow rubber dastardly drakes have terrorized Galax and environs with their criminal activity. The malicious mallards would stop at nothing — peddling stale bread, obscene duck calls, ripping off mattress tags — to flout the law and disturb the peace.