• Weekly Jams and Festivals for 2014

    Weekly Jams for Smyth, Wythe, Grayson, Washington and Scott Counties, plus a complete 2014 schedule of area festivals!

    More Information…

  • Lincoln Theatre Schedule of Events FALL 2014 - NEW!

  • Civil War 150 Updates

    Local sesquicentennial partners:


    Below are a few reminders and new items:


    1.  Signature Conferences: Registration for the 2014 Signature Conference, "The American Civil War in a Global Context" remains open.  Please help spread the word within your community. Not only is this going to be an outstanding program featuring historians of international acclaim, but there will also a lunchtime "Ask the Commission" Q&A with members of the Commission and staff, and many special programs are being planned by the Fairfax sesquicentennial committees.  Last, we are planning something very special at next year's conference for those who've attended all the programs, so please spread the word and encourage everyone to attend.


    Conference newsletter


    News release


    Need more Save the Date cards? Let me know how many and we'll send them right out.


    2.  Local Civil War 150 Roundtable meetings: Civil War 150 Commission staff are planning to hit the road again this summer to share the latest updates about special programs in 2015, grants, and information on scheduling CW150 programs: the HistoryMobile, "An American Turning Point" panel exhibition, and Legacy Project. Roundtable meetings will be held in late July/early August - we're planning the schedule soon, so please let me know if you'd like to host one.


    3.  Sesquicentennial Recognition Awards: You'll be hearing more details very soon about a new Sesquicentennial Recognition Award program that the Commission is creating to recognize the leadership of local partners and the success of sesquicentennial programs throughout the state.  More details to follow soon (especially at the Roundtable meetings where we'll discuss the awards program in depth), but for now, be sure to keep details, press clippings, and other documentation about sesquicentennial programs in your locality.

  • Sugar Grove Farmer's Market

  • Blue Ridge Highlands Fishing Trail

  • Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area Detail

  • NEW! Birding Loop Map!

    If you enjoy birdwatching, you'll want to take a closer look at the new Smyth County Birding Loop Map. Click here for a larger map.

  • Outdoor Painting Adventure


    The Town of Marion and the Crossroads Art Center  is happy to announce a wonderful adventure in Marion, Virginia.  Marion is located in the mountains of the Southwestern part of Virginia about 4.5 hrs from Richmond!


    Jenni Kirby, Owner of Crossroads Art Center, was raised there and has been asked by the town to help kick off this Outdoor Painting Adventure.  The Adventure will be held at the height of the Fall Leaf Viewing Season!  Jenni hopes that you can participate.  She also looks forward to meeting you and seeing your creations from the adventure.  In November the participating artists, if the artists so choose, can display their paintings at Crossroads Art Center for the month.


    This painting adventure is in association with The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Art in Historic Marion Virginia that will officially open in the spring of 2016. For more information on the school, please contact Community and Economic Development Director Ken Heath at (276)378-5026.

    Crossroads Art Center - 2016 Staples Mill Road - Richmond, Virginia 23230 - 804.278.8950


    Take in the Wonderful Fall Colors and Historic Assets of Downtown Marion while Painting in an Outdoor Painting Adventure!

    October 8th - 11th, 2014

    The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Art in Historic Marion VA is sponsoring the Outdoor Painting Adventure.  Discover the beautiful historic Marion Downtown in Smyth County, Virginia.


    Artists - Bring your paints, outdoor art gear and join other artists in a two-day independent "Plein Air" event. Non-painting friends and family are welcome.

    Explore Hungry Mother State Park.


    Located in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains, Hungry Mother is one of the premier tourist attractions in Southwestern Virginia.  Long a family favorite known for beautiful woodlands and a placid 108-acre lake in the heart of the mountains.




    Wet Paint Show and Artist Reception

    Friday, October 10th   5 - 8pm,  During Marion's Downtown Artwalk

    The public will be invited to stop in, see and purchase the works you created.

    Please indicate on registration if you plan to participate.




    4.5 Hours from Richmond, VA

    2 Hours from Roanoke, VA

    1 Hour from Bristol TN/VA

    3 Hours from Charlotte, NC

    Directions from I-81, Exit 45  Upon exiting, just follow the Marion sign to Main Street, about 3 minutes drive time. Turn left on Main Street and go through one traffic light.


    Directions from I-81, Exit 47

    Upon exiting, just follow the Marion sign. You will turn left onto Highway 11 West, which becomes Main Street. Proceed approximately 3 miles on Highway 11 West / Main Street through 5 traffic lights until you come into downtown Marion.


    Fall Color Predictions from WDBJ 7.

    Region could see the most vibrant fall colors in years!!



    Sign-in/Packet Pick-up

    Tuesday, October 7th 1pm - 5pm

    Appalachian Spirit Gallery

    144 West Main Street, Marion, VA 24254

    Each participant will be given a "Welcome Tote Bag" full of information and special goodies from Marion businesses! There will also be refreshments for you to enjoy!


    Registration Fee $50

    The fee needs to be mailed and paid by check to

    Wayne C Henderson School of Appalachian Art

    c/o Town of Marion

    138 West Main Street, Marion, VA 24254

    Registration includes -  chance to compete for prizes, and opportunity to show your work.



    First Prize:

    Collin House Inn Guests

    Two night's stay at the Collins House Inn,  two tickets to "Song of the Mountains" at the Lincoln Theater (based upon availability), a complementary dinner at The Black Rooster and a complementary dinner at Wooden Pickle


    Second Prize:

    Collins House Inn Guests

    One night's stay at The General Francis Marion Hotel, two tickets to an upcoming show at the Lincoln (based upon availability) and a complementary dinner at 27 Lions


    Third Prize:  Marion Gift Basket


    For Questions Contact:

    Olivia Hall

    Executive Director of Marion Downtown Revitalization Association




    Ken Heath

    Director of Community and Economic Development



  • Marion Raising Funds for Totem Pole Project

    MARION (VA) A beautiful bird with a 10-foot wingspan outstretched, a beaver, a fox, a bear holding a green fish…..  coming soon to the site of the Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts!


    Marion Downtown in conjunction with the Appalachian Spirit Gallery are now working to bring a hand carved totem pole to historic downtown Marion.  Anne Hull, a Board member at the Appalachian Spirit Gallery in Marion states “ When installed the totem pole will tower more than 20 feet over downtown Marion."  Back in the early part of 2014, when Bristol artist Carl B. Jessee mentioned that he would like to carve another totem pole, Marion officials jumped at the chance to have that sculpture come to Marion.  In 2012, Carl completed a beautiful 30 foot hand carved totem pole which was given to the City of Bristol for installation at Sugar Hollow Park across from Target on Exit 7 in Bristol.  At the time Carl said “I thought I’d try something big!”


    Carl is now ready to try “something big” again and Marion will be the recipient of a very unique sculpture.  Working with the Appalachian Spirit Gallery and Marion Downtown, Carl now has created artwork to depict the finished totem pole and has created scale drawings to use in the carving of Marion’s pole.


    The log that will be used has been cut and transported to Carl Jessee’s Art and Framing Shop on Commonwealth Avenue in Bristol, Va.  Carl and several of his friends who will assist him are busy stripping off the bark, staining and sealing the wood so that it won’t dry out in the carving process.  Carl, a sign painter by trade, will use a chainsaw, chisel and hammer to carve wonderful critters found in our region.  Work is expected to take all summer and early fall with an anticipated installation and dedication to take place before 2014 ends.


    “We are so excited to know that Carl and his carving friends will put their passion and their hearts into a piece of art for our community," said Hull. “Carl has been extremely generous in giving us a price that we can afford and we're so excited to see the transformation of a tree turning into a totem pole take place," said Olivia McDonald, Executive Director of Marion Downtown.


     Marion Downtown and the Appalachian Spirit Gallery are now taking donations to pay for the installation of the totem pole.  “We hope that everyone in the community will read about the progress of the carving of the totem pole on Facebook and on the Town of Marion  and Appalachian Spirit Gallery’s websites, will donate at least a dollar or as much as they can," said Hull.  Everyone who donates will be recognized on a plaque for the pole and larger donations will receive mementos!

     Donations and checks can be made payable to the Appalachian Spirit Gallery and mailed to:


    Anne Hull, Treasurer

    Appalachian Spirit Gallery

     634 Berry Place

    Marion, Virginia 243654


    After the totem pole project is paid for, any excess dollars will be used to bring other outdoor art projects to Marion.


  • Truck Raffle for Lincoln Theatre

    Truck Raffle To Raise Funds for The Lincoln


    Marion, VA – The Lincoln Theatre is celebrating 10 years since its reopening in 2004, and with that the non-profit arts organization has set some serious fundraising goals. The building and equipment are in need of updates and repairs, and as a non-profit organization the theatre is continuously raising funds. This year, The Lincoln has decided to do something completely different for fundraising - a big prize raffle! Working in partnership with Marion Automotive Group and Mountain Empire Media, The Lincoln Theatre is conducting a raffle fundraiser that includes cash prizes, a beach vacation, and the Grand Prize: a 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 truck. “Our goal is to raise more than $50,000,” said Executive Director Kristin Untiedt-Barnett.  “This fundraiser is part of our ongoing capital campaign and is in addition to our annual Friends of The Lincoln campaign.”  Tickets for the raffle are priced at $100 each, but only 1000 tickets will be sold.  Untiedt-Barnett noted, “The limited number of tickets offers great odds for winning and all funds benefit projects and programs for our non-profit theatre.” To promote the fundraiser and encourage early ticket purchases, The Lincoln is conducting two Early Bird Drawings for $500 cash prizes. The first Early Bird Drawing will be held during the September 6 Song of the Mountains® concert and the second will be held during the October 18 fundraiser concert with Scott Helmer and Wise Old River. The Early Bird winners will be reentered for later drawings and remain eligible for the Grand Prize. The Grand Prize Drawing will be held on December 20 with a free Christmas movie event.


    Raffle tickets may be purchased from Lincoln Theatre Board members, Marion Automotive Group, the main branch of the Bank of Marion, and at The Lincoln Theatre. Tickets may also be purchased by calling the Box Office: 276-783-6092.  “We’ve had the truck parked under the marquee for several events,” said Untiedt-Barnett.  “It has drawn a lot of interest.”  Those interested in seeing the truck in person can also visit Marion Automotive Group at 1025 N. Main Street in Marion.


    Complete contest rules are available at The Lincoln Theatre Box Office located at 117 E. Main Street in Marion. All drawings will be held at the theatre and winners are not required to be present.


    The Lincoln Theatre is a non-profit arts organization. Funds raised will benefit The Lincoln Theatre and its programs, including Song of the Mountains®. Charitable Gaming Permit #N-15-19409 Temporary

Regional Visitor Center • 408 Whitetop Road • Chilhowie, VA 24319 • I-81, Exit 35

(276) 646-3306 • Toll Free 877-255-9928 • ron@visitvirginiamountains.com