By Rebecca Adcock
Fall always starts the time to reflect on the year that has been and to make plans for the upcoming year. To be successful and productive, we must create what we want by building with what we have. Patrick County has a lot of building blocks. The task is finding the right way to lay them together. October was full of events and functions that show what kind of building blocks we have with which to work.
The month began with the opening of Stuart Fire Department’s new home. The department is now housed in a wonderful building that provides public safety to town residents, but also extends aid to all parts of the county.
Also in October, we built our own entertainment, with events like the Bluegrass in the Blue Ridge and the Chili Cookoff at the Stuart Farmers’ Market.
Educational and informational seminars were available throughout the month. The Voter Education and Candidate Forum was very important for this past local election, in allowing a platform for both the candidates and the voters to engage with each other.
Representatives from the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce attended the Department of Housing Roadshow in Martinsville, which provided a brief overview of each grant and program offered for local communities. The Chamber also works with the Longwood Small Business Development Center in promoting their business seminars, which was held in October. We hosted the Google “Spruce up your marketing plan for the Holidays” livestream webinar, to help businesses get ready to promote themselves during the holiday season.
The Chamber is also a major supporter of the Apple Dumpling Festival 5K. This event really grew this year, thanks in part to the Stuart Elementary School Running Club. The kids and their parents enjoyed a great morning run along the Mayo River Rail Trail. The Town of Stuart’s Apple Dumpling Festival was also a huge success, with a steady crowd all day. The Chamber office was open during the festival. Many visitors stopped by and purchased our holiday ornament.
The main event of October – which helps us draw this wonderful month to a close — is the Stuart Spooktacular. This year, the event was moved into the Rotary Building due to the heavy rains. The Patrick County Young Professionals did an amazing job in the relocation. We were able to trick n’ treat, bouncy, watch acrobats and see llamas in dry conditions. What a community asset the Rotary Memorial Building is for our county. While it was fun, we look forward to moving the Stuart Spooktacular back to Uptown Main Street next year.
So, what’s in store for November? Lots.
Everyone is getting busy for the holiday season. The Chamber will be promoting Small Business Saturday throughout the county, but really focusing on Meadows of Dan. Save the Saturday, Nov. 30 date and join that community for their annual Christmas parade at 3 p.m. and a day of local shopping opportunities. The chamber office will be gearing up for 2020 with our annual membership drive. We will also be working on the Hometown Christmas, which is Friday, Dec. 6, with the tree lighting at the courthouse and Saturday, Dec. 7 with many holiday bazaars and the annual Christmas Parade.
We welcome new members: Leonardo’s Pizza and Bistro and Manasas JimiJo Creations.
For more information on any of the events, check out our website at www.patrickchamber.com or call (276) 694-6012.
(Adcock is the executive director of the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce)