Summer fun in Radford

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Rachael Smith

Email:rsmith585@radford.edu

Summer is almost here! If you’re anything like me, the song ‘Celebration’ by Kool & the Gang might express how you’re feeling right now. If you are one of the lucky ones, you might be traveling to adventurous and exotic places, or maybe you took an extra step to get a cool internship in New York City or Las Vegas. In my case, you’re working some and basically relaxing from this stressful school year. But what if that school work never stops? Those of us who pack up and head out for the summer to lead almost a new kind of life sometimes don’t realize we leave some of our peers here in Radford.

And there are people who simply choose to live here for the summer, letting it become their year-round home. But let’s face it, in this “city” there really isn’t much to do when all the campus events have faded and the hustle and bustle of college life is gone. Or is this just something we assume? It turns out Radford puts a lot of effort into creating fun and entertaining events during the summer.

Becky Haupt, the director of Main Street Radford, helped give me insight into what kind of things go on during the summer. I’m guessing most students don’t even know what Main Street Radford is. I didn’t until just this year, but its mission is “to promote, retain and recruit business in downtown Radford while empowering business owners and the community to achieve ongoing revitalization.” In other words, they are trying to improve the quality of residents’ lives and bring the community together.

I think there are some of us who forget there is life outside the university. First of all, if you have a car, take the chance to find adventure and go on a road trip. There are many cool roads that lead you to who knows where, but it’s a great eye-opener to see who the people of Radford are and how they live. Some of the neighborhoods are right by the river and have a sort of old-time architectural structure to them. The point is, there are families, real people who live here with us and they live here all year.

Some of the things to look out for this summer are The Third Annual New River Valley Chili Festival on May 21 and the summer concerts on June 15, July 17 and August 12 all that are located downtown. Other events are the New River Brewfest at Nesselrod on June 14, FloydFest X on July 28-31 and Steppin’ Out in Blacksburg from August 5-6. If you’re interested in historical fun, there are Cabin Days at Ingles Farm, where reenactors explain what life was like here in the 1770s. And we all know about this, but maybe haven’t tried it; float down the New River if you haven’t gotten the chance!

Please don’t think you can’t still enjoy your summer because school got in the way or think all you can do this summer is sit on your front porch drinking 24/7, because there is so much more to this place than we think. You might just have to get up and look for it. Visit mainstreeradford.org. Seriously, you might be surprised to find out about some cool people who live here or discover a cool new hangout spot.