Spring Events Pop Into Action

Cameron Stout, Staff Reporter

 Roanoke takes a new turn as it embraces more spring time events. Festivals and events pop up in Roanoke as the weather gets warmer, bringing people from all over to share the experience. The dates may vary, but students are quick to keep up.

Cave Spring Rescue Squad continues a tradition as they plan the annual Chicken BBQ, which is on May 4at 3206 Valley Forge Avenue, from 4-7 pm. For $8.00 dollars, patrons eat home made barbecue chicken, green beans, coleslaw, and rolls. Diners can drive through, or eat it upstairs, where there will also be a bake sale and complimentary drinks provided.

“Axillaries (managers) plan the whole thing and then they just give us the orders as we start our own work,” said Aaron Sunil (11), a volunteer at Cave Spring Rescue Squad. The proceeds for this event will go to equipment needed by the Cave Spring Rescue Squad throughout the year. “We usually have a pretty good turn out,” said Aaron.

The Strawberry Festival returns to Roanoke this year on May 4-5. This festival draws approximately 30,000 visitors to Downtown Roanoke during the first weekend of May. The event features activities and live entertainment at the Elmwood Park Amphitheater. General admission to the Strawberry Festival is free. Taylor Braford (9) has not yet been to the Strawberry Festival, but has been to Festival in the Park, where they sell goods and food with lots of loud music. “I love the food there. It’s really good and it’s not cold like in the winter,” said Taylor.

“Lions, Tigers and Bears oh my!” Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus returns to the Roanoke Civic Center, on Thursday, May 2 at 7pm. Tickets ranging from $97 to $229 go on sale this month as the days tick by. Tickets are ready for delivery as ofApril 28. Some students have made the circus and annual event. “There are  just so many animals, there are  elephants, cats, and even clowns,” said Hailey Singleton (9),“My family and I have a lot of fun. It’s just funny.”

When the circus passes through Roanoke, the Virginia State Chili Cook-Off takes its stand at Railside Plaza on May 4. This event includes championship chili, best restaurant competition, chili tasting, arts & crafts, children’s activities and live entertainment. The bowl and beverages sales benefit scholarship needs of Greenvale School Children. Admission is only $4 in advance and $5 at the door. Event coordinators expect more than 7,000 attendees to participate. “My brother actually entered in the chili cook off one year at Smith Mountain Lake,” said Brandon Lusk (12). “My father also has cooked as a chef for nearly 20 years, and that’s what inspired me to actually start cooking,” said Brandon.

The Color Run will come to Roanoke for the first time on June 15. This new 5k race includes different speeds, ages, shapes, and sizes toeing the starting line with only four rules: be kind to each other, wear something white to the starting line, don’t throw your color pack before the race, and last but not least, enjoy the Willy Wonka goodness at the finish. The race will take place at the Roanoke Civic Center beginning at 9am. “I’d like to run in the race for sure,” said Helena Harding (11), “But I’m still not sure.” The Color Run supports the American Cancer Society and the Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center. “I think it’s amazing that the run is for charity. It gets people out running and it raises money,” said Helena.

With new events and traditional festivals coming to town this spring, people young and old are sure to find something fun to take part in.