The 40th Annual Boydton Days Festival Is Almost Here!

Well, folks…our “40th Boydton Days Festival” is this Saturday, October 29th, and it is “gearing up” to be a very successful event with beautiful weather forecasted and a high of 73 degrees & sunny! We have over 75 vendors attending to display and sell their wares, which includes food vendors with their delicacies, as well. The Boydton Volunteer Fire Department is again making it’s famous & scrumptous Brunswick Stew, along with the Boydton Life Station who will be selling their delicious Boston Butts and barbeque! Our Boydton Day T-shirts are available here at Town Hall and they are ruby colored representing our 40th event. We have Small – 2X sizes available. The cost for each shirt is $15.00 and we will have some long sleeve shirts for $20.00 available at the latter part of the week. We will “kick off” the event with a Vesper Service at the Historic Presbyterian Church at 7:00 P.M. Friday night with light refreshments being served after the service! The public is invited. Saturday at 9:00 A.M. will begin the day’s festivities with the parade beginning at 10:00 A.M. Mr. W. G. “Sox” Allgood will be this year’s Grand Marshal, where he holds the title of the oldest (96 yr.old) Boydton Fire Department member and “boy” is he excited! Sunday, we will finish up the weekend event with a Community church service in the auditorium of the bingo hall/old school house on Madison Street across from the Boydton Baptist Church. Doors will open at 9:30 A.M. with coffee, juice, light refreshments. Please come out and enjoy this weekend with us for our 40th Boydton Day!!!

Making A Difference

Make-A-Wish, is a Non Profit Organization that has created the Wheels For Wishes Program. This donation Program will help to Make A Wish for a child facing life threatening medical conditions, with the donation & sale of your vehicle (a 501 (c) (3) Charity). Also, the donation of your unwanted car has a great tax benefit deduction. For more information regarding this Program, you may visit the attached link:  virginia.wheelsforwishes.org
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New Website Unveiling

Boydton-responsive-showcaseIt’s with great excitement that we unveil our new website to you. Not only does it have an updated look, it also has a mobile friendly version, meaning it will look great on all of your devices! The new website features a new gallery of user submitted pictures, and an easy to navigate calendar of events that will allow you to keep up with all of the exciting things happening here in the Town of Boydton. In addition, we’ve updated our news section in order to bring you more up to date content. We think you’ll like the new look and we know you’ll like the improved navigation and fresher information.

We’d also like to say a big thank you to Michael Jancart with Stand Still Designs, www.standstilldesigns.com, for making this an easy and enjoyable process. If you have any upcoming projects that Stand Still Designs could help you with, we would highly recommend them.

Tobacco Heritage Trail Boydton Section Nearing Completion

by Olivia Allison

Those anxiously awaiting the opening of the 1.1-mile stretch of the Tobacco Heritage Trail in Boydton may not have to wait much longer, according to Trail Coordinator Heather Susee.

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Workers and others inspect the 1.1-mile section of the Tobacco Heritage Trail being completed in Boydton.

Susee said a Substantial Completion Inspection on the Boydton section of the trail was completed on June 2.

“This inspection gave the opportunity for Roanoke River Rails-to-Trails and the engineer, Anderson and Associates, to list anything that needs to be changed or completed before the trail is officially open to the public,” Susee explained.

Roanoke River Rails-to-Trails is the non-profit organization that owns the Tobacco Heritage Trail, a series of non-motorized, outdoor trails in locations around Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Lunenburg, Halifax and Charlotte counties in Southern Virginia.

As for the Boydton section of the trail, Susee said that items such as completing the kiosks, digging drainage ditches and installing extra split rail fences are on the list to be completed by the contractor, however, the picnic tables have been installed and all of the grass has been seeded. The contractor has 30 days to complete any changes listed by the engineer.

“Everything is shaping up nicely for a beautiful trail for Boydton and its visitors,” Susee said. “The overhead tree canopy is especially lovely and will afford ample shade to trailgoers on sunny summer days. Though this 1-mile trail section is within town, there is a feel of being far away from the hustle and bustle of everything with the wild vegetation and serenity of the woods surrounding the path.”

Following the 30-day period designated for changes and additions, a Final Completion Inspection will be scheduled, as well as a grand opening date, after which the trail will be open to the public.

Historic Boyd Tavern, located along Washington Avenue in Boydton, is still planned to be associated with the trail.

“Boyd Tavern will have a rest facility available for trail users,” Susee said.

While some confusion has arisen over whether or not some or all of the 1.1-section of the trail will be paved, Susee said at this time, the trail will not be paved. Susee explained that while at one point, interest was shown in paving the trail, pending proper funding, it was discovered that because the paving was not in the original plans, the Virginia Department of Transportation said the trail is not eligible for paving without further grant funding.

“VDOT stated that they did not object to the paving of the trail as a concept, just objected to the fact that it was not in the original plans and therefore could not be changed, “ Susee said. “They informed Roanoke River Rails-to-Trails that if we would like to apply for another grant in the future in order to pave the Boydton trail, we may do so.”

Susee also said that volunteers will be maintaining the Boydton trail. If you would like to lend a hand to trail maintenance or promotion, contact Susee at hsusee@nullsouthsidepdc.org.

Boydton Council Hears Airport Update

by Olivia Allison

At Boydton’s regular town council meeting on Tuesday night, council members heard an update presentation from Mike Denton with the Lake Country Regional Airport Commission, formerly the Clarksville-Boydton Airport.

“We have expanded and evolved, we have had a busy last few years,” Denton told council, noting that the airport was the recent recipient of a new name, a new unconditional license, a new weather observation system, a new 24-hour automated fuel system and the facility will soon have a new and improved runway.

The new $140,000 weather observation system gives pilots the opportunity to call ahead and learn about the exact weather at the airport before they arrive.

“The pilots can call ahead and see what the weather is on that moment on that field,” Denton said. “Pilots can check the weather from the air, the computer, by telephone or radio, there are all kinds of options.”

The facility also boasts a new 24-hour automated fuel system.

“The new fuel system is working out really good,” Denton said. “Now, pilots are able to come in at 3 in the morning, swipe a credit card, get their fuel and be on their way. We are expected to bring in three times the traffic to the area, just by offering that one simple thing.”

Denton explained there has been a down side to all the additions and upgrades.

“The DEQ (the Department of Environmental Quality) is famous for rules and regulations coming at you from every way,” he said. “We certainly have had a handful of them that we have had to deal with every day. For example, aviation obstructions. This tree, which wasn’t in the way 10 years ago, all of a sudden someone says the tree is in the way now, so we have to go in and take seven acres of trees down because of that one tree. And you better do it, or you won’t get your license.”

Well, the efforts have paid off as Denton informed council of some good news in regard to conforming to all rules and regulations.

“This year was the first year in the airport’s modern history that we have an unconditional license,” he said.

He told council the facility is averaging about five operations per day now, which adds up to over 1,000 operations per year.

Denton also told council that the airport now has a courtesy car, a vehicle that pilots and travelers can use to explore the area while on layover.

He noted that visitors to the area have had nothing but good things to say about the area’s attractions and citizens. He also commended the county as a whole, the individual towns and the tourism department for promoting and showcasing the area so successfully to visitors.

“We have had a lot of nice comments about our community,” Denton said, explaining that the airport offers a questionnaire type review to those who visit. “People have a blast here, they love our area. They say they want to come back and visit again.”

Denton went on to speak about future plans for the facility, including a new runway.

“Back in the ’70s, they started the expansion of the runway and they kind of did it in a little bit of a hurry. Well, 40 years later, the runway is deteriorating, and it doesn’t meet the standards. So, what we are going to be faced with is rebuilding the runway and possibly shortening it a little bit,” Denton said.

He also noted that the runway has eroded over the years and that issue would be corrected too. Excess dirt, taken from shortening the runway, could be used to correct the erosion.

“This is going to be a fairly large project,” he said.

He went on to explain that funding for this project or others could be obtained through a general 80/20 aviation project grant. The Virginia Department of Aviation would pay for 80 percent of the project, leaving the airport responsible for 20 percent of the funding.

“Even today, that 20 percent is tough on our community, and we know that,” Denton said. “We are scrambling like crazy to find that money or find other grants that will meet the costs. We are going to work our way through it. We are going to get it done.”

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, council moved to have the town create an account to house the Boydton Day funds, as the Boydton Ruritan Club, which has sadly shrunk down to only four members, will no longer be heading up Boydton Day due to its low membership. A Boydton Day Committee is in place to plan and execute the event, however the committee does not have the means to hold the funds. The council agreed that it would create an account to hold the funds, however the town would not touch the money. The committee would still have control of the funds. The council also discussed redesigning the town’s website in order to offer more information and make it easier to access.

Also on Tuesday, the council announced the Historic Boydton’s Renaissance annual Community Officials Breakfast. The breakfast is open to any Boydton business and will be held on Wednesday, March 18, at 7:30 a.m. at the Old Town Club on Park Street in Boydton.

Let’s Party Like it’s 1765

The 250th Anniversary Events Committee and the Mecklenburg County Tourism Office have been busy continuing to plan the final details for the March 1 kickoff event in Boydton, as well as laying out plans for anniversary events throughout the rest of the year.

To keep up with live updates to these events, check out www.visitmeckva.com or www.facebook.com/meck250.

The event schedule is as follows:

  1. Anniversary Kickoff and Commemoration Event, Boydton, Sunday, March 1 from noon to 5 p.m.
  2. Native American History Event (Partnered with the Pow-Wow), Chase City, weekend of May 2 (times TBD).
  3. Waterways event (Partnered with Lakefest), Clarksville, Sunday, July 19 (times TBD).
  4. Farming Heritage Event (Partnered with Farmers Day), South Hill, Saturday, Oct. 3 (times TBD).
  5. Rails and Trails Event, La Crosse and Brodnax, Sunday, Oct. 4 (times TBD).

With the Anniversary Kickoff and Commemoration Event in Boydton right around the corner, the committee has been working closely with the community and officials in Boydton to create a small but meaningful celebration of the actual 250th anniversary of the county’s inception. The main event at this celebration will be the signing of an historic document commemorating the milestone. State and local elected officials will gather on the lawn of the courthouse at 3 p.m. for a symbolic raising of the county flag, followed by a 21-gun salute.

The officials will then walk over to the Boyd Tavern at 3:15 p.m. to sign this historic document and forever mark the day.

Other attractions will include a short parade, food and craft vendors, live period music, a period dress contest, an appearance by the Buffalo Soldiers, numerous local historic figures reenacted and even an oral history recording station open to the public to let folks tell their own historic family and community stories to be preserved in the memoirs of the 250th anniversary.

The Boyd Tavern Foundation has been an extremely generous partner in allowing use of their property for several parts of this event, and it will be held rain or shine. Volunteers are always welcome for either the 250th planning committee or to help out on the day of each event.

To be part of these historic events, contact event coordinator LaKisha Mitchell at (434) 247-2216 or kisha.wmsent@nullgmail.com.