Even with social distancing and stay-at-home orders in effect, Lynchburg is a city of creative and motivated people, and this quality has kept the community going even in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. People have been able to retain a semblance of communal normalcy through the power of the internet and staying in their cars if they must leave the house, which has helped open up the possibilities for activities and entertainment in the community. Here are a few things businesses are doing now and in the near future in order to stay open and help Lynchburg residents continue to enjoy the exciting diversions that Lynchburg has to offer.
Antique Rose Sale
Right now, the historic antique roses of Lynchburg’s Old City Cemetery are blooming beautifully under the spring sun, showing off their colors and fragrances. Ordinarily, this would be the time of the hit event known as the Antique Rose Festival, which this year is celebrating its 25th anniversary. While social distancing limits the in-person celebratory part of this event, the COVID-19 crisis has not wilted the resolve of the folks at the Grave Garden. Antique roses are still for sale on the Old City Cemetery website—available for curbside pickup—and the garden itself is still open for people to tour at a safe distance from one another.
Nomad Coffee Co., a well-known local coffee company with a mobile trailer and a hub inside Gilded of Downtown Lynchburg, has concocted another way for Lynchburg residents to get out of the house for some entertainment without having to leave their cars. That’s right, they’re bringing back the concept of the drive-in theater for pop-up movie nights, and donating proceeds to the Lynchburg Daily Bread! Since theaters have been closed for the past two months due to government orders, this company has set up a way for the community to continue being able to enjoy films on the big screen. They’ve already played “The Greatest Showman” and “Night at the Museum” and will soon be showing “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” and “Cheaper By the Dozen 2”. But if you want to take part in this exciting evening event, sign up soon, as the 50 available drive-in spots are quickly being filled.
“Spill the Tea” With Lynchburg Museum System
The story of Lynchburg’s past is still going strong even as the present continues to unfold. Thanks to the Lynchburg Museum System, a regular event called “Spill the Tea” is occurring on Facebook and YouTube, in which Lynchburg’s self-proclaimed “oldest resident” tells stories on video of past Lynchburg events and figureheads. These stories are adapted from the 1858 best-selling book “Sketches and Recollections of Lynchburg by the Oldest Inhabitant” by Margaret Anthony Cabell and feature the storyteller sitting at teatime, ready to dish on the “latest” gossip of Lynchburg’s historical figures. This entertaining show is a great reminder of Lynchburg’s past and how this community always has exciting stories to tell.
Academy Center of the Arts Livestreams
The Academy Center of the Arts is one of Lynchburg’s more recent artistic attractions, but it has shown its commitment to providing quality creative entertainment to Lynchburg residents through its virtual programming, known as Academy at Home. From livestreamed National Poetry Month celebrations, dance classes and bluegrass concerts to art tutorials online with materials that can be picked up at the Academy Center itself, this local nonprofit has found a way to help keep Lynchburg’s creative culture active. Upcoming livestream events from the Academy Center of the Arts include “No Paint? No Problem! Painting with Unusual Materials with Rebekah Hower” on May 12, “Vacation Manor Live-Stream” on May 22 and “DIY Cereal Box Village with Joanna McGlothlin” on May 26. Also, past livestream events can be found on the Academy Center Facebook and YouTube pages.
Amazement Square Anywhere
Schools may be closed, but education is continuing online for many kids. Amazement Square is contributing to educational videos and resources with their virtual platform Amazement Square Anywhere. This is a web page full of online activities designed to ensure that children still have access to the fascinating, hands-on learning experience that Amazement Square is famous for. Activities are themed based on the day of the week, and include “Meet a Beekeeper”, “Volcano Science”, paper mache craft making, “Bowling @ Home”, and so many more. To add to the fun, Amazement Square Anywhere encourages participation by giving children a way to send in videos and pictures of what they have done and created! It’s just another way that Lynchburg businesses and organizations have demonstrated their resilience and commitment to supporting the community.
Armed Forces Day 5K Virtual Race
Armed Forces Day is a holiday that commemorates the sacrifices and heroism of United States military personnel of the past and present. The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA, plans specially for this day each year by hosting a Armed Forces Day 5K, the proceeds for which go to supporting our military and the D-Day Memorial itself. However, this year, since COVID-19 social distancing regulations prevent the gathering of more than 10 people, the race has been moved to a virtual format in which anyone who wishes to run or walk in the race can do so by themselves or with a teammate on their own path or treadmill, post their race time online and receive the race materials like the commemorative t-shirt in the mail. This is a great opportunity to show your support for a worthy cause! Registration is $25 at the D-Day Memorial website.
As Virginia gets closer and closer to the time in which communities and events can once again fully reopen, we know that this community will stay strong together, support one another and remember just how wonderful this city is.