block party moved indoors

Brent Finnegan -- September 1st, 2006

Saturday’s Block Party in the Burg was supposed to happen outside on Court Square, but with rain expected throughout the weekend, organizers at the Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance have decided to move the event into the Court Square Theater.

The idea behind the block party is to get college freshmen and sophmores from JMU, EMU, and BC out of the dorms and into downtown Harrisonburg, to prove there’s life off campus (and get them spending money at downtown businesses instead of D Hall). One of the problems for the local college music scene (or bands with a college following) is that incoming freshmen have no idea who the local acts are, so they end up squandering countless lonely hours in their dorms, checking and re-checking MySpace, and chatting on IM. That’s why HDR teamed up with JMU’s program board to organize the event.

Last year, the first annual block party drew a couple hundred students and townies, spread out over the afternoon. This year, HDR is hoping for 400 or 500 throughout the day, but the rain will likely have a negative impact on turnout. They know they can expect at least 200 freshmen from EMU, as the block party is part of their orientation.

The bands–Red River Rollercoaster, Trent Wagler and the Steel Wheels, Nathaniel Baker, and Shapiro–represent a mix of local sounds, from Appalachian to progressive pop. The “headlining” band, Shapiro, played last year’s block party, but they haven’t played in Harrisonburg since the end of spring semester at EMU. Shapiro said they usually average three or four hundred kids a show when they play in town, so they’re hopeful that the turnout will be decent.

Red River Rollercoaster is opening the block party/theater party around noon. Shapiro closes. The event ends at 5pm.


9 Responses to “block party moved indoors”

  1. Adam Sharp says:

    Haha, that might work for freshmen, but I remember what I was doing at JMU during hurricanes … hosting a poker party while moving buckets around to catch the leaks. Good times, good times. As long as no one goes canoeing in Blacks Run, we should be good.

  2. swinslow says:

    Hey finnegan-I saw that you had inquired on an AFP blog why I was no longer a contributor. Unfortunately, Chris did not respond but instead deleated your question.

    Chris dismissed me from writing for the AFP because I disagreed with him publically regarding the Liberal leanings of Waynesboro City Council since the new council took over. It is my belief that irresponsible spending by a council is the product of a liberal economic ideology. Chris could not respect my right to stand up for that belief. Unfortunately, instead of engaging in debate he took things on his blog personally and snapped.

    It was a real shame because I had no idea he had that kind of a side to him. No one should take blog writing personally but should understand that strong willed people will stand up for what they believe in and no one should be expected to compromise those beliefs just because one disagrees with them. It is what it is and that’s to bad.

    Thanks for the inquiry.

  3. kestrel9000 says:

    To conservatives, ANY spending is usually liberal spending.
    I’m not familiar with the extant issue, but I will say this:
    If you elect people whose first priority is not to spend money, don’t come crying to me when you break an axle in a pothole.
    Don’t come crying to me when a water main breaks and floods your yard and it takes hours to get somebody out there to fix it.
    Don’t come crying to me when your kid’s school falls down around his or her ears.
    It stands to reason: Elect people that run on the premise that government is bad, and I promise you you will get a bad government.
    And watch out for those evil liberals. They are America-hating homosexuals that support terrorists and will burn your flags and force your guns to have abortions.
    Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

    All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

    Get a life, swinslow.
    Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

    Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should loose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

    Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.

    Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

    Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)

    He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.
    He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, “We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have”.

    By John Gray Cincinnati, Ohio

  4. kestrel9000 says:

    Awesome taco truck:
    On 11 just north of Pleasant Hill Road. If you’re going north, it’s on the right.
    It’s a little aqua green panel truck called “Tacos del Primo.” Tacos for a buck each. You want to get half a dozen or so. It’s a guy and his lady, and it’s no-kiddin’ Mexican soul food. Complete with lemon wedges, radishes, and a jalapeno. Just like back on the block in California. Burgers too……
    Screamin’. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

  5. TM says:

    Talk about a nutty thread, but I have to chime in. The Tacos del Primo truck is HQ’ed at a house on Reservoir St. near Avalon Woods. Since I pass by it pretty much everyday as it is parked, I always wish it were open. Those would be some convenient tacos. I’ll have to chase it down one day.

  6. finnegan says:

    man, i go camping for two days and come back to see this… nutty indeed.

    i don’t believe i’ve ever seen the taco truck. i’ll keep my eyes peeled.

  7. danno says:

    somebody should have given those breakdancing guys better directions.

  8. finnegan says:

    Yes, watching freshmen drive the wrong way around court square was amusing.

    I guess I should give a brief re-cap of the event…

    I went to the block party for about two hours in the afternoon on Saturday. The weather was perfect, so they could have still had it outside, but things were already being set up in the court square theater–but not in time for Red River Rollercoaster to play, so they set up in the hallway near the shoeshine bench beside Calhoun’s. Totally DIY. I caught Trent Wagler and some of the breakdancing on court square, bu I had to leave before Shapiro played.

    From what I saw, it seemed like a pretty good turnout.

  9. danno says:

    The theatre filled to capacity by the time Shapiro started playing. Kids literally started pouring into the venue within ten minutes of the show. I actually know a couple of people who got turned away.

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