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Mark the occasion of the Boulevard’s renaming for Arthur Ashe at full lineup of special events this weekend

In addition to an official sign unveiling to re-name the roughly 2.5-mile Boulevard in honor of the late tennis champion, the celebratory events will re-introduce Ashe’s inspiring life story to Richmond and offer a variety of family-friendly events.

RVAHub Staff

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The Arthur Ashe Boulevard Initiative will sponsor a three-day celebration honoring tennis great Arthur Ashe. Citizens, leaders, community organizers, and Ashe family members will commemorate the naming of Arthur Ashe Boulevard in Richmond on June 20th through 22nd.

In addition to an official sign unveiling to re-name the roughly 2.5-mile Boulevard in honor of the late tennis champion, the celebratory events will re-introduce Ashe’s inspiring life story to Richmond and offer a variety of family-friendly events.

The official dedication and street unveiling ceremony, sponsored by the City of Richmond, Dominion Energy, and the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC), will be held at Saturday, June 22, at 11 a.m. at the VMHC.

National, state and local elected leaders will be in attendance and participate in the dedication ceremony, along with Ashe family representatives. Civil rights leader and U.S. Rep. John R. Lewis, (D-Ga.) will deliver the keynote address.

“We’re thrilled to name Dominion Energy as our presenting sponsor for our weekend celebration, as we officially rename the Boulevard after my uncle, said David Harris, nephew of the late Arthur Ashe and a key driver in the Boulevard’s renaming. “Together, we’ll celebrate Ashe’s achievements both on and off the tennis court. My uncle’s incredible legacy transcended sports and is tied to foundational roots of Richmond. With Dominion Energy’s support and others, we’re putting a stake in the ground for Arthur Ashe’s legacy of social justice for generations to come.”

“This is a great step forward for Richmond to honor Arthur Ashe in a bold way,” said Tom Farrell, chairman and CEO of Dominion Energy. “We’re proud to be part of it, and to celebrate our hometown with friends, neighbors, and the Ashe family.”

The company’s sponsorship is being provided through the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation.

The latest schedule of community events—all of which are free, family-friendly and open to the public include:

  • Arthur Ashe Boulevard Social Justice Forum, Thursday, June 20, 7-9 p.m., Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Learn about social justice and find out how it was part of Arthur Ashe’s legacy.
  • Arthur Ashe Boulevard Tennis Tournament & Movies at the Park, Friday, June 21, 6-9 p.m., Byrd Park. Join local tennis organizations in celebration of Ashe’s sport; stick around for an evening of movies and other festivities.
  • Arthur Ashe Boulevard Kick-off Celebration & Bowling Party, Friday, June 21, 7 p.m. to midnight, River City Roll. Enjoy kids and family bowling night (7-9 p.m.) as well as live music (9 p.m. to midnight) at this Scott’s Addition bowling alley along Arthur Ashe Boulevard. Donations suggested.
  • Arthur Ashe Boulevard Unveiling Ceremony & Exhibition Opening, Saturday, June 22, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Virginia Museum of History and Culture. Join us as we make history with the City of Richmond; A-list celebrities, city officials, and government dignitaries will officially unveil the re-named Boulevard.
  • Arthur Ashe Boulevard Community Celebration, Saturday, June 22, 1-5 p.m., Arthur Ashe Jr. Athletic Center. Celebrate with the community and participate in sponsored tennis clinics for kids and adults.
  • Arthur Ashe Boulevard After Party, Saturday, June 22, 8-11 p.m., The Graduate Richmond: the official Arthur Ashe Boulevard Celebration host. Cap off three days of excitement around Arthur Ashe and the City of Richmond.

To learn more about Arthur Ashe Boulevard or the schedule of events, visit arthurasheblvd.com.

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Downtown

Dominion Energy Christmas Parade Marching Online this Year

The 37th annual Dominion Energy Christmas Parade will shift to a television-only Christmas special.

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From Facebook

Due to the unprecedented circumstances this year and the responsibility to make the safest decision for our community, the 37th annual Dominion Energy Christmas Parade will shift to a television-only Christmas special! While we will miss seeing everyone on streets this year, we are so excited about the opportunity to bring Richmond’s favorite holiday tradition to you in the comfort of your own home!

Tune in to WTVR CBS 6 News on Saturday, December 5 at 10 am to watch all-new performances from your favorite entertainment groups, heart-warming stories focused on celebrating our Richmond community, “best of” clips from past parades featuring giant helium balloons and colorful floats, and even a special appearance by Legendary Santa himself! You will not want to miss the must-see television event of the holiday season! #RVAparade2020

NOTE TO PARADE PARTICIPANTS: Spots in this year’s Christmas special are limited. Please stay tuned for more information via email next week.

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Arts & Entertainment

The Valentine’s popular Controversy/History series returns to address 2020’s impact

The Valentine’s popular conversation series will return virtually on Tuesday, October 6, co-hosted by Valentine Director Bill Martin and Coffee with Strangers host Kelli Lemon. The free, five-event series will focus on the evolving impacts of 2020, a year full of unexpected challenges and uncomfortable conversations, all amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic and massive social change.

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The Valentine’s popular conversation series will return virtually on Tuesday, October 6, co-hosted by Valentine Director Bill Martin and Coffee with Strangers host Kelli Lemon. The free, five-event series will focus on the evolving impacts of 2020, a year full of unexpected challenges and uncomfortable conversations, all amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic and massive social change.

“The Richmond community that entered 2020 is not the same community we find ourselves a part of today,” Valentine Director Martin said. “2020 has truly been a year of historic change, and it only makes sense to use our conversation series Controversy/History to examine those changes, how they have impacted the people of the Richmond Region and what we can do as a community to move forward together.”

Each virtual event will include an exciting lineup of guest speakers discussing contemporary issues and how 2020 has either upended or reinforced Richmond’s history, followed by questions from the audience and action steps for those inspired to get involved.

Here is a complete list of dates and topics:

October 6, 2020, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
2020 and Voting

November 3, 2020, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
2020 and Mental Health

December 1, 2020, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
2020 and Business

January 5, 2021, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
2021 and Education

February 2, 2021, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
2021 and Activism

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Downtown

2nd Street Festival releases full schedule for virtual event October 3-4

Venture Richmond Events will present new musical performances, favorite artists from past festivals, cooking demonstrations, virtual tours, neighborhood remembrances, fun family activities, and so much more.

RVAHub Staff

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The 2nd Street Festival marks its 32nd anniversary October 3-4 with a virtual event celebrating downtown’s Jackson Ward community. Venture Richmond Events will present new musical performances, favorite artists from past festivals, cooking demonstrations, virtual tours, neighborhood remembrances, fun family activities, and so much more.

Featured Festival Artists

Saturday, October 3 from 6:00 – 7:15 p.m.

Legacy Band – Don’t miss this new festival performance by one of Richmond’s favorite bands playing top hits with a mix of soul, R&B, funk and jazz. The band was originally formed by guitarist Jose Pomier and vocalist Kaila Valdez.

EU (Experience Unlimited) – A favorite past performance from the 2019 festival headliner. EU is one of the original Washington, DC Go-Go bands, fronted by founding member Gregory “Sugar Bear” Elliott.

Sports Backers Fitness Warriors and D & G Line Dancing – Let’s get up and move with fun new dance workouts with our friends at Sports Backers and D&G Line Dancing. Learn along with great instructors!

Sunday, October 4 from 5:00 – 6:15 p.m.

Desirée Roots – Hear Desirée perform some of her new jazz favorites. As a theater and jazz sensation, she has been the opening act for several internationally acclaimed jazz music entertainers throughout her career. Her repertoire includes R&B and gospel.

Remembrance of Debo Dabney – Listen in as local musicians and friends including J. Plunky Branch, Glennroy Bailey, Desirée Roots, and more share their reflections of Herbert A. Dabney, III, a dynamic and animated pianist who passed away earlier this year. Affectionately known as “Debo,” he was a beloved friend of the festival and an all-around fan favorite. His repertoire ranged from jazz, gospel, R&B, swing, blues and children’s classics. Debo performed for 31 of the festival’s 32 years.

Virginia Union University Gospel Choir – Sing, clap or hum along with the university’s gospel choir as they perform two new selections. This choir recently performed on ABC’s Good Morning America with Latin musician Jose Feliciano.

Virtual Festival Activities

Cooking Demonstrations

Chefs from popular 2nd Street Festival vendors, Croaker’s Spot and Chef MaMusu of Africanne on Main, will both prepare and share dishes through culinary demonstrations live-streamed directly into homes to capture the same delicious foods that we’ve all come to expect from the 2nd Street Festival.

Kidz Zone Fun

Young viewers will enjoy story time with Candice Smith of NBC12 News and with the Children’s Museum, and a balloon twisting demonstration by festival favorite Eddie Cook with Balloons By Extreme.

Spotlight on Jackson Ward

Gary Flowers of Walking the Ward Tours visits two popular community sites, the Maggie L. Walker statue and Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church. Also, hear remembrances from longtime residents and business owners of Jackson Ward during the live stream event. 

Get 2nd Street Ready!
Show your support before, during and after the virtual festival.

Festival Marketplace

Visit Venture Richmond’s website for a full list of your favorite 2019 2nd Street Festival Marketplace vendors to shop online before, during and after the festival weekend! 

Official Festival Poster

Purchase an official 2020 2nd Street Festival poster designed by local quilter and artist, Unicia Buster. Learn more about the artist and her festival poster design. The new poster will be unveiled on September 23, watch on Facebook Live for your chance to win a signed print! Posters will be available for sale at Plan 9 Music in Carytown or at Plan 9 Online here starting on September 24.

Radio One “2nd Street MIX” Weekend

Get ready for the festival by listening to Radio One’s “2nd Street MIX” weekend on Saturday, September 26 from 1:00pm-10:00pm and Sunday, September 27 from 12:00pm-7:00pm. Enjoy a very special MIX weekend on 99.3/105.7 KISS FM featuring your favorite artists that have played at the 2nd Street Festival over the years and your favorite DJs too! The MIX lineup will feature DJ King Tutt, DJ Drake, and DJ Lonnie B. Listen for songs by Morris Day and the Time, Average White Band, SOS Band, and many other great R & B groups!

“Show us your 2nd Street Smile” Photo Contest

From September 28 to October 4, use the #2Street hashtag to “Show us your 2nd Street Smile” and win prizes! On Facebook and Instagram, post photos of where and how you plan to watch the virtual 2nd Street Festival. Are you watching with your best friend, your furry friends, or your family? Show us your 2nd Street smile! On October 5, we’ll choose 10 winners to win $50-$100 gift cards to your favorite spots in the Jackson Ward neighborhood! Don’t forget to label your photos with #2Street to be entered to win.

Historic Jackson Ward Neighborhood

Even though we can’t be together in Jackson Ward this year, be sure to shop the Jackson Ward businesses and restaurants and tour the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site on 2nd Street to show your support for downtown Richmond and the 2nd Street Festival. Don’t forget to wear your mask!

Ways to Watch This Year’s Virtual Festival

This year’s virtual festival is a great opportunity for families to plan gatherings and watch parties at home in a safe, fun and responsible way.

For up-to-date information, visit https://venturerichmond.com/our-events/2nd-street-festival-2020

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