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Community Reporting Pop’s On Grace Closing in July

Fans of Pop’s only have a few month’s to hit the spot on Grace.



From and Karri Piefer

The pandemic, of course, and the devastating financial impact it had on restaurants, is among the reasons the restaurant will close.

“[There are] lots of layered reasons, some stemming from pandemic, but ultimately things can’t be the way they were,” he said. “And the vision has changed.”

But before everyone runs out and tries to crowd the restaurant all at once, remember, there are at least two months of Pop’s opportunities left.



Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Leaf Collection Schedule and Other Options

The leaves are beginning to drop. Now is the time to start thinking how you’re going to deal with them all.




The Department of Public Works kicks off the city’s annual Leaf Collection Program on October 4. Residents have two collection options for bagged leaves, (1) put out up to 10 bags on their regular trash pick-up day and (2) use the Sector Collection system, which coincides with trash collection days, but allows for an unlimited number of bags and an extended collection period. Biodegradable bags are preferred.

Sector 1: Wednesday trash collection – Fan, Uptown, Oregon Hill, Randolph, Maymont, Byrd Park, etc.

  • All bagged leaves will be picked up between November 3 and November 17

Sector 2: Thursday trash collection – No 5th District neighborhoods

  • All bagged leaves will be picked up between November 18 and November 27

Sector 3: Monday trash collection – – Carillon, Stadium, Carytown South, Carytown Museum, etc.

  • All bagged leaves will be picked up between November 29 and December 11

Sector 4: Tuesday trash collection – Springhill, Woodland Heights, Swansboro, Reedy Creek, Swansboro West

  • All bagged leaves will be picked up between December 14 and December 31

Vacuum collection begins on November 1. There is a $30 fee per request for this service. Residents must remove sticks, stones or other objects that may damage equipment and rake leaves to the curb or property line, but not into the street or gutters. The leaves must be ready for collection when the request is made. The service will take place within 15 days of the request. Please note, vacuum service may be delayed during inclement weather.

Requests and payments can be made at or by calling 3-1-1 or by mailing a check/money order to: City Hall, DPW Vacuum Service; 900 East Broad Street, Room 704; Richmond, VA 23219

A service request ID number is generated for requests made through the RVA311 system, please be sure to include that number on the check or money order.
Lastly, there is an option to do-it-yourself. Residents can drop off loose leaves or put them in biodegradable bags at East Richmond Road Convenience Center at 3800 East Richmond Road or at the Maury Street Landfill at 2900 Maury Street. The transfer station located at 3506 North Hopkins Road accepts only bagged leaves. Additionally, residents can compost or mulch leaves. Compost bins are available for $41.50. Send an email to [email protected] or call 804-646-8325 for information on ordering a compost bin.
For more information on leaf collection please visit or for assistance, call 3-1-1.

Other Options

I use a combination of a mulching lawnmower and putting leaves in some of the beds. This has the advantage of adding nutrients back into the soil and decreases the amount heading to our landfills.

Handy Guide to Mower Mulching – Just change the mower to its highest setting, remove the bag attachment and mow the leaves and grass, letting the shredded leaves and grass blades remain on the lawn. If you don’t have a mulching mower, an alternative is to buy a mulching blade from a hardware store a — mulching blades have special serrated edges — and attach it to the mower.

Guide to Composting Leaves – The compost bin doesn’t have to be a complex structure and you can even compost in a pile. The basic idea is to add air occasionally for the aerobic microbes that are in the pile decomposing the material. You also need to keep the compost warm, around 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 C.) or warmer, and moist but not soggy.

Leave the Leaves – Besides providing the right plants, and protecting your garden from pesticides, one of the next most valuable things you can do to support pollinators and other invertebrates is to provide them with the winter cover they need in the form of fall leaves and standing dead plant material.




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Hot Wheels™ Race to Win™ Rolling into Richmond

The Science Museum of Virginia is going small-scale racing to teach science, technology, engineering, and math.



The Science Museum of Virginia is on track for an exciting fall as it revs up to host the touring exhibition “Hot Wheels™: Race to Win™.” Guests have the green light to accelerate their understanding of STEM concepts while the exhibition makes a pit stop in Central Virginia beginning Saturday, Sept. 25.

The exhibition offers a look at the thrilling world of racing, investigates the scientific process for designing super-fast cars and helps guests who have the need for speed understand how it is achieved. Using Hot Wheels® die-cast toys, guests can work together to build and test the fastest and safest speed machines on the planet.

“Hot Wheels are fantastic hands-on tools for exploring speed, power and performance, all of which include elements of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Virginia C. Ellett Director of Education Timshel Purdum. “The challenge, creativity and experimentation the cars, tracks, loops and jumps offer are critical for developing problem-solving skills and building confidence in future scientists and engineers. This exhibition reminds us that play is an experience, one that fosters freedom, self-expression, imagination and joy.”

Photo Courtesy of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Guests can participate in the Pit Stop Challenge in which they race the clock — and their family and friends — to change tires and refuel the car. A six-lane downhill speed track, booster power track, adjustable angles track and timing track are just a few of the ways guests can test their theories regarding cause and effect as well as force and motion. Real race car parts, authentic artifacts and captivating memorabilia round out the immersive experience that has guests observing, predicting and measuring potential and kinetic energy, gravity, mass, inclined planes, distance, averages and more. After leaving the Science Museum, guests are encouraged to continue discussing themes covered in the exhibition on their next road trip or with wheeled vehicles in their home.

“This family learning experience provides hands-on opportunities for parents to explain complex physics concepts in fun ways using the popular Hot Wheels™ toy cars as they experiment with different principles to see which makes a car go fastest,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the organization that produced the exhibition.

Introduced by Mattel in May 1968, the 1:64-scale cars were innovative toys, which should come as no surprise as the original design team included an automotive engineer and rocket scientist. Before Hot Wheels, die-cast cars were not agile and didn’t have much variety. The thick-gauge wire axle coupled with a special plastic bearing reduced friction, which combined with a track designed by a female engineer allowed the original “Sweet 16” offerings to go faster and farther than existing vehicles at the time. Plus, the candy-colored metallic “Spectraflame” paint jobs made the toys eye-catching. But it was the groundbreaking wide-back-wheel design that made Hot Wheels the winner, and what lead to the famous brand’s iconic name.

Photo Courtesy of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Today there are more than 800 models and 11,000 variations of Hot Wheels, and more than four billion Hot Wheels die-cast cars have been sold. The popularity of the vehicles spans generations, and has even jumped out of the toy box as hobbyists have created 20 life-size models of Hot Wheels cars since 2001.

“Generations of children have enjoyed the thrill and speed of racing with Hot Wheels,” said Julie Freeland, Senior Director, Global Live Events & Attractions, Mattel. “This interactive exhibit now brings families together to learn what brings racing to life in a fun and memorable way.”

To complement the exhibition, the Science Museum will have race-themed demos and educational activities throughout the building as well offer digital STEM materials to support guests’ drive for knowledge from home.

“Hot Wheels™: Race to Win™” is included with Science Museum admission. Discounts are available for teachers, military personnel and EBT cardholders.

During the run of the exhibition, guests are invited to bring a new, individually packaged Hot Wheel to the Science Museum when they visit. The Science Museum will donate them to elementary students visiting on field trips from under-resourced schools, along with a STEM activity to help the students explore engineering, force and motion from home. Donation bins will be located at the Guest Services desk.

“Hot Wheels™: Race to Win™” was produced by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Mattel, and is locally sponsored by TowneBank and Woodfin. It is on display at the Science Museum until Jan. 23, 2022.

The Science Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance of their visit at



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2nd Street Festival Announces Full Schedule



The 2nd Street Festival will return this fall, live and in person, Saturday – Sunday, October 2-3. Marking its 33rd year, the festival celebrates the rich culture of the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood in Downtown Richmond. This FREE event is produced by Venture Richmond Events.

Over the years, it has grown to be one of the Mid-Atlantic’s largest street festivals. Thousands visit historic Jackson Ward to reminisce about the days when 2nd Street was the heart and soul of Richmond’s African-American community and was known as “the Harlem of the South.” Today, Jackson Ward continues to be a thriving neighborhood and community.

The 2nd Street Festival is an annual celebration and homecoming over two days that features three stages of live musical entertainment along with popular food vendors, a marketplace and Artists Row to shop, and the Richmond Metropolitan Antique Car Club.

We’re really excited to be back in the Jackson Ward neighborhood,” said Sharon Bassard, Booking and Festival Manager at Venture Richmond. “This year’s lineup features Richmond favorites and up-and-coming artists. From Jazz to Reggae and Gospel to R&B, you’ll be able to find a stage over the weekend with your favorite music – all for free! We ask everyone to be a “good neighbor” and show kindness to one another by following our health and safety guidelines, encouraging you to be vaccinated, wear a mask, and maintain distancing while attending the festival.”

Venture Richmond Events continues to closely monitor CDC and VDH guidelines for COVID-19 protocols for large, in-person outdoor events. A commitment to safety and adherence to local, state, and federal ordinances and recommendations will guide all decisions regarding in-person events. (see COVID-19 guidelines)



2nd Street Festival 2021 Stage Schedule
(Subject to change)

WAVERLY R. CRAWLEY MAIN STAGE (sponsored by Virginia Union University)


  • 11:50 – 12:35pm N.F.U.S.I.O.N.Z.
  • 1:10 – 2:10pm I Would Die 4 U; A Musical Tribute to PRINCE
  • 2:30 – 3:00pm Dancing with Mama D
  • 3:30 – 4:30pm DJ Drake and MC Choco
  • 5:30 – 7:00pm Plunky & Oneness


  • 1:00 – 1:30pm James Johnson Jr
  • 2:00 – 2:30pm Virginia Union University Gospel Choir
  • 3:00 – 4:00pm J Tucker and The Krewe
  • 4:45 – 6:00pm Mighty Joshua



  • 12:00 – 1:15pm Joe Kennedy, Jr. Scholarship Recipient Chet Frierson
  • 1:45 – 2:45pm Debra Dean & The Key West Band
  • 3:15 – 4:15pm Saxsmo “Stepping Out”
  • 4:45 – 6:00pm Nathan Mitchell


  • 1:00 – 1:50pm Ashby Anderson’s Vibe
  • 2:10 – 3:10pm Larri Branch Agenda
  • 3:30 – 4:30pm Jazz In The Spirit
  • 5:00 – 6:00pm Curv Appeal



  • 12:00 – 12:10pm Welcome – Historic Jackson Ward Association- Janis Allen
  • 12:30 – 1:10pm Young Prince Charles
  • 1:40 – 2:00pm Richmond Urban Dance Company
  • 2:30 – 3:30pm Bak N Da Day
  • 4:00 – 5:00pm Drew Miles and Company


  • 1:30 – 2:00pm Chiquita Cross
  • 2:30 – 3:15pm DJ Milk D
  • 3:50- 4:30pm Glennroy & Company
  • 5:00 –6:00pm Testiphy Band

Saturday’s Headliner, Plunky & Oneness

For over 50 years, Richmond saxophonist, songwriter and producer J. Plunky Branch has been at the vanguard of Afro-centric jazz, funk, R&B, house music, and go-go, weaving these interrelated musical forms into a forward-looking message of empowerment, positivity, and cultural awareness. Along with his band, Plunky & Oneness, he has appeared in concert with some of the biggest names in Black music, including Patti Labelle, Ray Charles, Earth Wind & Fire, Frankie Beverly & Maze, LL Cool J, Chuck Brown, and more. His song “Every Way But Loose” was a top-ten soul music chart hit in London in the 1980’s and his hit single, “Drop,” was released in 2007. He also wrote “2nd Street Jaunt,” a song that Venture Richmond used in TV commercials promoting the 2019 festival. He will be performing at the festival on Saturday, October 2 from 5:30 – 7:00pm at the Waverly R. Crawley Main Stage.

Saturday’s Featured Jazz Stage Artist, Nathan Mitchell

Nathan Mitchell was recently named one of the final nominees for a 2021 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album for his newest release Donny, Duke and Wonder. He will be featured on the Jazz Stage Saturday, October 2 from 4:45 – 6:00pm.

Sunday’s Closing Performance, Mighty Joshua

Closing out the festival on Sunday, October 3 from 4:45 – 6:00pm is reggae artist, Mighty Joshua, whose soulful exploration in the evolution of sound creates an expression of reggae for the modern day.

Official Festival Poster Artist, Unicia Buster

Purchase an official 2021 2nd Street Festival poster designed by local quilter and artist, Unicia Buster. The new poster will be unveiled on September 23, watch on Facebook Live! Posters will be available for sale at the festival, or at Plan 9 Music in Carytown and online at starting on Monday, October 4.

Jackson Project Weekend Activities

The JXN Project is a historic preservation project that celebrates the 150th anniversary of Jackson Ward by properly contextualizing the origin story of the nation’s first historically registered Black urban neighborhood. JXN is designed to excavate, elevate and educate the hidden histories of the city’s sixth ward, which inspired an effort to erect honorary street designations in honor of notable Jackson Wardians, also known as “Unveiling The Vanguard.” The 2nd Street Festival is partnering with JXN as they virtually unveil the vanguard by video released across their social media and website on October 2. Also, on October 2, festival-goers are invited to engage in a socially distanced, self-guided tour of the honorary street signs. For all details, visit and follow @TheJXNProject on all social media platforms.

Radio One’s “2nd Street MIX” Weekend

Back again for another year, 2nd Street Festival partner Radio One’s “2nd Street MIX” weekend will get you ready for the festival by bringing you mixes from the hottest DJs in the city! Tune into 99.3/105.7 KISS FM on Saturday, October 2 from 4:00pm-midnight and Sunday, October 3 from noon-7:00pm. Hear mixes from DJ King Tutt, DJ Drake, and DJ Lonnie B playing all your favorite 2nd Street Festival hits!

FREE Walking Tours, guided by Gary Flowers

Venture Richmond Events will provide FREE guided walking tours led by Gary Flowers who has a four-generation family connection to Historic Jackson Ward. “Educating the public to the place Historic Jackson Ward holds in commerce, education, and dismantling racial segregation in the United States of America is critically important to me,” Mr. Flowers said. These 60-minute tours leave at 1:00pm on Saturday and at 1:00pm on Sunday. Tour groups meet on the sidewalk at the Maggie Walker National Historic Site, 2nd & E. Leigh Streets.

Update on the Kidz Zone

Due to the highly interactive nature of the activities planned for the Kidz Zone, the 2nd Street Festival will not host a family area this year. The Kidz Zone, produced by the Children’s Museum, is a robust and engaging, much-loved, part of the Festival. However, due to the close proximity required for those activities and the lack of an approved COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12, we believe cancelling the activities is best for the safety of our littlest patrons. The Children’s Museum will be back to produce the much-loved Kidz Zone in 2022.

For information about the 2nd Street Festival, please visit:



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