Get Ready for Chalk Walk 2014!

The Annual Ashland Chalk Walk is Saturday, May 3, 2014, from 9am to 3pm at the Ashland Library Plaza Open to artists of all ages and skill levels!

A 6×6 square will be reserved for the first 20 people who register and submit $10 per block. A 3×3 square will by reserved for the first 40 people who register and submit $5 per block.There are only 60 squares available, so grab your squares early!  Register online here (use your Paypal account or make a one-time credit card payment).

Final Chalk Walk Event poster 8 5x11 2014
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Latest version of GET CENTERED – our Downtown Monthly Newsletter!

Click HERE to read the latest GET CENTERED newsletter which is a special edition in honor of Randolph-Macon Accepted Students (Apr 2014)   We feature news on the Town of Ashland, businesses, non-profits, Randolph-Macon College and our Arts & Culture district.   In this issue, R-MC Professor  Joe Mattys is our featured artist.   Businesses highlighted include  local restaurants within 1 mile to campus and Gallery Flux who is sponsoring a community mural on April 3rd & 5th.  Read about all there is to do in the Center of the Universe!

Click HERE for a print version listing of Upcoming Events for Apr 2014.

Click HERE to subscribe to GET CENTERED.  The newsletter is sent via email the first Tuesday of each month.  Visit us on Facebook!

Do you have an event to share or featured artist or business idea?  Send information to  We love pictures – please send in jpg format. We look forward to publishing your news!  Please remember to place fliers at our friendly Visitor’s Center and post on the Town of Ashland’s website.  


Feedback For Train Day

We would love to hear about your experience at Train Day 2013.  Click HERE to complete a short survey  - all feedback is greatly appreciated.  Your information will be kept private.  Always feel free to call the Train Day HOT LINE  804-412-7288 if you have a question or a suggestion.  Bill Gatewood, our Train Day Chairman is busy planning for Nov. 1, 2014. Visit our Ashland Train Day facebook page to keep up to date and feel free to share your photos!2012 Train Day Logo FINAL

Hanover Idols Competition 2014

History of Hanover Idols
Hanover Idols competition began in 2007 and has been produced ever since by Lorie Foley and Sue Watson.   John Gordon, then a member of the Hanover Board of Supervisors, suggested that Hanover should have such a competition because of our impressive local talent.  Candidates must live in Hanover County.  The first competition was in 2007 and the two winners were Emma Redd and Patrick Warren. Emma is now pursuing a career in music in Nashville.  Patrick continues to share his impressive talents in his church, the Ashland Musical Variety Show, children’s musical theatre productions and theater camp.  He also is coaching this year’s finalists.

In 2008, the age groups were divided into Junior Idols (age l0-16) and Hanover Idols (l6 and older).  The winners in 2008 were Kellie West (now Watson) and Hanover Junior Idol, Ryan Gary.  Kellie and Ryan were excellent winners and they expanded the way the Hanover Idols performed throughout the community—singing solos and duets –at the Strawberry Faire, Ashland Street Parties, the Fourth of July Parade, in the Ashland Holiday Parade, numerous civic group meetings, and at the Ashland Musical Variety Show.  These traditions have continued for future Idols.

Deciding to have the Hanover Idols shows during even years, not Ashland Musical Variety show years, the next show in 2010 produced two more outstanding winners. Playing his guitar and singing a Jason Mraz song, Abram Dean Lunsford won for Junior Hanover Idol in 2010.  Abram was then accepted into a program in Texas for talented performers to receive more training as they become professional performers.  He signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell and continues to perform and record with many local and national musicians.  Ammie Mines-Derricott won the 2010 Hanover Idols designation by wowing the judges with her strong and inspiring voice.   A chef at the Iron Horse Restaurant and the chief bakery chef at Randolph-Macon College, Ammie continues to sing in her church and throughout the Ashland/Hanover community.

At the 2014 Hanover Idols Competition on March 2, Lindsey Coggins (Hanover Idol 2012) and Faith Gitchell (Junior Idol 2012) will perform during the judges’ deliberations.  Now a music student at Virginia Tech, Lindsey impressed audiences in her many performances especially during her solo in the 2013 Ashland Musical Variety Show with her rendition of “These Boots were Made for Walking.”  Faith Gitchell mastered the challenging role of singing Michael Jackson’s “I Want you Back,” also in the Ashland show.  The new winners will be following two excellent singers who have willingly shared their considerable talents throughout the area.

2014 Hanover Idols Competition

The Finalists for the 2014 Hanover Idols’ Competition will perform on Sunday, March 2 at 3:30pm & 7:00pm  at the Hanover Arts & Activities Center at 500 South Center Street. All profits will benefit the Center. Six friendly judges faced difficult choices from 45 candidates who auditioned to be a part of the Finals.  The variety of music was impressive–from rap, to religious, to pop, to Broadway, to country, to original compositions.

The Junior Hanover Idols’ Finalists are as follows:  Kennedy O’Hanley, Emma Potts, Audrey Kate Taylor, Alexis Tillman, Kendall Wilkinson, Jean Woodrum, Caroline Heaton, Sarah Saponara, Dana Kelleen Slayton, Madeline Stanley, Brooke Walker, and Molly Strange-Boston.  They will perform at 3:30pm on March 2 at the Center.

The Hanover Idols’ Finalists are as follows:  David Callahan, Carrie Cauthorne, Sarah Hopkins, Max Cook, Sara Newcomb, Kaitlyn Tate, Joseph Sandler, Julie Ross, Lisa Williams, Garrett Reese, Chance Johns, and Melissa Hoban.  These Finalists will perform at 7:00pm on March 2 at the Center.

Tickets for each performance are a $7.00 donation.  Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Center at 500 South Center Street.  Call 798-2728.  Tickets will also be available at the door.  Space is limited, so please come early—30 minutes before the shows.

In addition to receiving applause, opportunities, and prizes, the winners will perform in the next Ashland Musical Variety Show, which will be held on March l9, 20, 21, 2015 at Randolph-Macon College.

Join Us for First Thursday in Downtown Ashland

Check out the website to see where to stroll for great music, art, design & more in the Center of the Universe!  Ashland Main Street applauds all businesses that stay open a little later on the first Thursday of the month.  Below are frequent participants:

Ashland Coffee and Tea- 100 North Railroad Avenue

Gallery Flux - 307B England Street -

Re.Funk.It - 120 Hanover Avenue -

Remember – if your business wishes to participate – contact Tammy Teefey-Conti who lets us know what is happening on First Thursday!   









4th of July in the Center of the Universe!!!

tracks.jpgOn behalf of the Ashland Main Street Association – Happy 4th of July to All – especially our veterans and those serving to protect our great country!  We hope you enjoy your holiday in the Center of the Universe – here’s a suggested itinerary:

1) If you have made a pie for the Center’s Apple Pie Contest – drop this off at The Center between 9-10:30am. (500 S. Center St.). COTU pies are always wonderful to see! 2) Walk on over to the Ashland Library and check out all the great books for sale. The Friends of the Library do GREAT THINGS that benefit our entire community!!! Sale goes from 10-2pm.  3) 11am the parade begins – get ready to smile and wave as the trains go by! The route starts at Henry Clay Elementary and ends at the Center. Brings some chairs or take a blanket to get your spot. It’s so much fun to see what our community has to offer – Lawn Chair Brigade is a HOOT!  4) 11:45… Have a pet – decorate them and enter them in the Patriotic Pet Contest. Meet ‘on corner of the lawn’ ….look for red white and blue canines and other friendly beasts…..YES…we have had hamsters in the contest.
5) NOON…Kick back on a blanket or bring a chair and enjoy listening to the Hanover Concert Band! It’s a tradition for all to enjoy. The pie and pet winners will be announced too.  6) Later…visit some of our fun shops…OR….go back by the Library – There are sure to be some more books you need for summer reading. In fact – set up a blanket somewhere  along the tracks and read, relax and enjoy the Center of the Universe. The Library plaza is a great spot and there is no better photo op than in front of the Visitor’s Center.  7) Fireworks later…you will need to travel for the big displays…but you never know what next year will bring! Sparklers are always fun!

We would love to hear how you spent your 4th of July in the Center of the Universe.  Send your pictures and email YOUR itinerary to  Be safe and enjoy your time in Downtown, Ashland!

Congratulations, Ashland! We did it!

main streetGovernor Bob McDonnell announced this morning, June 7, 2013 that Ashland has earned an official Virginia Main Street Designation!  Get ready for a host of economic and cultural benefits to come!   We are one of only 26 Virginia communities to receive a VMS designation, and Fredericksburg was the only other municipality to receive the award in this latest round of applicantions.
Ashland Main Street Executive Director Tom Wulf said, “We are absolutely thrilled to have earned this honor, and we certainly believe the Center of the Universe deserves it.  This was truly a team effort.  President Nancy Cozart and I extend our thanks to our hardworking Main Street Board, Town Manager Charles Hartgrove, Economic Development Coordinator Alexis Thompson, Mayor Faye Prichard and Town Council, and the many community leaders who wrote letters of support for our VMS Designation application.  We also want to thank our previous Main Street boards for building the foundation upon which we stand today.  Our designation was the result of 20 years worth of Main Street leadership in Ashland, and we are being rewarded today because of their past efforts.”
Virginia Main Street Program Coordinator Brad Belo said “The Ashland Main Street Association clearly had the organizational strength and community support that we require for awarding a Virginia Main Street Designation.  You have made great progress since the last (2011) application… congratulations!”  Brad Belo will be visiting Ashland next week to meet with Main Street and the Town to explain what resources are now available to us.
Here is the official press release from the governor’s office this morning:
Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of Governor Bob McDonnell
June 5, 2013
Office of the Governor
Contact: Paul Logan
Phone: (804) 786-4401
Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
Contact: Amanda Pearson
Phone: (804) 371-7006
Governor McDonnell Announces Designation of Two New Virginia Main Street Communities
~Preservation-based economic development tools will support entrepreneurship and job creation in Ashland and Fredericksburg~
RICHMOND—Governor Bob McDonnell announced today the designation of two new Virginia Main Street communities. Adding Ashland and Fredericksburg to the network of downtown revitalization efforts brings the total number of designated Virginia Main Street communities to 26.
“I am pleased to welcome these communities to the Virginia Main Street program,” said Governor McDonnell. “By supporting local economic revitalization strategies, leveraging private investment, and utilizing Main Street program resources these communities can spark entrepreneurship and job creation in their historic downtowns.”
Each community brings a unique set of historic assets and strategic focus to its revitalization work. Ashland is strengthening ties with its local college and building on the local quality of life of a historic railroad town. Downtown Fredericksburg’s remarkable historic architectural heritage and location provide significant opportunities for increased private investment and business development.
Virginia Main Street will provide technical assistance, training, and expert resources to assist the communities with aligning resources and achieving these goals. Virginia Main Street, a program of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, uses the National Main Street Four Point Approach® model to encourage private investment and job creation in Virginia’s downtowns. The program helps communities develop strategies that create economic growth and pride in their downtown areas.
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) accepts applications for new Main Street designations every three to five years. Communities seeking Main Street designations must have populations of 75,000 or less and be committed to a community-based approach that leverages volunteer investments.
For more information about the Virginia Main Street program, Contact information for each of the newly designated

Main-Street-Matters Contest – Deadline June 30th

ben moore longNEWS FLASH!  Wouldn’t you love to see Ashland, Virginia be one of the 20 cities selected for Benjamin Moore’s “Main Street Matters” initiatives?  The Center of the  Universe should certainly be a contender!  Please leave a comment on the Benjamin Moore website below and ask them to put Ashland, VA on their list of towns to consider for a makeover!  Deadline is June 30th.  Website:

Chalk Walk 2013 Thanks YOU!

Many thanks to all  participants & sponsors for the 4th Annual Chalk Walk which took place Saturday, May 4th from 9am to 3pm  in the Library Plaza.   Below is our Chalk Walk Sponsors poster designed by Beth Royal of Stone’s Throw Studios.  Note:  We had some last minute support!  Many thanks to Hank Lowry of Ashland Street Parties who also contributed to our High School artists AND  Ashland Simply Storage who was a Gold Level Sponsor.  All proceeds benefit our Arts & Culture District!  Chalk Walk 2013 sponsor poster proof r1 (3)

 New This Year…Sponsored Artists display their talent at Chalk Walk!  Check out these photos & more – click HERE to see the beautiful Chalk Walk Gallery.

Bethany Allen, Senior, Hanover High School

Bethany Allen, Senior, Hanover High School

Carson McNamara, Senior, Hanover High School

Carson McNamara, Senior, Hanover High School

Charlotte Torrence, Junior, Patrick Henry High School

Charlotte Torrence, Junior, Patrick Henry High School

Betsy Taylor, Ashland resident & Veteran Chalk Walk Artist!

Betsy Taylor, Ashland resident & Veteran Chalk Walk Artist!