Pulaski, Virginia - A community of opportunity in Virginia's New River Valley
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How "cool" is this one?? Carson and Allison playing at the Fire House Open House today. Thanks PFD!! ... See MoreSee Less

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Thanks "Around Pulaski Virginia" for this reminder!
"Don't forget that today (Saturday, July 23rd), the Pulaski Fire Department is holding their open house from 11am to 3:30pm. There will be trucks on display as well as tours of the fire station. Hot dogs will be available at no cost, but donations are greatly appreciated! Come on out and support your local fire department!"

What a great event for everyone.
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The Pulaski Jazz and Ribfeast is Friday, July 29th.

Thanks to The Southwest Times and the Fine Arts Center for their hard work making this event a great success. Note the following from Lynn Adams, SWT Editor:

By Lynn Adams

editor@southwesttimes.com

The wait is almost over for what was the biggest festival in downtown Pulaski a year ago, when 5,000 people jammed Jackson Park for the first-ever Pulaski Jazz & Ribfeast.

The second annual Pulaski Jazz & Ribfeast is July 29, and is regarded as midsummer’s best time in Southwest Virginia thanks to a daylong event organizers say is the premier attraction for the New River Valley.

The Pulaski Jazz & Ribfeast is a festival for the senses, with popular regional bands cranking out some of the best music anywhere, and rib burners smoking up the historic downtown district with the aroma of savory and tangy pigcicles.

From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., it’ll be hot ribs and cool jazz in central Pulaski.

Created as an event to benefit the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley, the Pulaski Jazz & Ribfeast is co-sponsored by The Southwest Times.

Organizers, which include those who launched a similar jazz and rib festival in a town the size of Pulaski and watched it grow to a two-day event that now attracts more than 10,000 attendees, have left nothing to chance in ensuring the success of the Pulaski Jazz & Ribfeast.

“We know the secret to success for this kind of event is great music and great ribs, and that’s what we’ve got lined up for this best-ever blowout,” says co-organizer Brenda Adams, publisher for The Southwest Times and a founding committee member for the London Rib & Jazz Fest in Ohio. “We expect the Pulaski Jazz & Ribfeast to again knock the socks off those who come out for a great time, and that this will continue to be the premier event for the region by which all other festivals are measured.”

Four Virginia bands with reputations for providing the best entertainment to be found are lined up for this summertime staple for the New River Valley.

The Billy Crawford Band from Bristol, Va., who was the event’s first-ever performer a year ago and who used to travel the world with blues-rocker Deborah Coleman, has his own band with some of the finest blues men in Virginia and Tennessee. The fire burns white-hot from Crawford’s guitar, and his band is underpinned with plenty of energy and mastery of dynamics.

To be sure, Billy Crawford is one to get the audience aroused to a fever pitch, and Roanoke’s Hoppie Vaughan and the Ministers of Soul – also a returning band from a year ago – know how to keep the intensity stoked with classic soul, rhythm and blues, and funk. The revered, give-their-all quartet is a weekly fixture at Blue 5 in downtown Roanoke, where the band is among the regional and national acts that make Blue 5 one of the most popular venues in Southwest Virginia.

Five-time Jazz Artist of the Year recipient Jane L. Powell has demonstrated her soulful style and five-plus-octave range to audiences throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The Roanoke product has entertained Queen Elizabeth II, been a featured performer for Oprah Winfrey’s Mediterranean charter cruise and has opened for such acts as Lou Rawls, Ray Charles, Melba Moore, B.J. Thomas, Wayne Henderson and Joan Jett. Powell quickly captivates her audience with her musical flexibility, open and playful personality, and often-spicy and spontaneous sense of humor.

Also debuting at the Pulaski event is international recording artist J. Plunky Branch from Richmond, hailed as “one of the greatest living saxophonists.” A one-time studio musician for television’s top-rated sitcom, “The Cosby Show,” Branch has toured continually for more than 15 years with support from the Virginia Commission of the Arts with performances in Europe, Africa, South America and Cuba playing rousing funk, R&B, jazz, African, reggae, gospel and rap. With his group, Plunky & Oneness, he has opened shows for Patti Labelle, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Earth Wind & Fire, LL Cool J, The Isley Brothers and others. Plunky & Oneness have also performed at the New Orleans World’s Fair and the Hampton Jazz Festival. A prodigious songwriter, Branch is a two-time recipient of NEA Jazz Fellowships and Richmond Magazine’s Musician of the Year.

But what’s great music without great food and cold drinks? That’s why some of the area’s top barbecue aficionados and acclaimed rib burners have signed on to not only entice your sense of smell, but seduce your taste buds with the kind of slow-cooked delicacy that can only be found in the South. Anticipating a hungry crowd for lunch, dinner and late-night nibbling as they listen to cool jazz, the rib burners are stocking up with tons – literally – of ribs so that no one leaves without having tasted the culinary attraction of the Pulaski Jazz & Ribfeast. A year ago, 2,000 pounds – that’s a ton – of ribs were devoured, and before the day was over, the rib burners had sold out. In addition, there’ll be plenty of cold beer – 70 gallons were consumed last year – at a designated beer garden to wash down those hot ribs and heighten the enjoyment of cool jazz.

“This is an exciting addition to the Pulaski entertainment scene, and one where the sky’s the limit,” says co-organizer Judy Ison, retiring executive director of the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley and committee chair for the ultra-successful Claytor Lake Festival in June. “We’ve been fortunate to attract some of the best bands of the region, and we believe it’s that kind of confidence in what we have to offer that will serve as a foundation for the successes of future years as the Pulaski Jazz & Ribfeast continues to grow in stature and popularity.”

In addition to great music and exceptional food, organizers are working on returning a classic car show to the festival grounds. More than 100 cars from the Golden Age of automobiles were on display last year, which added to the visual sensory enticements of the day. There’ll also be plenty of crafts and specialty vendors for those who want to shop and browse while enjoying the sounds and inhaling the aroma.

Jackson Park is located in the heart of Pulaski at Washington Avenue (Route 11) and First Street SW. Admission is free. You’ll also want to bring your lawn chairs and blankets to ensure a day of lounging in comfort. Visit Facebook/pulaskijazzandribfest or call 540-980-5220.

More about Editor
Written by: Editor on July 18, 2016
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Thanks to The Southwest Times for these winners of the "Launch Something Pulaski" competition.

Here's the paper's commentary:

LAUNCH SOMETHING PULASKI:

Frank Beamer, former head coach of the Virginia Tech Hokie football team, last night presented awards to the five winners of Launch Something Pulaski. The winners are Robin Upchurch who will be opening Miss Robin's Harmony Cafe; Lizard Licks Snowballs owners Greg and Sarah Brown; Medley Marketplace owner Jaleesa Watkins; Wayne Seagle, who will be opening his second Coffee Grinder Café in the county; and Sarah Flannagan, who is opening up Bounce Town Indoor Playground and Party Center.

Find out more about these new businesses, all scheduled to open before Sept. 30, in today's edition of The Southwest Times."
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