Regional Visitor Center • 408 Whitetop Road • Chilhowie, VA 24319 • I-81, Exit 35

(276) 646-3306 • Toll Free 877-255-9928 •

Southwest Virginia Motorcycle Trails 2014!

  • Weekly Jams and Festivals for 2014

    Weekly Jams for Smyth, Wythe, Grayson, Washington and Scott Counties, plus a complete 2014 schedule of area festivals!

    More Information…

  • Civil War 150 Updates

    Local sesquicentennial partners:


    Below are a few reminders and new items:


    1.  Signature Conferences: Registration for the 2014 Signature Conference, "The American Civil War in a Global Context" remains open.  Please help spread the word within your community. Not only is this going to be an outstanding program featuring historians of international acclaim, but there will also a lunchtime "Ask the Commission" Q&A with members of the Commission and staff, and many special programs are being planned by the Fairfax sesquicentennial committees.  Last, we are planning something very special at next year's conference for those who've attended all the programs, so please spread the word and encourage everyone to attend.


    Conference newsletter


    News release


    Need more Save the Date cards? Let me know how many and we'll send them right out.


    2.  Local Civil War 150 Roundtable meetings: Civil War 150 Commission staff are planning to hit the road again this summer to share the latest updates about special programs in 2015, grants, and information on scheduling CW150 programs: the HistoryMobile, "An American Turning Point" panel exhibition, and Legacy Project. Roundtable meetings will be held in late July/early August - we're planning the schedule soon, so please let me know if you'd like to host one.


    3.  Sesquicentennial Recognition Awards: You'll be hearing more details very soon about a new Sesquicentennial Recognition Award program that the Commission is creating to recognize the leadership of local partners and the success of sesquicentennial programs throughout the state.  More details to follow soon (especially at the Roundtable meetings where we'll discuss the awards program in depth), but for now, be sure to keep details, press clippings, and other documentation about sesquicentennial programs in your locality.

  • Sugar Grove Farmer's Market

  • Blue Ridge Highlands Fishing Trail

  • Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area Detail

  • NEW! Birding Loop Map!

    If you enjoy birdwatching, you'll want to take a closer look at the new Smyth County Birding Loop Map. Click here for a larger map.

  • Marion Raising Funds for Totem Pole Project

    MARION (VA) A beautiful bird with a 10-foot wingspan outstretched, a beaver, a fox, a bear holding a green fish…..  coming soon to the site of the Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts!


    Marion Downtown in conjunction with the Appalachian Spirit Gallery are now working to bring a hand carved totem pole to historic downtown Marion.  Anne Hull, a Board member at the Appalachian Spirit Gallery in Marion states “ When installed the totem pole will tower more than 20 feet over downtown Marion."  Back in the early part of 2014, when Bristol artist Carl B. Jessee mentioned that he would like to carve another totem pole, Marion officials jumped at the chance to have that sculpture come to Marion.  In 2012, Carl completed a beautiful 30 foot hand carved totem pole which was given to the City of Bristol for installation at Sugar Hollow Park across from Target on Exit 7 in Bristol.  At the time Carl said “I thought I’d try something big!”


    Carl is now ready to try “something big” again and Marion will be the recipient of a very unique sculpture.  Working with the Appalachian Spirit Gallery and Marion Downtown, Carl now has created artwork to depict the finished totem pole and has created scale drawings to use in the carving of Marion’s pole.


    The log that will be used has been cut and transported to Carl Jessee’s Art and Framing Shop on Commonwealth Avenue in Bristol, Va.  Carl and several of his friends who will assist him are busy stripping off the bark, staining and sealing the wood so that it won’t dry out in the carving process.  Carl, a sign painter by trade, will use a chainsaw, chisel and hammer to carve wonderful critters found in our region.  Work is expected to take all summer and early fall with an anticipated installation and dedication to take place before 2014 ends.


    “We are so excited to know that Carl and his carving friends will put their passion and their hearts into a piece of art for our community," said Hull. “Carl has been extremely generous in giving us a price that we can afford and we're so excited to see the transformation of a tree turning into a totem pole take place," said Olivia McDonald, Executive Director of Marion Downtown.


     Marion Downtown and the Appalachian Spirit Gallery are now taking donations to pay for the installation of the totem pole.  “We hope that everyone in the community will read about the progress of the carving of the totem pole on Facebook and on the Town of Marion  and Appalachian Spirit Gallery’s websites, will donate at least a dollar or as much as they can," said Hull.  Everyone who donates will be recognized on a plaque for the pole and larger donations will receive mementos!

     Donations and checks can be made payable to the Appalachian Spirit Gallery and mailed to:


    Anne Hull, Treasurer

    Appalachian Spirit Gallery

     634 Berry Place

    Marion, Virginia 243654


    After the totem pole project is paid for, any excess dollars will be used to bring other outdoor art projects to Marion.


  • Truck Raffle for Lincoln Theatre

    Truck Raffle To Raise Funds for The Lincoln


    Marion, VA – The Lincoln Theatre is celebrating 10 years since its reopening in 2004, and with that the non-profit arts organization has set some serious fundraising goals. The building and equipment are in need of updates and repairs, and as a non-profit organization the theatre is continuously raising funds. This year, The Lincoln has decided to do something completely different for fundraising - a big prize raffle! Working in partnership with Marion Automotive Group and Mountain Empire Media, The Lincoln Theatre is conducting a raffle fundraiser that includes cash prizes, a beach vacation, and the Grand Prize: a 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 truck. “Our goal is to raise more than $50,000,” said Executive Director Kristin Untiedt-Barnett.  “This fundraiser is part of our ongoing capital campaign and is in addition to our annual Friends of The Lincoln campaign.”  Tickets for the raffle are priced at $100 each, but only 1000 tickets will be sold.  Untiedt-Barnett noted, “The limited number of tickets offers great odds for winning and all funds benefit projects and programs for our non-profit theatre.” To promote the fundraiser and encourage early ticket purchases, The Lincoln is conducting two Early Bird Drawings for $500 cash prizes. The first Early Bird Drawing will be held during the September 6 Song of the Mountains® concert and the second will be held during the October 18 fundraiser concert with Scott Helmer and Wise Old River. The Early Bird winners will be reentered for later drawings and remain eligible for the Grand Prize. The Grand Prize Drawing will be held on December 20 with a free Christmas movie event.


    Raffle tickets may be purchased from Lincoln Theatre Board members, Marion Automotive Group, the main branch of the Bank of Marion, and at The Lincoln Theatre. Tickets may also be purchased by calling the Box Office: 276-783-6092.  “We’ve had the truck parked under the marquee for several events,” said Untiedt-Barnett.  “It has drawn a lot of interest.”  Those interested in seeing the truck in person can also visit Marion Automotive Group at 1025 N. Main Street in Marion.


    Complete contest rules are available at The Lincoln Theatre Box Office located at 117 E. Main Street in Marion. All drawings will be held at the theatre and winners are not required to be present.


    The Lincoln Theatre is a non-profit arts organization. Funds raised will benefit The Lincoln Theatre and its programs, including Song of the Mountains®. Charitable Gaming Permit #N-15-19409 Temporary

  • Celebrate Christmas at The Lincoln!


Marion's Appalachian Spirit Gallery!