For the last 3 months our precious region has been under a magnifying glass directing sunlight as intensely as possible, driving our average temperatures for this Summer well over the normal mark. For those of us who love the temperate climate of Southwest Virginia, the harsh Winter followed by a harsh Summer has been bothersome. But there’s something on the horizon that is looking very promising…did you see the forecast for this week? Highs no higher than 85º and lows in the 60º area…can it be real?

Driving through Abingdon’s Main Street and Downtown areas with the windows down, a cool breeze, and a cup of coffee has rejuvenated me! I see visions of leaves turning orange, gray steel skies, breezy October, Abingdon’s Pumpkin contest, street dances, chili cookoffs, hot chocolate…so much to do! If you haven’t been keeping up, be sure to head over to Abingdon.com and Abingdonva.us for lists of concerts, downtown festivals, upcoming events like the annual Chili Cookoff and Sleepy Hollow festival, the upcoming United Way Day at the Coomes Center (Friday, August 27 | 10am-3pm), and more! Get ready to enjoy the Autumn. It’s finally headed our way.

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Well, folks, that about sums it up. We did not receive one of the 10 All-America City designations for 2010, but we cannot say that we lost. What we gained from this whole experience, if it can all be written, are very valuable lessons, new friends, ideas, and most importantly, motivation to do more for our community. We could not have gone on this trip without the time, efforts, and help of so many of you out there and for that we all thank you. We returned Saturday night from our long trek, with new ideas for projects in town and new found hope for America’s cities from what we saw. After seeing so many communities that have come together to eliminate their problems and create comfortable living conditions for so many, we can all say there is a bright future for America. And though we did not receive one of the 10 designations, we are an All-America City in spirit and in action. Rest assured, we will be a finalist again and we will continue working as hard as we can to show that Abingdon is a great place to live and raise a family or business. Thank you for all your support, then and now. We have learned so much from this experience that truly our town motto sums it up -

Respect for the past — We learned valuable lessons at this years AAC  competition, by watching and interacting with other communities, listening to presentations about what’s going on in the rest of the nation, problems, solutions, innovations, and we truly did take to heart what we saw.

Faith for the future — Abingdon has much to offer her citizens. We will be paving the way into a brighter future for Abingdon every day. By taking the lessons learned and encouragement we received from home, friends, and new faces from different states, Abingdon’s name is getting out there as a place everyone should visit.

Thank you for your continued support, we couldn’t do anything without it!

Here is the list of 2010 AAC Winners:

North Miami, Florida
Salisbury, Maryland
Rancho Cordova, California
Lynwood, California
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
El Paso, Texas
Gastonia, North Carolina
Ackworth, Georgia
Chandler, Arizona
Des Moines, Iowa

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The Town Hall wolf has been spotted again! Multiple times, even! Check out the latest here from our eyewitness sources.

Check out updates and new pictures from Kansas City HERE on our Flickr!

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We have this photo given by an eyewitness who said he saw the Town Hall wolf entering a trailer of some sort. We think the second photo may very well be the trailer in which he escaped…

This is the Town Hall wolf boarding his escape trailer

The trailer where he escaped..

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Wow!! Can you believe that the whole prep time has passed and tomorrow we leave for Kansas City?? It seems like just a few days ago we were named a finalist and now we’re loading the trailer and heading to Missouri! Our last rehearsal, home-side was today and the delegation has prepared as much as they possibly can for this. Our first leg of the trip is sending Floyd Bailey (Director of I.T.) and Garrett Jackson (Town Planner) ahead of us with our gear and luggage for the long haul out to Missouri. We will all be reunited on Tuesday in KC for the unload, registration, meet and greets, and more rehearsals.

The final presentations on Friday will stream live over the web and will be available to watch via link on our town website (http://www.abingdon.com) so be sure to get on and support Abingdon! More information will follow on here, Twitter (@abicouncil) and facebook (here…) for full information.

Also, on a more serious note, our Town Hall wolf has gone missing. You may have seen him in the “Who’s Afraid of Virginia’s Wolves” series for Advance Abingdon, he was last seen in Town Hall’s first floor area wearing a tuxedo, with lipstick smears on his face and stars in his eyes. He was rumored to be headed South on I-81 toward Knoxville. IF you have any information on his whereabouts, please notify us via this blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

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Food Country USA has graciously agreed to provide the Town of Abingdon with sponsor support for the Hospitality Room while the delegation is in Kansas City! The Hospitality Room will be in the hotel where the delegates stay and will feature bottled water, sports drinks, healthy snacks like Sun Chips® and granola bars, and a place for delegates to go unwind between All-America City events! Thanks very much, Food Country USA for your work as a great business in Abingdon, a 2010 All-America City Finalist!!

Food Country USA

Food Country USA

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Meetings, meetings, meetings, planning, more meetings, planning, scheduling, designing, packaging, preparing….being an All-America City is hard work! The Town of Abingdon delegation is preparing heavily to make a great showing for Abingdon, Washington County, and Virginia in June! Abingdon is the only locality nominated from the whole Commonwealth so our presentation is not only for our own recognition but for the greater publicity and value of our surrounding county, other municipalities, and the great state of Virginia.

Just to keep you abreast of what may be happening in Kansas City for this convention, here is a simple breakdown of what we’ll be doing when we go out West in June.

  • Each locality is nominated based on certain things they have done to make their locality significant; our nomination is based on our Historical Cultural significance, our work to fight childhood obesity in our schools, and our technological advancements in small town, Virginia
  • Each locality has a booth that they will decorate, line with pictures, videos, music, and other things that represent their area, handouts, gifts, and other literature and information to pass out to visitors and other localities
  • Each locality will attend a Civic Excellence Forum in which they will meet and greet localities all over the country that have been nominated (25 others) and learn why each one was nominated
  • Each locality has a chance of being one of 10 final winners which will be named All-America City 2010

Our delegation has prepared several items to package together and hand out from our booth. Our booth will feature 3 banners that showcase the 3 areas for which we were nominated. We are all excited about our presentation and our nomination. This is a great honor for any locality, but to be the only locality nominated in Virginia this year is very exciting. Virginia is no slouch in the All-America City Award history, having localities nominated for the majority of the last 15 years, so Abingdon is treating this nomination as a very high and important priority.

This award will benefit staff, administrators, and citizens alike! Thank you for your support and help in making Abingdon a great town and helping others around the nation to realize it, too!

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Planning meeting May 6, 2010

The AAC Award Committee is hard at work

After some meetings and preparation we have made quite a bit of progress in getting the trip together! The delegation has been confirmed, including several Town staff and administration members, representatives from Barter Theatre, Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, Abingdon Town Council, Overmountain Victory Trail Enactors, and several children who are helping fight childhood obesity in our local schools! Work is being done at present to decide the specifics of our booth at the convention, including our giveaways, advertisements, and other marketing opportunities.

Lots and lots of planning is taking place, some pictures below are just a glimpse of who is involved with featuring Abingdon as an All-America City!

Some pictures to display of our exercising kids

Kids fighting childhood obesity

I.T. Director Floyd Bailey and Fitness Coordinator Jennifer Johnson

Floyd and Jennifer choose pictures for display

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In 1999, Abingdon, Virginia combined efforts with Bristol, VA/TN, Johnson City, TN, and Kingsport, TN to compete as a combined Tri-Cities area in the All-America City competition. The effort worked and our Tri-Cities region of NE Tennessee and SW Virginia was awarded the title of one of ten All-America Cities. This year, Abingdon, Virginia has been nominated as a finalist, one of 26, as a stand-alone nominee! The Town of Abingdon staff is working hard to make the case for Abingdon to be an All-America City for 2010!

Several meetings have taken place to determine the plan of attack, including which programs to feature, which pictures and videos to bring, and who to send to Kansas City in June 2010 for the juried competition. The planning and organizing staff, including Town Manager Greg Kelly, Town Clerk Cecile Rosenbaum, Director of Economic Development Jim Cowart, Director of Tourism Myra Cook, Director of I.T. Floyd Bailey, and many others, have put together several items to submit to the AAC nominating board. Abingdon’s featured events are:

  1. Our efforts to combat Childhood Obesity through programs at the Coomes Recreation Center, featuring pictures, videos, and information from Jennifer Johnson, coordinator of Fitness and Wellness programs for the Town
  2. Our efforts to provide cutting-edge technological opportunities to all our citizens, featuring EVA, the Electronic Village of Abingdon with pictures, maps, and information from Floyd Bailey, the Town’s Director of I.T. Services
  3. Our efforts to market and preserve the Historical Value of our town with pictures, videos, and information of all our historical efforts and events, featuring historical reenactor Mike Dahl

The All-America City 2010 Finalist Committee (catchy, huh?) has selected a delegation of Town employees, Town administrators, and Town citizens that will be attending the Finalist presentation in Kansas City from June 15-19 2010. The delegation has been selected based on their contribution to the Town’s selected efforts for the competition, experience and responsibilities in marketing Abingdon as a tourism destination, and robust knowledge and love for the Town itself. Abingdon’s delegation could not be more appropriate for this effort and promises to make a strong showing for this great honor.

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About this blog…

This blog was created to inform citizens and visitors of the happenings in the Town of Abingdon. We will work hard to keep you up to date on all the news that you need to know. Thank you for your continued support and interest in Abingdon, Virginia!

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