Vinton says they're not trying to compete with Salem or Roanoke, they're trying to make themselves family friendly in a variety of ways.
Downtown Vinton is getting new trees and a new splash of paint.
"The whole community has gotten excited about it because we've all be driving by that wall for a long time and it's just been bare block" said Annette Patterson, the Advancement Foundation president, part of the Charity Cottage Thrift Store that opened about a year and a half ago and organized a recent painting project. "The leadership in the town of Vinton, the town council have been really open to trying new things and that's really invigorated a lot of people to get involved."
"We've had a very good downtown. And what we've really focused on over the last 4 years is how do we make a good downtown a great downtown?" said Chris Lawrence, the Vinton town manager.
Lawrence says decades ago, downtown was the place to be in Vinton, it was the epicenter. Now you see for sale or for lease signs through town. Lawrence says there is some good news, there's more business now than there was 10 years ago. They are hoping to keep the boom going.
"One of the biggest themes is family. I think that's what Vinton is really focusing on. What is it that downtown can offer to families and sell to families? Because really the root of it comes down to business. We want our businesses to be successful" said Lawrence.
Keeping up with the times has also been a challenge for some businesses.
"Businesses change. Store fronts change, trends change. We want to get up to speed and get up to show people what Vinton has to offer" said Angie Chewning-Lewis, the Vinton Chamber of Commerce executive director.
"Everybody wins and that's the way it's really got to be" said Patterson.
The Dogwood Festival is just one of the many events in Vinton. You can learn more about it here.
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