(WSLS 10) - The Subway Commonwealth Games kicks off Friday with the opening ceremony. Athletes from across the state are in the Roanoke Valley to compete in 55 different sports this weekend. The featured speaker this year is two time Olympian Dot Richardson. She won gold medals for softball in 1996 and 2000 and also serves as head coach for softball at Liberty University. The opening ceremony kicks off at 6 p.m. with the Parade of Athletes.
Friday night is Pack the Park for Charity night at the Salem Red Sox. The Roanoke Rescue Mission is selling discounted tickets with proceeds going to the Back 2 School Blast which provides free backpacks, school supplies and tennis shoes for kids throughout the Roanoke Valley. You can buy tickets for $6 from the Rescue Mission or at 2nd Helpings Gallery for tonight's 7:05 game.
Virginia Tech celebrates the opening of its new dairy science complex today. According to university leaders, the new space allows for more cutting edge research. It contains a large milking parlor as well as a 46,000 square barn which will house more than 200 milking cows. A ribbon cutting takes place at 11:45 a.m. at Kentland Farms.
Governor Terry McAuliffe will speak to the Business Council of Roanoke this morning at the Hotel Roanoke. As he arrives, he will be met by a group of protestors rallying against the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines which will run through the Commonwealth. The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League is organizing the rally, saying that surveyors have trespassed onto properties in Roanoke County. Governor McAuliffe says the projects will attract new business and create jobs.
The Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership at Virginia Tech conducts research flights Friday at a field hospital in Wise. The group will use drones to deliver medical supplies to a free medical clinic. One of the unmanned aircraft will be controled by NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton. The event coincides with an annual free clinic that takes place this weekend.
Volunteers from Attorney General Mark Herring's Office will travel to Wise County in southwest Virginia starting Friday for the Remote Area Medical Clinic. The clinic brings medical professionals together to provide free medical, dental and eye care to those who have a hard time getting access to these services. Staff from the state will have a display highlighting programs of the A-G's office including help avoiding scams, resources for victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and more.