VINTON, Va. – One of Southwest Virginia's most historic festivals is here again.
The 64th annual Vinton Dogwood Festival got started on Thursday night with carnival rides and karaoke behind the old William Byrd High School on Gus Nicks Boulevard.
Festival director Connie Houff said the event celebrates Vinton's past as the unofficial "Dogwood Capital of Virginia."
Houff said the long-running festival is a common bond for Vinton residents, no matter how much the town has changed since the first Dogwood Festival.
"It's very important," Houff said. "So many people in Vinton have been born and raised here, so they want to see it continue. Their children want to see it continue. I think it's just important for the whole community to have it grow."
The festival continues in and around downtown Vinton through the weekend.