CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – As a sign war in Christiansburg continues to brew, it’s bringing smiles to many.
It all started with a message from a music shop on North Franklin Street, Bridge Kaldro: “Hey Super Shoes, want to start a sign war?”
Now it’s led to a full-on war between shoe stores, hair salons, restaurants, realtors and more.
Ed Bridge, the owner of Bridge Kaldro, said the fun message was sparked by an employee. But he had never heard of the idea of a sign war.
“I’m just so humbled because this is bigger than my little music store,” Bridge said.
Waiting for the next laugh, more than 19,000 people from around the world are keeping tabs on the battle through a Facebook group.
From Minnesota to the United Kingdom, Ed Bridge says he’s proud the small act is highlighting Christiansburg.
“If we can put this whole area a little bit more on the map for people coming to visit, why not?” he said.
The sign war is not only bringing laughs, it’s bringing in dollars.
Kabuki Japanese Steakhouse Owner Yoshi Koeda said since he joined the war business is booming.
“It’s amazing free advertisement for all of us,” Koeda said. “That’s probably the best part of everything.”
Though the initial war was between Bridge Kaldro and Super Shoes, Koeda was the third player to join and added messages that incorporated song lyrics.
One of Koeda’s signs read: “DQ got the ice, ice baby. But we got flamin’ volcanoes and sake like its gettin’ hot in here.”
Despite the restaurant being around for 23 years, Koeda said he’s never seen a sensation like this as it also helped introduce him to other local businesses.
“I don’t think any city across the U.S. has seen something like this,” Koeda said.
One apparel site aims to recognize a local charity.
“After seeing it explode, we needed to figure out how to give back locally,” said Claytor Wear Owner Jonathan Friend.
Friend said after businesses faced a tough hit from the pandemic, this moment is a sign of business owners joining forces.
“I think the signs are just really an homage we are really all in this together,” he said. “So, it’s been really uplifting to see all the businesses support each other.”