BLACKSBURG, VA. – After a year off due to COVID-19, Blacksburg’s annual Steppin’ Out Festival returned to Main Street this year for its 40th anniversary.
It was a beautiful evening to be out in downtown Blacksburg Friday and an even more perfect night to feel right at home.
Grateful Gypsy Owner Ashley Davis is a vendor at the festival and said she’s been coming since she was a little girl.
“It is fabulous to be out and see everyone enjoying themselves here in downtown Blacksburg. I really missed not having the comradery with everyone,” Davis said.
After a year off due to the pandemic, the staples were back. The annual Draper Mile run got people started with plenty of drinks and food to refuel. Amelia Tuckwiller with Downtown Blacksburg Inc. said they expect 30,000 to 40,000 people through the two-day festival.
“We’ve got people that have traveled in too, but the locals are just happy to be back and be supporting the downtown businesses and just doing our annual traditions here at Steppin’ Out,” Tuckwiller said.
Music, which is a festival staple, filled the air above the packed streets. This is the festival’s 40th year and organizers said the community is what makes it iconic.
“So they’re excited, our merchants are excited and everyone seems to be buying and eating foods, and so, we’re all very, very happy to be here,” Tuckwiller said.
And for vendors like Davis, she’s thrilled to see the crowds because the festival is great for business.
“Allow a lot of people to see a lot of my products up close and in person is a wonderful thing, it actually drives online sales so it’s extremely important for everyone to be out,” Davis said.
This is the first year under the town of Blacksburg’s new gun ban on town property and at town permitted events. Organizers said there were no issues with anyone following those rules.