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Blacksburg gets into royal wedding spirit

An entire local town is getting into the royal spirit.

Come Saturday, Blacksburg will host our area's largest royal wedding watch party.

As we found out, it’s deja vu for organizers.

A life-sized cutout of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle greet guests at the door as they walk into the Lyric Theater.

You might not expect the town of Blacksburg to be ground zero for the largest royal wedding celebration in southwest Virginia, but if William and Kate's wedding proved anything, it's that people are interested.

“I was completely flabbergasted by the response and delighted that the community came together just to have fun,” explained Susan Mattingly, Lyric Theater executive director.

Seven years ago, 10 News was there as people lined up outside the theater before 5 a.m., dressed as if they were walking into Westminster Abbey to watch from the front row.

Laureen Blakemore, director of downtown Blacksburg Inc., says the wedding watch party actually started as a tease. 

“In 2011, it started as a joke. We said we couldn't go over to England so let's have a party here and celebrate the royal wedding. It was a huge success,” Blakemore said.

The joke was on them.

More than 350 people bought tickets and packed the theater to watch William and Kate’s nuptials live.

They're hoping as Harry and Meghan take center stage the seats will be filled yet again.    

“When we heard about Harry and Meghan's wedding, we decided we definitely had to do the same thing again. In effect, Susan already had people from the last wedding say, 'Are you doing it, are you doing it? When are the tickets going on sale?” Blakemore said.  

“People are delighted to have an opportunity to come together, to celebrate, to have fun. It's a very different experience then watching it from home in your pajamas,” Mattingly said.

At the theater, there will be no pajamas - just pomp and circumstance.

You can follow the fun on social media at #blacksburgroyal.


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