DEPARTMENTSQUICK HITSNASCAR legend bikes 102-mile Assault on Mount Mitchell • Virginia teen sets record record with 7,000 pull-ups • Canadian breaks beer two-mile record, then pukesFLASHPOINTPublic lands for sale: Lawmakers propose selling off national forests and other federal lands to state and private interests.THE DIRTBirthplace of Rivers National Monument gains momentum in West Virginia • A creek contested—kayakers fight for the right to paddle Virginia’s Johns Creek.THE GOODSThe Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers dish their road trip essentials.TRAIL MIXFormer Black Crowes front man flies with a new crew.FEATURESSUMMER STARTS HERERoll down the windows, turn up the tunes, and hit the road. We have scoured the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic for the most affordable adventures for $100 or less, so you can travel more and spend less on your next road trip. Have a little more dough to play with? Check out our pricier suggestions, too.FARM TO FORK GUIDEThese days, every restaurant seems to be touting “farm-fresh,” “organic,” “non-GMO,” and “responsibly grown,” “locally” sourced ingredients. Which regional restaurants walk the talk? Here are our 25 favorites.FIRST THERE WERE PLANTSScientist Stephen Carmody uses Ancient Weeds to Launch Modern Food ProjectOUR OLYMPIANSMeet five regional athletes who have qualified for the 2016 Olympics and are eyeing gold in Rio next month.
This Independence Day, why not mix it up a little and travel to a breathtaking mountain backdrop for an amazing firework display? To get you started, here are some possibilities throughout the Blue Ridge that are sure to impress this 4th of July.Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia is a spot favored for its scenic location along with its 500 miles of shoreline and it’s a wonderful spot to be for the annual fireworks show with all donation proceeds going to a local volunteer fire company. While many choose to view the show from Parkway Marina on land, the lake fills from shore to shore with the green, red, and white navigation lights from thousands of boats all there for the spectacular fireworks. If you are up for the adventure, be sure to take your boat toward the marina at the gap of Smith Mountain plenty early to get a good spot and because much of the lake’s main channel becomes a no wake zone considering the heavy traffic and dark conditions to be driving back in. The firework show will be held on Sunday, July 2nd complete with a live concert, kids zone, and carousel rides.Chattanooga, Tennessee‘s “Pops on the River” firework show is ideal for an evening on the grass with a few lawn chairs and a cooler. Taking place in Coolidge Park of downtown Chattanooga, this free Independence Day event comes with an outdoor concert and fireworks beginning around 9:45 p.m. right on the Tennessee River. With popular tourist destinations of Lookout Mountain and downtown must sees like the Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga would make for a beautiful mountain vacation weekend this Fourth of July weekend.Throwing a state park into the mix along with a 21st century twist on tradition is the “Fantastic Fourth Celebration” at Stone Mountain just northeast of Atlanta, Georgia. The celebration includes a laser show, music, fire effects, and the grand finale of a jaw-dropping fireworks display. The event lasts from July 1-4 with a parking fee of $15/day and attractions are open from 10:30 a.m.- 8 p.m. everyday. Each night, the same laser and fireworks show will happen starting at 9:30 p.m. If you’ve never experienced July 4th at Stone Mountain, this year is sure to be one of the best yet as it is the 50th anniversary of the celebration in Stone Mountain State Park.Finishing off this list of highlight fireworks show throughout the Blue Ridge is a July 4th experience that adds an element of outdoor recreation. For those wanting an adventurous holiday, you can opt to hike your way to the fireworks on a moderate 1.5 mile trail to the peak of Sunset Mountain starting at 6 p.m. and departing from the Swannanoa Valley Museum. From there, guests will enjoy a traditional watermelon cutting, the sun setting, and then the fireworks that illuminate the sky over the town of Black Mountain, North Carolina. For a cost of $50 for nonmembers and $35 for members of the museum, the hike will be led by individuals who will share the history and vintage photographs of the valley. Hikers are encouraged to bring a picnic, water, folding chairs, cameras, and flashlights. If this seems like a unique experience you’d like to try be sure to sign up and pay for your trip fee online.The Blue Ridge Mountains are home to an endless amount of spectacular Fourth of July events, views, and activities to make this year’s celebration one to remember.
continue reading » A can of spray paint turned a UW Credit Union billboard promoting togetherness during a public health crisis into a conversation starter about racism and social justice.In March, UW Credit Union in Madison, Wis., deployed a billboard with the message, “Even when we’re apart, we stand together,” to support the community during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The billboard was due to be replaced last week, but when crews went to remove it, they found a graffiti artist had spray painted “George Floyd” over the bottom third of the billboard.“I didn’t immediately see the vandalism or graffiti. I was just struck by how the graffiti artists chose the message and added George Floyd to it,” says Anne Norman, chief marketing officer at the $3.3 billion asset credit union. “And then it transcended the COVID-19 pandemic to the current conversation about racism and social justice.”Protests and conversations about racism and social justice have flooded the country in the wake of the murder of George Floyd on May 25. Norman learned about the billboard in an email from the outdoor advertising company. A UW Credit Union billboard promoting togetherness during the coronavirus has turned into a conversation starter about racism and social justice. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr