Five Reasons to Speakeasy

Shrouded in the mystery of a secret location, Speakeasy is keeping guests guessing. What we CAN reveal is that this party-of-last-century will tantalize all five senses, with something new around every corner.


Flat Five Jazz

We mustn’t forget the horns. Between the burlesque, be sure to tempt your ears with the intoxicating sounds of Flat Five Jazz. But, don’t just sit there…their music is designed for you to get on up and cut a rug.


Virginia Distillery Company

If you think that whisky is just for tasting, think again. Your olfactory system is just as important in the process of enjoying a fine liquor produced just up the road in Nelson County. The expert staff from Virginia Distillery Company will be on-hand to guide you through your Whisky Experience. So, go ahead, take a sniff.


Tansy, The Elizabeth Taylor of Burlesque

Witness the one-and-only Tansy as she takes the Speakeasy stage for a tantalizing burlesque show filled with sophisticated sensuality and humor. A staple on the New York City burlesque stages, she is admired for her classic energy, storytelling, and joie de vivre. Described as “channeling the sublime glamour of another era,” her performance will have you lost between the centuries.


Purple Door Gourmet Kitchen & Catering

What’s a party without a few snacks? Michelle Ayers of Purple Door Gourmet Kitchen & Catering will be whipping up a selection of bitesize finger foods for your delight. These hors d’oeuvres are included in your ticket price, so be sure to try a few. Delish!


Pap’s Cigar Company

There’s something to be said about the sensation you get when you hold a fine cigar between your fingers. Even occasional partakers can feel like king connoisseurs when they enjoy a relaxing smoke in the Pap’s Cigar Company Outdoor Lounge. Be sure to pick up a stogie or two from the roaming cigar girls throughout the night.

Don’t miss out…get your tickets now at

Downtown Lynchburg's 7 Holiday To-Do's

Oh joy! The excitement of the holiday season is upon us, it’s the perfect time to slow down and enjoy some time with friends and family. With SO MANY festivities happening in Downtown Lynchburg this year, it’s safe to say that your holidays are going to extra bright.

To help you plan your merriment, we have put together the top 7 holiday to-do's in Downtown Lynchburg. From shopping to holiday lights, Downtown Lynchburg has all the happenings to make this holiday season the best one yet.


1. Did someone say Mistletoe?

Who loves the Lynchburg Community Market? We know we do. Every year they go above and beyond to make their Mistletoe Market shine. The whole family will enjoy shopping for fresh winter produce, eating some tasty treats, and maybe even see the Beet! You can come out EVERY SATURDAY between now and Christmas with extended hours from 7am - 3pm. Before we forget…Don’t miss the horse-drawn carriage rides on December 8th. Plus, Santa will be visiting the Market for FREE photos on December 1st and December 8th. Even if you don’t take home a freshly made wreath, you are sure to leave with lovely memories.


2. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians?

Yes, you read it right, Lynchburg's Underground Movie Club is featuring Santa Claus Conquers the Martians at the Riverviews Artspace. This 1964 sci-fi cult classic has been described as “White Christmas on a red planet” and “not as bad as some people insist.” So, if you’re a bad-movie buff or just like free entertainment, be sure to put this on your list (and check it twice). The showing is on December 19th at 7:00 pm. Guess it’s time to start the popcorn!


3. Need a Family Friendly Holiday Event? Look no more!

The kids are going to LOVE all of the holiday crafts, pictures with Santa, and stacks of pancakes at Amazement Square’s Children's Holiday Festival. While this event may be geared toward children, there will be activities for all - you never know, your inner child might come to life. Get your tickets for one of two seatings: $25 for children, $10 for adults. Why would you wait to make these special memories with your kiddos?

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4. The Bluffwalk will SHINE all season long!

Holiday lights? That's all you have to say to get us excited. We love this time of year at the Downtown Lynchburg Association. Because of that, we want to do our part to make our city a little bit merrier. This year the Bluffwalk will be decked out in holiday lights ALL SEASON LONG. So, gather your friends, pets, and loved ones for a stroll this December. The shining lights make for a perfect place to have a winter picnic, play a game, or just sip some coffee.


5. Our historic downtown churches will be open for viewing!

The Hill City is filled with beautiful historic churches, but you may have only seen their majesty from the outside. Interfaith Outreach Association has your chance to open the doors and see the inside of some of Downtown Lynchburg's prettiest churches during the 4th Annual Downtown Historic Church Open House. No, really! Mark your calendar for December 8th to tour nine churches within a five-block radius. And if you time it right, you can also catch a 20-minute concerts at each. Perhaps you should just play it safe and check out the concert schedule is available ahead of time.


6. Movies, movies, and more movies!

A great holiday movie can really put you in the spirit of the season. Why not watch it on the big screen in the newly restored Historic Academy of Music Theatre? For just $5 per person, you can treat yourself to an entire Holiday Movie Marathon on December 8th! This event will feature 9-holiday films, starting with Mickey's A Christmas Carol and ending with Bad Santa. The movie rating progressively escalate throughout the day, so plan accordingly. Grab your tickets day-of at the Academy Center of the Arts box office.


7. Holi-Gay Makers Fair

Need the perfect hand-crafted gift? This year, the LGBTQ+ community and local artists will be featuring their products for sale in a happy and festive spirit at the Holi-Gay Makers Fair. Admission is free and there will be food (BONUS)! So, stop by the Lynchburg Diversity Center on December the 2nd of Riverviews from 10 am - 3 pm. You will be sure to cross some names off of your list.

All of these holiday to-do’s are the perfect way to celebrate this holiday season! But, you can find even more to offer by checking out our calendar.

We can’t wait to see you downtown.

Happy Holidays from the Downtown Lynchburg Association!

5 Reasons to Buy a Bluffwalk Brick

Have you heard about our latest downtown project? It’s called Bluffwalk Bricks, and we are very excited about it. Make your mark on downtown with a personalized laser-engraved brick and a meaningful message for you or someone you love.

At a loss for words? Don’t worry. We came up with 5 reasons you’ll want to buy a brick today and add an extra special message.

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1. It’s the perfect gift!

This holiday season, one size fits ALL. Anyone who loves Lynchburg will appreciate a brick in their honor. Plus, for that someone who already has everything, this is something truly unique that you can share. It’s a gift that so many will love, enjoy, and treasure.


2. Because someone is very special to you.

Whether it was your grandma, your childhood friend, or your third grade teacher, we’ve all had someone make a big impact in our lives. Now is your chance to say “Thank You” by purchasing a brick in their honor, and we’ll have their name and your message engraved. This gift will stand the test of time and show everyone just how special your someone is.


3. Because you’re a proud pet parent.

The Bluffwalk just got a lot more animal-friendly! Purchase a brick for your fluffy companion, whether he’s still here or gone to that great big farm in the sky. Let their memory bring an extra touch of joy to downtown.


4. Because your purchase supports downtown improvement.

Proceeds from Bluffwalk Bricks will help DLA do more projects in downtown – which includes pocket parks, events, public art, and the Adopt-a-Block program, just to name a few. Projects like these are what DLA is all about, and you can find more of our projects and programs here.


5. Because you want to advertise your business.

Take advantage of our bricks get some of the most affordable (and memorable) advertisement your business can find! Buy a brick for your company and engrave your name along with your slogan, your services, or a fun message. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Find a reason (or make up your own) to buy a brick, and support your local community this holiday season! Click here to purchase your Bluffwalk Brick today.


Five Reasons Why You Should Shop Small Nov. 24

This year on November 24th, shop small with the businesses in Downtown Lynchburg. Our downtown businesses have worked hard to make Small Business Saturday special to all those who choose to take part in this fun and exciting day. By shopping small, you can make a BIG impact! And the American Independent Business Alliance says that about 48% of the money spent at local businesses gets redistributed back into the local economy, as opposed to only 14% from nationwide stores. 

Why should you shop small on Small Business Saturday, you ask?


1. Support your City

When you choose to shop small, you are supporting the city you call home. Each and every purchase you make helps our downtown businesses succeed. Who wouldn’t want to make an impact on the success of our Downtown Lynchburg entrepreneurs? These business owners will truly value your decision to shop small this Small Business Saturday.


2. Discounts, BOGO’s, and Giveaways

Our downtown businesses have planned discounts, BOGO deals, giveaways, and more. These businesses are always stocked with an assortment of different products. There will surely be something for all. So get downtown and take advantage of these awesome opportunities. Click here for a list of deals and to plan your shopping adventure!


3. Unique Gifts for All

When buying local, the gifts you find for your loved ones will be unique. Who doesn't love a unique gift? There are so many options in Downtown Lynchburg to find a gift that truly fits the personality of those you are shopping for. Follow our facebook event to see awesome gift ideas and chances to win prizes!

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4. So Many Places to Eat

Why not make a day out of Small Business Saturday and grab lunch…maybe dinner, too? There are so many amazing restaurants downtown. The hardest part will be picking which one you’d like to try. These downtown restaurants feature awesome menu's that will all leave you wanting more. Plus, you can’t try all of them in one day. Don’t know where to start? Click here to see your options.

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5. Tree Lighting Celebration

And the best part, the Craddock Terry Hotel is hosting a tree lighting celebration to wrap up this year's Small Business Saturday and kick off the holiday season. To top it off, if you spend $25 or more in one of our participating downtown businesses, you will receive a keepsake Downtown Lynchburg Association ornament at the tree lighting celebration. Who doesn’t love free gifts? Click here to learn more and RSVP on Facebook.


Get downtown this small business Saturday and create memories that will last a lifetime. All of these festivities could make for a great day spent will the people you cherish. Please consider shopping small this year and supporting the city you call home.

Ten Downtown Event Spaces

Whether you want to celebrate your wedding, a graduation, or your dog’s birthday, you can find the perfect venue in Downtown Lynchburg. From theaters to art galleries to ballrooms (Oh my!), the city has an array of indoor and outdoor spaces that can add charm, whimsy and an urban feel to any event.


Tresca on 8th

Tresca on 8th is a Lynchburg favorite- and for good reason! It’s sophisticated. It’s urban. It’s got a stunning staircase- what more do you need? Comfortably fit up to 300 people on the first floor in this 5,500 sq ft space, or host a more intimate affair on the upper level. Great for business meetings or cocktails hour. Tresca also offers an event staff, coordinator, full set-up and full clean-up for each event. Go give them a call!

The Virginian

You haven’t heard about The Virginian? You must be new in town. Lynchburg’s newest space features a ballroom which was recently restred to its orignal grandeur of tall columns, a classic staircase, and marble details. Plus it can seat over 200 guests with customizable layout plans. But if you’re looking for something more intimate, check out some of their smaller spaces. You can never go wrong with The Virginian!

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Craddock Terry Hotel and Event Center

The Craddock Terry Hotel is a Downtown icon built on whimsy, great service, and even better food (think Shoemakers and Waterstone). Whether you’re hosting a conference or a wedding, the Craddock Terry has a space for you- and don’t forget about the delicious onsite catering options! And for the bride who wants to keep traveling to a minimum, this venue includes space for your wedding rehearsal, ceremony and reception. Plus, your out of town guests can stay in the hotel for an affordable block rate. Win-win.

Genworth Education Center

Genworth Education Center

Amazement Square

Amazement Square isn’t just for kids. They have 4 unique spaces for rental, and no two are the same. Chose from an outdoor theater, a private room, the newly renovatededucation center, or after-hours museum rental (meaning you get the whole museum to yourself for a night). Amazement Square also offers an option to host fun teambuilding activities for your organization through their Buggy Business program. Bring out your inner child and head to the museum today!


Lower Bluffwalk

Anyone who has visited this beautiful public space knows that it is super unique and boasts a beautiful view of the river – so why not host your next event there? You can rent out 1 or both pergolas, or an entire section of the Lower Bluffwalk. Make your event memorable and unique by celebrating in the heart of the city!

The Joy & Lynch Christian Warehouse Theater

The Joy & Lynch Christian Warehouse Theater

Academy Center of the Arts

Lights, Camera, Academy! You may be familiar with the Academy Center of the arts for their performances, art classes, and more – but did you know they have rentable spaces, too? The 5,200 sq ft Joy & Lynch Christian Warehouse Theater can seat over 270 people. With this and 2 other rooms for use, including a beautiful art gallery, you’re bound to find the perfect venue for your themed event. You’ll also have access to a private kitchen for you or a caterer, tables, and chairs. Bonus – you can use the Academy’s event enhancements, like staging platforms, dressing rooms and a grand piano. Break a leg!


The Glass House

The Glass House is perfect for your dream wedding, reception, concert- whatever you’d like! The building gets its name from the floor to ceiling windows that replace (most of) its walls. Coupled with its 3,000 sq ft, green courtyard, on-site kitchen and stage, you can create a fun or formal urban space that aligns with your event. The Glass House also offers in-house catering, bartending, rentals and an Airbnb loft to suit all your needs.

Craddock Terry Gallery

Craddock Terry Gallery

Riverviews Artspace

Riverviews Artspace is calling- and your inner artist wants to answer! And good thing because these modern art spaces truly speak for themselves. It features 3 exciting spaces: a theater built for 40, a small gallery, and the Craddock Terry Gallery, which has housed nationally acclaimed artwork. But that’s not the only thing to be excited about. The room itself is sleek with stunning displays, brick walls, and beautiful arched windows. The venue also offers use of their kitchen, sound system, projector, and tables to create an experience tailored to your vision.  If you’re looking for a vibrant and unique venue for your event or wedding, Riverviews Artspace is the answer you’re looking for.


City View by the James and Terrace View by the James

Feel on top of the world- or at least on top of Downtown- at The Bank of The James. These 2 venues are the only ones in the city that offer a skyline view of Downtown- which is sure to give you a stellar event. Both venues- City View and Terrace View- can seat 200 guests, have in-house caterers and event planners, and offer rentals. There’s also an option that allows you to customize your menu to fit your event’s theme- how fun!

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The Holiday Inn

Need a big venue for your big event? Give the Holiday Inn a call. Its large ballroom can accommodate up to 500 guests - and it’s one of the largest venues in Central Virginia! Perfect for large conferences or weddings, and you can even use the hotel’s block rates to keep your out of town guests close by.

As you can see, Downtown’s ecclectic venues will fit any theme or festivity you can dream up. We hope your event is fabulous!


Want to know how to get involved in moving downtown forward? Invest in our projects!

Here are just a few of the things we are working on right now to help make downtown just a little bit more awesome. Click the button below to make a one-time or monthly donation to DLA, and help us do even more.

Click here to see more information on our Projects and Programs…


6 Ways to Enjoy Downtown This Fall

Downtown Lynchburg’s vibrant culture gets more exciting each fall! With so many options for food and fun, it can be a little overwhelming. So we put together a list of 6 must-do things in Lynchburg this fall. You won’t to miss out on these!


1. Treat Yo’ Self

Mark your calendars for Oct. 10, because Mrs. Joy’s Absolutely Fabulous Treats is debuting a new pumpkin cookie! How cute are they?!? Rumor has it, there may be some unicorn pumpkin cookies in the mix, too.

You can also get your pumpkin fix at Cafe Bliss with more pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars and pumpkin coffee.


2. Not Your Average (Cup of) Jo

Dublin 3 Coffeehouse knows we all love a good PSL, but have you tried their MSL (maple spice latte)? It’s everything you love about classic fall flavors, but with a sweet and nutty twist. And if you can’t decide which on you want, just get them both- ask for a Pumpkin Maple Latte. Trust us, you won’t regret it. Or try another one of their fall drinks, like the caramel apple cider or ginger and honey cappuccino.

But if you’re really set on finding that PSL, be sure to check out The White Hart Cafe. This Lynchburg staple never disappoints, and their lattes really live up to the hype!


3. Oktoberfest

Come celebrate one of Lynchburg's favorite traditions at Main St. Eatery’s Oktoberfest! From now until November 17 you can find everyone’s favorite German food and brews, including Bavarian beer cheese dip, schnitzel, and Spatenbräu (the official Oktoberfest Beer). Stop by after work or make a night out of it! However you do it, you don’t want to miss this seasonal highlight! Schedule your reservation here.


4. Lynchstock Music Festival

Grab some friends and head to Riverfront Park for the Lynchstock Music Festival! This year marks the 6th annual festival on Saturday, Oct. 20, and with tickets starting at just $15 why wouldn’t you want to be there? Hear from artists like Dr. Dogg, Vacation Manor, Beatnik Sound and Great Health. Get your tickets now.

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5. Hike ‘N Bike

Escape city-life for a few hours and trek one of Downtown Lynchburg’s nature trails. Take a stroll on the Riverwalk trail that runs along Jefferson Street and follow along as it crosses the James River to Percival’s Isle, with great spots for picnics and exploring. While you’re down there, be sure to take a picture with the iconic “LOVE” sign!

Boots NOT made for walking? Rent a bike from Bikes Unlimited and head west on the Blackwater Creek Trail! With connections to Point of Honor and Kemper Street Station, it’s a hub for runners, bikers, and walkers to explore the natural side of town. Plan your trail adventure today.


6. Harvest Festival

Celebrate the beginning of fall with with a visit to the Lynchburg Community Market’s Harvest Festival! It’s happening on Saturday, Oct. 27, and it’ll feature free kids activities from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m., including face and pumpkin painting, and a Locavore cook-off from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. For only $5 you can sample each dish and vote for a winner. All the regular restaurants and booths will be open, including Grains of Sense, Lorraine Bakery and Philippine Delight. Plan your Saturday visit.


Top Five Reasons You Don't Want to Miss Get Downtown This Year

September 7, 2018
Main Street, Lynchburg
6pm - 10pm

Not only is this the 10th anniversary of Get Downtown, it’s going to be the best year yet! The event has been extended by one hour so that you and all your people can see and do ALL THE THINGS.

Here are 5 reasons why this year's festival CAN NOT BE MISSED. 


1. It's foodie heaven.

Seriously, the food is going to be insane. From donuts and ice cream to tacos and pizza, we guarantee you will everything you could possibly want.


A list so fantastic it will make your mouth water:

Action Gyro

Bahama Sno-Shack

Benny Scarpetta’s

Brother Jake's Brick Oven Creations

Clarkboys Kettle Corn

Earl's Carolina BBQ

El Cabrito’s

Emerald Grille

Hibachi Guys

Homestead Creamery

Kegney Brothers

Koto Grill

Main Street Eatery

Mama Crockett’s Cider Donuts

Market At Main

Nomad Coffee Company

Sourdough Pizza Company

Taco Shark

The Frosty Penguin

Upper Crust Pizza

Watts Poppin' & Chillin'




2. Entertainment for everyone.

Get Downtown has always been chock-full of entertainment, but this year we are taking it to a new level. More street performers than ever before will dance, juggle, ride, jump, and hula hoop their way into dazzling you with their amazing performances.

There will be not one but 3 stages featuring over 10 bands, including DJ Enzo Gran, The Dundies, and Jake Z and the Locals. So you will have no problem finding your perfect groove.

To get the complete run down of everything you need to know, visit Get Downtown Lynchburg.



3. Beer Garden - Times Two!

For the first time in Get Downtown history there will be not just one beer garden, but TWO! One will be located at the Community Market and the second will be at the Academy Center of the Arts. Both will feature craft beer from Deschutes Brewery and the proceeds will support Downtown Lynchburg Association!

On Tap

  • Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA

  • Deschutes Pacific Wonderland

  • Deschutes Black Butte Porter

  • Deschutes American Wheat

  • Buskey Cider

*Miller Light, Coors Light, White Claw Hard Seltzer cans also available



4. Fun for the kids

Kids of every age will have so much to do and see downtown that they will be talking about it for days. Gus the Bus is BACK bringing loads of activities and games. Also, be ready to meet Elsa, Ariel, and more. Snagging a photo with their favorite movie character will make the night complete!



5. It's even easier to get to.

We have FREE public shuttles from four different locations. That's right. Hop on the GLTC shuttle and you won't even have to worry about parking! It's the best way to get to and from the event. Did we mention that it's free?


There are so many more reasons to Get Downtown this year. Check out the full event details at See you Friday!

The Restaurants of the Virginian

Opening in spring 2018, The Virginian Lynchburg will feature three unique dining experiences created and operated by Parry Restaurant Group, well-known for other downtown favorites: Shoemakers, Bootleggers, Waterstone, My Dog Duke’s Diner, and El Jefe.

The Virginian hotel, a centerpiece of downtown Lynchburg since 1913, is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. Featuring 8,000 sq. ft. of beautiful event space for meetings, conferences, and receptions, the hotel will also offer:

Willaim and Henry Steakhouse

Featuring USDA prime steaks, premium seafood, and truly remarkable service in a classic white tablecloth setting, this is more than just a special occasion restaurant.


Skyline Rooftop Bar

Guests will enjoy comforting food, exceptional service, and a cozy atmosphere. This contemporary rooftop bar offers a lively environment for enjoying fire-roasted artisanal flatbreads, hearty salads and sandwiches, and a variety of tapas plates.


Marigold Coffee & Wine Bar

With freshly brewed coffee, wine, high protein grab-and-go sandwiches, and sides, Marigold will offer nourishing treats, early or late to accompany the morning cup of coffee or an afternoon glass of wine.


Stay tuned to our Facebook Page for more info!

Fifth Street Utility Replacement and Streetscape


Starting this April of 2018, Fifth Street will be undergoing the final phase of the recent utility replacement and streetscape project.

We know, we know. More construction is not what anyone wants. We are with you! But at the end of these construction efforts, we are left with more beautiful streets and sidewalks, and stronger infrastructure that will serve our community for years to come. 

Over the past few years, you can see how previous streetscaping efforts have attracted new businesses to the area. You can now get a fantastic cup of coffee, have some BBQ, and enjoy locally-sourced seasonal cuisine – all on Fifth Street. 

The next phase of the Fifth Street revitalization project will take place between Jackson and Taylor Streets and along Park Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets. Not only is roadway and sidewalks getting a facelift, but public utilities are going to be improved so that they can keep up with the rapidly growing and developing area.

The Federal Street traffic circle and other utility and streetscape work between Federal Street and Main Street have been completed and create a welcoming environment for new businesses choosing to call Fifth Street home!


During this project, access to Fifth Street will be limited to all vehicular traffic, but don't let that stop you from making your way downtown! Truck traffic can detour downtown via 12th Street or the Lynchburg Expressway, all other traffic can access downtown through 8th street or 12th street!

Getting to your favorite Fifth Street finds won't be hard either! All side streets will be open for pedestrian traffic as well as cars. There is no need to worry as your morning cup of coffee from Fifth Street Grind, or weekend dinner plans at Grey's or Fifth and Federal Station won't be affected by the beautification and revitalization of Fifth Street. 

As we always say....progress is messy! But worth it in the end. Help support these fantastic Fifth Street businesses by visiting them during construction. We'll see you there!

Looking for more information? 

View the Virtual Public Meeting created by the City of Lynchburg Department of Water Resources.


Jes Gearing

Valentine's Day in Downtown Lynchburg


It's that time of year again, and whether this is your favorite or most hated holiday, there are plenty of ways for you to celebrate your way in Downtown Lynchburg, where food, drinks, gifts, and delights await! Valentine’s Day may be slightly commercialized, but you can still make it your own thanks to all that Downtown has to offer. 

So whether your February 14th is a day of romantic celebration, a chance to celebrate your favorite Galentines, an great opportunity to meet other singles, or simply a good night to drink alone and sulk, we salute you!


We can all appreciate that holidays bring more events and parties to the Downtown scene—here is the complete list for the upcoming week— there is a lot to love.


Enjoy the soulful harmonies of Drew and Ellie Holcomb, a married couple whose songs like “You and Me” will make for a romantic and memorable night out. Catch them at the Academy as the latest show in the Warehouse Concert Series.

And, for “those that love to create art, without the heart,” check out the Anti-Valentine’s Clay Party at the Academy where class instructor Kim Clarke will help you improve your pottery techniques for only $20. There will also be wine bottles available for $10 each to keep the celebration going! 

If you’re going to be boycotting the holiday, don’t do it alone! Head out for THE downtown Anti-Valentine’s party at The Water Dog on the 14th itself; described as a great opportunity to “slap Cupid” if you’re so inclined or to just enjoy plenty of quality ciders and bitters in the company of good friends.

Finally, step out in style for the annual masquerade party at The Glass House on the 15th for only $5 a person. Show up at 8 p.m. for a beginner dance lesson or come ready to twirl the night away from 9 to 11 p.m.


A reason to eat more chocolate? Yes please. Make sure to take advantage of all the Downtown treats—it’s the best way to honor the holiday, after all. It's almost patriotic. 

Take your confectionary skills to the next level with the help of the award-winning Mrs. Joy who is offering date night decorating classes every Friday in February for only $20. For only $5 you can drop in on the 13th for a shorter decorating session from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Mrs. Joy’s Absolutely Fabulous Treats on Commerce Street.


<Galentines Day Alert>

If you haven’t stopped in at Ploughcroft Tea Room, then consider this a tasty option for a Galentines event, or a memorable date for a daughter, granddaughter, or niece. Enjoy some scrumptious scones and piping hot tea or take your pick of traditional English fare. The cozy atmosphere will have you guessing whether you're in Lynchburg or the English Countryside. 

Stroll the Bluffwalk for some unparalleled views of the James River; just make sure you grab a holiday-inspired drink at The White Hart Cafe (did someone say Candy Heart Latte?) or a fresh coffee from Dublin 3 Coffeehouse to stay warm!

Of course, the premier option for indulgent treats is Altus Chocolate, the “bean to bar” artisan chocolatiers. Pre-order their famous covered strawberries, or split a European Sipping Chocolate and try a selection of hand-crafted truffles for a tasty dessert date night.



Want to give some "love" this holiday? 

Start right on Main Street with a stop at Enchanted where you can enjoy 25% off all jewelry until February 14; you’ll find plenty of one-of-a-kind options to choose from!

Then, cross over Main and pop in at the Lynchburg Community Market, a trove filled with love-related wares sure to please. Woodworking by James DiRocco is offering 10% off heart-shaped boxes while Stitchin with Pizzazz has hand-sewn valentine items such as coffee cup cozies, heat packs and more. Deniece’s Stained Glass Designs are offering 15% off any heart item, Willow Breezes is offering a $35 outfit special (a tunic/leggings combo), and Helga’s Yarn Designs is offering “buy two, get one free” on hats, neck warmers, and scarfs to keep more than just your heart warm this season! On top of that there will be 20% off all rugs. Really embrace the holiday by taking 15-20% off anything red or pink at Spearman Artisanry and Earthen Vessel Homewears. Grab a decadent cup of coffee before you exit from Grains of Sense Coffee Roastery, Tea Gallery & Café, which will give you 10% off a bag of their specialty beans.

Then, head over to the corner of 13th and Commerce to browse the gorgeous wares available at Interiors by Moyanne; enjoy 20% off all bath products, lotions, soaps, candles, diffusers, and floral arrangements from February 7 to 14.

Finally, hope over to the other side of Main Street to Accent Flags and Gifts pick up one of their many loved-themed gifts and home goods! Check out their website to find out how to use the detour to find them. 



Downtown Lynchburg has more local restaurants and eateries than ever, providing plenty of great options for a Valentine’s night on the town. Plus, here are some holiday specials to consider.

For the casual lover, call in to Benny Scarpettas and order a heart-shaped pizza, available this week by special request!

Or, enjoy a one-of-a-kind, romantic evening at RA Bistro where they’re offering a three course prix-fixe, surf-and-turf menu on the 13th and 14th; also included for $65 per couple will be champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries (reservations encouraged). RA will also have an artist on site, painting the evening scene, and a boutique florist offering flowers and arrangements for purchase. Or stop by on the 13th for the “Sweetheart Tapout” which will feature Valentine’s themed beers. 


Take advantage of the natural beauty and historic architecture downtown, all sure to inspire romance!


<For serious Valentiners>

Imagine a bottle of champagne and a hand-crafted truffle greeting you upon arrival; comfortable “his and her slippers” and rose petal turndown service! You can enjoy all of this at the luxurious Craddock Terry Hotel by reserving a “Sole Desire” hotel package during the month of February. They’re even including a $50 gift certificate for one of their restaurants and a complimentary continental breakfast for the next morning to be leisurely enjoyed in your relaxing accommodations.

Heather Zippel Joins the DLA Staff


We are so please to welcome a new member of the DLA team. 

Meet Heather Zippel, our new Development Coordinator. Heather's part-time role will focus primarily on fundraising, but she will also be involved in partner and business outreach efforts. Heather's past experience has provided her with a strong understanding of the challenges facing today’s brick-and-mortar businesses as she previously owned various retail storefronts in different parts of Lynchburg and ran her own interior design business. Heather has also volunteered with many area non-profits, and she is excited to bring her talents to an organization that is dedicated to growing the downtown district. 

When asked why Heather wanted to work with DLA, she noted the potential impact she could make here. “DLA is well poised to have a measurable impact on Downtown’s continued revitalization. With solid executive and board leadership and strong community support, the organization can show significant return on the community’s investment in us. Downtown has so much potential and so many citizens who are active and want to make sure that Lynchburg is well-equipped for the next 10 to 15 years.” 

So why hire someone to focus on fundraising? Downtown Lynchburg Association is a non-profit organization, which means that every single dollar that we spend on projects and programs must be raised through individual and business giving, grants, and program revenue. As we work to make an even larger impact on the continued success of downtown, we need the community behind us. That's where Heather comes in. 

We are so excited for the future for DLA and of the organization. Read more about our 2018 Projects and Programs here. 

Welcome Heather!

Downtown Utility & Streetscape Project Phase II


Even though 2018 is just a few days old, the City is already preparing for 2019 and Phase II of the Downtown Utility & Streetscape Project. Construction won’t start until Summer or Fall of 2019, but we want to let you know what to expect with this next phase of construction in downtown.

Today, we have invited Jes Gearing from the City of Lynchburg Department of Water Resources for a brief Q&A about the next phase of construction in downtown.

What Is the Downtown Utility & Streetscape Project?


In 2015, the City of Lynchburg began its extensive fifty block Downtown Utility and Streetscape Project.  Our water system is old—so old, in fact, that some of our active water pipes date back to 1829.  With the downtown area growing, we decided that it was important to update our water infrastructure to meet current and future demands.

While improving the underground infrastructure, we will also update the streetscaping above ground to enhance our vibrant downtown’s curb appeal.  After installing the new water pipes, we are replacing curbs, gutters, sidewalks, adding traffic calming devices, planting new trees and shrubs, installing additional benches and trash cans, and installing new lighting.

Phase I of this project was completed in Fall of 2017 and included Church Street and Main Street between Fifth and Eighth Street.

Where Will Phase II Be Located?

Phase II of this project will be on Commerce Street between Fifth Street and Ninth Street.  It will also include Seventh Street and Eighth Street between Commerce Street and Main Street.


Why Did the City Pick This Area for Phase II?

We considered several factors when deciding Phase II’s project area:

– First, there are a significant number of water main breaks in this area which have resulted in damage to public and private property, as well as in water service disruption.  The sooner we can replace the pipes with the greatest number of problems, the better.

– Next, moving in a linear fashion from Fifth Street towards Twelfth Street in order to improve water flow and pressure, using Phase II to connect to the completed Phase I pipes makes good sense.  In Fall 2017, we began to meet with businesses in the Phase II area to discuss their needs and concerns regarding the project.  With their understanding and cooperation, we are able to plan this project more than a year-and-a-half out.

– Finally, as with most things, the location and size of our next project area largely depended on budget.  With Phase II, we were limited to a five block area and this one was the most logical to complete next. 

What Will the Area Look Like When It’s Completed?

Here are some photos from Phase I of the project. As you can see, the new streetscape design includes wider sidewalks, more green spaces, beautiful street lamps and some bricked crosswalks. 


How Long Will This Project Take?

The project is estimated to last 12-14 months.  We will break ground after completion of both the Main Street Bridge Replacement Project ( and the Fifth Street Corridor Utility & Streetscape Project (, near the end of Summer 2019.

So What Is Happening Right Now?

This project is currently in the design phase.  Since we won’t start construction for another year and a half, we will use this time to continue working with downtown businesses in the Phase II area in order to inform them of the process, answer questions, and gather input on the streetscape design.

Have Questions?

We will update the project website ( as soon as more information is available.  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at any point at the Department of Water Resources at

Thanks to Jes for her updates and answers!

Job Opening: Program Director Position


Downtown Lynchburg Association (DLA) is a non-profit organization that strives to create a strong, vibrant, and welcome downtown with a unique and historic character. The programs and projects created by DLA help to further this mission, ensuring a bright and exciting future for Downtown Lynchburg. We are passionate about the work we do, and we are looking for someone equally passionate to join our team. 

The Program Director will work to plan and execute many of DLA's programs.  This position requires someone who is highly motivated and who can work independently, but also thrives in collaborative environment. We are looking for someone who loves Downtown Lynchburg, and wants to make an impact on their community.

This is a full-time position, reporting to the Executive Director. 

Principle duties of the position include:

  • Creation, execution, and oversight of downtown improvement projects, including Small Business Saturday, the new Downtown Gift Card Program, Downtown merchandise, and more.
  • Marketing and promotional efforts for DLA programs
  • Downtown business outreach
  • Oversight of DLA interns
  • Coordination with DLA event managers, and assistance with the planning and execution of those events
  • Office management

Experience and Education Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from a four‐year institution in related field
  • Proven ability to project manage
  • 3 – 5 years related experience in project management, marketing, public relations, fundraising, or community outreach

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Highly organized with effective time management skills
  • Extremely attentive to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills
  • Ability to think creatively and to problem solve
  • Proficient with MS Office Products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Ability to supervise and manage project teams and volunteers
  • Ability to work independently and to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Valid driver’s license, personal transportation
  • Strong awareness of Downtown Lynchburg businesses, attractions, events and activities

Preferred Skills and Abilities

  • Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite
  • Experience in email marketing platforms
  • Experience in website content management

How to apply: Send your resume, cover letter, and references to No phone calls please. 

Amazement Square: Making Learning Fun for All


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Caitlin Seaman loves to watch children come into Amazement Square for the first time.

“As soon they come in and go up the stairs, every step lights up,” Caitlin explains. “When they walk up the first step … the look of amazement on their face is really priceless.”


Caitlin works as Amazement Square’s Coordinator of Experiential Learning; as such, she helps to create programs and events for the region’s only children’s museum. She, along with the entire staff, is passionate about and committed to making the process of learning fun.

“One of the misconceptions about Amazement Square is that it's just a good place to bring your kids to play, but really there's an educational value to everything,” Caitlin said.

When Caitlin begins planning a new program, she hones in on a central objective: What should the child learn through the experience? She researches what’s already been done on a particular topic and then finds ways to make it “bigger and better” for the children visiting the museum. She follows what children are interested in and connects with those topics to spark their imaginations.

For example, Dino Days helps children to take their love of dinosaurs and dig into prehistoric times. They make dinosaur teeth and eggs and study what life was like way back then.

And everything Caitlin plans for the children, she first tries out herself.

“One of the key things in programming is to try it out yourself. If we're going to make a dino egg, we do it first. One of my favorite parts of my job is to see things through the eyes of a child.”

Amazement Square creates all of its exhibits, which is unusual for a museum. Usually, such detailed work is outsourced. Thus, developing an exhibition requires collaboration and creativity.

“When we're planning a new exhibition, we take a big team approach. Everyone sits down in a room and thinks through the process: what's the goal, what do we want them to learn?” Caitlin said.

That hard work has paid off, not only through the adoration of its visitors but also through national recognition. In May 2016, Amazement Square was awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries.

Amazement Square, located on 9th Street, opened in 2001. After eight years of planning, the J.W. Wood building had been transformed from an abandoned 29,000-square-foot warehouse into a hands-on children’s museum. Several of the current exhibits focus on different historic time periods, one even telling some of Lynchburg’s history in conjunction with the water cycle. The museum’s exhibits also tend to tier the information, so various layers and activities are easily adapted for kids of all ages and developmental stages.

And it’s no accident that this award-winning museum was built downtown.

“Our purpose for starting Amazement Square downtown was that we wanted to be part of the movement to bring life back to downtown,” Caitlin said.

Today, Downtown residents such as Caitlin, who also lives here with her husband, benefit from the many restaurants, shops and galleries which have flourished since Amazement Square first moved in.

“When my husband and I were attending Lynchburg College, we saw the city changing. Downtown became this really vibrant, lively place.”

Caitlin invites people of all ages to come visit Amazement Square. Not only can you experience what she and the Amazement Square team are making, but you can even join in one of their popUP Makeshops — a “mobile tinkering” experience. With the opening of the museum’s new education space, there will be even more room for making!


Altus: For the Love of Chocolate


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The first time Carl and Mary Matice made chocolate they spent 20 hours hand grinding the cacao beans. In search of a hobby they could enjoy together, the couple had been married for five years at the time, they even purchased a granite mortar and pestle—a large Mexican molcajete. Though they only had a pound of raw cacao beans, after they roasted and manually cracked them open, they still had to grind them—for days!

But while the process was arduous, it yielded a great product, one packed with delicate flavors and no bitterness. Carl and Mary were amazed—and hooked. They had discovered a whole world of chocolate far beyond Carl’s childhood love of Reese’s peanut butter cups.


Once friends and family started enjoying and requesting Carl and Mary’s creations, they decided to start selling their chocolate at the Lynchburg Community Market.

After just three months, the couple’s one-bedroom apartment was overrun with chocolate-making equipment. Machines covered all the counters and a second refrigerator even sat in the living room. “There was no room to walk in our apartment,” Carl said.

That’s when Carl and Mary realized they needed a commercially-licensed kitchen, and in 2012 they moved into a friend’s coffee shop.

Over time, they continued to perfect their craft. They learned that by using a commercial grade grinder, they could get a smoother chocolate with much less labor. So, now they grind their beans in a machine that runs at 120 rpm for 48 hours.

As their passion and skill for chocolate making grew, Carl and Mary also learned the powerful importance of bean quality. They made a commitment to only use fairly-sourced organic beans. Today, their chocolate only contains cacao, organic raw cane sugar, and in milk chocolate products, organic hormone-free nonfat milk powder from grass-fed dairy. They call this commitment the Altus Difference.

“I always make sure [our cocoa beans are] organic, fair trade, and has unique, delicious flavors,” Carl explained.

As demand for their chocolate grew, Carl and Mary began to look for space in Downtown Lynchburg to expand their business since they had been selling their chocolate at the Community Market and already had customers there. When a space opened at 908 Main Street in November of 2013, they took it. Soon the space became home to Altus Chocolate, complete with a lounge for customers to savor a hot chocolate, baked good, hand-crafted truffles, or other specialty items.

Depending on the season, Altus offers about 20 different flavors of chocolates and truffles. “I just really enjoy learning, trying new things and solving problems,” Carl says.“My wife does the flavors. I like the science of it. I like the chemistry of it and how different things work together.”

Carl and Mary originally came to Lynchburg as sort of a middle ground between Carl’s family in New York and Mary’s in Atlanta. They sought a place with a good economy where Mary could get a master’s degree in counseling. Lynchburg was perfect.

“We decided to come here and put down some roots,” Carl said.

Carl and Mary welcomed their first child this past summer. She’s still young, but Carl is already looking forward to having her taste chocolate for the first time.


“One of my favorite things will be when she's old enough to realize [that] she has a lifetime supply of free chocolate.”

A Jewel: The Heart of Downtown


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Robert Moses is a Premier Goldsmith and Master Jeweler, but he refers to himself simply as “the man in the window.”


That’s because if you visit Bowen Jewelry Company at 829 Main Street, you’ll see Robert through the glass, creating custom jewelry pieces destined to become treasured family heirlooms.

“I sit down with the customer and find out exactly what they want…Sometimes they have no idea what they want…others have done research and gone online,” Robert said. They may already have a stone that holds sentimental value, or they may want to choose one of Bowen’s brilliant-cut diamonds.


During his 29 years in the jewelry business, Robert has learned to transform that initial customer conversation into a preliminary sketch, and then, from there, to hand-carve a wax model to make a mold. He then casts the jewelry, filling the mold with molten gold or platinum, and, finally, sets the stones.

“I look at myself more as an artist than a jeweler,” he said.

The process, involving intense heat, can be dangerous at times, but Robert enjoys the art and science of his craft. He likes seeing the metal turn to liquid like mercury, so reflective you can see your face in it.

Robert began this work when he was asked to apprentice with a jeweler in Salem. Recounting his start, Robert laughs: he was doing a last-minute high school project long after midnight and created a working model of an airplane with toothpicks and rubber bands. That model airplane found a home on Robert’s machine shop teacher’s desk, so when his teacher was asked to recommend an apprentice, he glanced over at Robert’s creation and suggested they take him.

Robert worked for that jeweler as an apprentice and then for a jewelry manufacturer before coming to Lynchburg to attend college. While in Lynchburg, he connected with Bowen and has been there ever since.

“Bowen has good service, good quality, and fair prices ... I learned a lot of that from Mr. Bowen, a very classy man,” Robert said. "In a small town, you have to build trust, or you don’t stay in business." And Bowen has been in business since 1933.

For more than 80 years, Lynchburg-area weddings have often included a Bowen diamond on the bride’s finger. But the jeweler also offers a variety of new, estate, and custom-made pieces.

Bowen moved to its current Downtown location in 1946. View a timeline of its history and learn about its legacy of support for our community. And don’t forget to come by and see “the man in the window,” working to perfect his craft day after day!


Deck the Hills FAQ


With the very first Deck the Hills event just around the corner, we want to make sure to get all your questions answered. Here is what you need to know. 

What time is the event?

The event begins at 4pm and ends at 8pm. The voting for the best Christmas Tree will end at 7pm to allow us to talley the results. We will announce the winner at 7:45pm at the Craddock Terry Hotel, followed by a tree lighting ceremony. 

Where is the Bluffwalk?

For those who have yet to explore Lynchburg's newest pedestrian walkway, the Bluffwalk is located between Jefferson and Commerce Streets, and runs from the Craddock Terry Hotel all they way to 10th Street. 

How does the Christmas Tree competition work?

25 Downtown Businesses will be competing for your votes! Their trees will be displayed all along the Bluffwalk, and you can vote for your favorite or favorites by slipping cash or a voting ticket into the voting box beside the tree. $1 = 1 vote, and you can either vote directly with cash or purchase voting tickets from one of our volunteers. All proceeds from this competition will go to support Downtown Lynchburg Association. 

Does the event cost money?

No, it is absolutely free. However, if you plan to purchase food and drink, or vote on your favorite Christmas tree, make sure to bring your wallet. Most vendors take credit card but you should bring cash just in case. 

Will there be food?

Yes! There will be specialty food and beverage vendors on site, selling coffee, hot chocolate, kettle corn, cider donuts, apple cider, and more. Plus, there are so many restaurants on and around the Bluffwalk to grab dinner. 

Will there be music?

Yes! Live music will be played throughout the evening. 

Where should we park?

There are many public parking options available to you. Along with free and unlimited street parking throughout downtown, you can park in one of the many public lots and parking decks listed on our parking map

Can I bring my dog?

Unfortunately, no. Although we love, love, love dogs, the City prohibits dogs at large public events to ensure public safety. 

Start Your Holiday Season this Weekend in Downtown Lynchburg


With December’s arrival, the Christmas season is officially underway—and Downtown Lynchburg is offering plenty of celebration to mark the occasion!

For the truly ambitious, you can even make a whole day out of it if you want and then come back next weekend for more! Start with a morning visit to Santa at the market (make sure to enjoy some fresh pastries on your way out!), then do some Christmas shopping for those last few items on your list, and next make your way to the Bluffwalk by late afternoon where you’ll find decorated trees and live music. For the evening, enjoy a nice dinner out, and then finish up your day with a holiday performance at the Academy.

With so much to see and experience Downtown, you and your family are guaranteed to be feeling the holiday spirit.


Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Mistletoe Market

Not many things say Christmas spirit like a visit with Santa, and where better to see him than at the Mistletoe Market this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visits are complimentary and photos are available for download within the week on the Lynchburg Community Market blog page. While you’re there, pick up some local, homemade goods or treats, and try a horse drawn carriage ride (only $2 per person) before you leave. Find more information about special events this week and continued each December weekend here.


See the Christmas Trees All Along the Bluffwalk

 You won’t want to miss the Christmas splendor all along the Bluffwalk this Saturday, December 2, when more than 20 trees, decorated by downtown businesses, will be waiting to greet you at the first annual Deck the Hills event. Take in the sights, cast a vote for your favorite tree, and be sure to indulge in some hot chocolate and decadent treats available on site while live chorales and musicians fill the air with familiar carols. Running from 4 to 8 p.m., you’ll have plenty of time to stop by in between shopping or before dinner at any of several nearby restaurants. Stop by the Craddock Terry Hotel around 7 p.m. for the official tree lighting! More information can be found on the Downtown Lynchburg Association’s event page.


Finish Your Holiday Shopping

If it’s the thought that counts, than aim for the most thoughtful, unique gifts you can by shopping in Downtown Lynchburg where you can find something for everyone. Dozens of local stores provide lots of inspiration, from handmade pottery, candles, and furniture to bikes, skateboards, antiques, and clothing. Plus, you have more than a dozen restaurants, bakeries, and specialty stores (think truffles, infused oils, and personalized cookies) to purchase gift certificates from—now those would make for some surprising stocking stuffers! Be sure to visit our complete list of retail options so you don’t miss anything!


Catch (TWO) Live Shows

Whether or not you’re already familiar with the fateful story of Jim and Della in “The Gifts of the Magi,” you are sure to appreciate this heartfelt musical based on O. Henry’s famous short story of the same title. In a modern world often plagued by materialism, this story set in the early 1900s is a great reminder of what—and who—matters most during the holidays. Buy your tickets online for shows in the Academy’s Warehouse Theatre from November 30 to December 3.

>>> Bonus: Come back next weekend for a special screening of a Christmas classic—“Die Hard”—at the Academy Center of the Arts. This event promises to be one-of-a-kind with a movie-inspired cocktail and hors-d’oeuvres menu plus an 80s dance party immediately following the show! Tickets are only $35 online.

And you will definitely want to see “A Christmas Carol” put on by Renaissance Theatre starting December 1. Revisit Tiny Tim, the Ghosts, and Scrooge himself in this classic tale about the importance of generosity and togetherness. Find more information at their event page and buy tickets online for show dates from December 1 through the 15. 

Enjoy a Holiday Breakfast


You won’t want to miss a pancake breakfast with Santa on December 9 at the Children’s Holiday Festival; sign up for one of the two offered sessions so you have a chance to take photos with Santa and make some holiday-themed crafts. Tickets also include all-day admission to Amazement Square!