Vinton celebrates with annual Fall Festival

VINTON–According to Moe Mattox, the Vinton Fall Festival got its start ten years ago when the Town tried to make amends to downtown merchants for tearing up the pavement on Lee Avenue and Pollard Streets to replace water and sewer lines, manholes, and hydrants. 

Business was disrupted when patrons had to walk across boards to get to the stores because the sidewalks were torn out.

Merchants complained to Town Council, who decided to hold a festival to celebrate the completion of the project and to encourage outsiders to come into Town to spend money in the downtown stores.

“Storeowners declared that it was the best retail day they had ever had, and so the tradition of the Fall Festival was begun,” said Mattox, a downtown Vinton businessman.

This year’s Fall Festival is coming up on October 13. Downtown streets will be blocked off for the activities, beginning with a 5K Run/Walk at 8:00 a.m., sponsored by Parkway Carilion Family Medicine and Vinton Chiropractic.

The race begins in front of the Fire Station, continues down Walnut Avenue to Fallon Park, and then back again. Over 100 participants have signed up for the race with registration continuing on the morning of the event. Medals and plaques will be awarded to the winners in age groups from 8 and under to 75+.

Performers will be entertaining throughout the day on two stages, one at the Farmer’s Market and one on Lee Avenue across from Vinton Baptist Church from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. 

Stage acts at the Farmer’s Market include Relinquish Band, Tela Espelage from the WBHS cast of “Annie”,  the Floyd Ward Dance Ensemble, the Emeraldettes Baton twirlers, and the Studio 45 Dancers. There will also be a Doggy Pageant at 11:30 a.m. for canines dressed in costume.

Exonerated Band, Freedom’s Crossing and the Distractions duos, Perez Kenpo Karate, and the Blue Chips Band will appear on the Lee Avenue stage.

Children’s activities include bouncy houses, face painting, a petting zoo, and Jurassic Adventure dinosaur rides.  There are Monster Truck rides for everyone in the Vinton Motors parking lot.

The Vinton History Museum will be open with a Civil War re-enactment on the lawn, and the Vinton Police will sponsor Traffic Safety Awareness activities.

As usual, the Vinton Breakfast Lion’s Club will be serving a Pancake Breakfast at the VFW on Lee Avenue from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., one of their main fundraisers for the year.

The streets in downtown will be lined with over 80 vendors selling festival foods and crafts.

Sponsors for the Vinton Fall Festival include McDonald’s, K & T Entertainment, MemberOne, Valley Bank, Next Generation Designs, the Roanoke Times, VRP, Bob’s Restaurant, PFG, Neely’s Accounting, Cox Business, Grand Rental, Vertex, Super Dollar, and Fox 21/27.

“I would like to thank the committee and the businesses that sponsored this year’s Fall Festival,” said Sabrina Weeks, president of the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce.” Please come out this weekend and enjoy; there will be fun for all.”

Information on everything Festival is available at or by calling 540-343-1364.

 On a more serious note, the American Cancer Society will be interviewing those who have volunteered to participate in the CPS-3 cancer research study, at the Charles R. Hill Senior Citizen’s Center next to the Vinton War Memorial on Saturday.

They are very close to reaching their goal of signing up 600 volunteers for the project. Individuals may continue to sign up for the program online, or may walk in the day of the event between 8:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Details are available on their website at