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Art, poetry and more will line Abingdon's Main Street during First Friday

Art, poetry and more will line Abingdon's Main Street during First Friday

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ABINGDON, Va. — Main Street will be buzzing when Abingdon continues its First Friday celebration in town on June 4. “Garden Party” is the theme for the June event.

Hosted by the Abingdon Main Street Alliance, First Friday is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m., celebrating what downtown has to offer residents and visitors to the town.

More than a dozen of the downtown businesses participate during the first Friday of each month with sales, specials and activities.

Nicole Childress, executive director of the nonprofit organization, said the celebrations will span the downtown area that runs from Fragmented Art Studio on the west end of town to The Girl & The Raven café on the opposite end. The celebrations also will include parts of Pecan and Park streets and Plumb Alley.

Willow Tree Wellness

Willow Tree Wellness at 122 Wall St. will host an Open Mic Poetry Night from 8 to 10 p.m. Admission is free.

According to owners Willard Robertson and Victoria Blevins, all types of poetry and performances are welcome.

“People can read a poem or a selection from a short story. You can even bring a guitar and perform a song. The event is meant to gather people together around the spoken word of poetry,” said Robertson, who described himself as a poetry nerd.

Robertson has even included poetry in some of their restorative yoga classes, offering a relaxing meditative mood that goes hand in hand with yoga.

The evening will culminate with a poetry reading by Edison Jennings of Abingdon who will read poems from his new collection, “Intentional Fallacies.”

Willow Tree Wellness offers yoga, movement training, meditation and education for those seeking overall health in a safe and supportive community environment.

The poetry night is just one way the business owners are bringing the community together to enrich lives.

“Our intention is to be interwoven with the community. Yoga, by its very nature, invites you into community. You are a member of a yoga community just by living,” he said.

“Just like the old adage, we meet people where they’re at,” said Robertson. “If you can’t come to yoga, we’ll bring yoga to you.”

Willow Tree Wellness recently held a donation yoga class at the Martha Washington Inn to help raise funds for the Virginia Highlands Festival.

They traveled to Chilhowie to offer yoga to the staff of Valley Health Care.

The owners even reached out to the Patrick Henry girls volleyball team for a four-session class before their season began earlier this year.

“The important thing is we’re making yoga accessible to people. We just create the opportunities,” he said.

“So many people leave a yoga class feeling better. Just putting the phone away and spending an hour that’s just about self-care allows people to breathe into themselves and journey within. There is a calm place we all can find within ourselves. We often just cover it up with things that are challenging and hard.”

Other businesses

Salt of the Earth at 321 W. Main St. will host artist Liam Besneatte-Cullinane during First Friday. The artist will be available for a short artist talk and to answer questions from 5-8 p.m.

The artist works with mixed media, mostly acrylic and inks with collage elements on plywood or paper. He also enjoys analog photography.

Wolf Hills Coffee and Gather Inn also will feature artwork during the event. There will be musical performances by Matt Martin at Wolf Hills Coffee and Travis Welch at the Barter Theatre Fountain.

Check out balloon animals for kids at Lois Humphreys Park.

Katbird’s Wine & Gourmet will host a wine tasting.

A free creative workshop will be held at William King Museum of Art. A Likely Yarn is hosting a community art project and free knitting or crocheting lessons.

Market on Main is hosting a paint party. Spot of Color will present live demos on the hour.

Wolf Hills Coffee, White Birch Kitchen & Juice Bar and Sisters American Grill at the Martha Washington Inn will offer drink and food specials.

Businesses that will be open late on June 4 include Spot of Color; Wolf Hills Coffee; White Birch Kitchen & Juice Bar; Abingdon Adventures; Salt of the Earth; Market on Main; William King Museum Art Lab; Peppermill Restaurant; Abingdon General Store; Fragmented; Crafts on Main; Katbird’s Wine & Gourmet; Forget Me Not; Gather Inn; Studio Della Dea; 128 Pecan; The Girl & The Raven; Zephyr Antiques; and Barr Photographics.

An art raffle will be held at Wolf Hills Coffee to win original artwork by Carrie Tester, a fluid artist of Abingdon. Tickets are $2 each, with discounts available for purchasing multiple tickets.

All 2021 First Friday events are sponsored by Food City.

Check out Abingdon Main Street Alliance on Facebook for up-to-date information.

Carolyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer in Glade Spring, Virginia. Contact her at

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