Altavista On Track

Altavista On Track (AOT) approved granting thousands of dollars in economic development funds to local businesses and gave updates on its fall events at the group’s August 12 meeting.

Much of the meeting related to the first-ever Uncle Billy’s BBQ/Bourbon/Beer Festival, which is planned for October 2 in English Park. Board member Jeremy Funderburk said 13 participants had signed up for the barbecue competition on August 12. AOT’s goal is for 15-25 participants to sign up. Eight businesses had also pledged sponsorship funds for the festival last week.

AOT executive director George Sandridge said the festival’s insurance policy will refund ticket purchases and sponsorship money in the event the festival has to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

Volunteers for the event must be 21 or older, and will receive free barbecue plates for helping. More information on pricing, food, drinks and entertainment are available on the event’s website.

AOT gave its blessing for the dispersal of over $3,200 in grants to local businesses for rental assistance and façade upgrades. Businesses interested in applying for similar financial assistance from AOT can find more information on its website.

The group also discussed its annual ornament fundraiser. Last year the town supplied seed funds for AOT to sell 300 ornaments decorated with a print of the Staunton River Memorial Library. Over 200 were left over afterwards, but AOT will be funding the ornament fundraiser with its own money this year, and settled on a total of 150 ornaments at the August 12 meeting, not to exceed a cost of $750.

AOT’s board received feedback from locals who wanted to see the town’s name or another nod to Altavista in writing on AOT’s ornaments, which was not included last year. It was also pointed out that AOT only had one month to sell ornaments last year.

Several ideas were floated for the ornament’s design this year, including the Lane Company Smokestack and the Booker Building. AOT’s design committee also proposed the Vista Theater.

14 teams signed up for AOT’s first “Birdies for Business” golf tournament fundraiser at London Downs Golf Course on August 18. AOT is also hosting a block party from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. August 20. The event will feature food trucks and appearances by Balloon Dude Travis, the ACS cheerleaders and the Altavista Police Department, all on Broad Street. It is being hosted in conjunction with Campbell County Public Library System’s milk and cookies back to school event at the Staunton River Memorial Library.

Also at the meeting Katie Lane with CCPLS was named AOT’s secretary, Andria Smith with First National Bank was named treasurer, Melinda Saunders with Standard Insurance Company was named vice president and Ed Soto with Altavista Presbyterian Church was renamed president. AOT changed its meeting time from 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Altavista town hall the second Thursday of each month.