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Abingdon: Heartwood Grand Reopening

March 15, 2019 - March 17, 2019

ABINGDON, VA – Friends of Southwest Virginia announced today a weekend-long celebration to reopen Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway under a new brand and operational model. A series of events will take place March 15th – 17th to introduce visitors and locals to the renewed image and programming for the facility focused on telling the unique story of Southwest Virginia’s culture and heritage.

The facility, located just off I-81 in Abingdon, has been closed to the public since January 1, 2019 to facilitate a renovation of both facilities and programs.

Grand Reopening Weekend events include:

  • Friday, March 15th
    • 11:00 AM – Ribbon Cutting
      • MC: Rebecca Peppin, Newscaster with WCYB in Bristol, Virginia
      • Speakers include:
        • Delegate Will Morefield – Chair, Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation Board of Directors
        • Jim Baldwin – Chair, Friends of Southwest Virginia Board of Directors
        • Rita McClenny – President, Virginia Tourism Corporation
        • Nancy Brooks – Chair, ‘Round the Mountain: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network Board of Directors
        • Larry Yates – Chair, The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail Board of Directors
        • Erik Johnston – Director, Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development
        • Delegate Terry Kilgore – Chair, Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission
        • Chris Cannon – Executive Director, Friends of Southwest Virginia / Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation, ‘Round the Mountain – Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development
      • Special Appearance by Bill & the Belles, local musicians of The Crooked Road
    • 12:00 PM – Live music from Bill & the Belles, lunch and tours available
    • 5:00 – 7:00 PM – Square Dancing led by Tyler Hughes, regional musician
    • 6:30 – 9:00 PM – Chef’s Table Dinner featuring Chef Charles Parker and Chef T, renowned Chef featured on ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ and SWVA native
  • Saturday, March 16th
    • 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM – ‘Round the Mountain Spring Artisan Market at the renewed Heartwood – Join us on March 16th for spring shopping from local artisans! Over 30 artisans will be on-site selling their crafts from 11am-7pm.
  • Sunday, March 17th
Each of these events showcases different aspects of the renewed facility and the creative economy of Southwest Virginia. Heartwood will continue to serve as a center dedicated to the showcase of regional artisans and musicians, history, heritage, Appalachian cuisine and outdoor recreation.

Friends of Southwest Virginia invites you to attend one, if not all of the events mentioned above for a unique look at the rebranded storytelling center, devoted to showcase the unique stories and assets of the 19 counties and four cities in our region.

Ribbon Cutting
Renewed Name. Renewed Look. Renewed Experience. Don’t miss this grand reopening celebration! Tours, live music, crafts and refreshments.

The day you’ve all been waiting for! Heartwood has been closed to the public since January 1, 2019. We have been renovating and reshaping the image, facility and programs. Join us as we showcase the renewed image focused on telling the unique story of Southwest Virginia’s culture and heritage.

Square Dancing
Join us at Heartwood for an evening of old-fashioned square dancing! Tyler Hughes, a renowned regional musician, will lead the evening with his band. No partner or experience necessary – just a desire to have fun!

This dance is free and open to the public. Get your dancing shoes on and spread the word!

Chef’s Table Dinner – Featuring Chef Charles Parker and Chef T
You don’t want to miss this Southwest Virginia-sourced 4-course dinner, prepared by the famous “Hell’s Kitchen” season 14 runner-up Chef T, and Heartwood’s own Chef Charles Parker! These two talented and entertaining chefs will be sitting at the table with you, dining and chatting about their foods and whatever questions you may have for them. Each course will be skillfully paired with a local wine from Abingdon Vineyards. Seating is limited and tickets are required to be purchased in advance, so get yours now before they run out!

1st Course
Potato Veloute (soup) with pork belly, cheddar crouton, and chive oil

2nd Course
Chicken and Waffle Salad

3rd Course
Pan-seared Trout with Pecan Butter. With fried asparagus and maple carrots

4th Course
Braised Beef Cheeks. With wilted potlicker collard greens,
tobacco onions, and grits

“Surprise Course”
As an added “treat” Chef T and Chef Charles are teaming up to make “Chocolate Dreams & Strawberry Fields” for dessert!

‘Round the Mountain Spring Artisan Market
Join us on March 16th for spring shopping from local artisans! Each artisan will be on-site, selling their crafts from 11am-7pm. We are also thrilled open our new grab-and-go restaurant and to have the MountainRose Vineyards on-site to take your shopping experience to the next level!

Sunday Brunch by Pakalachian
Pakalachian will be not be serving out of their food truck for this event, but rather from inside of our facility!

The Pakalachian is a food truck based out of Abingdon, Virginia, that strives to creatively blend the culinary elements of both Southwest Virginia and South Asia to produce unique, vibrant dishes that benefit local Appalachia. Owned and operated by Mohsin and Katlin Kazmi, this food truck is anything but ordinary. Each dish is curated to combine the comforting elements of the foods Katlin and Mohsin grew up with as kids.

The idea for The Pakalachian began with the blending of two cultures in marriage. Katlin and Mohsin met while in college at Virginia Tech. They married and moved to the golden rod and lightning bugs of Abingdon in 2014. Making similar meals for family and friends in their kitchen, the idea to start a food truck began to emerge. After establishing how to share the food with the rest of the region, the Kazmi’s started with an empty 1996 step van and built the food truck from the ground up.

The truck supports many sustainable practices as well. Mohsin and Katlin source all produce locally and have a goal of being 100% locally sourced by 2020. The menu for the truck is subject to change seasonally and from visit to visit, based on availability of ingredients. They serve meals in environmentally friendly containers, compost kitchen waste from food preparation, recycle empty cans and bottles, maintain a “no waste” mentality, and hope to have solar panels powering much of their equipment in the future.

Southwest Virginia Salutes Our Veterans Dedication
Join Friends of Southwest Virginia to dedicate the new I-81 Interstate a Flag and Flagpole that will shine SWVA’s love and respect for America on a daily basis. The support of the Abingdon Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1994 and Auxiliary makes this event possible.

For more information and to stay up-to-date, subscribe to the Friends of Southwest Virginia Partner Newsletter and “Like” Friends of Southwest Virginia on Facebook.



March 15, 2019
March 17, 2019
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Southwest Virginia
(276) 492-2420
View Organizer Website


Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace
1 Heartwood Circle
Abingdon, VA 24210 United States
+ Google Map
(276) 492-2400
View Venue Website

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