Excited JMU college students outside jumping Harrisonburg

Block Party in the ‘Burg

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Welcome to Harrisonburg, JMU Class of 2027! We are excited to welcome you to your home away from home. Check bak soon for a list of activities you’ll find as you explore downtown Harrisonburg with us Saturday, August 26. Keep an eye out for signs to help you navigate around town – or find us at the Info Booth right on Court Square. We will show you the way!

Plus, check our recommendations for some of the best businesses to follow on Instagram – and don’t forget to follow us (Instagram – @downtownharrisonburg, TikTok – @downtownharrisonburg) for news, announcements, and events happening downtown all year round!

Sponsor Block Party in the 'Burg

As part of JMU’s Orientation, Block Party welcomes thousands of incoming freshman to downtown Harrisonburg. Students walk from campus to Court Square— led by the award-winning Marching Royal Dukes, Harrisonburg’s Mayor, and the university President— to sample the best of downtown’s restaurants and retailers. It’s our way to give a Friendly City welcome to our newest residents!

View our Sponsorship Packet to Learn More!

Block Party in the 'Burg Volunteers

Help us welcome our incoming college students! There are opportunities to volunteer with facilitating activities, distributing materials to businesses, helping with setting up, tearing down the event, and more. Sign up through this portal and we will let you know about upcoming opportunities to get involved.

30 Downtown Businesses to Follow on Instagram & TikTok:
  1. downtownharrisonburg: First things first, follow us (Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance) to stay up to date on everything going on downtown. We are on Instagram and are getting started on TikTok 🙂
  2. Heritage Bakery & Cafe: This cozy, french-inspired bakery & cafe posts images of their pastry case and special orders daily. Even if you don’t have the biggest sweet tooth, their feed is objectively beautiful.
  3. withSimplicity: These aren’t your mom’s sugar scrubs. Follow this local clean beauty business for cruelty and toxin-free skincare and cosmetics, plus self care tips and tricks.
  4. The Yellow Button: YB’s ‘lay-flats’ are reason enough to follow. They’re great outfit inspiration, plus their staff host regular try-on in stories so you can see how pieces look on different body types.
  5. Magpie Diner: It’s tough to get a table at Magpie, and it’s not hard to see why! Follow them for pictures of fresh breads, pastries and weekly menu items – and check out their stories to see what everyone else is having for breakfast.
  6. GiddyUp Courier: You don’t have to leave campus to eat downtown! Order on the app, and the fine folks at Giddyup will deliver on their bikes.
  7. The Lady Jane Shop: Inspired by Jane Austin, the Lady Jane is a go-to for greeting cards, decor, and local art (over 50+ local artisans have a place at Lady Jane!). Plus, the owner, Sara, might just be the sweetest person on the planet.
  8. Branch’s Soft Serve Etc.: Creamy ice cream and decadent desserts are what you’ll find at this food truck parked right on Main Street! Follow them for rotating flavors that update every Tuesday and mouthwatering pictures of sweet treats.
  9. Agora Market: Agora Downtown Market is a unique community of small business all operating under one roof. We suggest you follow each business individually, but the Agora account is beautifully curated and always keeps us up to date.
  10. Lola’s Deli: Three words. GIANT. BEAUTIFUL. SANDWICHES. Every day brings a new daily special, and every day, we are tempted.
  11. The Golden Pony: A great place to grab vegan and vegetarian food, but also one of the best venues to see live music downtown. Follow the Pony for upcoming shows and weekly specials.
  12. Black Sheep Coffee: Coffee, tea, breakfast and lunch made in-house, comfortable, living-room feel. Follow them for funny (and informative) content.
  13. Urgie’s Cheesesteaks: Two Philadelphia brothers with one mission – to deliver an authentic philly cheesesteak to your pie hole.
  14. Jack Brown’s/Billy Jack’s: known to seasoned residents as “Jacktown” follow both of these beloved restaurants for weekly specials and promotions, plus delectable burger pics.
  15. Wonder: The only place downtown to you can buy a skateboard, but they also have some pretty *cool* apparel.
  16. Ruby’s Arcade: Split a pizza with friends and play some ping pong, pool, or bowl with tiny bowling balls (“duckpin bowling” for the uninitiated).
  17. Walkabout Outfitter: Everyone needs a hammock to lay in on the Quad. Stock up on all your outdoor gear needs at Walkabout.
  18. Clementine Cafe: Another great live music venue downtown! And they have one of the best patios for outdoor dining. Plus, make sure to check them out on TikTok for more fun behind-the-scenes footage!
  19. Coffee Hound: Great coffee and lots of room to spread out and study. And they are dog-friendly so you’ll be sure to see some fuzzy faces too!
  20. Capital Ale House: Excellent burgers and appetizers. Plus, they just launched their new app and rewards program!
  21. Bella Luna Pizza/Bella Gelato: Put on some nicer duds and eat some really A+ pizza and pasta. Follow your meal with a rotating flavor menu of gelato located right across the street.
  22. Mashita: This korean-inspired food truck just recently opened a brick and mortar downtown. Follow them for weekly specials – and the offer delivery.
  23. Beyond: Downtown’s sushi and asian fusion restaurant. Grab a seat on their patio that overlooks Blacks Run.
  24. Kline’s Dairy Bar: You have to follow Kline’s to stay current on the flavor of the week. It might be sacrilegious not to.
  25. OASIS Fine Art & Craft: Are you an art lover? Follow OASIS to stay updated with the local cooperative art scene including upcoming shows, new merchandise, and more!
  26. DART Resale & Trade: Known for its curated collection of secondhand clothes, DART’s Instagram page is great to keep tabs on what is new in stock and what is in demand for Trade-in Tuesdays!
  27. Gamer Oasis: Into video games, tabletop games, nerd culture, collectibles and more? Follow Gamer Oasis to keep up to date on tournaments and events, and stop in to browse their large collection of used games and gear from your favorite fandoms.
  28. Great.full Goods: Great.full Goods has everything you need to start your zero-waste journey. Follow this account for informative and fun video tips on how to live more sustainably and stay in the know about upcoming subscription boxes and other inventory!
  29. Merge Coffee Company: Another beloved coffee spot in the ‘burg, Merge Coffee has you covered for caffeine and an airy study space. Plus they now have BACON STUFFED WAFFLES! Need we say more?
  30. Village Juice and Kitchen: Want some beautiful vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes to grace your feed? Not only is Village Juice and Kitchen the perfect chill atmosphere to grab a healthy meal, but your plate will be Instagram-worthy too!