Excited JMU college students outside jumping Harrisonburg

Block Party in the ‘Burg Activities

Sunday, August 23 – Tuesday, August 25, 2020 

Welcome to Harrisonburg, JMU Class of 2024! Check out the list of activities below and explore downtown Harrisonburg at your own pace from Sunday, August 23rd – Tuesday, August 25th. And scroll through our recommendations for some of the best businesses to follow on Instagram – follow us (@downtownharrisonburg) during 1787 Weeks of Welcome and one lucky new follower will win a gift card to Jack Browns/Billy Jack’s!

Block Party activites are made possible by:

25 Downtown Businesses to Follow on Instagram:

  1. downtownharrisonburg: First things first, follow us (Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance) to stay up to date on everything going on downtown 🙂
  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. spendwithharrisonburg: Spend with Harrisonburg is a grass-roots campaign that popped up amid COVID-19. Follow along for a little taste of everything downtown Harrisonburg has to offer.
  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. Bluetique: A great boutique for affordable women’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Plus, you can shop online and get free shipping.
  16. Wonder: The only place downtown to you can buy a skateboard, but they also have some pretty *cool* apparel.
  17. 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).
  18. Walkabout Outfitter: Everyone needs a hammock to lay in on the Quad. Stock up on all your outdoor gear needs at Walkabout.
  19. Clementine Cafe: Another great live music venue downtown! And they have one of the best patios for outdoor dining.
  20. Shenandoah Joe: Great coffee and lots of room to spread out and study.
  21. Capital Ale House: Excellent burgers and appetizers. Plus, they just launched their new app and rewards program!
  22. 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.
  23. Mashita: This korean-inspired food truck just recently opened a brick and mortar downtown. Follow them for weekly specials – and the offer delivery.
  24. Beyond: Downtown’s sushi and asian fusion restaurant. Grab a seat on their patio that overlooks Blacks Run.
  25. 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.


Friendly City Fortune Golden Ticket Scavenger Hunt

Daily from Sunday, August 23rd – Tuesday, August 25th

Want to win a ticket for a chance to win $30,000 in cash or a new car? You could win a ticket to Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance’s $250,000 raffle, Friendly City Fortune. Check out the daily clue on WHSV TV-3, find the golden Fortune Ticket at that downtown business or destination, and upload a selfie with the ticket to WHSV.com. Proceeds from the raffle support Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance’s mission to build downtown Harrisonburg as a destination where independent businesses thrive and people enjoy memorable experiences. *Must 18 years or older to enter.


1) For Monday and Tuesday hunts, watch the video to get today’s clue. Is it Sunday? See today’s BONUS CLUE here.

2) Find the golden ticket at today’s featured downtown business or destination.

3) Take a selfie with the ticket and upload your photo to WHSV.com.

THAT’S IT! One luck winner will be selected at random and announced on Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance’s Facebook page the following day. Follow Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance to find out if you’re today’s winner!

Happy JMU college students city wall colorful handprints

Downtown Art Walk

Daily from Sunday, August 23rd – Tuesday, August 25th

Take a self-paced tour through historic downtown Harrisonburg and visit over 30 murals, statues and public art displays. This free art walk exists to share the talent of our local artists, the importance of the businesses and organizations who support them, and serve as an inspiration to all who pass through it. Access our easy-to-use, interactive digital map:


Downtown Bucket List

Daily from Sunday, August 23rd – Tuesday, August 25th

Explore downtown Harrisonburg and take selfie for a chance to win $25 to spend downtown. Take a selfie checking an item off the “bucket list” of your choice, tag @downtownharrisonburg on Instagram or in your stories and we’ll randomly select a winner daily from Sunday – Tuesday. Each photo you tag is another chance to win! See bucket lists below and select from the list of your choice. 


Bucket List #1: Downtown Sampler
Bluetique Browse their selection for the lastest in women’s fashion and accessories. Get 25% off your purchase Sunday-Monday only- just show your JACard!
Benny Sorrentino’s Get a $4 pizza slice as big as your head!
Gamer Oasis All bags and wallets are 20% off.
Dukes Bar & Grill Have a cheeseburger on their outdoor patio. 
Wonder  This skate shop has more than skateboards. Browse their selection of records, shoes and apparel.
Water Street Vintage Browse vintage clothing, accessories, and decor. 
Shirley’s Popcorn Grab a bag of their flavor of the month. Show your JACard, spend $5 and get at $5 gift card free.
Boboko Indonesian Cafe We love everything on their menu, but especially their Indonesian chicken soup and vegetarian/vegan tempeh dishes.
Merge Coffee Try one of their summer drink specials at their 425 North Main Street location.
Jack Brown’s Try their famous Greg Brady burger or grilled cheese and get a fried Oreo for dessert.
Mashita Try their steamed bun combo meal – and they have plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options as well.
Bucket List #2: Choose Your Own Adventure
Black Sheep Coffee A great place to get a jump start on studying. We love their breakfast sandwiches huge selection of loose-leaf teas.
Heritage Bakery & Cafe Macarons, sticky buns, giant cookies, and more – but get there early before the case sells out!
Kline’s Dairy Bar Print out their flavor card and hang in your dorm to stay up to date on their weekly specials.
Latin’s Flavor We love their pupusas, arepas, and horchata any day of the week, but they also have incredible (and crazy affordable!) weekly specials. Check them out on Tuesdays for $1 pork pupusas
Pulp Try an acai bowl or fruit-infused iced tea.
Horizon Gifts Check out their selection of healing crystals and gemstones.
Magpie Diner This brand-new breakfast and lunch spot is already getting attention for their fresh vanilla twists and peach french toast.
The Golden Pony We love the Nile Nachos and their basement venue is one of the best places to see live music in Harrisonburg.
The Yellow Button Peruse the $50 and under rack for high-quality, feminine fashion finds.
Oasis Fine Art & Craft Come by to see their ever-changing selection of local art and crafts (it’s a great place to buy a unique gift), and be sure to check out the mosaic staircase!
The Lady Jane Shop Get a photo with shopdog, Lulu, or one of their foster cats from Cat’s Cradle.
Bucket List #3: Downtown Cornucopia
Bella Gelato Pastries Try an affogatto or gelato float. Their toasted almond coconut sorbetto is our favorite dairy free option!
Walkabout Outfitter The best place to find a new backpack—perfect for hauling textbooks or taking a day hike! Stop in to check out their discounted Walkabout Cambelbak water bottles.
Lola’s Deli They have excellent daily specials – and we love their black and white cookies.
withSimplicity Beauty Check out their selection of hand-crafted, all-natural skincare and makeup. We love their mascara and non-toxic nail polish.
The Little Grill Cooperative One of Harrisonburg’s most popular breakfast/brunch spots. Their blue monkey pancakes are a forever favorite.
Sparrow’s Flowers Pick up a succulent plant for your dorm.
Billy Jack’s Try their famous Sticky Nuggs (boneless chicken bites tossed in your choice of sauce) FYI – they’re only $4 on Thursdays!
Ten Thousand Villages Check out their selection of hand-made, fair-trade jewelry.
the Grace Barre & Pilates Students receive a 33% discount on unlimited semester passes! Plus a 10% discount off any class pass using code STUDENT.
First Presbyterian Church Stop by this church on Court Square and get a free JMU frisbee.
Charlee Rose Boutique Show your JACard to receive 10%off an in-store purchase from 8/25-8/29
Blue Ridge Dog Buy 2 JMU squirrel biscuits for dogs, get one free!
Glen’s Fair Price Stop in store to pick up a coupon for 50% off your entire purchase (excludes photographic equipment & supplies, and Ben Nye makeup).