Excited JMU college students outside jumping Harrisonburg

Block Party in the ‘Burg

Saturday, August 28, 2021 

Welcome to Harrisonburg, JMU Class of 2025! Check out the list of activities below and explore downtown Harrisonburg with us Saturday, August 28. Scroll through 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!

Thank You for Your Cooperation

To protect students, volunteers, local employees, and others who may be attending this event, all attendees are asked to please wear a mask downtown while attending Block Party in the ‘Burg.

Proud Presenter:

James Madison University orientation logo


withsimplicity lipstick


Make sure to check out these businesses and booths for giveaways and free samples!


Learn something new! Check out these businesses and booths for some fun, interactive demonstrations:
  • Pink Ambition Dance & Fitness
  • Harrisonburg Police Department Canine Demos
  • HPD Seatbelt Convincer
  • Harrisonburg Fire Department Truck Demo
  • Stilt Walkers


Make sure to seek out the photo booth to get a picture to commemorate the occasion!
Prefer a more whimsical look? We’ll also have a caricature artist stationed downtown for Block Party!


Stop by Ten Thousand Villages for henna tattoos and stop in to see their collection of ethically made, fair trade items from across the globe – perfect decor for your dorm!



Join in on the annual tradition of leaving your handprint on the mural at OASIS Fine Art & Craft!


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 or pick up a brochure at OASIS Fine Art & Craft, Hardesty Higgins Visitor Center, or Smith House Galleries:


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. Bluetique: A great boutique for affordable women’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Plus, you can shop online and get free shipping. Plus see more inventory and specials on their TikTok.
  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. Plus, make sure to check them out on TikTok for more fun behind-the-scenes footage!
  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.
  26. 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!
  27. 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!
  28. 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.
  29. Tare Refill Shop: One of out newest shops downtown, Tare has everything you need to start your zero-waste journey. Follow Tare for informative and fun video tips on how to live more sustainably and stay in the know about upcoming subscription boxes and other inventory!
  30. 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?


Students will walk north from campus along S. Main Street beginning at 2:15pm. While there will be higher pedestrian activity downtown, parking will be ample and available. Shoppers and diners are encouraged to access parking decks and the municipal parking lot via S. Liberty and Mason Streets.

Official street closures for Block Party activities will be as follows:

11:00 AM – 5:30 PM

  • Parking around Court Square will be prohibited. All parking decks and the municipal lot by Turner Pavilion will remain open.
  • Parking in the SBC/Jimmy Madison’s parking lot will be prohibited.

12:00 PM – 5:30 PM

  • The south, west, and north sections of Court Square will be closed for event set-up and activities.
  • Parking in the City Hall parking lot is prohibited. All parking decks and the municipal lot by Turner Pavilion will remain open.

1:30 PM – 5:30 PM

  • Both lanes of Main Street from Martin Luther King Way to Rock Street will be closed.
  • Court Square will be closed.
  • All parking decks and the municipal lot by Turner Pavilion will remain open.

Reopening Streets

  • Main Street will reopen around 5:30 PM, depending on crowd levels, at the discretion of HPD and Public Works.


  • The Municipal Parking Lot by Turner Pavilion will be open. It will be easily accessible from S. Liberty Street. No event-related activities will be held at the Pavilion.
  • The Water Street and Elizabeth Street parking decks will be open and accessible from S. Liberty Street and Mason Street respectively. Upper and lower levels of both parking decks will be open to the public.
  • All 4-hour parking downtown is always free. Spaces reserved for permit holders become free public parking after 5:00pm, and on weekends and holidays. Free parking is located throughout downtown and labeled with signs. Please check road closures that will prohibit street parking at those locations.