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Downtown News

Friendly Faces of the Friendly City — Dawn Davis Womack of X2 Comedy

July 14, 2023 by Haley Thomas

They say laughter is the best medicine, and Dawn Davis Womack is healing the Friendly City.  Davis Womack is the founder of X2 Comedy, the host of the Virginia is for Laughers podcast and an iconic face of local stand-up comedy. Having lived in the Valley for 17 years, Davis Womack said her goal has always been to unite the community while spreading laughter. more

Compliments to the Chefs: Taste of Downtown 2023 Recap

April 24, 2023 by Annette Williams

This Taste of Downtown Recap highlights some faces around Downtown Harrisonburg with a personal flare! We are so thankful for the participants, whether they are businesses downtown, people of Harrisonburg, sponsors, or anyone who contributed to this fantastic month of community! more

HDR’s Twentieth Anniversary: Love that Downtown Built Community Stories

February 13, 2023 by Emily Winter

Happy Valentine's Day! As part of our twentieth-anniversary celebration at Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, we invited the community to share their love stories (romantic, platonic, family, etc.) that feature Downtown Harrisonburg. We LOVED reading everyone's stories and have shared some of our favorites on Facebook and Instagram. Check out the full collection of stories below, and prepare to feel warm and fuzzy. more

Welcoming Back Becca Graham, Harrisonburg’s Very Own International Spikeball Champion

September 29, 2022 by Danielle Generous

Join downtown Harrisonburg in welcoming back our very own international Spikeball champion- Becca Graham! Becca and her partner Alli Kauffman Rogers just recently returned from Brussels, Belgium where they represented team USA in the first ever roundnet World Championship. After four days of intensive competition against 33 represented countries, team USA destroyed the competition by placing first in each of the five categories! The power duo, Becca and Alli, placed number 1 in the team bracket with a resounding score of 10 wins and 0 losses.  more

Welcoming EMU to Downtown Harrisonburg: Memories & Advice from Our Alums

September 19, 2022 by Emily Winter

Welcome Eastern Mennonite University students to Downtown Harrisonburg! We are excited for you to discover our downtown community during Royal's Do Downtown - EMU’s Block Party event on Thursday, September 22 from 5 - 8 PM at Turner Pavilion. In the meantime, let us introduce you to some of the friendly faces of the Friendly City who graduated EMU. Read on for favorite memories and words of wisdom. more

Welcoming Downtown’s Newest Business: Escapism Escape Rooms

August 26, 2022 by Danielle Generous

Calling all problem solving fanatics–do you have what it takes to solve the puzzle that makes up downtown’s popular new attraction? Downtown Harrisonburg is ecstatic to welcome Escapism Escape Rooms into our community! Sam Lambert and Suzanne have put together their efforts to make multiple unique and interactive rooms–each room combining technology and storytelling to fully immerse the guest in an adventurous experience! more

TJ’s Tattoos Transforms his Business

August 9, 2022 by Danielle Generous

James August Warsing Jr., also known as TJ from “TJ’s Dermagraphics” here in downtown Harrisonburg, is excited to announce a change in his field of work. After over 50 years of working in the tattoo industry, he is teaming up alongside his wife Bernadette Moreno-Krause and friend Carson William Rinker to start their own specialized business in the memorial industry. more

Celebrating Harrisonburg’s LGBTQ+ Community With Friendly City Safe Space

July 6, 2022 by Danielle Generous

Just a few months ago, the HDR office welcomed some new neighbors next door. A vibrant cultural hub home to many nonprofits and local businesses, the Ice House building is now also home to an organization advocating for a largely underrepresented community within our region. The Friendly City Safe Space (FCSS) aims to make downtown a destination where all LGBTQ+ people thrive through inclusivity, programming, and a unique space that celebrates community.  more

Inspiring Tales & Friendly Faces from Taste of Downtown 2022

April 5, 2022 by Morgan Rhudy

It's official, Taste of Downtown 2022 has come to a close. Here at HDR, we had the opportunity to connect with many of the hardworking and passionate people who made all of this possible. Ranging from head chefs to line chefs, bakers to brewers, and managers to support staff, we had so many memorable conversations hearing their stories and seeing their passion first-hand. We encourage you to take the time to read these inspiring stories and get to know some of the people who make downtown dining so spectacular. more

Friendly Faces of the Friendly City — Gravity Group

December 13, 2021 by Eleanor Weber

Gravity Group is a full-service marketing agency located in Harrisonburg (107 E Water Street) that creates specialty branding to grow individual businesses and bring them more clientele. I had the privilege to sit down with Steve Gilman, President and Brand Strategist, and Lindsey Laughlin, Vice President and Marketing Strategist, to ask them more about Gravity and their time in Harrisonburg. more