With luck, the weather will cooperate Saturday for the Floyd Town Jubilee that will celebrate, among other things, the town’s first public park while spotlighting the other changes in the face of our community.
The Warren G. Lineberry Park between the Winter Sun and Angels in the Attic fills a gap in the town’s landscape. Most towns have a public park. Floyd didn’t — until now.
Amid the music, the events and the vendors hawking various wares is the slow, if sometimes begrudging, acceptance of change in our little burg and a continuation of the town’s struggle to identify and classify itself.
Like it or not, Floyd is already a tourist town, despite the reluctance of some on the town council and board of supervisors to accept this reality. Visitors flock here not only for The Friday Night Jamboree but also to eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores and enjoy — if only for a brief moment — a little relaxed country living.
While the struggling economy has slowed migration of new residents to the county, Floyd increasingly becomes an area defined more by those who moved here than those who call themselves natives. Our economy is driven by businesses owned and/or run by transplants while the initiatives that define change originate with those who come from somewhere else.
Some die-hard locals still decry the "hippies" who moved here in the 70s but many of the town’s businesses are run by those former alternative lifestylers who now represent the status quo.
When the Village Square — now called The Station on South Locust — opens across the street from the Floyd Country Store, the businesses there will be run by those who discovered Floyd County at some point in their lives and now call it home. The apartments upstairs will be rented mostly by new residents of the community.
And many of those who shop at the new stores or eat at new resturants will be visitors who want to see what this town is all about.
The future of Floyd County does not lie in outmoded concepts like the mostly-empty Industrial Park on Christiansburg Pike but in the booming construction and changes along Locust and Main Streets in downtown.
It’s time those who cling to the past accept this reality and get with the program. They can start by joining in the celebration Saturday.
(Updated at 10:36 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, to reflect a change in the restaurant lease status at the Station on South Locust.)