Blacksburg unveils local art-themed transit bus
BLACKSBURG — About 50 residents walked the lawn of the Alexander Black House to see the unveiling of a Blacksburg Transit bus that featured the artwork of 78 children ranging from 1 to 15 years old.
The event, originally scheduled for July 13, was postponed until Monday due to inclement weather.
A transit bus sat in the middle of Draper Street behind the Kent Square parking garage as several children gathered around it to see their artwork transferred to the side of the bus.
The 78 art entries were collected in May during the town’s Wheels and Wagons event at the First & Main Shopping Center. The family-friendly event featured several vehicles on display including a fire truck, police cars, ambulance, sewer truck and a dump truck.
In addition to the vehicle display, the Wheels and Wagons event had several activities for children, such as a bouncy castle, parade, crafts, face painting and the coloring contest.
Anne McClung, Blacksburg’s planning and building director, said children were encouraged to draw something related to their interpretation of Wheels and Wagons.
Fast forward a few months to Monday night’s Movies on the Lawn event.
Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam posed for pictures with children beside their artwork on the bus before announcing the winners of the contest.
Of the 78 pieces of art, four winners were selected from different age groups. All 78 drawings were transferred to the sides of the bus and will be featured for about a year, but the four winners had a special place on the back side of the bus.
Rordam unveiled the artwork to children and their parents Monday night and thanked each child who submitted a drawing. He also thanked several town employees who played a role in the initiative.
“Anytime we allow children to express themselves and their creativity, it’s a good thing,” Rordam said. “Things like this only reinforce their creativity, and everyone on this bus is a winner.”
Blacksburg Transit Director Rebecca Martin said BT is more than willing to use one of their buses to display artwork from local children. Usually, it’s the inside of a bus reserved for art, but not this time, Martin added.
“It’s a great way to show the community off,” Martin said. “We’ve started something new here, and this certainly won’t be the last time we do something like this.”
The Wheels and Wagons Artwork Contest bus unveiling is just a small part of the overall idea of the Wheels and Wagons event.
Deputy Town Manager Steve Ross said the event allows children and their families to be introduced to emergency personnel and establish a real connection at an early age.
“The Wheels and Wagons event is a great time to introduce everyone to the town and all the resources we have,” Ross said.
“It’s where kids can see their toys come to life.”
The Roanoke Times | 381-8627
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