GET CENTERED  June/July 14'  
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June/July 2014 Issue:

Featured Downtown Spotlight On:

1 Year Designation
Town Update
Arts & Culture
1st Thursday
Chalk Walk Success
Whistlestop Theatre Company
Randolph-Macon College 
Featured Artist:  
Tommy Thomasson

Featured Business:
Tiny Tim's TOYS

Did you know...
Visit us on the Web: 
Questions/Ideas email:
 PO Box 33 Ashland, VA 23005  Call:  804.301.6913  
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Let us help you promote your next Arts & Culture Event.  Send all news items for review to by the 1st of the month to be considered for the next edition of 'GET CENTERED'.  Please include graphics in jpg format.  We look forward to hearing from you!
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See you at the Faire- June 7th at R-MC!!! Many thanks to the Ashland Strawberry Faire Committee for organizing this wonderful event!
Did you know?
You can travel the world at Caboose Wine & Cheese! The 2014 Summer Passport Series kicks off this Friday, June 6th evening from 5 to 7:30! This 14 week wine tasting series takes us to the major wine producing countries with a different country each week. First stop...Portugal!  Collect stamps from each country for in store discounts. Grab your passport at the shop for all the details.

Home Energy Store is GARDEN CENTRAL!

Are you interested in participating in the Ashland Community garden?  Volunteers are needed for the Ashland Community Garden in Pufferbelly Park. Contact Tracie  at for more information.  

GREAT AMTRAK DEAL!  It pays to plan ahead. Book your trip on the Northeast RegionalSM at least 14 days in advance and you’ll save 25% or more on your fare. Enjoy a convenient, relaxing ride to cities like Washington, DC, New York City, Boston and more. Plus, save even more when you bring the kids. Children 2 – 12 are eligible for 50% off.
Upcoming Events
June 5 Thurs - All Day 
*6:30pm  Demo of Concrete Casting
Gallery Flux 307B England St. 
Ashland First Thursday

June 6 Fri 6:30pm 
Caboose Wine & Cheese
Passport Wine Tasting Series Begins

June 7 Sat 10am-5pm 
Randolph-Macon College
Ashland Strawberry Faire

June 7 Sat 10am-noon  
Ashland Library
"Awesome Alpacas" 

June 11 Wed 7-8:30pm 
Ashland Library
"What's in Your Garden?" Master Gardener Program

June 13 Fri 6-8pm 
Ashland Library
Teen Movie Night (ages 11-16)

June 14 Sat  11am 
Ashland Museum
Walking Tour of Ashland

June 23 Mon 1pm  
Ashland Library
Zoo Pro Adventures

June 25 Wed 10-11am  
Ashland Library
Dog Days of Summer - Ages 3-12

June  28 Sat  10am
Ashland Museum
History Camp – Food & Cooking during the Civil War Era

June 27,28,29  
Hanover Tavern
Play:  Once Upon A Mattress

July 2 Wed 9-11am  
Ashland Library
Genealogy Workshop - preregister

July 4 Fri 11am - 1:30pm
Hanover Arts & Activities Center
Old Fashioned Parade & Patriotic Concert

July 9 Wed 11am-noon  
Ashland Library
Paws for BINGO Fun - Ages 3-12

July 9 Wed 6:30-7:30pm
Ashland Library
Make a Photo Magnet

July 10 Thurs 6:30-8pm
Ashland Library
Loom Magic for Teens - Ages 11-16

July 10 Thurs - All Day 
Gallery Flux 307B England St. 
Ashland First Thursday

July 14-18 
Hanover Arts & Activities Center
Children's Theater Camp

July 16 Wed 1pm
Ashland Library
Rob Westcott, Magician

July 26 Sat  10am
Ashland Museum
History Camp – Civil War Spies

July 26 Sat 2pm
Ashland Library
Alice in Wonderland Presented by Children's Theater

Ongoing Entertainment in Downtown Ashland:

Ashland Museum is open every Sat 12:30-2pm & Sun noon-2pm

Ashland Library is open Mon-Thurs 10am-9pm, Fri-Sat 10am-6pm. Story times for kids Mon10-12am & Tues 10-11am. Book Clubs meet every month 10am 3rd Friday, 1pm 3rd Mon, 7pm 3rd Thurs

Farmer's Market is open every Sat from 9am-12pm May-Nov

Live Music:
Ashland Coffee & Tea (Song-Writer Showdown on Tuesday nights), Iron Horse, Farmer's Market,Concerts at R-MC

Wine Tastings: Every Friday Evening at Caboose Wine & Cheese .

Have an event to share, need help promoting this? email

Check the Town Calendar for updates!  
2 Summer Camps in Downtown Ashland & MANY LIBRARY EVENTS!

Is your child interested in History OR Theater? Check out these two opportunities by these dedicated & creative organizations:

Hanover Arts & Activities Center Theater Camp - July 14-18.   No auditions required! Visit or call 798-2728 for more information.

Ashland Museum Camps - 2 amazing opportunities!
Sat., June 28, 10 am – Food & Cooking during the Civil War Era
Sat., July 26, 10am – Civil War Spies
Visit or call 804.368.7314 for more information & register your child TODAY!

Ashland Library - Click HERE to see a list of summer activities. There is something for everyone! 
Celebrate July 4th at the Center!  

Many thanks to the Hanover Arts & Activities Center for hosting the Old Fashioned July 4th parade which includes the Hanover Concert Band performance!  Visit for more information!  
VA Main Street Designation 1st Anniversary for Ashland 6-7-14!
(Photo:  Virginia Main Street Manager Alexis Thompson and Ashland Main Street Director Tom Wulf in Detroit, Michigan)

National Main Street Convention includes Ashland!  
 â€œDriving Tips” from the Motor City 
 I had the good fortune to attend the National Main Street Conference in Detroit May 18-20 and applaud as Harrisonburg earned a coveted “Great American Main Street” award.  I know our good friend and former Ashland economic development coordinator Alexis Thompson was a big part of that achievement.  Harrisonburg is the fifth Designated Virginia Main Street to earn the award, out of hundreds of Main Street communities across the country.  I’m sure Ashland is only a few years away from being the next Virginia Main Street to secure a national title.
I didn’t bring back any awards, but I did return with great ideas and recommendations for driving economic activity in Ashland.  Experts from across the nation shared best practices and insights on dozens of topics pertinent to Main Street communities, including: 
  • New Rules of Business Success – strategies for creating “destination businesses” in the downtown.
  • Public Space and the Power of Community – parks and green spaces as drivers of economic activity in the downtown.
  • Saving Historic Theaters – advice from three communities that have successfully rehabilitated and reopened their downtown theaters.
  • Art for the Price of a Pizza – recommendations for implementing public art programs at minimal expense.
  • “Where is Main Street?”  Helping Visitors Find Their Way – A case study of Traverse, MI which recently implemented an effective signage and way-finding initiative.
I hope to work with Ashland’s talented new Economic Development Coordinator, Janie Kaplan, to share some of these presentations with the Ashland community.
Click here to learn more about the conference:
Congratulations once again to Harrisonburg and its well-deserved “Great American Main Street” award!   

Tom Wulf, Ashland Main Street executive director
Town Update
Downtown is Looking GOOD!  

Did you notice the beautiful street lamps and new pavement on Railroad Avenue?  Ashland Main Street Association has and we are so pleased to see this progress!  Preserving, Enhancing & Promoting downtown is our mission!  We have been collaborating with the Town on this effort and received an update on 6/3/2014 from Janie Kaplan, Economic Development Coordinator, that project final touches will be complete next month.  This includes new mulch and installation of bollards, which will be used for roping off areas away from the train tracks.   Business owners will be provided window washing when all the 'dust settles'!  We look forward to many downtown visitors enjoying our 'new' look!  

Check out the flash back photo below...Remember all the cracks and uneven pavement?  Thank You Town of Ashland!!! 
Arts & Culture
FIRST THURSDAY 6/5  5:30-8pm 

Visit Gallery Flux (307B England St.) for the Ashland First Thursday Reception and a Live Concrete Casting Demonstration by Gallery Artist, Helene Roberts! Demo takes place at 6:30pm.  
Hurry! Get your tickets for "Once Upon A Mattress"  June 27th, 28th & 29th at the Hanover Tavern.  Many thanks to Lorie Foley for bringing together such great talent in our community. Visit for my information! 
5th Annual Chalk Walk Highlights  

PERFECT weather + WONDERFUL sponsors & participants made our 5th Annual Chalk Walk a huge success.  A special thank you goes out to volunteer Meriwether Gilmore who co-chaired the event and made everything run smoothly.  Also - many thanks to Tina Pecht, a local videographer who shared her depiction of Chalk Walk in action. Click HERE to see this awesome video! We look forward to seeing you next year May 2, 2015!!!
Chalk Walk Artists Below:  Gary Henley has participated in all 5 Chalk Walk events!  Bottom Left: Charlotte Torrence  was a sponsored artist in 2013.  Bottom Right:  Maggie Yoder, R-MC Alum.  Check out additional photos at the following link on our facebook site!  
Whistlestop Theater Company BIG APPLE SUCCESS!  

The Whistlestop Theater Company has returned  from their "big apple" debut at the New York Children’s Theater Festival!  Cinderella: The Fairy Godmother’s Tale, by Louise Keeton, ran May 9-11 at the Marjory S. Dean Little Theater at Central Park West. The show was fantastically well received by children and grown-ups alike. The Whistlestop hopes that this is only the beginning . . . their goal for 2014 is to become Ashland’s official community theater.

Plans for a 2014-2015 season for Ashland families to enjoy and participate in are under way. Check our website for photos and updates!
Featured Artist: Tommy Thomasson
Tommy Thomasson
Welder/Sculptor & Ice Cream Cart Creator!
Tommy Thomasson is a familiar face around Ashland. Originally from Montpelier, the Thomasson family has been in the area for generations. Over the years, Tommy has built everything from monster trucks to hotrods to roller coasters at Kings Dominion. Tommy grew up in a large family with four sisters and an older brother, Billy, who he worked with for many years in construction. Above all else, Tommy adores his family and when his daughter, Courtney, began an art company, New Season Creations, repurposing wood fences and furniture into fun new signs and art pieces, Tommy joined in. Using old farm implements and tools from his large collection, Tommy welds pieces together into yard sculptures, with everything from ducks to crickets to crocodiles being pieced together with old pitchforks and allen wrenches. You can find Tommy's artwork in town at RefunkIt and Courtney's work at Thrill of the Hunt, and "New Season Creations" has a Facebook page as well. Tommy is married to Kathi Thomasson, the Executive Director at Kiddie Kingdom.  Ashland Main Street Association is grateful to Tommy for creating our Main Street Ice Cream Cart (see below) by repurposing materials found in his garage!  We also would like to thank Countney for making our Ice-Cream sign!  

Look for the Ashland Main Street Ice Cream cart at the Hanover Arts & Activities Center on July 4th!  

(Photo Below:  Ashland Main Street Ice Cream Cart debut at National Train Day.  Cinder Bear & Kelly Thomasson Mercer serve CSX Chocolate & Amtrak Vanilla!)  
Featured Business: Tiny Tim's TOYS
(Photo:  Suzanne Hemmingway, owner of Tiny Tim's TOYS displaying one of many fun items in her awesome store! )

Tiny Tim's TOYS - Trains and SO MUCH MORE!!!

Ashland Main Street Association was excited to interview Suzanne Hemmingway - owner of Tiny Tim's TOYS which had a 'soft opening' on May 3rd at the Ashland Chalk Walk.  Alvaro and Caroline Coronado's grandson, Santiago was her first official customer! Suzanne shared with us the following story on how her store came to the Center of the Universe:

It is hard to say goodbye to friends but sometimes therein lies opportunity.  Jim Donlon had run Train Town Toy and Hobby for many years and fostered a great sense of community at the November Ashland Train Day Event.  One family invited to join and share their display of LEGO trains was the Hemingway's.  It was obvious that Suzanne (a certified LEGO maniac) had engendered the same creativity in her children. Each year the display was bigger, bigger and bigger now reaching a 12 x 12 feet.  It was a family effort by Suzanne and her sons Ian and Colin. But, the credit for design, drive and creative genius lies with son Ian Hemingway who was featured in Style Weekly before his first train show at a SMV Wings and Rails event in 2009 at age 13. Ian named the city Rickbrick.
Suzanne retired from a career in pharmacy having worked in hospital pharmacy, research, lecturing at the university level and retail pharmacy where teaching was a part of everyday practice. Now she would have more time to teach. Dyslexia, autism and learning delays have occurred among the grandchildren in the Hemingway family as with many other families. Sue wanted to work with these children and adults to share her love of science. And LEGO is scientific. If the bricks are not interlocked the structure is not stable. And if you forget the science, LEGO fosters imagination, coordination and community.  Sue began to develop a business plan use LEGO to bring learning through play for any child. 
Then came February 2014. Suzanne stopped to see Jim Donlon at Train Town. He was packing up and preparing to move his business to Somerville, South Carolina.  How would the rail clubs get the track and cars they needed?  Where would the train under the tree come from? How could we have train day without a train store on the tracks? That was when Suzanne's business plan was instantly rewritten. It was because of the strong friendships that she had developed with fellow model train enthusiasts, Suzanne saw that she could bring some continuity to the special relationship Ashland has with trains. Sue hired long time Train Town employee Bob Owen to be her assistant manager and Model Train Specialist. That enabled Suzanne to research educational games that are fun and meet learning criteria. After much renovation and updating the 100 plus year old storefront at 104 South Railroad Avenue is home to a marvelous mix of models, mind games and a little mayhem (fart pens) called Tiny Tim's Toys.  
It is the hope of the Hemingway Family that you will not just buy a toy and leave but, stay and play LEGO with Ian, learn poetry, puppets and character play with Colin, build your grandfathers layout bigger with Bob, and reminisce with Sue.  That would make all the hard work worthwhile. Don't walk by stop in, see something new and tell them about your favorite thing to play.  

(Photos Below:  Model Train Specialist Bob Owen has a variety of Lionel Trains in the store.  Finger puppets & novelty items galore!)
Businesses & the Town SHOW R-MC Spirit!
There is a real school spirit that’s taking hold in downtown Ashland!   Did you notice all the R-MC banners up on graduation day - May 31st?   The town, in cooperation with the college worked together to display these festive Yellow Jacket banners just in time to greet families visiting the Center of the Universe!  Look for these for major college events in the future.    Businesses that display their Yellow Jacket spirit are truly appreciated.  Gallery Flux even put out a sandwich board to congratulate the graduates!

Are you or your business interested in helping to promote college town spirit?  This would include helping to deck the town out in yellow and black for major admissions, alumni and athletic events throughout the year.  R-MC would love to form a partnership and involve our residents and businesses! Please contact Anne Marie Lauranzon, Director, Marketing & Communications at 804.752.7317  for more information!  
2nd Annual National Train Day 

Many thanks to Pam Crisp for coordinating the 2nd Annual National Train Day which took place on May 10th at the Ashland Hanover Visitors Center. 

Happy Anniversary to Chick-fil-A for being a part of the Center of the Universe!  ALSO many thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Ashland and Pepicellis for providing great food for this event!    
Support A.C.E.S!  Dine at Ruby Tuesday
(805 England St.)
June 2,9,23,30 
20% of Sales given to ACES.
Click HERE for a flier you need to present to your server!    Make Monday night a date night and help others!  

Donations of clothing-toiletries and food are greatly appreciated. 
Clothing/Toiletry Items Needed:  
  • Men's new white undershirts, all sizes
  • Women's sleepwear, all sizes
  • Adult's gently used work shoes and tennis shoes, sizes 9 and up
  • Boy's summer tops and bottoms, sizes 8-10-12
  • Children's summer pajamas
  • Children's gently used shoes for summer
  • Children's new socks and underwear
  • Boy's belts
  • Diapers and pull-ups, sizes 5-6
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
Food Items Needed: 
  • Instant rice
  • Instant potatoes
  • Canned meats
  • Canned fruits
  • Canned vegetables (we have an abundant supply of green beans, corn and peas)
  • Cereals
  • Jelly
  • Peanut butter
Location for drop off:
 507B Caroline St. Mon,Wed,Fri  8:30-11:30am
Become a friend of the Ashland Main Street Association!
All About Main Street  & 'GET CENTERED' 

Ashland Main Street Association is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, founded to help build Ashland into a vibrant, diverse community of residents, businesses, arts and cultural organizations, and to bring visitors into historic downtown Ashland.  It works to preserve, enhance and promote downtown Ashland, to improve the economic vitality and livability of our unique town while preserving its historic character.  On June 7, 2013 Ashland Main Street Association was recognized as a designated Virginia Main Street Community.  

The Virginia Main Street Program is a preservation-based economic and community development program that follows the Main Street Four-Point Approachâ„¢ developed by the National Trust Main Street Center. Virginia Main Street offers a range of services and assistance to communities interested in revitalizing their historic commercial districts.  
'GET CENTERED' is Ashland Main Street Association's monthly newsletter that highlights events in the Center of the Universe.  We feature businesses, artists, nonprofits, Randolph-Macon College and town events in each issue.
Click HERE to Subscribe to our monthly newsletter!  

If you have questions or wish to submit an article for review - please email  Articles must be submitted by the 1st of the month to be published in the next issue.  

Copyright © 2014 Ashland Main Street Association, All rights reserved.
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