Explore Park Visitor Center opens for the season April 15

Gift shop features artisan crafts and the Third Annual Artisan Saturdays

The Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center at Explore Park, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP115, will open for the season on Saturday, April 15. It will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through Sunday, November 5. The facility features a unique gift shop, a museum highlighting frontier culture in Southwest Virginia, an audiovisual presentation about the history of the Parkway as well as knowledgeable staff to answer all of your questions about the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Roanoke Valley and beyond.

Once again the Visitor Center gift shop will carry a wide range of hand-crafted items from local and regional artisans including jewelry, pottery, fine art, fiber art, stained glass and much more plus autographed books from local authors, homemade jams, candies, fun items for children, post cards, T-shirts and more. Also available for purchase will be a variety of snacks, beverages, Blue Ridge Parkway memorabilia and unique items created exclusively for sale at Explore Park. Come for a visit and look for special pricing on select items during opening weekend at the park.

Back by popular demand is the Third Annual Artisan Saturdays’ series. Mark your calendars for June 10, August 12 and November 4 and come visit the park for a day full of FREE creative and fun actvities. Artisan demonstrations, live music, clogging, children’s crafts, food, fresh baked goods, and informative presentations will be available for visitors to experience. Artisans from Southwest Virginia whose work reflects both creativity and quality craftsmanship will be available for questions during the demonstrations. Additionally, their original pieces of work will be for sale. Each Artisan Saturday is unique and will provide an array of memory making family adventures. Make a whole day of it and take advantage of Explore Park’s hiking and biking trails and view the historical buildings at the park. Bring the fishing gear and fishing license to spend an hour or two on the Roanoke River or visit the museum located in the Visitor Center.

For more information regarding Explore Park or Artisan Saturdays please call the Visitor Center at (540) 427.1800 or visit us on the web at www.explorepark.org

-Submitted by Wendi Craig

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