Looking for something new, exciting and fun to do this weekend? Join Friends of Infinity Acres at the FREE Open House event, featuring a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new "One Room Schoolhouse" classroom at Infinity Acres Ranch!
The free event is open to the public and will take place from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and feature activities to inform guests of the many opportunities and activities in Martinsville-Henry County, Virginia. Meet a variety of animals, hear some favorite songs by entertainer Elliott Stone, facepainting by artist Gordon Drews, try free samples of Essential Oils, play games, free prize drawings and several information booths! Staff will also be on hand to enroll youth into ANIMAL ADVENTURE Summer Camp and join the Alpaca/Llama 4-H Club, schedule tours, and introduce our year round ENABLE program for adults with disabilities(waiting list starting!) .
In addition to the fun activities, there will be hotdogs, sodas & baked goods for sale with proceeds benefiting "Friends of Infinity Acres Ranch"
"Discover the Joy, Feel the Love" is the motto of Infinity Acres Ranch. Animals and people find unique ways to connect and communicate. It brings out emotions, respect and pride as participants and volunteers learn from the animals and visa versa.
According to Rick Steere, Co-founder of Friends Infinity Acres Ranch “This organization has been built with a lot of love, a lot of work, and gratefully, a lot of community support and donations,” He added that the Martinsville-Henry County area has a network of wonderful non-profits and that he appreciates being a part of that collaborative system.
The ocean may be hours away from Martinsville Speedway, but that won’t stop Celebration 2015 from having a beach-type atmosphere. The Tams, a Carolina-style Beach Music band from Atlanta, will headline Celebration 2015 on July 3.
Best known for the hit “What Kind of Fool” and their version of “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy”, The Tams have been recognized as the Beach Band of the Decade and inducted into the Georgia, the Atlanta and the Beach Music halls of fame.
“When picking a band for Celebration, we want to find one that not only will people know, but that everyone will enjoy,” Martinsville President Clay Campbell said. “With The Tams, I know we’re getting both. They’ve been around for decades and I think people of all-ages will have a good time with them.”
Celebration 2015 is a free event with music, carnival rides and fireworks to celebrate Independence Day. In addition to no admission charge, the carnival rides are also free. Concession items will be on sale.
In addition to The Tams, more bands will be named later.
The music begins at 4 p.m., with The Tams taking the stage around 7 o’clock. Celebration 2015 kicks off at 3 p.m. when the carnival rides open. The night will culminate with the fireworks display at the conclusion of The Tams concert.
Celebration 2015 marks the 17th year Martinsville Speedway has hosted the event.
“The community really recognizes this event as a tradition around Independence Day and a family tradition,” said Jeb Bassett, who is in his seventh year of leading the fundraising for the event. “The clean, safe environment that the speedway offers is unmatched anywhere.”
Bassett said fundraising for this year’s event is at about 75 percent of the goal, and sponsors are still needed to make the event a success.
“The area businesses have been very receptive to continuing their support and most of the new ones we contact are excited to help support the event,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of guys help me that have had some fresh ideas and fresh potential sponsors to contact. Those guys are Eddie White, Tom Prato and Carter Underwood.”
The Tams were formed in 1962, making just enough money to buy what has now become a signature look for the band; matching Tam O’Shanter hats. In the years since they have gone on to release more than 15 albums and been honored with one Platinum and two Gold records. They have toured and recorded with Jimmy Buffett and performed with such greats as Gladys Knight, Jackie Wilson and many more.
For information on becoming a sponsor for Celebration 2015 contact Jeb Bassett at Bassett Furniture.
It is a springtime ritual for Timothy Forest, Catherine Taylor and David Laing: Make the 50-mile drive south from Roanoke and set up their tents in a far corner of the Martinsville Speedway campground.
They were extra-excited Saturday morning. They were the first tent-campers to claim a spot for the STP 500 race week. They were unloading their van and unpacking gear minutes after the campground opened at 8 a.m.
“We put up the tents today and come back on Thursday and stay until Monday,” said Forest. “We would love to stay the whole week, but we’ve got work and children. We might try to squeeze out a little early and get back down here though.”
Taylor, known as ‘Cat’ by her friends, was doing most of construction work Saturday morning while her boyfriend Forest, Laing and Scrappy, a chubby part-Chihuahua, part-something else pup, watched.
“They don’t know how to put them up,” Taylor said, preferring to do the work herself than put up with the help of Forest and Laing.
The trio of campers is part of a larger group that will return to the site on Thursday to officially begin their race week leading up to next Sunday’s STP 500. There will be at least six, one who has been coming for 13 years, Taylor said.
The four-night Martinsville stay is a highlight of the year for the group, which has a menu planned that includes barbecue ribs, steak, hot dogs, hamburgers and cold beverages.
“We mingle with people. We play cornhole and horseshoes Way down there is a spot that has karaoke,” said Laing, pointing to a location about a quarter-mile away. “And I love karaoke. I have the best time over there with those folks.
“You wouldn’t believe the people from all over the country I’ve met and they invite me in like they have known me forever.”
Angela and Dean Pruitt arrived early on Saturday also, setting up their camper for the 13th consecutive year. They live barely 25 miles away in Danbury, N.C., but stay in the Martinsville Speedway campground for both races every year.
“Why do we do it? Oh my God, I love it,” said Angela. “It’s my sport and the campground is my place.”
The Pruitts have spent an entire week in the campground in past years, but returned home to Danbury Saturday for three days of work before the fun begins.
“There’s a group I’ve know the entire time we’ve been coming. We don’t camp side-by-side. We’re up on the hill and they’re over in the hollow,” said Angela. “But we all play cornhole together, walk laps in the campground, dance, sing karaoke and pull for Junior.”
General admission campsites in the Martinsville Speedway campground are available. Cost for the week is just $100.
Advanced ticket prices for the STP 500 start at $45.
Ticket prices increase Monday.
Tickets to the Virginia Lottery Pole Day on March 27, the Kroger 250 Camping World Truck Series race on March 28 and the STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race on March 29 can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.
As part of her volunteer service at the Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center, Brie Thurman shares information from one of her favorite things in Martinsville-Henry County: Dippers Homemade Ice Cream. Blogging is just one of the many activities to participate in when volunteering with the VisitMartinsville team. If you are interested in volunteering, or would like more information, please contact Chloe Mayhew, group sales coordinator & volunteer coordinator at 276.403.5948 or CMayhew@YesMartinsville.com.
The holiday season is a time for giving and Martinsville Speedway’s 18th annual Christmas Toy Drive showed that the NASCAR community is willing to do just that. The toy drive raised more than $13,000 and saw 200 toys donated for the Grace Network of Martinsville and Henry County.
A network of more than 100 area churches, the Grace Network will use the money to provide toys and clothes to underserved and underprivileged children in the area.
“Being able to donate more than $13,000 to the Grace Network is going to help bring smiles to a lot of kids’ faces on Christmas morning,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “Martinsville Speedway is proud of our community and our fans. While the speedway presents the check, it truly is a community donation.”
The Grace Network gets lists of names from the churches in the network and then is able to take the money raised and shop according to each child’s needs and wishes.
“Being able to bring joy to children in this season is a blessing,” said Simone Redd, a Grace Network board member and the one who heads up the shopping. “The generous donations and toys received allowed us to spread the spirit and true meaning of Christmas throughout the community.
“Christmas is a special time of the year and we, at Grace Network, appreciate the opportunity to participate in the toy drive with the Martinsville Speedway.”
This year’s toy drive reached a bigger audience than ever before, thanks to some ticket packages that were put up for auction. Race fans from all over the country bid on race experiences like getting a picture taken in Victory Lane with the STP 500 winner or the opportunity to ride in the Official Pace Car for the start of the race.
However, it wasn’t all about change. Like in years past, fans had the opportunity to drive their personal cars around the track, in exchange for a new toy or a $10 donation. Different from years past though, the laps were spread out over two weeks, instead of being limited to one day. This gave fans from as far away as New Jersey and South Dakota the opportunity to participate.