Pittsylvania County (VA.) law enforcement are preparing residents, businesses and themselves for the coming Blue Ridge Rock Festival.
Armored vehicles are stationed White Oak Worship Center and Virginia State Police have given advice to Blairs businesses.
Pittsylvania County Sherriff Mike Taylor assures the public that the armored vehicles by White Oak Church are mainly precautionary.
Last week, the sheriff’s office sent out a message directly to the residents of Blairs, the small Pittsylvania County community where Blue Ridge Amphitheatre is located.
“We did a reverse 9-1-1 call to that local area to I think a little over 900 homes,” Taylor said.
The call was to get Blairs residents with a direct number to call for particular festival related concerns.
“If they had issues getting in and out [of traffic] or somebody trespassing on their property, we would provide a direct line into our command post,” Taylor said.
Taylor wants people that may be affected by new traffic patterns to make personal adjustments accordingly.
“We’re trying very hard to make people aware of the new traffic pattern,” Taylor said. “If they’re traveling to work, they might want to leave a few minutes early so they can get accustomed to the first couple of days [of new traffic patterns].
Out of all the days leading up to the festival, Wednesday will be the most problematic.
“Wednesday this week will be the busiest traffic day, so people need to make preparations for that,” Taylor advised. “Campers and the biggest wave is expected to come.”
Tommy Edwards, general manager of the Bojangles restaurant in Blairs, is getting geared up for the festival by the advice of local law enforcement himself.
“We talk to highway patrol and police officers that come in as costumers. They’ve been telling us that they’re expecting for the worst, but hoping for the best and we should do that too,” Edwards said. “We’ve been planning on it. We don’t know what to expect so were trying to staff extra heavy and get extra food in here.”
Edwards is doing everything in his power to make Bojangles’ service in the coming weeks as seamless as possible, and is not intimidated by the tens of thousands arriving from out-of-state for the rock festival, he said.
“We’re trying to make a smooth transition for the next couple of weeks,” he stated.
One resident close to the amphitheatre, Deborah Dix, is not pleased with the coming festivals. Dix lives on Lester Lane, the unmarked one-lane road where the sole entrance to the festival grounds lies.
“The supervisors said quiet time would start around 12 p.m., but it doesn’t really get quiet until 2 a.m.,” she said.
Dix claims that the owner of the venue is looking to buy as much land in the surrounding area as possible.
“I know the guy that owns the land is pushing to sell his land to the venue,” she said. “I still think Berry Hill Mega Park would be the perfect fit for the venue.”