A candlelight vigil was held at Blacksburg High School (BHS) on Saturday, Nov. 11 in support of the community suffering from the loss of two BHS students found dead inside a vehicle on Nov. 7, 2023.
Blacksburg Town Council member Lauren Colliver and Mayor Leslie Hager-Smith remarked on the event during the council meeting on Nov. 14.
“We had about two to three hundred people come, and we started the morning out with no singers, and we ended up with 40 singers and it was really beautiful, and we are just really grateful for all the participation,” Council member Lauren Colliver said.
“Thank you for offering leadership on that activity; I’ve heard a lot of nice things,” Mayor Leslie Hager-Smith said.
The council members said the audience stood in solidarity, representative of the shock felt by students and community members. Many other government leaders and organizations were also in attendance on Saturday.
According to Colliver, speakers that addressed the group were Reverend Pam Phillips of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation (UUC), Blacksburg Police Chief Todd Brewster, Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) Board member and Dialogue on Race organizer Penny Franklin, New River Valley Community Services (NRVCS) Behavioral Wellness Outreach Specialist Caroline Mullins, and Grief Coach with Soul Body Connect Lindsay McKinnon.
Singers from Blacksburg United Methodist Church, Appalachian Voices, Summer Musical Enterprise, and UUC were also present.
Other business during the Nov. 14 meeting involved a public hearing for the ordinance 2031 to vacate a Greenway Trail easement on land situated near 1505 Bradley Lane in Blacksburg.
“The Town wants to relocate the Greenway Trail to a different location that’s actually a better location and so this paves the way for that to happen,” Blacksburg Town Attorney Larry Spencer said.
There was no public comment following Spencer’s presentation.
In additional announcements at the Council meeting, Small Business Saturday, also known as Shop Small Saturday, will happen on Saturday, Nov. 25 in Blacksburg.
Friday, Dec. 1 will mark the date of the annual Winter Lights Festival in the downtown area. In addition to other evening events, the tree lighting is scheduled for 5:45 p.m., Tuba Christmas at 6 p.m., and the parade following at 7 p.m.