On Sunday, May 23rd, from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm, the Roanoke Valley Chess Club participated in the Grandin Village Block Party. This annual event is sponsored jointly by the Raleigh Court Civic League, and merchants and organizations in and around the Grandin Village area. This event is a one-day, fun-filled, public celebration of the organizations, neighbors and businesses of the Grandin Village area and their friends and supporters. This was the second year that the club has participated in this event.

The Block Party was held on Grandin Road, between Memorial Ave. and Westover Ave. SW. This long block was closed to traffic so that the participants would have a safe area in which to celebrate.

The club had several tables for chess playing by the general public set up in the middle of the block. We also passed out basic information club cards at these tables. These tables saw a lot of activity !

Over 25 people participated in the chess part of the celebration. Eleven new chessplayers filled out contact cards for our e-mail database !

There were handicrafts, singing and dancing acts, as well as a martial arts display. New this year was a magic show that was a real hit with the kids ! Food was served by the Natural Foods Co-Op, the Homestead Creamery and Pops Ice Cream Parlor restaurant, as well as by several other vendors. Many of the hot dogs , cookies and other goodies were FREE !!

The club's participation was chiefly Co-ordinated by officer Mike Huff, who negotiated the arrangements with the Grandin Village officials. Mike, Richard White, Ray Diaz and Rusty Potter all helped with setting up the tables, chairs and other promotional materials. A number of members wore the new club T-Shirts. The shirts have a green background. All in white are the following : a chess board, a knights Templar shield and an elegant Elgin-style Staunton chess knight on the front. These shirts really look sharp !

The only mood-dampening experience that the club had was a mild downpour for part of the exhibition. Accordingly, we are looking into the possibility of buying a modestly-priced canopy cover to use at this type of outdoor event.

We consider the Grandin Village Block Party to be an outstanding neighborhood event, as well as a real publicity-generating event for the club !

( Report submitted by Mike Huff with assistance from Rusty Potter. )