On Sunday, May 17th, from 2:00 pm until 4:30 pm, the Roanoke Valley Chess Club participated in the Grandin Village Street Fair-- formerly known as Block Party. This annual event is sponsored by the Grandin Village Merchants Association. The co-sponsor for many years, the Raleigh Court Civic League, did not participate this year. 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 seventh year that the club has participated in this event.

As it is every year, this event 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.

This year, due to popular demand, various Village restaurants offered food for sale on the sidewalks, in lieu of the free food of years past. The party this year also featured a street fair theme, with magicians, musicians, and children's activities.

The RVCC members participated, playing everyone wanting a game. The club generously allowed the public to use three of its four stone chess tables to eat, rest, and hang out. We preferred to borrow several 8-foot white tables from Virginia Heights Baptist Church, and loads of chairs, the better to accommodate the many chess players drawn to our area.

We also passed out basic information club cards at these tables. The RVCC gained some invaluable exposure, and added to its contact list several possible new members and tournament players !

The club's participation this year was mainly co-ordinated by club President Mike Huff and by Vice-President Sam Kennedy. Sam and Gary Myers wrangled the tables, chairs, sets, and promotional materials. Sam, Gary, and young Christian Dotson took on all comers, playing simuls when needed. Many thanks also to the volunteers who put all the tables and chairs back in their proper places at the conclusion of the festival.

Mostly cloudy conditions with thunderstorms forecast-- but never materializing-- and, perhaps, the lack of free food this year, kept attendance sparse compared to last year.

We consider the Grandin Village Street Fair/Block Party to be an outstanding neighborhood event, as well as an important publicity-generating event for the club!

( Report submitted by Mike Huff )