Buchanan will be a busy place when April arrives this week.

It all starts with the town’s annual Arbor Day Celebration on Friday and ends the final weekend of the month when cannon fire roars and a couple hundred Civil War re-enactors duke it out in a cavalry charge during the “Battle of Buchanan.”

The cherry trees along Buchana's Lowe Street are starting to bloom.
The cherry trees along Buchana's Lowe Street are starting to bloom.

Buchanan is the only community in the county that has been included in the Tree City USA program, and the April 2 commemorative tree planting recognizes the town’s emphasis on that aspect of making the town tree friendly.

The celebration is at 11 a.m. on the Buchanan Town Park. The public is invited to join town officials when they unveil the Arbor Day Donors Plaque recognizing those individuals who have contributed to this year’s tree plantings.

Buchanan also is one of five communities to receive a grant from Valley Beautiful for assistance with Arbor Day tree plantings.

As part of the celebration, the Virginia Department of Forestry is providing seedling trees for each of the students at Buchanan Elementary School. In case of inclement weather, the event will change to Friday, April 9.

Cherry Tree Blossoms

The Arbor Day celebration also helps to highlight the town’s growing and spectacular display of flowering cherry trees.

The flowering cherry trees are just about to bloom, helping to create one of Botetourt County’s most spectacular spring displays.

Buchanan’s peak cherry tree bloom appears to be in concert with the projected bloom dates for the flowering cherry trees in Washington DC’s famous Tidal Basin. April 1-10 are projected to be the peak bloom dates in Buchanan. The exact days, and how long the peak bloom period will last is dependent on temperatures, wind and rain, however, the blossoms appear to be ready to burst open at any time, Town Revitalization Manager Harry Gleason said.

Warm days with cool evenings and little to no wind promote the longest bloom period. Buchanan’s cherry tree plantings consist of a mix of Yoshino, Aekebono and Kwazan cherry trees with the majority of trees being Yoshino cherry trees.

Buchanan’s flowering cherry tree display runs along Main Street, Lowe Street and Bedford Street. For an up to date report on the cherry tree display, contact the Buchanan Downtown Revitalization Program at 254-1212.

Second Fridays Cruise-Ins

April also ushers in the popular Second Friday Cruise-Ins in Downtown Buchanan. The first is Friday, April 9, and they are held monthly through October.

Activities begin April 9 at 5:30 p.m. when antique and custom autos begin lining Main Street, and continue until 8:30 p.m.

Visitors can enjoy looking at the dozens of antique and classic autos that will fill the downtown, listening to a strolling barbershop quartet, browsing downtown shops that will be open late, dining on Main Street and watching a special feature movie at the Buchanan Theatre.

Visitors also will be able to enter a drawing to win gas gift certificates and other prizes offered by Buchanan area businesses.

Live Concert April 10

On Saturday, April 10, Buchanan Theatre hosts KOLE in a live concert. The North Carolina band plays at 7:30 p.m. (admission is $8). KOLE plays a soulful blend of rock, reggae and pop in a concert that’s appropriate for all ages.

Civil War Weekend & Heritage Craft, Art & Antique Show

From Friday, April 23 through Sunday, April 25, Buchanan will host the annual Civil War Weekend that recognizes the area’s role in the War Between The States and includes a re-enactment of the Battle of Buchanan. This year, as many as 200 cavalry re-enactors could be taking part in Sunday’s battle.

There will be other scrimmages, living history camps, lectures, heritage crafters, artists, antique dealers and sutlers set up throughout the weekend, too. The town Special Events Committee welcomes inquiries from those who want to set up during the Heritage Crafters, Art and Antique Show on Saturday, April 24 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more information, participation applications for the April 24 show and questions on any of the town’s activities,  contact the Buchanan Downtown Revitalization Program at (540) 254-1212 or email buchananva@verizon.net.

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