Elizabeth LaPrelle and the Family Band will kick off the 52nd Home Craft Days on Friday at Mountain Empire Community College. Photo courtesy of Pro-Art.
Elizabeth LaPrelle and the Family Band will kick off the 52nd Home Craft Days on Friday at Mountain Empire Community College. Photo courtesy of Pro-Art.

Here are some of the top events around Southwest and Southside for the coming week. Check out our new events calendar. Got an event? You can add it there for free. Want to keep up with what’s happening? Sign up here for our free weekly events newsletter.

Oct. 20: Bullets into bells at University of Lynchburg

A Washington, D.C.-based artist will make bullets into bells on Friday at the University of Lynchburg.

The traveling installation, “When do you feel safe?” was created in response to the current crisis of school shootings in the U.S.

The day’s public events will include a bullet-melting ceremony at 3 p.m. on the loading dock outside Dillard Fine Arts Center.

The artist, who goes by the name Mercedes, will bring a small furnace, and participants will be invited to drop bullet casings in and watch them melt. The artist will then pour the liquid metal into bell-shaped molds.

An artist’s reception will follow the ceremony from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Daura Museum of Art. A related art installation, “Run, Hide, Fight,” will be on display at the Daura through Dec. 14.

The public is invited to attend the bullet melting ceremony, reception and exhibit. Admission is free.

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Oct. 20-22: Home Craft Days Festival at Mountain Empire CC

Mountain Empire Community College will host its annual Home Craft Days Festival this weekend.

The event will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Friday with a concert at MECC’s Phillips-Taylor Hall Goodloe Center, featuring performances from Elizabeth LaPrelle and the Family Band, Martha Spencer and the Wonderland Band and more.

Craft and food vendors will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The weekend also will feature crafting demonstrations and other live music. Admission is free

For more information on the event, including a detailed schedule of vendors and musicians and information about parking, visit the Home Craft Days website at www.homecraftdays.org.

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Oct. 21: Rhythm & Rhyme Melrose Fall Festival

The Rhythm & Rhyme Melrose Fall Festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday outside the Melrose Branch Library in Roanoke.

The festival is hosted by Roanoke Public Libraries, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, Humble Hustle and the Roanoke Arts Commission.

This year’s iteration is an expansion of the annual Melrose Fall Festival and will feature a performing arts component. There will be free food, free books for children and teens, free family activities and free community resources.

As part of its arts focus, the festival will include the appointment of Roanoke’s first-ever Youth Poet Laureate.

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Oct. 21: Craft & Draft in Radford

Craft & Draft returns to Radford on Sunday with handcrafted wares, live music, food trucks, craft beer and more.

The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Glencoe Field, the green space and parking lot next to Glencoe Mansion.

No outside alcohol is allowed, and no smoking in the event area. The event is free to attend, but donations are encouraged and appreciated. To find out more, visit www.craftanddraftva.com.

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Oct. 21: Grandin Bloktoberfest

The 2nd annual Raleigh Court Neighborhood Association’s Grandin Bloktoberfest will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

More than 20 vendor booths will be set up on Grandin Road. A pet costume contest will start at 11:30 a.m., followed by live music from noon to 2:30 p.m.

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Oct. 21: Bluegrass jamboree at Wytheville CC

The Lovely Mountaineers and Coyote Ugly will take the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday for Wytheville Community College’s free monthly Bluegrass and Old-Time Jamboree at 7 p.m.

The jamboree will be held in the William F. Snyder Auditorium on the campus in Wytheville. 

Seating for the event is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted to help defray the travel expenses of the bands.

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Oct. 25: ‘Spy Facts vs. Spy Fiction’ at University of Lynchburg

Brian Crim, chair of the History Department and John Franklin East Distinguished Chair in the Humanities, will talk about the close relationship between popular culture and national security policy at the University of Lynchburg’s fall history seminar on Oct. 25.

The lecture, “Spy Facts vs. Spy Fiction: ‘Homeland,’ the Covert Sphere, and the End of the War on Terror,” will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. in Hopwood Auditorium. The public is welcome and admission is free.

Crim will use the TV series “Homeland” as a case study. The series, which ran from 2011-20, came at the end of the so-called War on Terror, Crim said, and “addressed national anxieties about a permanent and intrusive intelligence community.”

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Oct. 25: Richard Petty and Frank Scott in Martinsville

New College Institute and the Wendell Scott Foundation will host a conversation in Martinsville with NASCAR racing legend Richard Petty and Frank Scott, the son of Wendell Scott, who was the first Black driver to race full time in the NASCAR premier series.

“Legendary Conversations” will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Baldwin Building on NCI’s campus, 191 Fayette St. The conversation will be moderated by Warrick Scott, CEO/founder of the Wendell Scott Foundation, and will focus on stories about Wendell Scott, breaking barriers in NASCAR and memorable races. 

Clay Campbell, president of the Martinsville Speedway, also will talk about the speedway’s history. 

Food trucks, live music and race cars will be in the NCI parking lot and plaza starting at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. However, seating in the lecture hall is limited and registration is required to attend. 

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