Valentine’s Day Carriage Rides

Worried about what to get your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day? Plan a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride through JMU’s beautiful Edith J. Carrier Arboretum! Rides are on Sunday February 12th and Tuesday February 14th from 5-8 pm.

Tickets prices are as follows:
$12 child
$18 adult
$75 private carriage – holds 4 adults or family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children)

For more information and a list of future events, please head to

City and JMU Partner to Host Parade

The Dukes are national champions! Last Saturday the Dukes of JMU painted the streets purple and gold in Friso, Texas with a 28-14 win over Youngstown State at the FCS national championship. To celebrate their much anticipated win, the city of Harrisonburg and JMU will he hosting a Champions parade this Saturday, January 14th at 1:00pm! 

The football team, coaching staff, the Marching Royal Dukes and cheerleaders will walk on Main Street, starting at Water Street and ending at the court house steps in Court Square. A few brief remarks will then be made at the court house.

Note that Main Street from, Martin Luther King, Jr. Way to Elizabeth Street, and Court Square will be closed from approximately noon until 3 p.m. Parking on Main Street, along with parking in the public lot across from Newman Avenue, will be prohibited after 10 a.m. on Saturday.

We hope to see you there! Go Dukes!

Graduation Time

It’s Graduation Weekend…Get ready for the crazy!

Graduation weekend in Downtown Harrisonburg is kind of all over the place.  First and foremost, it’s great to see so many people downtown supporting our local businesses.   It’s an inspiring scene to see visitors from around the country appreciate the restaurants, art, and community that we have come to love.   However, it can be a little crazy because the streets are FLOODED with people and everywhere is booked!   So where should you go?   What should you do?   This is where Matchbox Downtown can help.

Local Chop & Grill
Now, you won’t be able to get a reservation at Local Chop this weekend (they actually open reservations for graduation day on January 15th of each year and are usually fully booked within 24 hours), but their bar area does NOT take reservations and you can still enjoy a cocktail, world class beer, or arguably the best appetizers in town.   It’s a bit of a roll of the dice if you’re coming with your whole family, but if it’s just you and one or two other people, give it a shot.

Clementine’s is similarly booked up, but they do have a gnarly show on Saturday night featuring Funk Ark & Jonathan Scales.  Tickets are on sale for $10 presale and $12 at the door.   I would recommend you buy sooner rather than later though, as I imagine the show will sell out relatively quickly.

Capital Ale House with Three Brothers Brewing
Capital Ale is embracing all things Harrisonburg with a special event featuring Three Brothers brews and a limited edition pint glass with Three Brothers and Cap Ale insignia specifically for graduation weekend.   Cap Ale is large enough to house nearly any party size, but I would get there early if you want prime rooftop seating which seems like a must on what is looking to be a beautiful weekend.

Bella Luna Wood Fired Pizza
From everything we know, Bella Luna is not accepting reservations for Friday or Saturday this weekend which is great for anyone without a place already reserved for this weekend.   First come, first serve service can be great on a weekend like this and just think, at the worst, you will be able to enjoy a cocktail in the awesome, open air veranda of the Livery building.   Sooo cool.

Blue Nile
Blue Nile is a great place to catch a meal during this crazy weekend (have you ever had their grilled cheese with peanut butter soup?!?).   The restaurant will be open until 9pm, after which the real party starts in the basement with DJs running until 2am.  Prepare to get sweaty.

Three Notch’d Brewery
And as you’ve seen from our previous post, it looks like Three Notch’d Brewery will also be opening this Friday so make sure to check out their awesome downtown location at the Urban Exchange!   Something tells me this will be a great place to take in all the craziness graduation weekend has to offer.

Don’t look now, but Valentine’s Day is on Friday

Generally speaking, there are two camps when it comes to Valentine’s Day: 1) you think it’s a made up holiday meant to spur consumer spending during the slow, post-holiday season, or 2) you are thrilled to take one day to celebrate love, life, and happiness with your significant other.

Regardless of where you fall, this Friday there is one event in Harrisonburg that epitomizes all things Valentine.  JMU’s Edith J. Carrier Arboretum (780 University Boulevard) will have carriage rides from 5:00pm to 8:00pm through their magnificent grounds.  Reservations can be made by phone (540.568.3194) or in person, though I would likely call ahead to confirm availability.

Just picture it: you, your special someone, a stranger (your driver), and a horse drawn carriage filled with the smells of life and time gone by.  Come on!   What’s not to love?

Harrisonburg named Top 5 College Town in America

Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure

Travel & Leisure has released its list of America’s Best College Towns and Harrisonburg, Virginia has made the top 5.  Featured in their November 2013 issue, Travel and Leisure highlights the best college towns across America as voted on by Travel & Leisure subscribers as well as the general public.  Harrisonburg ranked #5 overall out of 744 towns ranked across 55 different categories!

Harrisonburg’s active outdoors community in conjunction with downtown fixtures such as Capital Ale House and Three Brothers Brewery were highlighted in the brief article. Visit Travel & Leisure’s full list of America’s best college towns.   Go Dukes and Go Harrisonburg!

JMU Men's Basketball

JMU Men’s Basketball Home Opener against Detroit

After a successful 2012 campaign, James Madison University’s men’s basketball team will host their home opener tonight at 7:00pm at the Convocation Center.  JMU (2-2) will host Detroit (1-2), a team that was recently beaten 101-55 by #19 UConn in an early season matchup.

This season’s opener will be a special moment as the Dukes plan to unveil both their CAA Championship and NCAA Tournament banners for the first time.  On top of that, the first 500 students to enter the stadium will receive a FREE t-shirt courtesy of the Athletic Department and the first 300 students will receive FREE food and snacks for the game.

For a full team schedule, please visit JMU Sports.

Go Dukes!