Abingdon's Spring tourism season kicks off with a concert

ABINGDON, Va. - The lawn was packed on Sunday at the Martha Washington Inn, in Abingdon, as people enjoyed the first in a series of spring concerts.

"We just have easy, sort of jazzy, roots music and stuff planned for every Sunday so it's great to finally get outside and enjoy spring," said Sara Cardinale, the town's special events coordinator.

Sunday's event was the first of three Music on the Lawn concerts. Cardinale told us more people attended than they did for every concert last year. There were about 65 people on the lawn.

"I'm really pleased to see we have a really wide range of age groups," said Cardinale. "We've even have kids here hanging out with picnics and older folks."

Despite the success, she told us they hope to extend their reach to attract visitors from Roanoke, Asheville, and Blacksburg.

"The idea is to get people in town so we're trying to do things that are exciting that get people to come stay overnight," said Cardinale.

Down the road, at Shaver's of Abingdon Bed and Breakfast, Joan Shaver told us she's already getting calls.

"As long as it doesn't pour down rain the rest of spring, I think we can expect a decent spring season," Shaver said.

Shaver told us some visitors were deterred by the weather in March, especially those who planned to come for the races at Bristol Motor Speedway.

She's not worried, however, because she told us business always picks up around this time of year.

"Usually we get a few people in April and May and it starts to pick up in the summer," said Shaver. "They want to come for Barter shows and the creeper [trail]."

She told us, right now, she has more reservations from business travelers. In the summer, she said, that will switch to families.

There will be two more Music on the Lawn concerts this month, on April 13 and April 27.

Another concert series starts in May, called Thursday Jams. It's a free concert series in the evening, featuring nationally known artists.

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