Women laughing and enjoying one of the outside events in the NRV.

There’s No Excuse for Being Bored in the NRV

While Virginia’s New River Valley may be a collection of small towns, the amount of things to do here is anything but small. There are tons of events in the NRV.

In fact, there are tons of events in the NRV daily. Whether it’s large, nationally acclaimed annual festivals, or weekly happy hours, these small towns are more bustling than ever.

According to Jami Ryan of NextThreeDays.com, a regional website featuring nearly all the events in the NRV, there were 4,927 Featured Events in our region in 2017. That means these events don’t reoccur weekly.

That’s right. Almost 5,000 one-time events for residents in the NRV.

That comes to 13.5 big events each day.

“I used to hear ‘there’s nothing to do’ all the time from my friends in college who grew up in the city or in more populous areas and came to the NRV for school,” said Ryan. “In fact, this is one of the reasons why I created NextThreeDays because, having spent most of my life in our region, I knew it wasn’t true. And, since I’ve been running NextThreeDays, I can say emphatically that ‘there’s nothing to do’ in the New River Valley is completely false.”

To fight the misconception of lack of events in the NRV, Ryan uses NextThreeDays.com as a place where those events can be easily found: an ever-changing database of fun for all residents of the NRV.

It’s about more than just the amount of events in the NRV too; there is a solid variety as well. Because he sees almost all the events in the NRV, Ryan understands the diversity of activities offered here.

“I would like people to know that there is truly something for everyone,” said Ryan. “Whether it’s looking for live music, finding a local festival, a craft brewery, fun for the kids, the dogs or whomever or whatever your interests are, the NRV has something fun to offer. For example, two years ago I heard about the NRV Historic Dance Society. This group of local residents was formed to teach and celebrate English country dancing in the 17th, 18th & 19th centuries. We also regularly include outdoor games for the Laser Tag Club at Virginia Tech on NextThreeDays and just this week there was a Root Beer Tasting and Sommelier Certification. And, these are just three of the many events that are happening in the NRV. So my point is, there is truly something for everyone no matter your interests.

On top of that, there’s also plenty to do that’s free. Who doesn’t love free?

“There are so many events that have either free admission or the ticket cost is very low,” said Ryan. “Sure, there are a number of dinners, galas and events that are expensive, but there are many, many more events that have free admission. In 2014, I created and completed the 31 Days of NRV Fun Challenge where I had to attend 31 or more events at 31 unique venues and spent no more than $7.00 a day. I was able to accomplish the feat and still had $12.00 leftover at the end.”

“And, this summer I did a 50 Events in 50 Days Challenge and most of the events I attended were free or very inexpensive. Both Radford University and Virginia Tech have wonderful arts, theatre and music programs and many of their performances are free as are many of the universities’ educational activities. Numerous restaurants offer free live music throughout the week and many of our area towns and bigger organizations hosts free festivals throughout the year.”

“And, that doesn’t even count the non-football and basketball collegiate athletics and our public libraries where all events are free. So it’s fairly easy to get out of your home and to find an event to enjoy for a couple of hours and spend $10.00 or less.”

Woman shimmies across rope at Muddy ACCE Race, an adventure race. One of the many events in the NRV, specifically Giles County.

The Muddy ACCE Race in Giles County is one of the many events in the NRV. The sign up fee for this muddy adventure race help fund local students’ community college tuition.

If you’re looking for something to do or specific events in the NRV, check out what’s going on at NextThreeDays.com. The same information also populates to the Live Here page.

For more information about Virginia’s New River Valley, check out Our Region and what it’s like to Live Here.


Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

1 reply
  1. Jami Ryan
    Jami Ryan says:

    thanks for the great article on fun events in the new river valley and thanks for letting me talk about my passion, local fun! Having operated Nextthreedays since 2011, I can tell you the NRV definitely punches above its weight when compared to other regions that are similarly or even slightly bigger due to the great people we have in our region as well as our two local universities that allow us to attract a wide variety of entertainment from across the globe.

    whether you have lived in the new river valley your whole life or are a new resident, i strongly encourage everyone to get out of your home and enjoy some of these great events and see all the fun our community has to offer.


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