The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - 66

Vinton War
Memorial
The iconic Vinton location serves as both
memorial to the past and a bridge towards
the future.
WHEN THE ICONIC Vinton War Memorial
opened in 1948, it was the center of a community park
that served as a memorial for veterans of World War
II. It also housed the Dogwood Ballroom, the town's
library and meeting rooms.
But 60 years later, the memorial on East Washington
Avenue received a multi-million-dollar makeover that
transformed it into a large event venue. The goal was
for the facility to be self-sustaining.
A major feature of the renovation was the expansion
66

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

JENNY KINCAID BOONE is a Roanoke-based freelance writer and former
business journalist. She is a Roanoke College and Northwestern University
graduate who is passionate about exercise and chai latte.

of the Dogwood Ballroom. The room grew from 1,500
square feet to about 4,000 square feet, with the option
of dividing it into two ballrooms for smaller events.
The expanded space can seat at least 240 people.
The renovations also made way for a new
commercial kitchen for use by caterers for events. The
memorial does not offer its own catering services.
The majority of its business now comes from
hosting weddings, said Chasity Barbour, who works
for the Town of Vinton and manages the memorial.
Despite many changes, the memorial has stayed true
to its military roots.
In 2011, the community unveiled the Vinton/
Roanoke County Veterans Monument, called High
Ground, an octagonal outdoor structure that features a
bronze American flag in its center. It honors members
of the military who were killed in action, as well as
those currently serving, with names carved in granite.
High Ground, considered the first piece of public
art displayed in Vinton, serves as the memorial's bridge
to the past. I -JENNY KINCAID BOONE

JULIANNE RAINONE JACOB / ARCHIVAL IMAGE COURTESY OF THE VIRGINIA ROOM, ROANOKE PUBLIC LIBRARIES

then & now

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The Roanoker - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - January/February 2020

The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Intro
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Cover1
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Cover2
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