Blacksburg is an incorporated town located in Montgomery County, with a population of 39,284 at the 2000 Census, with an estimated increase to 41,796 in 2008. Blacksburg is dominated economically and demographically by the presence of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Blacksburg is the largest town in Virginia by population. There are many larger municipalities, but they are incorporated as cities.
Due to its elevation, the climate of Blacksburg is either classified as mountain temperate or humid continental (Cfb or Dfb, respectively). Summers are warm and humid, although significantly cooler than low-elevation places within the state, and winters are generally cool to cold with warm periods. Monthly mean temperatures range from 30.9 °F in January to 71.1 °F in July. Blacksburg is quite windy.
see also Transportation to Blacksburg
Blacksburg is served primarily by US-460 and I-81, both major arteries for travel in the region. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is currently working with the Department of Transportation to build the Smart Road which will connect Blacksburg directly to I-81, thus significantly decreasing the travel time between Blacksburg and its much larger neighbor, Roanoke. The road, together with the current US-460, will create a loop around Blacksburg, thus alleviating current traffic congestion and aiding further development of the area.
Blacksburg Transit (BT) provides bus transportation primarily to and from the campus of Virginia Tech. Students and faculty ride the BT free with their school identification cards. Virginia Tech subsidizes BT for this service in part or whole through a mandatory student fee. In exchange for this, students are not charged for transportation after displaying their Hokie Passport. Transportation is available to everyone else for a low fee, and during special events the service is often free.
The Smart Way Bus, a regional commuter bus service operated by Valley Metro, provides connecting service between Virginia Tech, downtown Blacksburg, Christiansburg, the Roanoke Regional Airport, and Roanoke. It terminates at the Campbell Court Transportation Center in Roanoke's central business district. Fare is $4.00 one way.
U Car Share, a subsidiary of U-Haul, offers a carsharing service around the Virginia Tech campus.
The Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport serves Blacksburg and the Virginia Tech campus for general aviation.
The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center is home to several companies of varying sizes including VTLS, Honeywell, and the National Weather Service which maintains its Southwestern Virginia headquarters there. The town is also home to MOOG, a major contractor for the defense department and the health care industry and Rackspace's Email and Apps Division (formerly Mailtrust and Webmail.us). The town and county continue to recruit major industry to the area. Due to its close proximity to Virginia Tech and Radford University, Blacksburg is an ideal location for developing high tech industry.
Points of interest
Annual town events
- The International Street Fair held in Blacksburg takes place on the first Saturday of every April. Over 110 countries are represented by the student body of Virginia Tech and individuals from the community during the festival. College Avenue is closed for food and craft booths and the stage features an eclectic mix of melodies and musical performances from around the world.
- Steppin' Out, the town's first annual street festival, has taken place on the first Friday and Saturday of every August since 1976 when it was known as the Deadwood Days Summer Festival. The festival's name was changed in 1980. Steppin' Out features over 150 artists and crafts people from around the United States selling unique handcrafted items, local merchants holding final clearance sidewalk sales, local restaurants selling food through outdoor vending, multiple stages for live performances, and "fun for the entire family". The area from North Main Street and Alumni Mall (sometimes even more to the north) to South Main Street and Roanoke Street and Draper Road and Lee Street is designated for the festival. The Draper Mile Run, which was started in 1982, is a one-mile (1.6 km) road race for runners of all ages that is held annually during the first evening of the festival.