With a population of only 15,030 according to the 2020 U.S. census, Alleghany County, a border county to West Virginia, is located in the northernmost part of the Roanoke Region.
Located in Alleghany County are the towns of Iron Gate, Clifton Forge, Selma and Low Moor. The City of Covington is the county seat.
The Historic Masonic Theatre (circa 1905) has been restored to its former grandeur, and it seats 540 at its location at 510 Main Street in Clifton Forge.
Beside the Historic Masonic Theatre stands the Masonic Amphitheatre, and a few blocks west of there, Jack Mason’s Tavern & Brewery serves as a live music venue from time to time.
About five miles east of Clifton Forge, Michele Rucker, the owner of the Farm at Glen Haven, holds concerts and specializes in hosting weddings.
Douthat State Park, mainly located in Bath County where its amphitheatre overlooks the 50-acre Douthat Lake, serves as an entertainment venue from time to time also. Whispering Pines Campground, the southernmost area of the park is located in Alleghany County. Concerts can be held there too.
Between Douthat State Park and Clifton Forge, the Buckhorne Country Store and Campground, Inc. has Buckhorne Stage, a small, outdoor stage where concerts are held as well.
In Iron Gate, Bill Cook, a well-known musician from Clifton Forge, owns a facility where concerts are held too.
The Jackson River Sports Complex in Covington has the River Rock Amphitheatre that serves as the site for the summer concert series funded by the City of Covington which seldom charges admission for its concerts.
Within a 50-mile radius of Clifton Forge, there are other venues such as Lime Kiln Theater in Lexington, the Berglund Center in Roanoke and Carnegie Hall and the State Fairgrounds in Lewisburg.
On Sat., Aug. 13, the 44th Annual Streetscene drew a large crowd to view more than 100 classic motor vehicles and antique cars and trucks on display along the blocked-off streets in the downtown area. A free concert was held during the evening at the River Rock Amphitheatre featuring Five Shades of Gray.
Less than 50 miles to the west, the West Virginia State Fair was featuring Foreigner on the main stage at the State Fairgrounds.
Thirty miles east of Clifton Forge on the same day, Scott Miller was performing at Lime Kiln Theater at the Watkins Family Hour show.
Inside Jack Mason’s Tavern & Brewery, a three-piece band from out of town, was performing while Christa Garcia and Runnin’ Shine followed her act performed at the Masonic Amphitheatre two blocks away.
While the tavern was packed, Runnin’ Shine was playing to a small gathering at the Masonic Amphitheatre.
Those who attended Streetscene 2022 had left the downtown by then to attend the free concert by the Five Shades of Gray at the River Rock Amphitheatre or to travel to other destinations.
After having been setback by COVID-19 from 2020-2021, entertainment venues that sell tickets for events continue to struggle to draw crowds, especially when free entertainment remains an option at nearby venues.
Such was the case on Sat., Aug. 13, in Clifton Forge where the ticket-selling venue competed against Streetscene’s free concert at the River Rock Amphitheatre just 15 miles to the west and live music just two blocks away.