By Debbie Adams

The Town of Vinton has once again distributed its information-packed calendars to all its citizens and businesses— an annual undertaking and one of those “quality of life” perks of living in the Town of Vinton, especially since residents receive them free of charge.

The Town of Vinton has completed distribution of its 2020 town calendar. The photograph on the cover, and many within, are by Sherri Winkler, designer of the calendar for the past five years.

The town calendars have become very popular in Vinton over the years, so much so that citizens start asking in early December when they will arrive.

Each year the calendar has a theme. The theme for this year’s calendar is simply “Vinton is…” 

Vinton Director of Community Programs and Facilities Chasity Barbour and Sherri Winkler, owner of Nite Owl Artz Creative Services and part-time employee of the town, brainstormed to come up with the idea and presented it to the town administration for approval.

“We feel right now ‘Vinton is everything’ due to all the economic development going on and the great community support!” said Barbour. “I hope everyone enjoys the calendars as much as we did planning them out.”

The calendar is a treasure trove of information of all things Vinton. It contains the sometimes hard to remember refuse and recycling calendar by the week, month, and year (including special holiday schedules), due dates for real estate and personal property tax  bills, Town Council meeting dates, and dates for Chamber of Commerce events.

Each year the Vinton Town Calendar is a treasure trove of information about the town and goings-on in the town. The October calendar reminds citizens it is “Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month” and that the annual Downtown Trick or Treat is scheduled for October 29, not the 31st. Utility bill due dates were not included this year as Town Council was in the midst of approving a switch to monthly billing when the calendars were submitted for printing.

It includes holidays, special event and festival dates, some of the featured activities at the Vinton Library, the Vinton History Museum, the Vinton Farmers’ Market, and classes at the Charles R. Hill Community Center, along with the basics of when the seasons change and when Daylight Saving Time begins and ends.

There are phone numbers for all town departments, emergency numbers for police, fire, and rescue, the Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection, and the Post Office, plus many frequently used Roanoke County numbers.

There is an Event Parking map of downtown Vinton and a list of all the members of the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce.

In 2020 there are reminders that April 1 is US Census Day with helpful tips for completing the process, and reminders that June is “Adopt-a -Shelter-Cat Month,” October is “Adopt a-Shelter-Dog Month,” and November is “Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month.”

Current members of Vinton Town Council explained inside the front cover what “Vinton is” to each of them.

“Vinton is an awesome place because of the wonderful people that live, work, shop, and play in our town,” said Mayor Brad Grose. “We enjoy the feel of a close community with amenities and services found in larger cities. New people and businesses are always welcome in our exciting town.”

Vice Mayor Keith Liles noted, “Vinton is the place I am very proud to call home, where positive change continues to flourish and attract citizens and visitors.”

Councilwoman Sabrina McCarty said, “Vinton is my home; it’s where I work, eat, live, and play. I love Vinton.”

“Vinton is where I live and where I serve, but most importantly, it’s my home,” commented Councilwoman Janet Scheid.

Councilman Mike Stovall added, “Vinton is where my heart is.”

Designing and compiling the calendar each year is a team effort involving countless hours of work, not to mention the man-hours spent in delivery by Town of Vinton staff. For the past five years Winkler, with her graphics expertise, has designed the calendars.

The department and information pages found at the back of the calendar have been continual works in progress. Those tend to be the most helpful for newcomers or a refresher for long-time residents.

This year, each department was asked to update its information–limited to 250 words or less. Town Executive Assistant Susan Johnson and Public Works Administrative Manager Jill Acker did a great deal of the work on compiling general information and the all-important Public Works section which many citizens rely on weekly.

In addition to Winkler’s beautiful front cover and scenic photos scattered throughout the calendar, photographs were contributed by Barbour, Kelly Turner, Billy Powell, Anne Cantrell, Cher, Brandi Thomas, Debbie Adams, and Roanoke County.

The idea for the Town calendar originated several years ago. The Town had previously been distributing magnets displaying the recycling schedule in packets with brochures from several different departments of the Town. The calendar format was adopted to include all the information that might be needed by residents in one compact package. The town distributes the calendars to new residents and businesses when they contact the Town of Vinton about water accounts, business licenses, etc.

This year 4,000 copies of the calendar were printed. The town worked with Bison Press in Bedford to print the calendars and Bison treated the calendar planners to a tour of the factory.

Vinton’s Director of Community Programs and Facilities worked with Winkler on the theme and design of the 2020 town calendar. She is shown at the Bison Press factory in Bedford where the 4000 calendars were printed this year.

Winkler says the town was quite pleased with the result– “Bison did a beautiful job!”

Town staff plans to mail 2021 Vinton Town Calendars to residents, so keep an eye on your mailbox next December. The current plan is to have the 2021 calendars delivered by December 15, 2020.

Any citizens or businesses that have not received a copy should contact the assistant town manager at rpeters@vintonva.gov or call 343-1508 with your specific physical address and the town will make sure you receive a copy as soon as possible. Or call Public Works at 983-0646 and a calendar will be delivered to you.