Now for something really different.
The River District has long served as the most important gathering place for entertainment in Danville, and over the years, it has hosted a variety of musical acts.
But this Friday marks something unusual with dueling pianos provided by Dueling Pianos International: a high energy, all request, sing along, clap along, rock n’ roll, comedy piano show where the audience is just as much a part of the show as the entertainers.
The show is part of a range of activities planned by the City of Danville to introduce and celebrate its new branding for the River District.
“We undertook a thorough process to create a new brand that will be unique to Danville, and we strongly believe in the message we will introduce Friday evening,” Corrie Teague, assistant director for economic development, said Monday. “To celebrate this moment, we wanted to put together an event that would stand out from any other the River District has hosted.
“Dueling Pianos International will provide a show that will be different from what we have had in the past, and one that everyone can enjoy. We believe people will be talking about the show for days to follow.”
The pianos will be set up on the outdoor patio at the front of the Community Market. The show begins at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. Admission is free. Those planning to attend are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
In addition to the show, the event will feature children’s activities, including two bounce houses and the Imagination Playground provided by the Danville Science Center. Gentlemen’s Ridge will bring its food truck, and Fun Time Amusements will sell concessions.
At 9 p.m., the city will unveil the River District’s new brand by showing an introductory video and images projected on a 40-foot by 20-foot screen to be placed on the outdoor patio of the Community Market.
The event ends at 9:15 p.m., with a fireworks show on par with the city’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show.
The celebration will continue on Saturday, May 2, with the opening of the Farmers' Market and the second annual Make Danville Shine home improvement expo at the Community Market. Both events begin at 7:30 a.m. and end at noon.
Parks and Recreation will host a river cleanup that day as well – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meeting location will be at the Train Station at The Crossing at the Dan.
On Saturday night, Harvest Jubilee will launch a new concert series – Covers at the Crossing. Slippery When Wet; the Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute Band will headline the first show in the series. Tickets are $7 for this event, and they will be available at the gate.
The brand platform is designed to complement the city’s development plan for the River District, which encompasses the heart of the city, where downtown and the Tobacco Warehouse District – both national register historic districts – are tied together by the Dan River. This area has been the commercial and administrative heart of the city since the 1790s.
The city is in its fifth year of implementing the development plan, which includes strategic public planning and investment to spur private investment. Today, nearly 40 different businesses are flourishing in the River District, with private investment outpacing public investment by threefold.
With so much investment taking place, the city undertook an effort to officially brand the River District. The branding will include a new logo, tagline and marketing efforts. Vehicular and pedestrian wayfinding signage will be installed throughout the River District.