The town of Halifax is on the cusp of something big. With revitalization firmly on its mind, Halifax has a clear vision for the future of its downtown. Plans are in motion for design and improvements to both the public infrastructure and the facades, parking and pedestrian access for businesses in the downtown area. Town Manager, Carl Espy, says, “The physical improvements within the downtown are intended to set the stage for reinvigorating existing businesses which are capable of adapting to change and for attracting new, dynamic businesses and private investment which offer needed services and create a destination environment for visitors and community residents alike. Like any worthwhile endeavor, these positive changes are incremental and ongoing, occurring over several years, but the cumulative benefit will produce a discernable ‘sense of place,’ a charming historic village setting which people want to be a part of and where they bring their commerce with them.” Espy is excited to see the Town share these enhancements. “The plan as a roadmap for the future, is never over, it is ongoing, and it evolves, allowing for modifications and new iterations along the way. The positive outcomes it creates during that journey will continue as long as people are willing to work together and move forward.”
Part of the revitalization is aimed at the development and sustainment of small businesses. Espy says, “Small businesses have been and will continue to be the key economic driver for the town.” Small business owner Tom Sheppard (Peddler’s Shop) has been a citizen of Halifax since 1990. While Sheppard and his wife, or “his biggest supporter,” as he refers to her, appreciate the quiet, simple nature of Halifax, they are looking forward to what the future holds for the Town. “I want to see Halifax grow and prosper more than ever,” Sheppard says.
Halifax offers many options for the nature lover. “The area’s natural resources are a great draw to visitors and a favored pastime for residents with more boating, fishing, canoeing/kayaking, and wildlife activities increasing at the Banister Lake Boat Landing and King’s Bridge Landing river access areas, now being marketed as part of the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway. The outdoor offerings at Staunton River State Park, (the 25th certified International Dark Sky Park in the world), nearby continue to attract people throughout the county and from overseas,” Espy says.
If you’re looking for something to do in Halifax, October and November will be busy. There will be a third annual 5K run/walk, a concert with the Appalachian Express band, and a “Small Shop Saturday” event. Halifax holds a wealth of potential for growth. “I hope to see the Town continue to grow and prosper into a vibrant downtown community, one in which investors want to invest in, one in which families will want to continue to live in, and new families will consider relocating to,” says Assistant Town-Manager, Denise Barksdale.
The town of Halifax possesses a charm that residents and visitors cannot resist. Like Tom Sheppard, once you’re here, you want to stick around to see the next big thing to hit. Espy sums it up, “This place is captivating to the eyes of the visitor and unshakable to the soul of the ‘native’ (who either rose here or chose here).”