The Debate: Where to go and what to do

Published 1:00 pm Thursday, September 29, 2016

Farmville is just a little more than 7 square miles in size, holding more than 8,000 citizens and Longwood University’s more than 5,000 students. Add in a major event like the year’s only U.S. Vice Presidential Debate, and getting around and even knowing what’s going on might be a bit of a challenge.

Luckily, the town of Farmville and Longwood have worked together for more than a year preparing, including working out a number of details related to roadways, parking, venues and more.

MARTIN CAHN | HERALD Longwood University, which holds more than 5,000 students, geared up for the debate with street banners.

Longwood University, which holds more than 5,000 students, geared up for the debate with street banners.

On page A2 of today’s edition, visitors and residents will find a map created by the town, university and The Farmville Herald to serve as a guide. Also in todays A section there is a calendar of events, both on and off Longwood’s campus. They are designed for visitors and residents alike to keep and refer to throughout the coming days to help know where to go, what streets may be blocked off and where to park, as well as a list of many events to choose from and enjoy.

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Main Street runs north and south along the east side of Longwood’s campus. South Main Street heads past the R.R. Moton Museum toward U.S. 460, after which it joins U.S. 15. North Main Street crosses the High Bridge Trail and the Appomattox River. Part of the town of Farmville actually sits on the other side of the river in Cumberland County. Main Street in this direction becomes State Route 45.

Longwood University is also bound by Griffin Boulevard to the west and High Street, where the campus’ famous Rotunda sits, to the north. Veering off High Street is Oak Street, upon which is Centra Southside Community Hospital’s campus.

The town’s other “main street” is Third Street. West Third Street eventually meets the intersection of U.S. highways 15 and 460. East Third Street meets U.S. 460 as well.

Traffic changes and parking

Vehicular traffic onto campus is being restricted, but other street closings will be few. In fact, only Main Street — between the intersection of Putney Street (where McDonald’s is) and Griffin Boulevard at the R.R. Moton Museum — will be reduced to one lane of traffic in both directions beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday. This section of Main Street will be completely blocked, and traffic redirected, between 8-11 p.m. Tuesday for the debate. Other streets may be blocked for short periods of time. The town will send out alerts on social media and update its debate web page at

There will also be two places where parking will not be allowed: a lot on the east side of South Street behind the Prince Edward Courthouse and a lot on the west side of North Street next to the Farmer’s Market. There will also be special parking for credentialed media and Longwood faculty, students and staff.

There will be seven public parking areas: South Main Street, across from the Moton Museum; Virginia Street, about one-half block north of Fourth Street; the east side of North Street across from the Farmer’s Market; a lot on the southeast corner of South and East Second streets; a lot bordered by Mill, First and N. Main streets; a lot to the north of Depot Street east of North Main Street; and a large parking lot on the west side of North Main Street next to Riverside Park.


Most of the events surrounding the debate are being sponsored by Longwood University. Most of those are also on the Longwood campus.

There are three events town of Farmville officials noted when asked about events around town leading up to the debate. Of these, two are connected to real estate company Real Living Cornerstone’s Farmville office. The business will hold an open house featuring games, giveaways and “patriotic fun.” The event takes place all day Saturday and will feature coffee and donuts from 9 to 11 a.m. Real Living will then host a block party cookout from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday in a nearby parking lot with hotdogs and local pies and treats available.

The other event on Saturday is an “All-American Downtown Celebration” at 308 North Main St. from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The event will feature music, food and “refreshing” history as the community celebrates the restoration of two Coca-Cola murals in downtown Farmville.

All three of these events are free and open to the public, as are a number of Longwood-related events, which start Friday.

These events, for which more information is provided in todays A section, include:

• The 2016 Student Citizens Summit, Friday, 9:45 a.m.-3 p.m., in Longwood’s Jarman Hall, where several hundred secondary school students from around the region will gather for civics-related discussions and activities and a tour of the Moton Museum.

• VP Jubilee Kickoff, 8 p.m. Sunday on the campus’ Stubbs Mall, where students will learn if they won tickets to Tuesday night’s debate and enjoy the music of pop duo MKTO.

• VP Jubilee, noon-7 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday on Stubbs Mall, featuring assorted debate-related booths, activities and musical acts.

• “En-light(e)ning Talks,” 1-4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday on the south side of Lancaster Hall, featuring TED-like talks from Longwood faculty on debate-related topics.

• Second City-Improv All-Stars, 8 p.m. Monday on Stubbs Mall, where the troupe, which launched many comedic careers, will perform live.

• Civil Rights Walking Tour, 10 a.m. Tuesday starting at the Moton Musuem, developed by Longwood professor Larissa Smith Fergeson.

• First Amendment Field, 10 a.m. Tuesday next to the Moton Museum, where participants will sign up to speak for 10 minutes on a stage.

• Citizens and Leaders, noon Tuesday, at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts on North Main Street, in conjunction with the center’s exhibit, “Citizens and Leaders: A Century of Iconic Presidential Campaign Photography by the Associated Press.”

• “The Increasing Power of the Presidency,” 4 p.m. Tuesday at Longwood’s Maugans Alumni Center in the Martinelli Room, featuring advisers to former vice presidents Al Gore and Dick Cheney and Vice President Joe Biden.

• Campus Debate Watch Party, 9 p.m. Tuesday on Stubbs Mall, with attendees watching the debate on a giant screen.

• Post-Debate Breakfast, 10:30 p.m. Tuesday on Stubbs Mall, where a late-night breakfast will be served while live music plays on a stage.

The public is invited to the last two events, space permitting.