Wednesday, July 1, 2015

RPD Reminds Residents to Celebrate Safely on Independence Day

Food, family, friends, and fun are all part of an Independence Day celebration. As many people are pulling out the grill to celebrate, some are thinking about shooting fireworks or firearms into the air – Both are illegal in the city.

In 2014, Brendon’s Law (§ 18.2-56.1) was enacted to implement harsher penalties for reckless handling of a firearm, including celebratory gunfire, resulting in serious injury. 

The Richmond Police Department would like to remind citizens of the following:

Randomly firing a weapon in the city is illegal.

Firecrackers, skyrockets, torpedoes and other fireworks that explode, travel laterally, rise into the air, or fire projectiles are prohibited.  

Legal fireworks displays planned at Brown’s Island on Friday, July 3 and Dogwood Dell on Saturday, July 4. On Friday, legal parking is available for a fee at 5th and Byrd streets in the parking deck. Illegal parking will be strictly enforced. 

Do not impede the flow of traffic to view fireworks if you are in a vehicle. Please pull over to a safe location. 

Road Closures
The Lee Bridge on Belvidere Street will be closed to north- and southbound traffic to provide a viewing area for the VA Fireworks on the James show on the evening of Friday, July 3. Police ask citizens planning to view fireworks from the bridge to avoid parking on the Lee Bridge or within the Oregon Hill neighborhood.  Residential traffic only is permitted. 

The Manchester Bridge will remain open as an alternate route for drivers. 

No parking on either bridge. 

Specific road closures are listed below. 

5 P.M.  –  Laurel Street & Idlewood Avenue; Belvidere Street & Holly Street; Laurel Street & Holly Street; Pine Street & Holly Street; 900 block of Idlewood Avenue at South Cherry Street

7 P.M. –  Belvidere Street and Spring Street

The Department plans to have a strong police presence this weekend to ensure safe celebrations. To report random gunfire or illegal fireworks, call the Richmond Police Department’s non-emergency number at 804-646-5100

RFD Fireworks Safety Advisory

The 4th of July is a holiday that includes fireworks as a central part of the celebration. The Richmond Fire Department hopes you and your family have a safe Independence Day holiday and that you enjoy fireworks safely. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks – fires, devastating burns, severe injuries, and even death. Below are statistics and tips of how to enjoy fireworks safely.

In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage. 

In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries; 55% of 2014 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head. 

The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 0 - 4, followed by children 10 - 14.

On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires. 

Leave fireworks to the professionals, do not use consumer fireworks. 

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained licensed professionals. The City is sponsoring; VA Fireworks on the James on Friday, July 3; and Dogwood Dell of July Celebration on Saturday, July 4.

After the firework display, children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, they may still be active. 

As a reminder, fireworks are illegal in the Metro Richmond Area. Illegally discharging fireworks may subject the responsible party to legal action. Violation of the Fire Code is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, subject to penalties of up to $2,500 for each offense and/or up to a year in jail. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

City Offices Closed July 3 in Observance of Independence Day

In observance of Independence Day, City government offices, including City Hall, will be closed on Friday, July 3, 2015. City offices will reopen at regular business hours on Monday, July 6, 2015.

The Independence Day closings include all branches of the Richmond Public Libraries, all City community centers, and Richmond Animal Care and Control. All of these will be closed July 3 – July 5 and will reopen on Monday, July 6.

Refuse collection will not be affected by this closure. The East Richmond Road Convenience Center will be closed Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4. The Hopkins Road Transfer Stations is open July 3 and is closed July 4.

For more information on City services and schedules, please visit

Free Fireworks This Weekend

There will be free firework displays this weekend as part of the City’s 4th of July celebration. 

RVA Fireworks on the James, an event produced by the City of Richmond and Venture Richmond and funded by Dominion and MWV, will be held on Brown’s Island on Friday, July 3. 

Food trucks and vendors will be in and around Brown’s Island, and the public is invited to bring a blanket or lawn chairs to enjoy the summer evening and see the fireworks that will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m. Patriotic music that accompanies the fireworks will be simulcast on Richmond independent radio WRIR, 97.3 FM. 

The Dogwood Dell Fourth of July Celebration will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at 1300 Blanton Avenue, Saturday, July 4. There will be a concert with Carillon bells and the Richmond Concert Band. Bring family, friends, and snacks if you'd like, and grab a seat within the Dell. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., just after the Carillon concert, playing "Movie Tunes" for the first half, and switching to patriotic after intermission. Fireworks will begin at dusk.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Spotlight Gallery to Host Salvador González Escalona

The City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will host “Two Seas Merging” featuring the work of world renowned Cuban artist Salvador González Escalona at Pine Camp Arts and Community Center, 4901 Old Brook Road. The exhibit will open on Thursday, July 2 with a public reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will be on display until Friday, July 31, 2015.

A self taught mixed medium master artist, González Escalona, with the help of campers enrolled in the Great Summer Escape camp at Pine Camp, just completed painting a mural titled “Two Seas Merging”, which symbolizes the cultural diversity of the Afro-Cuban connection. González Escalona will also paint another mural “Together We Stand”, will brings together teen and adult men from the Highland Park and Hotchkiss communities at the Hotchkiss Community Center, 701 East Brookland Park Boulevard, which begins beginning at 5 p.m on Monday, June 29. This project strives to cultivate a stronger community connection between the Ann Hardy and Hotchkiss community centers. Once completed, the final project will be hung at the Ann Hardy Community Center.

Spotlight Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. This exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information or to schedule a tour please call Shaunn Casselle at 646-6722. For more information about these projects, please call 646-3677.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Volunteers Needed for City Hall’s Ambassadors Program

The City of Richmond is seeking enthusiastic and customer service oriented volunteers to serve as City Hall Ambassadors. The purpose of this new volunteer effort is to enhance the visitor experience at City Hall.

The City’s Neighbor-To-Neighbor (N2N) initiative is recruiting highly motivated individuals who love Richmond and have a passion to serve others. City Hall Ambassadors will welcome visitors, answer basic City questions and provide directional assistance. Ambassadors will be located in easy to find locations and quick to serve the public. There will be two shifts for this program, a morning shift from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and an afternoon shift from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Ideal candidates are persons over the age of 18 and able to commit to volunteer for at least one shift per week for one year.

N2N is accepting applications for City Hall Ambassadors through July 10, 2015. Applications are available online at <>  or at the following locations:

City Hall’s Customer Service Desk, 900 E. Broad Street
Main Library, 101 E. Franklin Street
Southside Community Development Center, 1624 Hull Street
East District Center, 701 N. 25th Street
Bellemeade Community Center, 1800 Lynhaven Avenue
Hickory Hill Community Center, 3000 E. Belt Boulevard
Humphrey Calder Community Center, 414 North Thompson Street
Randolph Community Center, 1415 Grayland Avenue
Pine Camp Cultural Arts and Community Center, 4901 Old Brook Road

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer Meals for Kids Program

The City's Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities (PRCF) is again partnering with the USDA's Summer Meals for Kids Program. This FREE program provides children and teens, through the age of 18, with nutritious breakfasts, lunches and dinners, now through August 28. Even if your child does not participate in one of the City's PRCF summer campsites, he or she can still receive a free meal as walk-ins during meal times are always welcome! These free meals are available by visiting a participating site at meal time.

For more information and a list of locations, please call 646-5698.