Steppin' Out in Blacksburg will go on, no matter the weather

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Rain or shine, Steppin' Out in Blacksburg will still go on. The two day craft and music festival kicked off this morning and is expected to draw thousands of people.

More than 250 vendors selling food, handmade gifts, and unique pieces of art are already set up along the streets of downtown Blacksburg.

About 35 to 40 thousand people are predicted to attend the event but organizers say it's hard to count because it's all free.

Speaking of free, there is no charge for all downtown metered parking, and the Blacksburg Transit is offering free shuttles to and from downtown.

Right now there are three stages feature a band playing nearly every genre of music throughout the two day event. Organizers say it keeps growing every year and is a town favorite.

"It marks the end of the summer in Blacksburg as we know it. The students are starting to trickle back in but people typically use this as the time to come back for reunions, weddings, high school groups, college groups, just a time to check in with everybody you used to hang out with," said Laureen Blakemore, the director of Downtown Blacksburg Inc.

Organizers say Steppin' Out is a great human event, but isn't pet friendly. A fenced in area on Henderson Lawn is made perfectly for the dogs. It's called Canine Corral.

New this year, a beer and wine garden near the main stage and an expanded kids area full of activities and merchandise for children.

If you're looking for a good buy, the stores in downtown Blacksburg are holding a final clearance sidewalk sale.

Then there's the food, all of it is made by downtown restaurants that are set up on the streets during the event.

If the weather gets dangerous organizers say they'll ask everyone to take cover.

Steppin' Out goes Friday night until about 11 and continues again Saturday.