The year 1987 was the 50th anniversary of the Appalachian Trail, which passes right through Damascus. That year, members of the Town Council decided to celebrate the anniversary with an event for hikers. At that time, there was no town park in Damascus, so the small festival was held in the parking lot of the town hall and behind the bank. The festival was held again the following year, the year after that, and every year that’s followed, growing to the tens of thousands. In the early years of Trail Days, a street was sometimes roped off for a dance, but there were no vendors. There were only the hikers and the cyclists who followed, who inspired the town to rebuild its economy, which had been devastated by flooding and the loss of most of its industry. (more…)
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Appalachian Trail Days 2012 kicks off tomorrow in Damascus, VA and Osprey is ready to once again take care of thru hikers and their packs with care. There is something for everyone going on this weekend in the one town where main street and the Appalachian Trail (AT) are one in the same and a veritable slice of Americana can be tasted by all in this annual celebration of the AT.