The City’s first “aeroplane” flight at the 1910 Great Roanoke Fair, the sound of Ted Williams’s and Charlie Maxwell’s bats in the late 1940s, and more than 250,000 annual participants in various events all have one thing in common—a place known as River’s Edge. While it has been known by many names during its life—Roanoke Fairgrounds, South Roanoke Park, River’s Edge Park, and River’s Edge Sports Complex—the land separated by the Roanoke River has evolved over the past 120 years to become one of the most visited and economically beneficial recreation spaces in the region. From its humble beginnings of seeps and bogs of the Roanoke River, River’s Edge is now nationally known as an outdoor destination for walkers, bike riders, runners, kayakers, fishermen, team athletics, and major outdoor events.
As we move into the New Year, Roanoke has placed an invigorated interest in improving River’s Edge for multi-generational and inclusive activity by upgrading the northern portion of the park that resides on Reserve Avenue. While this will be a phased, multi-year process, in 2019 we can expect to see work being on the following:
- new, top-shelf Bermuda athletic fields
- wireless state-of-the-art sports lighting
- a new Roanoke River Greenway connection to Carilion Clinic’s Riverside Complex
- reconfigured park access
- designed seating and social-gathering zones
As the construction work on the first phase begins, we expect to go back to our customers and seek input on what their ideas may be for Phase 2 of these improvements for the portion of the park residing closer to Jefferson Street. For additional information on the progress at River’s Edge, please check out for intermittent updates.