Roanoke College cancels fireworks, but continues with its Illumination Celebration on Thursday

Because of the statewide ban on burning, Roanoke College has cancelled the fireworks that were planned for Thursday night's "Illumination Celebration," part of the inauguration festivities for the College's new president.

Community safety is of utmost concern, so the College also has cancelled bonfires that were planned as part of the historic event honoring Michael Creed Maxey, the College's 11th president. The statewide ban on burning was enacted by Governor Tim Kaine effective on October 19.

Nevertheless, the celebration is still on and still considered "illuminating" - at least philosophically.

The Illumination Celebration is a Roanoke tradition based on a candlelight illumination that was conducted for the inauguration of the College's first president. Roanoke College is now 165 years old and has had only 10 previous presidents. His formal inauguration will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday and is drawing people from around the country.

Thursday's Illumination Celebration begins at 7 p.m. and has been moved to the Back Quad.

Headlining Thursday night will be the Superpowers, a 10-piece 21st-century dance band known for creating "a community wherein people across the planet can unite in collective energy and dance to create positive social change." Voted "best world act" in the Phoenix 2007 Best Music Poll and in the 2006 Boston Music Awards, the band has been hailed as a "poly-rhythmic juggernaut" by critics and plays packed houses throughout the eastern United States.

Also adding to the night's family-friendly fun will be performances by the Roanoke College Dance Team, several student and alumni performers as well as artists doing caricatures and henna tattoos and folks serving cotton candy, popcorn, doughnuts and possibly even s'mores - that is if they can be done safely using outdoor campus grills. Glow sticks will provide a flameless approach to the illumination tribute.

Join in the fun on Thursday night!