Teachers and doctors. Moms and sisters. The River City Rollergirls don't really care who you are, as long as you're ready to hit someone?and foster an environment that values diversity and gender equity in the process.
The skater- and volunteer-operated league sprouted in early 2006 as Richmond's first all-women's flat-track roller-derby association. At the start, the league featured just two teams?Poe's Punishers and the Uncivil Warriors?but has since expanded to include new members, including the Carytown Cadets, the Hollywood Undertakers, and the Jackson Wardens. All teams take falls and crack skulls as part of the Eastern region of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. But off the track, players put away their growling game faces when participating in community-outreach programs.
Home to concerts, movies, and chili cook-offs throughout the warmer months, The Harris Pavilion keeps the fun going all winter long as it transforms into an outdoor ice rink. Starting in mid-November, the rink welcomes the community for daily public-skate sessions; its close proximity to the Historic Manassas Train Station provides easy access to both out-of-towners and zambonis on the run. Lighting and music ensure a safe, lively atmosphere for skaters all ages, and a two-minute walk in any direction yields a host of shopping and snacking options for skaters who need a break or a brief warm-up.
Fast Eddie's Sports and Billiards is the quintessential place to enjoy the game, offering plenty of TVs to watch, beers to drink, and foods to nosh. The selection of starters is diverse?as it includes kung pao shrimp, nachos, and Tex-mex spring rolls?as are the three varieties of sliders. Heartier fare varies from wild-caught salmon with sauteed veggies to a 12-ounce ribeye paired with mashed potatoes to the 1520 Club sandwich stacked with ham, turkey, and applewood bacon. The bar's namesake dish is the Big Eddie, two 100% Angus beef patty that can be topped with anything from chili and jalapenos to bacon and barbecue sauce, otherwise known as "juice" in the South.
The eight-wheeled warriors of the Rocktown Rollers skate back onto the track at Funky's Skate Center, rousing fans of all ages with 60 minutes of bone-rattling checks, pileups, and passes. Following its acceptance as a full member of the internationally recognized Women's Flat Track Derby Association in 2011, the skater-owned-and-operated squad has continued to flourish as one of Shenandoah Valley's prime sources of supersonic action and bruises that cast shadows over less impressive bruises.
At ComedySportz Improv Theatre, audience suggestions keep a family-friendly and fast-paced vortex of scenes, games, and songs spinning in competitive shows that pit two improv teams against each other. Inside the intimate, 100-seat theater, spontaneity rules as a referee moderates the all-ages-appropriate hilarity pitched between the Richmond Legends and Virginia Hams. At the end of each comedic duel, the audience votes for the winning team, sentencing the losers to feed the doves that live inside the winners' top hats. ComedySportz's laugh-masters also host regular workshops to teach aspiring yuksters the art of improvised hilarity and the essential virtues of spontaneity, risk taking, and engagement with the moment. Through scene work, ComedySportz games, and short- and long-form improv, students learn to keep audiences roaring in order to jump-start a career or become a more affable bank robber.
Like Superman's secret North Pole fortress, SkateNation Plus brings the excitement with lasers, arcade games, and 17,000 square feet of glassy ice worth gliding upon. Its regulation NHL–size rink serves as a venue for public skating sessions, in addition to figure-skating lessons, hockey games, and ice-dancing performances. More than 40 games in its onsite arcade whir with a flurry of tickets, and a full spectrum of prizes awaits quick-handed winners at the redemption counter. During laser-tag sessions, the Lasertron computer spontaneously upgrades players with such power-ups as "energizer" or "force field," which protects against enemy blasts more effectively than a lead vest or full-length mirror.