There’s a heated war going down in Virginia — and it’s one of the most hilarious, entertaining skirmishes we’ve ever witnessed!
It’s no secret that the novel coronavirus pandemic has hit business owners hard, leaving them with major struggles (and some occasional boredom). That’s why a few small businesses in Christiansburg decided to put their energy toward something positive and just flat-out fun: a “sign war.”
Jim Bohon, who teaches guitar and drums at Bridge Kaldro Music, has been curating clever signs in front of the store over the past few years. One day, he decided to challenge the shoe store next door, Super Shoes, to a little friendly competition. So he put two simple sentences up on their sign: “Hey Super Shoes! Wanna start a sign war?!”
Just like that, a delightful community feud was born!
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“It was just kind of on a whim,” Jim told WDBJ. “I put it up one day, three or four days went by, and they didn’t respond. I kind of thought maybe their corporate wouldn’t allow them to do it, but they put it up one day. … The next day it just went crazy.”
Super Shoes displayed a witty retort, which said, “Our shoe strings are stronger than your guitar strings.” It was so clever that the surrounding businesses immediately wanted to get involved.
Suddenly, there were playful jabs being thrown all around. Kabuki Japanese Steakhouse was the next competitor to step up, showcasing a message that read, “DQ got the ice, ice baby. But we got flamin’ volcanoes and sake like its gettin’ hot in here.”
Even Sonic got in on the fun, jesting with nearby Pizza Inn by saying, “Come get a slice of this.”
Each time a new business joined in, Jim made sure to acknowledge their participation and create new friends in the process.
“Now I feel like they need to have a jab maybe here or there, and some of the other places that are around, because I want to make sure that they stay involved as well, and they feel connected to [the sign war],” Jim said.
The steakhouse owner, Yoshi Koeda, said that not only have their signs been a blast, but they have also caused a significant boom in business.
“I don’t think any city across the U.S. has seen something like this,” Yoshi told WSLS 10. “It’s amazing free advertisement for all of us. That’s probably the best part of everything.”
To take their competition to the next level, Christiansburg local Anthony Woodyard created a Facebook group called Christiansburg, VA Sign War.
The group instantly exploded, gaining over 13,000 members in one week and now totaling over 27,000 fans and counting.
“I think that the last 14 months have been so isolating for people, I think to have something lighthearted and fun while they’re still safely at home on their computers, their tablets, their phones that they’re able to see what’s happening between these businesses,” Anthony said. “To see the lively banter has really made people excited about what’s happening.”
This lively banter has made major waves everywhere from Texas to the U.K. Everyone is waiting by their computer screens to see what the businesses will come up with next.
Jim can’t believe the stir he created with one small sign on a random afternoon, but he’s overjoyed to see the incredible effect it’s had on his community.
“That’s been the biggest thing that just seemed so much positivity you could come out with like a war, so to speak,” Jim said.
One store called Claytor Wear is even using their sign as a way to give back to a local organization called Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley.
The store’s owner, Jonathan Friend, has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support the local businesses have shown each other in such a difficult time.
“I think the signs are just really an homage we are really all in this together,” he said.
No truer words could be spoken! What a fun way to bring a community together!
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