Galax is located in the Blue Ridge mountains of Southwest Virginia on the Carroll-Grayson County line. Situated nine miles west of I-77, the city also is served by U.S. highways 58/221 and 52 along with VA Rt. 89. It is 82 miles southwest of Roanoke and 68 miles northwest of Winston-Salem, NC.
Galax is an independent city of a population of 6,670. with a strong manufacturing base in furniture, textiles and glass. Parts of Galax are designated as an Enterprise Zone, and the city is located in the Virginia-North Carolina furniture manufacturing region, the largest center of furniture production in the world.
Leading employers in Galax include furniture manufacturers Vaughn Furniture Company, Vaughn-Bassett Furniture and Webb Furniture.
Another leading employer is Guardian Industries’ Consolidated Glass and Mirror Corporation that operates a glass fabrication plant in Galax.
One of the newest employers in Galax is The Results Companies of Dania, Florida, who established a call center in the Crossroads Institute to provide customer service for XM Satellite Radio.
Education, training, small business and technology came together in Galax when the Crossroads Institute opened in 2005 in a former Lowe’s Improvement store building. A small business incubator, sophisticated computer labs, business training, public school and college classes are housed in the new facility financed primarily by $4.9 million in federal funds. The Crossroads Institute serves the City of Galax and Carroll, Grayson, Wythe, Smyth and Bland counties.
Three centers are included in the Crossroads Institute. The Southwest Regional Enterprise Center is the small business incubator. The Center for Technical and Entrepreneurial Studies provides workforce training and functions as an economic development magnet high school offering distance learning in technical-occupational programs. The Center for Lifelong Learning offers programs to earn GEDs or take English as a Second Language classes, as well as continuing education and corporate training. Wytheville Community College is a partner in Crossroads Institute.
Galax and musical heritage
Virginia’s musical heritage is important to the City of Galax. It is home to the internationally known Old Fiddler’s Convention, held every year the second weekend in August, and brings more than 40,000 visitors to Felts Park. The city is an access point for the Blue Ridge Music Center, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Music Heritage Trail is a driving trail that follows US 58 primarily and extends from the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Blue Ridge Music Center through Bristol and the coalfields. The Trail connects major music venues in the region along one major highway artery. This section of southwestern Virginia is blessed with an abundance of historic and contemporary music venues, musicians, and fretted instrument makers.
The Music Heritage Trail sets this area apart from the rest of the state and the nation. The music of this area includes styles such as old time, bluegrass, mountain, and gospel. There are many annual festivals, weekly concerts, live radio shows, and innumerable less formal jam sessions throughout the region that present this music for audiences large and small.
The city and region are served by the 149-bed Twin County Regional Hospital in Galax, that includes a full range of healthcare services and a wellness center.