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January 7, 2011
By ELIZA WINSTON - Bulletin Staff Writer

While some people say "there's nothing to do in Martinsville," there actually are a lot of activities for people of all ages and interests here.

The Bulletin provides several ways to keep up with those events, including the Cultural Calendar, which appears each Thursday in the Accent section, and the daily Calendar, which appears each day in the news section of the Bulletin as well as its online edition.

Now, the Bulletin is starting an occasional column on the who, where and when of what's going on in the area.

This week, Jennifer Doss, the director of tourism for the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp., is suggesting people stop by the FC New York Pro Tryouts event at the Smith River Sports Complex. The event also appeared on the events calendar of the Martinsville tourism office, which can be found at www.visitmartinsville.com.

Whether you grew up here or just moved here, you may have noticed that soccer is a big deal in Martinsville. If you are a long-time soccer buff or you can't figure out what the fuss is all about, you may find this event worth a look.

The FC New York Pro Tryouts will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Smith River Sports Complex. It's going to be a great event to meet other local soccer enthusiasts and see the sport in action.

FC New York is a pro soccer team that will begin its inaugural season in May, said sports complex operations manager Billy Russo. Players will range in age from around 18 to 25, and a few may be older.

"They're coming from all over the place," he added.

The players competing for a spot on the team will include college athletes from schools in Virginia and North Carolina, said Russo, but they also will come from as far as Brazil, Argentina, France, Italy and Japan.

"Our tryouts are brimming with excellent résumés, with players flying in from around the world as well as all four corners of the U.S.," said Matt Weston, FC New York's technical director.

Who can you expect to see in the audience? Local coaches and players may come out to see the techniques used in the tryouts, said Russo. Scouts, managers and college recruiters also may be there.

Tryouts will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Then there will be a showcase game at 5 p.m. Saturday, followed by a 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. tryout Sunday.

For $6 admission, spectators can watch all three events this weekend, said Russo.

The Smith River Sports Complex is located at 1000 Irisburg Road in Axton.

Some other events in the area this weekend include:

• The First Friday Art Walk will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at Studio 107, at 105 East Church St. in Martinsville. Visitors can tour the studios, meet artists and view original art. Admission is free.

• A movie viewing and discussion of moonshine, including the sale of moonshine during prohibition and its effect on NASCAR, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Philpott Lake Visitor Center auditorium, 1058 Philpott Dam Road in Bassett. Admission is free.