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Damascus is a town in Washington County, Virginia, United States. The population was 814 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Kingsport–Bristol (TN)–Bristol (VA) Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area (commonly known as the “Tri-Cities” region).
Damascus is the home of the annual Trail Days festival and is known as Trail Town USA due to the convergence of four scenic trails in the town, including the Appalachian Trail, U.S. Bicycle Route 76, The Iron Mountain Trail, and the Virginia Creeper Trail. Damascus also is on the route of the Daniel Boone Heritage Trail and the Crooked Road Music Heritage Trail. The Trail Days festival is held around the middle of May each year and draws in excess of 20,000 tourists, making it the largest single gathering of Appalachian Trail Hikers anywhere. During the festival’s Hikers Parade on May 18, 2013, up to 60 people were injured when a car hit a crowd of people. Some victims were transported to area hospitals by ambulance or helicopters with some critically injured.
As of the census of 2000, there were 981 people, 484 households, and 269 families living in the town. The population density was 1,157.2 people per square mile (445.6/km2). There were 543 housing units at an average density of 640.5 per square mile (246.7/km). The racial makeup of the town was 96.94% White, 1.63% African American, 0.51% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.10% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.20% of the population.
There were 484 households, out of which 18.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.7% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.4% were non-families. 40.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 20.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.03 and the average family size was 2.72.