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Manassas 150th Civil War Anniversary Events


Manassas 150th Civil War Anniversary Events
© Don Warwick
Manassas will host a four-day 150th Civil War Anniversary event in commemoration of the First Battle of Manassas from July 21-24, 2011, showcasing reenactments, parades, exhibits and interpreters. The First Battle of Manassas was the first major land battle fought in Virginia. The events will be held in a variety of locations in Old Town Manassas. The main highlight will be the 26-acre "Camp Manassas" a living history site of the 1860s featuring approximately 2000 reenactors bringing the Civil War to life with demonstrations of Civil War Medical Triage, historical dialogues of General Robert E. Lee and reenactments of the First Battle of Manassas. The Camp will also offer family friendly activities showcasing an 1860-period gas balloon for observation, telegraph demonstrations, and period children’s games. Reenactments of period cooking will introduce popular dishes of the times, like fry bread and peach cobbler.

Entrance to the Sesquicentennial Manassas events is by shuttle only. Drivers will not be permitted through the event area. A shuttle bus/ticket package of $20 per person/per day will provide access to all sites, bus transfer and a $5 Manassas gift card. To buy tickets in advance, visit www.manassascivilwar.org. Tickets will be available on-site at the Historic Manassas Visitor’s Center and the Prince William County Fairgrounds.

Free parking will be available at the Prince William County Fairgrounds at 10624 Dumfries Road in Manassas, Va. with a bus transfer to the Historic Manassas train station. Shuttle buses will then take visitors from the Historic Manassas train station directly to all sites.

Manassas 150th Civil War Anniversary Event Schedule

Thursday, July 21
  • Jubilee of Peace Reenactment at Old Manassas Courthouse – 4 p.m., The recreation inclues vintage automobiles, flags, colorful bunting, peace maidens and a production of the ceremony on the courthouse steps with President Taft and Civil War soldiers. The reenactment will be held at the Prince William County Courthouse, to be followed by a parade and period music at the Harris Pavilion in Historic Manassas.

  • Historic Manassas Opening Ceremonies – 6 p.m. Dance instructors will teach period dance, like the waltz, at the Harris Pavilion at 9116 Center Street in Old Town, Manassas.
Friday, July 22
  • Manassas Civil War Military Parade – 10 a.m. Historic Manassas, Civil War re-enactors from around the country are invited to camp in Manassas at several historic sites and join the community to commemorate the First Battle of Manassas and participate in a military parade through the streets of Manassas in preparation for the battle reenactments on Saturday and Sunday.

  • Virginia’s Civil War Exhibit Opening Reception – 7 p.m. Join the official opening of the state exhibit at the Manassas Museum at 9101 Prince William Street.

  • Live Civil War Period Music - 7 p.m. at the Harris Pavilion and Battle Street in Historic Manassas, Va.
Saturday, July 23
  • Sesquicentennial Blue and Gray Ball – 6 p.m. Harris Pavilion, 9116 Center Street. $75 per person. (ticketed-event)
Sunday, July 24
  • Interfaith Service on the Lawn – 10 a.m. Remember the casualties of the Manassas battles at the Manassas Museum lawn located at 9101 Prince William Street.

  • United Daughters of the Confederacy Wreath Laying Ceremony – 12 p.m. City Cemetery, 9027 Center Street.
Throughout the Event - July 21 to July 24
  • Camp Manassas - 26-acres of on-going, living history of the 1860s. Featuring military encampments, blacksmith, soap- making, cooking demonstrations, medical area to include operating tents and ambulances. This site will also have a Kids Area with games of the period and a separate area for horse training, drills and equipment on display. Areas for slave interpretation, as well as live military demonstrations are planned. From 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at Jennie Dean Park, on 9601 Wellington Road, Manassas, Va.

  • Color in Freedom - Journey Along the Underground Railroad Art Exhibit by African-American artist, Joseph Holston, to be held at the Center for the Arts (Candy Factory) in Historic Manassas at 9419 Battle Street. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon.-Fri.; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, (from July 21 through Sept. 1.)

  • Confederate Headquarters at Liberia - provides insight into General Beauregard’s occupation, spy activity and battle plan from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, closing at 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Liberia Mansion at 8601 Portner Avenue.

  • Defending the Junction at Mayfield and Cannon Branch Forts - where Confederate interpreters at Mayfield and Union interpreters at Cannon Branch discuss military strategy from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, closing at 4 p.m. on Sunday, located at Mayfield and Cannon Branch Forts on 8401 Quarry Road and 10611 Gateway Blvd, respectively.

  • Life After the War - A Focus on Life for Black Americans After the Civil War from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Jennie Dean Historical Site at 9601 Wellington Road. In 1893, former slave Jennie Dean, after almost a decade of charismatic fundraising, chartered the Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth on Oct. 7, 1893. Learn about the life of former slaves after the war and this unique woman.

  • Stories in Stone - A self-guided tour of the Manassas City Cemetery and the final resting place of Confederate soldiers as well as a Union Medal of Honor recipient and other Manassas founders at 9027 Center Street, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Manassas Museum Lawn - Living history on the lawn featuring demonstrations of period crafts, military demonstrations of drilling, artillery and camp medicine along with authentic music from military and civilian re-enactors. From 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 9101 Prince William Street.
Special ranger tours and programs will also be held at the Manassas National Battlefield Park. Tickets are required for the commemorative ceremony on July 21 at 9:30 a.m. (they were distributed through an online lottery ) Other events on July 21-24 are open to the general public.

Read More About Civil War 150th Anniversary Events in the Washington DC Area

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