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First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) to be remembered during weekend of history

Bull Run photo
Old Prince William County courthouse in Manassas is draped with flags in preparation for the recreation of the 1911 Peace Jubilee on July 21 (Photo by Joe Reid/Observer Newspapers)

Prince William County, National Park Service and City of Manassas will present commemorative events July 21-24, to remember and reflect upon the 150th Anniversary of First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run). Off-site parking with continuous shuttle service is available for most events. Many are free; others require ticket purchase.

The commemoration begins on the morning of July 21 when Robert McDonnell, Governor of Virginia, and other dignitaries open the weekend of activities, in conjunction with the National Park Service, with speechmaking at Manassas National Battlefield Park.

That afternoon at 4 p.m. Prince William County and the City of Manassas will recreate the 1911 National Jubilee of Peace. The original event took place 100 years ago as soldiers from the north and south came together in an act of reconciliation to remember the Battle of First Manassas/Bull Run and to heal the wounds caused by the Civil War.

The free event will take place at the Old Manassas Courthouse at the intersection of Lee and Grant Avenues near Old Town Manassas. Parking will be at the Prince William/Manassas Court parking area. There will be a number of activities in Historic Manassas following the event. For more information visit:

The highlight of the 150th Anniversary Commemoration will be the reenactment of the first major land battle of the American Civil War at Pageland Farm adjacent to Manassas National Battlefield Park on Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24, 2011. Use of the farm was donated by the Snyder family in honor of their mother and preservationist, the late Annie Snyder. More than 8700 reenactors from across the United States, Canada, and Europe have registered to participate in the actual battle scenario, a news release said.

Ann Marie Maher, executive director of Discover Prince William & Manassas, was quoted as saying that visitors “will experience an once-in-a-lifetime event… Thanks to the vision, forethought, and investment by Prince William County, the National Park Service, and the City of Manassas…”

Varied perspectives of Federal and Confederate soldiers, civilians, slaves and freed African Americans will be shown.  Events include living history displays, reenactments, cavalry and cannon demonstrations, encampments, lectures, concerts, film, period music and other interpretive offerings.
More detailed information about events follows.

Manassas National Battlefield Park Events - July 21-24
Manassas National Battlefield Park will host a number of activities on July 21, the actual 150th Anniversary of The First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run and throughout the weekend including living history, walking tours, and concerts.
The Visitors Center and Exhibition area will open to the general public at noon and will include the historic Stone House, living history area, Henry House and Youth Program tent. Park rangers will guide 45-minute walking tours on Henry Hill. A commemorative stamp dedication, musketry firing demonstrations, guided tour of the Henry Farm and more will also be available to visitors.
For a complete list of planned activities over the four-day commemoration, go to or Parking will be at Chinn Ridge directly across from the Henry Hill Visitor Center entrance at 6511 Sudley Road, Manassas, VA 20109.

City of Manassas Events July 21-24
City of Manassas events including tours of seven historic sites Manassas Museum, Liberia Plantation, Confederate Cemetery, Cannon Branch Fort, Jennie Dean Historical Site, Mayfield Fort and Camp Manassas, parade, concerts at the Loy Harris Pavilion, and events at Manassas Museum ( will require parking at the Prince William County Fairgrounds 10624 Dumfries Road, Manassas, VA 20112 with a $20 shuttle/ admission fee. Each ticket holder will get a $5 Manassas note for shopping and dining in Old Town. Get tickets online at http://www.manassascivil or or call 877-848-3018 or 703-361-6599.

Prince William County Historic Sites open July 21-24, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tickets for tours and period activities are $5 for each site and are good for all four days. Free parking is available on site. 703-7.92-4754
Ben Lomond Historic Site /Pringle House Medical Exhibit and Tours. 10321 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas, VA 20109.
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre - 12229 Bristow Road, Bristow, VA 20136 (Lots of space for children to run).
Rippon Lodge Historic Site - Take a tour. 15220 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22191.
Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park- Take a tour. 10708 Bristow Road in Bristow, VA 20136.

Castleton Festival at the Hylton Performing Arts Center- July 21, at 8 p.m.
Join maestro Lorin Maazel and world-renowned mezzo soprano Denyce Graves for an evening of American music commemorating the First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run. The evening will feature works by Stephen Foster, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin and others. A pre-performance discussion will feature Dan DeVany, vice president and general manager of Classical WETA 90.9FM. Tickets are available from Hylton Performing Arts Center (10900 University Boulevard, Manassas, VA 20110)  at 703-993-9344 and are priced at $30, $45, and $60 per person and include free parking.

Premiere of Gods and Generals (Extended Directors Cut) - July 22, 2-9 p.m.
Join director Ron Maxwell, Warner Brothers, and stars from the epic American history film, at the Hylton Performing Arts Center to benefit the Journey through Hallowed Ground Partnership. 3 p.m. panel discussion, 4 p.m. autograph signing, 5 p.m. film. Tickets $61 (with reenactors and military ID tickets discounted) or Free parking.10900 University Boulevard, Manassas,VA 20110 703-993-9344.

The 150th Anniversary Battle Reenactment - July 23 & 24
The reenactment of the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run) will take place at Pageland Farm, Gainesville, adjacent to Manassas National Battlefield Park. Tickets start at $24/adults and $15/children. Get online at .
About 8,700 reenactors and 375 cavalry horses will present the actual battle scenario fought 150 years ago. The battle reenactment begins at 9:15 a.m. and is expected to continue for 90 minutes+.
Also visit military troop encampments; and stop by period tents for children’s games, craftsmen, music of the era, Civil War medicine, and other engaging and educational activities for the whole family. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. An array of period shopkeepers known as “sutlers” will sell uniforms, hats, leather goods, replica equipment, memorabilia and period artifacts.
Parking for this event will be at Jiffy Lube Live (formerly Nissan Pavilion) at 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow, VA 20136. Organizers recommend visitors arrive by 8 a.m. to the parking area. Air-conditioned shuttles will run continuously from 6 3 p.m. to transport guests to and from the reenactment site at Pageland Farm, which can accommodate up to 15,000 spectators per day.

Commemorative Package for Sesquicentennial Events July 21-24
Package includes Manassas National Battlefield Park, Prince William County Historic Sites, City of Manassas events and Reenactment of the First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run from $42-$72 per person.  Purchase online at Get o.fficial commemorative program and commemoration memorabilia at

To ensure visitors enjoy the best possible experience arriving at the right location at the right time, organizers recommend that you preview arrangements before your arrival. Complete information on ticket purchases, parking, accommodations and dining is available online at or by calling Discover Prince William & Manassas, the region’s destination marketing organization, at 10611 Balls Ford Road, Suite 110, Manassas VA 20109 at 888-721-1861 or 703-396-7130.


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