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By Wendy Migdal | Sponsored by Historic Manassas, Inc.
What a breath of fresh air this time of year is! Temperatures are warming, days are getting longer, and people are shedding heavy coats. There’s a feeling of anticipation of the fun to come in the summer ahead.
Historic Manassas is busy preparing for some of its biggest events of the year, the Railway Festival and the Jazz Festival, both of which take place in June. But in the meantime, they have some fresh, new events planned to bring people out of their winter hibernation.
First up is Peeps on Parade, where the creatively minded can construct scenes made out of Peeps, which will then be placed in storefront windows downtown. It’s a little like the gingerbread houses in December, says event coordinator Melissa Williams, but allows for more humor and imagination since people don’t have to build a house. They can build everyday, funny scenes in which marshmallow bunnies and chicks are the main characters. Anyone can enter – individuals or groups – but Williams thinks it would be great if a classroom, a fire station or a police station got together to make a scene. “The kids could do a funny one, of what they get up to when the teacher isn’t looking,” she laughs.
The Peep panoramas will be placed in store windows between March 25 and April 1, and judging will go on throughout the month of April. Shoppers and pedestrians strolling past the displays can cast their vote by selecting the QR code next to the Peep display of their choice, and then choosing the name of the store once on the voting page.
Hops and Shops
March’s First Friday was a PJ Luau, complete with hula hoop, limbo, and the ever-popular “hands-free fruit rollup eating” contest. If you missed it, well, you did miss out, but April’s First Friday will be a glimpse of summer fun to come. The theme is “Downtown Hopping,” and the open-container license will be in effect as several restaurants sponsor bands. People will be able to check out the show schedule and take their drinks (perhaps some hoppy beer?) with them as they hop from one restaurant to another.
Speaking of hopping, in mid-April, shoppers at downtown stores will be treated to “Hop Around Downtown,” an event that combines elements of an Easter egg hunt, a drawing, and a scavenger hunt. Anyone making a purchase at a store between April 9 and 16 will receive a plastic Easter egg, which may contain either jellybeans or said beans plus a piece of paper. The paper entitles the bearer to a gift, which may be located at that store or at another, thus leading the purchaser to “hop around downtown.”
Something for Everyone
Williams encourages people to come out any time and to check out Historic Manassas’ calendar, where they post events from many different groups and organizations.
“There’s always something going on down here, even if we’re not the ones putting it on. We have the Farmer’s Market, ice skating, and businesses are always doing something. It’s a really unique place. People can come to get that small-town feel if that’s what they want, or just go to a unique event.”
Wendy is a freelance writer who has lived in the Northern/Central Virginia area since 2000. She has written extensively for The Free Lance-Star and also works for online educational companies. Wendy enjoys traveling around the area to learn about parks, restaurants, attractions, and especially history.