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Friday, May 30, 2014

Calling train enthusiasts - 20th Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival



[This page is outdated, however, current information for 2015 can be found on my updated post about this event]

Every year the Manassas pays tribute to its rich railroad history with its Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival. This year's event takes place on June 7, and as customary, will be located in the Historic Downtown Manassas. The celebration includes train memorabilia, model trains, live entertainment, train rides and more. 

"Watch miniature trains come to life," says Visit Manassas.org. Visitors to the festival can see "elaborate" model trains created by local groups set to Country and Blue Grass music. 

Train Depot in Historic Downtown Manassas
Train Depot in Historic Downtown Manassas
Marking its 20th year, the 2014 celebration also features VRE train rides with a Frozen Princess. Families can take a 40-minute ride from Manassas to Clifton and back. Tickets ($5) can be pre-purchased at the Manassas Train Station located at 9431 West Street between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. There are four scheduled rides at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the event.

Other fun includes rides for the kids and entertainment. Shows this year include a magician, martial arts, clogging, belly dancers and musical performances. Vendors will also have booths with train-themed books, photography, toys and other related items for sale.

The train depot is also celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The James & Marion Payne Railroad Heritage Gallery (located inside the converted old depot) is undergoing a renovation and will also be a part of the commemoration. A special rededication is scheduled to take place on June 6.

The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and, except special attractions such as the train ride, this event is free.

The railway festival kicks off a series of events that will occur throughout the summer. One of my favorites is the annual Fourth of July celebration. Celebrate America will take place on July 4 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. (kiddie rides open at 3 p.m.) culminating in a beautiful fireworks show.

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