Thursday, February 11, 2016

Calling train enthusiasts - 22nd Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival

Every year Manassas pays tribute to its rich railroad history with its Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival. This year's event takes place on June 4 and, as customary, will be located in the Historic Downtown Manassas district.

As a part of its annual tradition, train memorabilia, model trains, live entertainment, train rides and more will be a part of the fun in the 2016 festival. The models are created by several local train groups and will be on display under the Harris Pavilion. Visitors can enjoy Country and Blue Grass music as they view the trains.

2016 marks the event's 22nd year. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and, except special attractions such as the train rides, this event is free.
Manassas Train Depot
There will be four excursions from the Manassas Train Station to Clifton and back. Check back on the official site for ticket sales and excursion times as this information has not yet been announced. In previous years tickets have gone on sale in the first week of May and were around $5 (I'll do my best to update this information for this post).

This year a separate special event is planned that will coincide with the Manassas Heritage Railway Festival. On June 4 and June 5, the J 611 locomotive will make three round trips from Manassas to Front Royal. These trips are half-day excursions and will roll by historic landmarks, the Shenandoah River, vineyards and passengers can see Virginia's beautiful landscape. Ticket prices vary depending on what seats are chosen (standard coach is $129 per ticket with a complimentary snack and bottled water) and are on sale now.  

The railway festival typically 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.). There are usually also tractor rides and live entertainment.

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