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150th Commemoration of the Battle of First Manassas/Bull Run Reenactment

150th Commemoration of the Battle of First Manassas/Bull Run Reenactment

VRS Meetings & Events, Inc. produced 150th Commemoration of the Battle of First Manassas/Bull Run Reenactment a large public event that hosted more than 30,000 participants and attendees.

Prince William County, Virginia and the Prince William County/Manassas Convention & Visitors Bureau in partnership with representatives of the Mason-Dixon Alliance (United States Volunteers and the 1st Division, Army of Northern Virginia) formed a unique partnership to support the 150th Commemoration of the Battle of First Manassas/Bull Run Reenactment, "the moment that changed America".

Scheduled events included educational lecture tents, period vendors, as well as large early war garrison-style camps. This was a once-in-a-lifetime event produced by our team. Our team was awarded the event production contract ten (10) months in advance of the event date. The team was provided a heavy task to create the reenactment on a plot of land with one entry/ exit point and an estimation of thousands of spectators, thousands of reenactors, and live national media coverage.

The VRS team was responsible for selecting and managing all vendors to support the reenactment including but not limited to; shuttle transportation, tenting, hay, bleachers, manure removal, clean water supply for campers, equine veterinarians, equine ambulances, sound, ticketing system, power supply, trash removal, port-o-johns, registration for reenactors, and merchandising, etc.

Once the vendors were assembled a site plan had to be created and receive approval from the governing municipal bodies to create a safe environment for 9,000 reenactors to camp on the site for five days that included a clean drinking water source, restroom facilities, and 30,000 spectators over two days.

Event production started with the installation of bleachers to support 10,000 guests. Within the next few weeks a second entry/exit point to the property was built, a safe water system created for 9,000 reenactors, tents were installed for large assemblies, more than 20 10x10 tents were installed for period time vendors, 30 10x10 tents for modern concession vendors, VIP/ media tents, a holding area to picket 300 horses, a field hospital, and fire & rescue headquarters.

The participation of reenactors, sutlers, media, and other adjunct professional services increased the economic impact of the local community significantly. Media coverage before, during and after the event added to the community's positive visibility to attract additional visitation long after the Sesquicentennial commemoration. This event is estimated to have generated $24.8 million in direct visitor economic impact.

The event was covered by more than fifty media outlets on the event day alone not including pre or post coverage. The team was very proud to see positive reviews on the front page of the Washington Post, CNN, and AP articles that ran nationally.

The event team created a solid logistically sound event that represented the brand of the convention bureau and all stakeholders involved.

A sample of the testimonials we received via e-mail and facebook:

  • ...."THANK YOU for hosting such a superb and memorable 150th Anniversary event. The fire and rescue, police, staff and volunteers who made this all come together and took such good care of the reenactors are too be praised highly. THANK YOU!!"
  • ...."Thank you sooo much for taking care of everyone so well in the extreme heat! It was great to know if we needed help it was available. Many lives were saved this weekend thanks to you!"
  • .... "As a spectator, I just want to say that this was the best organized reenactment that I have been to, and I have been too many. The shuttle buses from the parking area to site was great. It's the first time I didn't have to walk a couple of miles to the site and back again. The battle was great in spite of the horrible heat. I hope future reenactments take a good look at what you folks did to make it a pleasurable experience.
  • .... "As a reenactor I just want to say thank you for a wonderful job you all did. Even though the heat was tremendous, you did everything you could to make all feel comfortable. The battles were both great. Thank you so much for the experience that I had. It was awesome !!!"

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