Manassas Local

19 arrested following teen-focused narcotics operation


On May 28, the Prince 1395799_854707271245374_8902747334903685448_nWilliam, Manassas City and Manassas Park Narcotics Task Force finished a four month narcotics investigation called “Growing Pains”, leading to the arrest of several individuals.

According to Prince William police, the focus of the operation was to find individuals that were providing illegal narcotics to teens and young adults.

The “Growing Pains” operation began in February.

Prince William police stated that during the investigation, undercover detectives conducted deals with individuals involving cocaine, LSD, pharmaceuticals, marijuana and marijuana “wax”.

Because of these deals, detectives were able to obtain warrants for 26 individuals. 19 of the individuals are now in custody, Prince William police stated.

Homes were searched in Bristow, Woodbridge, Manassas and Gainesville, in relation to the arrests.

Prince William police also stated that a handgun, money, marijuana, Xanax and marijuana “wax” were taken from the homes during the searches.

Here is a list of the suspects that have been arrested, or are still wanted by the police.

There’s a new principal in Manassas


The City of Manassas school board has appointed Kimberly Buckeit as the new principal of Metz Middle School in Manassas.

Buckheit is currently principal at a middle school in Maine – where she has worked since 2004, said a release.

More on Buckheit’s background from Manassas City Public Schools:

Prior to her current position, she served as an elementary school principal for five years. Additionally, she has experience as director of the Gifted and Talented program and an Affirmative Action Officer for the school district. Buckheit also has eight years’ experience as a behavior specialist in Baltimore, MD, and a behavior resource teacher for two years for Baltimore County Public Schools. She also has experience as an adjunct graduate professor at Goucher and New England colleges.

“I am excited to have Mrs. Buckheit join the Manassas City Public Schools family as the new principal at Metz. Her solid leadership background and focus on school improvement and student success will be an asset to our school community,” said Superintendent Catherine Magouyrk in a release.

Buckheit will begin working in her new role in July.

Manassas Olive Oil Company opens for business

Olive Oil Tasting Galley Opens in Manassas

Manassas Olive Oil Company, located at 9406 Grant Avenue in Manassas, has opened its doors for business.

The store is an independent, family owned ‘tasting gallery’ with over 45 flavors of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. We carry freshly pressed, ultra-premium olive oils from all over the world and both white and dark aged balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy.

The shelves in the store are lined with stainless steel fustis (tanks), where you can sample each one. The tanks keep the oil and vinegars fresh. Bottles are filled daily and to order, and patrons are encouraged take the time to taste and enjoy, before choosing.

You will be amazed by the flavor of the ultra-premium extra virgin oils, currently coming from Spain, Portugal and California, and the delicate infused blended oils of basil, garlic, chipotle, and Tuscan herb.

You’ll find the classic flavors of fig, black cherry, raspberry and Vermont maple among the dark balsamic vinegars, as well as espresso, strawberry, and dark chocolate. White balsamic vinegars include lemon, grapefruit, peach, and coconut. We also carry gourmet specialty oils, including white truffle, sesame seed, and butternut squash seed oil.

This unique shop also offers a variety of exotic sea salts, seasonings, Himalayan salt bricks, handmade pottery, gift baskets, and original oil paintings. Please come in, meet us and have fun sampling our products. We can help assist you in finding the perfect oils and balsamic vinegars for you or for that special gift.

Hours are Monday thru Thursday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Manassas bakery offers options for those with food allergies


The Lemonade Bakery creates treats that are peanut, nut and egg-free.
They are hoping to open a storefront location in Manassas.
The bakery does a lot of custom orders for schools and daycare centers.
Their most popular item are their glazed sugar cookies.

The Lemonade Bakery, a home-based Manassas bakery – owned by Kelly Stroh – gives individuals with food allergies an opportunity to enjoy yummy treats.

“My third son has severe allergies…and I had to learn to bake for him. And after working on some of that, I realized that I enjoyed baking and it was something I could do with four small children,” said Stroh.

Stroh started off making cookies and cakes in her own kitchen, and the business has grown over the years.

According to Stroh, all of her products are peanut, nut and egg-free, but they can also accommodate other food allergies.

“We do custom orders primarily. We do orders for individuals – a dozen cupcakes or a cake – all the way up to schools, where we do over 1,000 cookies at a time. We do a lot of [orders for] local schools and daycares centers, a lot of them that have a nut free policy…we’re one of the few [commercial bakeries] that are peanut and nut free,” Stroh said.

The bakery’s most popular item are their glazed sugar cookies, which can be made in any shape and decorated.

Right now The Lemonade Bakery offers cakes, cupcakes and cookies, but they’re hoping to add donuts and cinnamon rolls to their lineup.

In the next few months, Stroh and her family plan to move forward with finding a storefront in the Manassas area.

They attempted to fund the expansion through a Kickstarter campaign, which was not successful, but they were able to identify investors to help make the store a reality.

“We didn’t meet our goal – but we got pretty close…what we’re doing now is rounding up a team of private investors for us,” said Stroh.

For Stroh, the business signifies a way to deal with a difficult situation in a positive way.

“A big part of why I wanted to do this was to show my kids that everybody has their challenges, and it’s what you do with them. So you have your lemons – which are your food allergies – and we’re going to make lemonade by making something we enjoy, but it helps others also,” stated Stroh.

Manassas man hit with shovel


On the evening of May 23, Prince William police responded to a call for an assault in Manassas.

According to Prince William police, the victim – a 36-year old Manassas man – stated to police that we was working on his vehicle when the suspect – 42-year old Manuel Jesus Hernandez – struck him in the head from behind with a shovel.

Hernandez hit the victim two more times with the shovel, said Prince William police. Witnesses on the scene were able to separate the two individuals.

Prince William police stated that their investigation showed that the assault was not provoked.

The victim was taken to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries, said Prince William police.

Hernandez has been charged with malicious wounding and is being held without bond.

Sargent charged in child sex case


Police in Manassas made another arrest in an ongoing investigation into suspected sexual predators. 

Here’s the latest in a press release: 

At approximately 5:30AM on May 14, 2015, Manassas City Police Investigators, in conjunction with the Northern Virginia-District of Columbia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations arrested a man who responded to an undercover advertisement looking for persons willing to travel to Manassas to have sexual contact with juveniles.

Investigators identified Walter SARGENT (48) of 1401 N Rhodes St #304, Arlington, VA 22209 as a suspect after he responded to an undercover Investigator on Craigslist on April 29th about having sexual relations with a fictitious 12-year-old male. A search warrant was conducted at the suspect’s residence on May 14, 2015 and SARGENT was taken into custody without incident. SARGENT was charged with use of a communications device to facilitate certain offenses involving children and attempted forcible sodomy. He was held without bond and has a pending court date of June 11, 2015 in General District Court.

SARGENT’s apprehension was the second such arrest made by Manassas City Police as part of “Operation Broken Heart”, a collaborative effort that involves local, state, and federal authorities targeting sexual predators and traffickers during April and May of 2015.

Manassas high school given award, $5.5K by Grammy Foundation


Osbourn High School’s performing arts department was given the Grammy Foundation Signature Enterprise Award for their work with students on music education.

During a ceremony, members of the department received the award, along with a $5,500 check to help fund future music programs, said a Manassas City Public Schools release.

“The contribution will allow students greater access to music studies by incorporating the latest in music technology into the program at Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS),” said a release.

Osbourn was one of the 13 schools across the United States to be given distinction as a 2015 Grammy Signature School back in March, said a release.

Project Mend-A-House provides home services to residents in need


Project Mend-A-House has been working in the community for more than 30 years.
The non-profit provides home maintenance and repairs to those in need.
The organization primarily assists seniors, the disabled and veterans.
The group partners with local businesses in order to provide essential services.
Volunteers go to homes in the area and help provide maintenance and repairs.

Project Mend-A-House (PMAH) is an area non-profit that helps provide home maintenance services to those in need in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park. The organization has been able to provide assistance to seniors, veterans and the disabled for more than 30 years.

Currently PMAH is being lead by Executive Director Jennifer Schock-Bolles.

PL: Who does your organization serve?

Schock-Bolles: Project Mend-A-House (PMAH) helps low-income residents of Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park. Our clients are primarily seniors and over half have a disability. Many are veterans. Our clients are homeowners who need help with basic home maintenance issues – leaky faucets, broken windows, falling gutters. When you are having difficulty putting food on the table and providing basic necessities for yourself and your family, maintaining your home is often put on the back burner, sometimes for years. Clients requalify every year but once qualified, can ask for help as often as they need. Keep Reading…

Manassas man to serve 15-months for stealing $370K


Thirty-seven year old Manassas resident, Brandon Hoffman, was sentenced to 15 months in prison and three years of supervised release for stealing $370K from his former employer.

According to a United States Department of Justice release, Hoffman was also required to pay more than $271K in restitution, in addition to forfeiting the money he took.

When the case began in court in February, Hoffman pleaded guilty.

As stated in court documents, for ten years – from 2004 to 2014 – Hoffman has worked as a medical biller and officer manager in Fairfax.

Starting in 2009, Hoffman intercepted 439 checks from health insurance companies that were payable to the medical practice, as well as forging the doctor’s signature – depositing the funds into his own account.

Before being caught, Hoffman had taken $370, 836.

4 displaced by fire in Manassas home


In the evening on May 14, Prince William fire and rescue were called to the scene of a fire at a single-family home on Greenway Court in Manassas.

When Prince William fire and rescue arrived, they saw a fire in one of the bedrooms in the home.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire, and no one was injured.

Four residents were in the home during the fire, and the Red Cross was on the scene to assist two children and two adults that were displaced, said Prince William fire and rescue.

The fire started in the bedroom, but the cause is still unknown, said Prince William fire and rescue release.

A building official has declared the residence unsafe, and it is currently being investigated by the Fire Marshal’s Office.

Long-time employee named manager at Prospero’s


Gary Belt, owner of Prospero’s Books in historic downtown Manassas, Va., has announced Erika Walser is the new sales manager of the independent bookstore. Walser takes over for long-time sales manager Bob Chase, who retired May 13. 

Walser is a 2009 graduate of Osbourn High School and earned an associate’s degree from Northern Virginia Community College in 2010. She has worked alongside Chase at Prospero’s for nine years.

“Bob hired me at age 15,” said Walser. He taught me everything I know about books and much, much more. He has watched me grow up, go off to college at Virginia Tech, get married and become a mom. He has been much more than a boss, he is a great friend.” 

Prospero’s sells, trades and consigns books in the 104-year-old Hibbs & Giddings building at the corner of Center and West Streets. The currentinventory of about 85,000 volumes includes general hardback and paperback fiction and non-fiction, with extensive collections of military history, especially the American Civil War. On-line book listings through AbeBooks make it easy for customers to purchase and send gifts of any book in the inventory anywhere in the world. Prospero’s has access to rare, collectible and out-of-print books, and offers a growing inventory of antique maps and prints.

“Being a specialty book shop in such an old and beautiful building, we have become a destination store for a lot of people,” explained Walser. “We have regulars who come in every week, and out-of-towners who shop whenever they’re visiting.” 

Belt, who has owned the building since 2003, recently freshened the interior and exterior of the century-old building with the approval of the city’s architectural review board. “No one loves this building more than Gary does,” said Walser. “He’s always saying he can’t imagine anything but a bookstore being here.”

Prospero’s is named after the character in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a duke who valued his books more than his dukedom. The shop’s beloved and creatively aging cat, Pringles, passed away last year. “Sometimes I think the Ghost of Pringles Past is following me around the store when no one else is around,” said Walser.

Bob Chase has been a well-known and vocal advocate for “shop local” campaigns. Walser plans to continue that advocacy, as well as support for local authors with book signings that complement Historic Manassas Inc. events, such as the upcoming First Friday on June 5 and the Railway Festival on June 6. “I’m currently filling all our summer weekends with book signings. Any interested parties should give me a buzz!” invited Walser. 

Walser will represent Prospero’s at meetings of the Washington Antiquarian Booksellers Association (WABA) and the Old Town Business Association (OTBA).

“We also belong to the exclusive, coveted, and absolutely non-official guild of independent bookstores,” she added. “Sadly, the last one loses members every year. We’re competing with smartphones, tablets and short attention spans.”

Virginia Living Magazine’s 2015 “Best of” Readers Poll recently named Prospero’s Books the Best Locally Owned Bookstore in Northern Virginia.

Bob Chase attended his last OTBA meeting May 13 at City Tavern in Manassas. He plans to travel and take advantage of a free schedule to pursue other projects and activities. His favorite quote is from Mark Twain: “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

New app makes it easier to buy railway tickets

121212 VRE

The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) will launch their new VRE Mobile ticketing application tomorrow.

VRE is the first transportation system to offer an app in the area. Riders will be able to use the app to pay for their fares, but paper tickets will still be sold, said a release.

“VRE Mobile is part of our ongoing effort to make the commuting experience more convenient and today we take a significant leap forward for our passengers. We are excited to get VRE Mobile into the hands of our passengers, adding a new easy-to-use option to buy and use fares,” said VRE Chief Executive Officer Doug Allen in a release. Keep Reading…

21st Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival

Take a train ride on the  a VRE train with a princess.
Manassas Heritage Railway Festival will feature live performances on two stages.
The 21st Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival is on June 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Historic Downtown Manassas.

Can you hear the far off whistle? Can you feel the rumble as the train lumbers down the tracks?

Get ready! The 21st Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival is on June 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Historic Downtown Manassas. This is a family-friendly celebration of railroad history.

There will be live performances on two stages. Folsom Prisoners, Justin Trawick and High Grass Bluegrass Band are a few of the performers lined up for the day. Enjoy great food and lots to see and do. Take a train ride on the  a VRE train with a princess for $6 per person, or just peruse the memorabilia and the model trains under the Harris Pavilion.

On Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and 7, the inaugural trips of the 611 Steam Train will be rolling through the City. Norfolk & Western 611 will pull passengers from Manassas to Front Royal and back. This is part of Norfolk Southern’s 21st Century Steam program.

Owned by the Virginia Museum of Transportation, 611 recently underwent a massive restoration after more than two decades in retirement. The Steam Engine will be available for photos near the Harris Pavilion after its Saturday trip. Tickets for both trips start at $109 and may be purchased online.

Whether you are a railroad enthusiast or just looking for something to do, this event is a great way to spend a Saturday.

On Friday, June 5, from 5 to 9 p.m. come to First Friday in Historic Downtown. The June First Friday features corn hole playing and corn hole tournaments throughout downtown, plus, great food and wonderful shops.

On Sunday, June 7, get ready for the Taste of Historic Manassas from noon to 4:30 p.m. This annual event transforms Historic Downtown Manassas into a lively festival with local entertainment and lots of great food. For more information on these and other events in the City of Manassas, go to

Castleton Festival comes to Hylton Center June 28

The Castleton Festival and the Hylton Performing Arts Center pair up this season to present an enchanting afternoon of romantic music that will touch the hearts of classical music lovers and Francophiles throughout the greater Washington, D.C. area. Under the direction of the Castleton Festival’s Principal Conductor Rafael Payare, Metropolitan Opera stars Robynne Redmon and Richard Troxell partner with the rising stars of the Castleton Festival to present “Toujours I’amour: French Masterpieces of Love” on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 4 p.m. in the Hylton Center’s elegant Merchant Hall. This performance is unique to the Hylton Center and complements the 2015 Castleton Festival events that take place from July 2-Aug. 2, 2015 at the Castleton Farms estate in Rappahannock County, Va. 

The program for this delightful performance includes French arias and duets from Georges Bizet’s Carmen, Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette and overtures of symphonic splendor. New conductor star Maestro Rafael Payare will conduct the Castleton Festival Orchestra, comprising talented music students and young professional artists, includingconcertmaster Paçalin Pavaci and Metropolitan Opera cellist Sam Magill.

After the performance, patrons can partake in a sumptuous buffet dinner of traditional French cuisine catered by À la Carte with special wine offering. Dinner is $60 per person and will be served at 6:30 p.m. in the Hylton Center’s Gregory Family Theater following the performance. Limited seating is available.

French dinner menu includes:

Lemon Chicken à la Barigoule

Steak au Poivre

Le Carre des Vosges Salade

Artisan Bread Basket

Sweets Variety

Tickets for “Toujours l’amour: French Masterpieces of Love” are $50, $43 and $30 per person. The French dinner by À la Carte is $60 per person. Visit the ticket office (open Tuesday through Saturday10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Hylton Performing Arts Center is located on George Mason University’s Prince William Campus at 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, Va., 20110. Free parking is available in the lot next to the Hylton Center. For more information, please visit Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @Hylton_PAC.

32-mile cross-county walk to raise funds for charity


On May 30, Supervisor Pete Candland and Rise Up Prince William will take part in the 3rd annual Walk for Prince William.

The walk, according to a release, is a 32-mile walk across the county – beginning in Woodbridge and ending in Haymarket.

The purpose of the walk is to raise funds for several area charities, including the Cooperative Council of Ministries, the Haymarket Food Pantry, BARN, Inc., and the NOVA Veterans Association.

For residents interesting in donating to the event, several groceries stores will have displays on site with collection boxes for donations, over the next few weeks. And on the day of the walk, there will be additional volunteers at local stores, providing lists of needed donations, said a release.

“As Gainesville District Supervisor, I’m always amazed and humbled by the generosity and spirit of community service that exists in Prince William County.  We have many folks who give of their time to serve others within the community.  I want to take each opportunity to recognize the volunteers and non-profits that enhance the quality of life in our county and help them out in any way I can,” said Candland.

Barbershop opens its doors in Downtown Manassas


Cutrate Barbershop opened this past Saturday.
Cutrate Barbershop made a point to make their location comfortable for its customers.
They offer hair services for men and women.
They are one of several barbershops in Downtown Manassas.
The corner location once served as a post office.

Cutrate Barbershop had its grand opening last weekend in Downtown Manassas.

The unisex shop is located on the corner on Center Street across from Okra’s, in the old Post Office building.

“You can’t beat a corner shop. No matter where you go, the best location is always the corner shop – because it’s always a bigger shop, and you’ve got everything sitting right there and everyone can see you,” said Shaun Lewis, manager at the shop.

According to Lewis, a lot of time and investment was put into the shop in order to make it comfortable for customers.

“We were going for that old-school [feel]. You know you’re going to come in, and if you ask for a shave, you know you’re going to get the lather, the hot towel – the whole nine yards…we want everyone that walks into the shop to feel comfortable,” said Lewis.

Lewis said that having the barbershop in the downtown area of Manassas has already proven to be good for business.

“We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls lately from people that have gone over to like Okra’s at night, when we were closed, and [asked for] our store hours, because they like the spot,” Lewis commented.

The shop has both barbers and stylists who can work on men and women’s hair.

The standard hair cut pricing ranges from $18 to $25, and $20 for a shave. There is also coloring service available.

The store will soon have a full service shoeshine as well.

“A good atmosphere, a good clientele and a good haircut can change anybody’s day,” said Lewis.

Pedestrian struck at Manassas Mall



Prince William police Officer Jonathan Perok stated, “It wasn’t a crash, the driver of the vehicle left it gear by accident and it began to roll. The pedestrian jumped out of the way and fell causing a minor injury. They were never hit by the vehicle.”

Original post

Prince William police were called to Manassas Mall this afternoon, to aid a pedestrian that was struck by a car.

Initial reports stated that the pedestrian was struck outside of the Sear’s store at the mall, near the merchandise pickup area.

According to the initial reports, the victim reported bleeding from their hands.

The car that struck the victim is still on the scene.

Potomac Local will keep you updated on the latest with this incident.

HighGrain Bread rolls out unique baked goods, lunch fare


The bakery is located in Manassas.
They have a bread and baked goods menu that changes every month.

HighGrain Bread Company, a locally owned bakery, is making a presence in Manassas with their “from scratch” philosophy and unique menu.

The store, which just opened about a year ago, is nestled in the Bull Run Shopping Plaza area, off of Sudley Manor Drive.

They offer standard lunch fare, including sandwiches, salads, soups and sweets. Some of their top items include the chicken gyro, hummus wrap and their Caesar salad.

One thing that makes this location unique is their baking. They offer a monthly baking schedule that constantly offers up new items and their menu staples – that customers can order for their own homes or events.

They also have a weekly schedule available for customers, so they can see the breads and different baked goods being baked on-site each day. From their challah bread, to their tea loaves and other baked goods, they try to keep their goods high quality and interesting, said an employee.

HighGrain Bread Company is closed on Mondays, and open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Why you can’t swim or boat on Lake Manassas

lake manassas

Closed off for 10 years, some want Lake Manassas reopened to public

You can look at it, and stand on its banks in and fish in it. But whatever you do, don’t boat or swim in Lake Manassas.

The lake remains closed to the public this summer, as it has for every summer since 2004. Manassas officials say they must do everything to protect the city’s drinking water supply from contamination, and to prevent the invasive Zebra Mussel from populating in the lake.

Those who get caught in the lake risk breaking the law. But many who live on our near 770-acre reservoir want to know why they can’t enjoy it. Just look at some of the comments we received last week after posting a story reminding folks to stay off the lake.

Other reservoirs in the area, like Stafford’s new Rocky Pen Run Reservoir, allows non-motorized boats, kayaking, and fishing, but no swimming.

Those who want the lake reopened say similar rules could be implemented at Lake Manassas. The city currently budgets $83,360 in funds from its annual budget to police the lake in an effort to keep out the public. Fishing is only allowed on the banks of Lake Manassas if permission obtained from a private property owner who lives on the lake.

Council leaders say lake is not profitable 

City Council members say that while concerns over the security and safety of drinking water and Zebra Mussels are real, there’s also a financial challenge to opening and maintaining the lake.

“Our past experience with the lake shows that it is very unlikely that any type of marina operation (which would act as a gatekeeper for lake use) would be financially profitable,” said Manassas City Councilman Mark Wolfe. “In the past, the city provided a subsidy to the marina operator. None of the [new] proposals we have seen regarding lake access show that they would be self-sustaining financially.”

The fight over reopening Lake Manassas is nothing new. In 2011, Brookfield Homes took the city to court after a building 60 homes on the lake – which is located in Prince William County. The developer wanted its homebuyers to have access to the lake, but the concerns of drinking water safety in the light of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks won over the courts and lake remains closed. 

Last fall, the City Council directed staff to explore the possibility of reopening the lake.

A plan to bring in George Mason University also presented a business plan on reopening the lake, and Brookfield Homes donated land for a new marina.

“Thus far the City of Manassas has not been willing to exclusively carry the significant investment burden to open the lake, partially because the benefits will accrue to non-residents and we cannot afford to exclusively tax our residents  for the benefit of others,” said Manassas City Councilman Jonathan Way.  “Obviously, the solution would be a private/public partnership involving Manassas, Prince William County and a private developer.  Such a plan was developed a few years ago, but was not adequate.”

A charge for lake access

Manassas City Councilman Marc Aveni made reopening the lake to the public a campaign issue last year. Now, with several new council members in place, he says it may be time to bring up the issue again during council meetings.

“You can’t stick you toe in the water or someone will arrest you? How dumb is that,” said Aveni.

While the costs to reopen the lake are not known, Aveni says they have to be less than what the city pays annually to keep people out. He proposes charging residents for access to the lake to generate revenue. City residents would pay one fee, and those who live outside the city, such as Prince William County, could pay a “little more,” said Aveni.

Conservation groups also support reopening Lake Manassas to the public. They say the lake would mean more recreational and economic opportunities for the region.

“According to Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, fishing alone is responsible for more than $1.3 billion in economic impact in the state. According to the Virginia Outdoor Report, citizens desire improved access to soft landings for kayaks and canoes. Access to state waters for fishing, swimming, and beach use was a top three need identified by the public,” said Prince William Conservation Alliance Director Kim Hosen.

The Alliance wants to see the lake reopened to non-motorized boats, and to fishermen.

World War II planes to fly over Washington, D.C. today

arsenal of democracy manassas

The sky over the nation’s capital today will fill with a show of military might that dates back to World War II.

A total of 52 World War II-era planes – including the P-38 Lightning, the P-51 Mustang, and the B-29 Superfortress – will fly over the U.S. Capital at starting at 12:10 p.m. to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. The flyover will also feature 15 historically sequenced formations that represent major battles fought during the war.

Online viewers may watch a live-streamed webcast of the flyover between noon and 1 p.m., and a wreath laying ceremony that begins prior to the flyover at 10:30 a.m. at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall.

Dubbed the “Arsenal of Democracy,” the planes will fly up the Potomac River and then over the National Mall, and then over the U.S. Capitol. When finished, the squadron will land at the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport.

The event aims to honor veterans who served in the war.

“We couldn’t drive tanks down Massachusetts Avenue or put boats in the Tidal Basin, but we could do this,” said John Cudahy, an event organizer with the National Council of Airshows.

See more photos of World War II planes at Manassas Regional Airport 

Some of the planes that will participate in the planned flyover were on display yesterday at the Manassas Regional Airport. Onlookers took photos while some enthusiasts given rides in the planes. Government officials and event organizers joined World War II veterans who spoke before 90 media organization’s that packed the airport terminal for a press conference.

“I lived my dreams. I got to do what every fighter pilot wants to do: Engage the enemy and win,” said Bud Anderson, of California.

Other veterans talked about the more than $1 million annual cost to keep these seven-decade old planes in the air, as flying museums. Of the B-17 bombers, 12,000 of them were made but only 11 still fly today. The B-17 slated to fly over Washington today was built in July 1945.

“When we had this idea a year ago, the only thing in our minds was to honor you, our veterans,” said Peter Bunce, an event organizer during the press conference.

Once in the air today, the planes will fly at 1,000 during the event. Traffic at Regan National Airport will halt between noon and 1 p.m. for the flyover. If it rains and Friday’s event is postponed, the planes will fly on Saturday.

Many of the planes staged at Manassas Airport Thursday are maintained by the Texas Flying Rangers and the Commemorative Air Force.

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