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A ghostly spirit haunts Chatham Manor in search of a long lost love

Editor’s note: We’re featuring the stories of some spooky hunts in our region during October. 

FREDERICKSBURG — Folklore tells of a spectral being that returns to Chatham Manor in Fredericksburg once every seven years to search for her lost love.

Robin Nimmo of Fredericksburg Hauntings Tours tells her story, as well as many other spooky stories, as she guides visitors on a 90-minute walking tour of haunted Downtown Fredericksburg.

Nimmo recounted the story. She said that Chatham is a plantation home built in the 1700s by William Fitzhugh, who knew George Washington. Because Chatham was such a big place to stay, when people were in traveling mode they would stay for weeks and months, sometimes years.

A gentleman was staying in Chatham from England. His daughter had fallen in love with someone who was a drysalter — someone who preserved meats. He was below her social status. He moved his daughter to America to keep her from marrying the drysalter.

Nimmo recounted that the odd way the young couple met. The young woman had a pet parrot that died and she wanted to have it preserved. A drysalter sometimes doubled as a taxidermist, and that’s how the two met.

The young man found out where his love was, but he was poor so he had to save money to get passage from England. Sometimes poor people would indenture themselves to make the passage. After six months he made enough money to come to Chatham. He came up with a plan and sent a note through a servant. On a designated night, she would come out of her window on a rope ladder and the two would elope.

On the night the young woman climbed down the rope ladder, rather than falling into her lover’s arms, she met with George Washington. Washington had learned of the elopement plan from one of his servants and helped stop the young couple from marrying.

Her father was furious. He sent his daughter back to England and married her to someone of a higher social status. She swore on her deathbed that she would find out what happened to her love.

A spectral lady in white is seen on the anniversary of her death every seven years. Some believe that she appears every seven years because that was the typical length of indentured servitude that her love may have served. The last sighting was in 2014.

Chatham does not allow the haunted tours on the grounds, so Nimmo tells the story as she shows tourists Chatham from across the river.

The lady in white is just one of the many local legends you will hear during a Fredericksburg Hauntings tour.

“We have a lot of stories to tell because we are so historic. Between the Revolution, George Washington and the Civil War battles that took place here, Fredericksburg is steeped in history and that always means hauntings. Ghosts stay because of tragic deaths or things left one done, said Nimmo. “This is one of the most haunted places in America.”

Tours run through Halloween. The tour is $12 for adults and free for children seven and under. For more information and the schedule of tours visit fredericksburghauntings.com. To book a tour call Robin Nimmo at 540-226-8378.

‘Halloween 5K’ and “Monster Mile’ part of new Stafford fall 3-race series

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Fighting injustice with injustice – Rippon Lodge’s tale of woe

Editor’s note: We’re featuring the stories of some spooky hunts in our region during October. 

Perhaps one may have heard there was a duel and a death tied to Rippon Lodge Historic Site. But the story behind the legend is one of legal injustice and divides a family.

The tale begins in 1762 with accusations and rumors surrounding the death of a young enslaved boy. After the investigation, his death is ruled an accident. However, this verdict is not believed by all, especially one Colonel John Baylis. He credits a sinister hand took the life of the innocent child, that of his brother-in-law’s mother-in-law, Sarah Brown Scott. 

Sarah Scott, wife of prominent Reverend James Scott, and mother to Christian Scott Blackburn of Rippon Lodge, struck the enslaved child called Davy. Mrs. Scott did so because she found him lying in the rows of the garden, neglecting his work. Afterwards, wondering where he had disappeared, Mrs. Scott found him much later in a “log’d house”, dead. During the inquest she claimed no malice and meant no harm to the child since he was a favorite of hers. 

The inquest and depositions of witnesses was conducted by Henry Lee, a Justice of the Peace and friend of the Scott’s and Blackburn’s. This enraged Colonel Baylis, also a Justice of the Peace for the County, for he had a witness stating otherwise. That person said the death was caused in the most “cruel manner”. Davy, it appears ran away days before and had just been returned the day he died. Colonel Baylis informed the Court of this revelation, and accused Reverend James Scott intimidated others by various means from telling the truth. He further charged the Scott’s used their influence to circumvent the judicial system, having a family friend lead the investigation. Colonel Baylis commanded Sarah Scott be brought back to court before him and other Justices. It never happened.

Relations between the families soured over the next few years. Baylis’ wife, Jane, was placed in the middle of the family battle, with her brother and his in-laws on one side, and her husband and children on the other. Baylis continued his vilification against Reverend Scott and his wife, to a point that John Scott, their son, became involved. Only 18, and unable to withstand the character assassination spread by Colonel Baylis, demanded retribution. He called for a duel.

The duel was not a fair fight, for it was Colonel Baylis who would cheat. Already severely wounded in the leg during the duel, he drew out a third pistol concealed under his jacket and fired. He missed his target, John Scott’s second, Mr. Bullett, who refused to return fire on a man already on death’s door. Colonel Baylis was transported by horse and cart from Dumfries to Rippon Lodge, back to his wife’s arms. He died inside the Lodge shortly after arriving.

The duel between Baylis and Scott has left its mark on Rippon Lodge. There are people who claim you can still see the blood stain where Baylis died on the wood floor. For some stories, there are no happy endings. Others fade into myths, horror, and legends. One thing for certain is these stories are best told by campfire. Join Rippon Lodge Historic Site Saturday, October 20th, at 7:00 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. for their Haunted Campfire. Just $10 per person, guest will hear long lost, ghostly tales, such as Baylis and Scott, while surrounded by the dark woods and grounds. For reservations to this evening of spooky stories of yore, call 703-499-9812. (This is an outdoor event, therefore dress appropriately and wear close toed shoes. Not recommended for children under six.)

Monday is Columbus Day. Here are 10 great ways to enjoy your day off.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this latest Potomac Local List. 

We probably don’t need to remind you that Monday is Columbus Day, a federal holiday. Make the most of it. Here are 10 great ways to enjoy your day off.

Visit an escape room – Escape rooms are growing in popularity and are popping up all over Prince William County. The Great Xcape in Manassas will be open from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. that day and will offer escape adventures like “The Mystery of the Missing Millions,” “Mad Scientist,” “The Following,” and “Shipwrecked,” according to their website.

The Escape Room Manassas will be open by appointment only. 

“For the escape room, all reservations are made through our website. Our escape room is the amulet room, where you find a mystical amulet in a haunted library,” according to their general manager.

Don’t forget about Escape Room Woodbridge for those who live in eastern Prince William County. Here too, games are by appointment only, and gamers have three rooms to choose from. The escape room is open Thursday 4 to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to 11:30 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5:30 p.m. 

Enjoy nature – The weather is finally cooling off so that you can enjoy crisp autumn days outdoors. There are many local places where you can go for a day hike in Prince William County.

Prince William Forest Park offers hiking, on and off-road biking, tent, RV and cabin camping, fishing, picnic areas, orienteering and wildlife watching, according to their website.

Tour a local historical site – Prince William County has many historic sites that are educational and family-friendly.

The Weems-Botts Museum in Dumfries is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Columbus day, according to their website.

“Museum tours include an overview of Dumfries’ significant colonial history as well as a detailed look into the house’s historic past. Visitors travel through time as they tour period rooms decorated in 18th, 19th, and 20th century styles while learning about how the property was used as a vestry by the colonial church, possibly as a bookshop by Parson Weems (George Washington’s first biographer and author of the cherry tree story), as a law office by Benjamin Botts (Aaron Burr’s youngest defense attorney during his 1807 treason trial) and as a home for nearly a century by the Merchant Family,” states their website.

Have a nice meal out – There are so many quality restaurants in the county. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you can likely find it locally.

Passion Fin is a new sushi and hibachi restaurant. Owner Jay Lin recommends diners try their sashimi and one of their signature sushi dishes, the “Red Skins Roll,” a shrimp tempura, spicy crab meat, spicy tuna, and avocado roll.

If you’re in the mood for Thai, Bann Thai Old Town is the newest Thai place in Occoquan. Their signature dishes include Pad Thai, a rice noodle based dish, and Kapraw, a Thai basil-based dish, according to owner Nalinrat Pienthumdee.

Visit a winery – Virginia is home to some award-winning wineries. The Winery at Bull Run offers history, stunning natural views, and award-winning wines.

“We’re a working farm vineyard focused on crafting fine Virginia wines while paying tribute to the history and preservation of 19th century pastoral Fairfax County,” states their website.

Catch the latest movie – Woodbridge is now home to The Alamo Drafthouse, where you can dine and enjoy beverages while watching the movie. Their website says, “Forget dinner and a movie, it’s all about dinner AT the movie.”

Paint and sip – Enjoy beer, wine or soda while you paint your own masterpiece at Muse Paintbar in Woodbridge. Their class on Columbus day starts at 7 p.m., according to their website.

Revamp your fall wardrobe – Prepare yourself for sweater weather at one of the areas malls or town centers like Potomac Mills Mall or Virginia Gateway Promenade.

Pick a home improvement project – Pick a simple home improvement project that can be completed in a day and dig in. A great one-day project is fall planting.

Meadow Farms Nursery in Manassas “offers a full selection of shade and flowering trees, native plants, Japanese maples, shrubs, groundcovers, and perennial and annual flower selections, including options from the Proven Winners and Simply Beautiful lines,” according to their website.

Donate your time – Volunteering is a wonderful way to spend a day off from work. There are many local organizations looking for generous people to help out their causes. Read more about them in our recent article about volunteer openings in Prince William.

Haymarket shoe drive aims to raise cash for students

Tonya Carter and Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority President Lorraine Jackson

HAYMARKET — A Prince William County service groups have their feet on the ground and is taking donations of used shoes.

The Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority partnered with Funds2Orgs to raise funds for students in Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park.

The group aims to collect $1,000 for local students by collecting bags of used shoes, said Tonya Carter, a spokeswoman for the sorority.

“Each bag contains 25 pairs of shoes.  Funds2orgs will then write a check for the weight of the shoes collected, approximately $1,000 for 100 bags of shoes.  Funds2orgs then provides the shoes to any of 26 impoverished countries that they are partnering with to create micro-businesses in order to help their economic state.  The majority of the shoes tend to go to Haiti, Ghana, and Bolivia,” states Carter, in an email. 

The sorority will accept donations of shoes on Thursday starting from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Carter’s home at 6753 Edgartown Way in Haymarket. Afterward, crews will begin bundling the shoes for pick up.

“Our Chapter President, Lorraine Jackson, challenged us to find new and different ways to raise funds for scholarships and programs.  She felt strongly that this effort mirrors much of what we stand for, and I took the lead to get it going.  As the lead, I’ve been working out of my home to manage this project, so the shoes are stored there.  Between my husband’s shop, Carter Fleet Services, and our garage, we were able to store all of the shoes without an expense, which is very important to a non-profit organization,” states organizer Tonya Carter in an email.

To reach her $1,000 goal, Carter hopes to collect thousands of pounds of shoes.

“This amount comes from collecting 2,500 pounds, which comes to about 100 bags.  Because Funds2orgs is driving from Florida to pick them up, if we do not hit the 2500 lbs., they will withhold $250 from the proceeds to cover the cost of the trip.  We would like to maximize our efforts, so we will continue to bundle shoes until the truck arrives in order to do so.” 

Lifelong love of board games leads to new hangout in Manassas

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Manassas politicians agreed to get ‘chalked,’ raise funds for the arts

MANASSAS — Of my favorite Manassas events is right around the corner – the Fall Jubilee in Downtown Manassas is a favorite of locals and out of town visitors, and this year proves to be no exception.

The amazing Daredevil Dogs return this year to wow the crowd with their, “discs and tricks for four 25-minute performances. There will be bleachers set up on the lawn and there’s a meet and greet afterward so you can meet and pet them,” said Historic Manassas Inc. Event Coordinator Rebekah Raze.

The biggest buzz around the Fall Jubilee is the Carnival of Chalk fundraiser at the Center for the Arts. Not only can attendees buy chalk to decorate the parking lot, but they can also purchase chalk bombs to throw at local candidates and politicians who have volunteered for this great cause.

  • Vice Mayor Sheryl Bass and Councilwoman Pamela Short Sebesky from 1-2 p.m.
  • Councilman Marc Aveni and Councilman Ian Lovejoy from 2-3 p.m.
  • Councilman Ken Elston and Candidate Michelle Davis-Younger from 3-4 p.m.
  • Candidate Theresa Coates Ellis from 4-5 p.m.

The Fall Jubilee will have a variety of delicious food from its 15 food vendors and local restaurants.

The Community Stage at the intersection of Main and Center St. will feature local dance and martial arts groups throughout the day.

The Fall Jubilee is Saturday, October 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free to the public.

Share your photos with us throughout the day by using the hashtags #HistoricManassas and #POTOFOMO.

Surrounded by unmarked graves, ghosts stir inside Ben Lomond House

Editor’s note: We’re featuring the stories of some spooky hunts in our region during October. 

It was after a bloody battle a few miles north of Manassas Junction on July 21, 1861, that a young Confederate soldier named Edward Craighill found himself attending to the wounded at Ben Lomond.

Craighill was a medical steward assigned to the house that was forcefully commandeered as a field hospital after the battle. Shortly following the battle and after a long shift, an exhausted Craighill tried to find a spot next to a campfire close to the house between some trees.

Miserable, wet and cold, Craighill found “a place between two sleeping soundly” and himself fell asleep:

“The next morning when I awoke the sun was high in the sky, but I noticed that neither of the men I was between had stirred, and upon examination found they were stone dead. Neither moved when I took my place between them, and I have never known whether they were dead then or had died in the night from their wounds, which I found the next day to be frightful. They were carried out and buried in the Pringle garden the next day, with others, very likely, almost certainly ‘somebody’s darlings’ whom I expect to this day, are wondering what became of the after the battle. A bloody battle is a dreadful experience…”

What became known as the First Battle of Manassas left over 3,500 men injured or killed between the Union and Confederate forces. For those poor soldiers who succumbed to their wounds, many were interred in unmarked graves making the location hallowed ground.

Today the house and the surrounding six acres comprise the Ben Lomond Historic Site, operated by Prince William Historic Preservation Division, where visitors are invited to learn about nineteenth-century medicine and experience the sounds and smells of this horrific part of Northern Virginia’s Civil War history.

But for some guests, the historic interpretation and engagement of the physical senses provided by the site staff is just the formal part of the program. A visit to the recovery rooms where soldiers dealt with hardship, despair, and anguish, or the surgery room where they encountered excruciating pain, can appeal to other, more subtle, senses.

Moving through the rooms conjures up more than tangible impressions. As some visitors explore the hospital, they claim to feel the energy of soldiers who may still reside in the hallways.

The list of names of men who walked, or were carried, through the doors of Ben Lomond is long and saddening, but surely the list of those unknown soldiers whose mortal remains never left the site is much longer and daunting. Maybe those poor souls, to whom Craighill alluded, are still trying to find a way home.

For more information about Ben Lomond Historic Site or to learn about fall programming at the site, please visit pwcgov.org/history or call 703-367-7872.

Steins, Wines & Spirits Festival returns Saturday for its third year

MANASSAS — (Press Release) The Manassas Steins, Wines & Spirits Festival is a unique opportunity to sample your choice of beverage while listening to live music at the Manassas Museum in Historic Downtown Manassas.

Taste local craft beers, farm wines, and distilled spirits; all while enjoying great food from some of the best food vendors in Northern Virginia. Taster tickets ($40) include admission for one (21+) and 8 tickets for tasting, beer, wine or spirits.

Additional tasting tickets may be purchased. Non-taster ($10) tickets get you admission for one (13+) into the festival to listen to the live bands. The oyster tent will be returning from last year.

Participating Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries:

  • Adventure Brewing
  • Alewerks
  • Brew Republic
  • Caboose Brewing Company
  • Forge Brew Works
  • Lost Rhino
  • Mustang Sally
  • Ornery
  • Pale Fire Brewing
  • Spencer Devon Brewing Company
  • Vasen; Morais Vineyards and Winery
  • Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery
  • Belle Isle Craft Spirits
  • Catoctin Creek Distillery
  • Copper Fox Distillery
  • Falls Church Distillers LLC,
  • KO Distilling 
  • MurLarkey

Music Schedule:

  • Throwing Plates: 12 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Sub-Radio: 2 pm – 3:45 pm
  • Harden Blues: 4:15 pm – 6 pm

The festival runs from noon to 6 p.m. on the Manassas Museum Lawn.

If you would like more information about this event, please go to visitmanassas.org. 

Sheetz to offer free coffee on Saturday

(Press Release) Sheetz, one of America’s fastest growing family-owned and operated convenience retailers for 65 years, will celebrate National Coffee Day on Saturday, September 29, 2018, with free cold brew to all customers who order through the Sheetz app. This promotion is valid for any size and any flavor cold brew at all Sheetz locations for one day only on Saturday, September 29, 2018.

Hand-crafted by trained baristas, customers will have a wide variety of flavor options including pumpkin pie, banana, caramel, hazelnut, mint, raspberry, sugar-free caramel, sugar-free vanilla, toasted marshmallow, and vanilla.

Sheetz offers a full line of Made-to-Order cappuccinos, lattes, espressos, mochas and more created on traditional Italian espresso machines. Moreover, Sheetz Bros. Coffee features four

Prince William approves first drive-through Panera Bread

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‘9 to 5,’ a story friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era to take Hylton stage

MANASSAS — (Press Release) Prince William Little Theatre presents the musical comedy 9 to 5, The Musical at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.  This show is based on the seminal 1980 hit movie with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnick. 9 to 5, The Musical is produced by arrangement with MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL.

Set in the late 1970s, this hilarious story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era is outrageous, thought-provoking and even a little romantic. It centers on the downtrodden working lives of three women, Violet (Jolene Vettese), Judy (Christine Laird), and Doralee (Laura Mills). Pushed to the boiling point, these three female co-workers concoct a plan to get even with the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot they call their boss Franklin Hart (Joey Olson). In a hilarious turn of events, Violet, Judy, and Doralee live out their wildest fantasy–giving their boss the boot. While Hart remains “otherwise engaged,” the women give their workplace a dream makeover, taking control of the company that had always kept them down. Hey, a girl can scheme, can’t she?

The production is directed and produced by Melissa Jo York-Tilley, music directed by James Maxted, choreographed by Melanie McGuin and Jonathan Fair, and stage managed by Mary Ann Hall.

Performances are in the Gregory Family Theater at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, located on the George Mason University campus at 10960 George Mason Circle in Manassas, VA for TWO WEEKENDS ONLY on the following dates and times:

October 12, 2018 at 8:00 pm
October 13, 2018 at 2:00 pm
October 13, 2018 at 8:00 pm
October 14, 2018 at 2:00 pm
October 18, 2018 at 8:00 pm
October 19, 2018 at 8:00 pm
October 20, 2018 at 8:00 pm
October 21, 2018 at 2:00 pm

PLEASE NOTE: This show is not suited for children and should be considered PG-13.

Tickets are $25 for Adults, $20 for Seniors/Students/Active Military and $15 for Children 12 and Under. Tickets are available at the door or can be purchased online.

PRODUCTION TEAM
Producer/Director: Melissa Jo York-Tilley
Music Director: James Maxted
Co-Choreographers: Melanie McGuin and Jonathan Fair
Stage Manager: Mary Ann Hall
Lighting/Technical Design: Kurt Gustafson
Costume Designer: Michelle Matthews
Sound Designer: Matthew Scarborough
Properties Designer: Kelsey Moran
Hair & Make-up Design: Caroline Scarborough
Set Design: Nicholas Mastrangelo
Dialect Coach: Ivy Cole
Accompanist: Justin Streletz
Sound Engineer: Noah Fraize

CAST
Violet Newstead – Jolene Vettese
Doralee Rhodes – Laura Mills
Judy Bernly – Christine Laird
Franklin Hart, JR – Joey Olson
Roz Keith – Melanie McCleerey
Joe – Matthew Scarborough
Dwayne – Joshua Wilson
Josh/Ensemble – Jonathan Rodriguez
Russel Tinsworthy/Ensemble – Drew Fleming
Dick Bernly/Ensemble – Jay Wells

Ensemble: Marissa Dolcich, Benjamin Foster, Debbie Franck, Becca Harney, Fiala Havasek, Nick MacFarlane, Chrissy Mastrangelo, Melanie McGuin, Luke Messenger, Andrew Morin, Katie Morris, Trevor Nordike, Jen Rodriguez, Caroline Scarborough, Aaron Talley, Esther Tennyson, Alex Tyree and Kathy Young.

ABOUT PRINCE WILLIAM LITTLE THEATRE
Prince William Little Theatre (PWLT) is a community theater organization based in Manassas, Virginia, Prince William County. Providing quality local community theater since 1984, we are a volunteer non-profit organization partly funded by grants from the Prince William County Park Authority, the City of Manassas, and private contributions. We provide quality community theater productions (musicals, plays, drama, comedy, and one-act performances) several times a year as well as fundraisers. Beginning in 2010, PWLT began performing at the Gregory Family Theater in the Hylton Performing Arts Center at the George Mason University Campus located in Manassas, Virginia located in Prince William County.

For more information about PWLT, please visit pwlt.org.

20 years on the force: Manassas police officer gives guidance, advice to students

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Arts Alive! 2018 promises ‘diversity and excellence of visual, literary and performing artists and ensembles’

Get ready for the arts. This release tells what we have to look forward to September 16 at Arts Alive!

Arts Alive! 2018, a co-production of the Prince William County Arts Council and the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, is a free, family-fun arts festival on Sunday, September 16, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.

This highly anticipated annual community event celebrates the diversity and excellence of visual, literary, and performing artists and ensembles from the Greater Prince William Area. The event offers hands-on arts-related activities for children and adults, as well as artwork and craft vendors with items for sale. Food trucks will offer up some of the best local cuisines and sweets for participants to purchase. Admission and parking to the event is FREE.

The afternoon will feature 30+ indoor and outdoor performances occurring on four stages: Merchant Hall, Gregory Family Theater, and outdoor stages. Local artists and ensembles performing include Asaph Dance Ensemble, Suburban Gypsies, Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra, Manassas Ballet Theatre, InTune Music Studio, New Dominion Choraliers, Ordway Ballet Conservatory, Shenandoah Sound, Youth Orchestras of PW, Real Life Productions LLC., Castaways Repertory Theatre, Virginia Dance Center, Bull Run Cloggers, and Manassas Chorale, among many others.

Visual arts showcasing original paintings, coloring books, photography, and quilts will be on display in the Didlake Grand Foyer. Activities for children include watercolor painting, instrument petting zoo, and hands-on crafts with presenters from Abrakadoodle of PW, Edgemoor Art Studio, and Center for the Arts. Local artisans will sell jewelry, pottery, and other arts-related wares. Local authors and poets will also present live readings, open mic sign-ups, and will have books for sell.

Arts Alive! 2018 will be held at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on George Mason University’s Science and Technology Campus at 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, VA. 20110.

Free parking is available in the Tower Lot behind the Hylton Center. Additional information about Arts Alive! 2018 is available at www.pwcartscouncil.org/arts-alive or www.HyltonCenter.org.

Arts Alive! 2018 is sponsored by NOVEC, Performing Arts for Kids, Buck and Julie Waters and Wegmans. The Prince William County Arts Council and the Hylton Performing Arts Center also thank the Arts Alive! 2018 committee, volunteers and Prince William County Parks & Recreation for their support.

About the Prince William County Arts Council

The Prince William County Arts Council is a membership organization serving the Greater Prince William Area, including Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park. With over 50 members ranging from visual to performing arts, the Arts Council represents many genres. The Prince William County Arts Council is the go-to resource for the local arts, enriching the local community through its program offerings and events. We promote and support local artists and arts organizations and enlighten and educate audiences about the arts in the Greater Prince William Area.

About the Hylton Performing Arts Center

Dedicated to bringing a world-class performing arts venue to the Prince William region, the Hylton Performing Arts Center was born out of a partnership among Prince William County, George Mason University, the City of Manassas, the Commonwealth of Virginia and individuals and businesses in the private sector. Soaring more than nine stories and boasting a stunning mix of copper, glass and masonry, the 85,000-square foot center is home to two unparalleled performance venues for local arts groups and performers from around the world, as well as university-related activities. The Hylton Performing Arts Center, the only building of its kind in the area, has quickly become the cultural hub of Prince William County and the surrounding communities and is a shining example of civic collaboration and commitment to the arts.

Meet the most proud, ‘worst’ artists in Haymarket

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Couple to introduce quick, fresh Mediterranean food to Manassas

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Mount Vernon flooding the market with 200 bottles of Washington’s whiskey

From a press release: 

In honor of Virginia Spirits Month, Mount Vernon this September will release 200 bottles of George Washington’s Straight Rye Premium Whiskey, which was distilled at Mount Vernon’s reconstructed distillery using Washington’s original recipe. While whiskey was not aged in Washington’s time, this spirit was aged for four years in charred oak barrels to appeal to modern palettes. George Washington’s Straight Rye Premium Whiskey is available in 375ml bottles for purchase in-person only at the Shops at Mount Vernon and George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill site.
 
According to Washington’s distillery ledgers from 1798 and 1799, his whiskey consisted of 60% rye, 35% corn and 5% malted barley. Mount Vernon’s finest whiskey release to date, this aged spirit smells of fruit with a hint of oak from the barrels and has a fruit-forward taste of apples, apricots, and baking spices. Mount Vernon staff used this recipe and traditional 18th-century methods in the production of the George Washington Straight Rye Premium Whiskey. This included grinding of all the grain in Washington’s reconstructed water-powered gristmill, fermenting in wooden mash tubs and distilling in copper pot stills heated by wood fires.
 
George Washington began commercial distilling in 1797 at the urging of his Scottish farm manager, James Anderson, who had experience distilling grain in Scotland and Virginia. By 1799, Washington was the largest whiskey producer in America, distilling almost 11,000 gallons that year.