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Founders Day in Stafford: County marks its 350th anniversary
Residents looking for some entertainment that comes with a history lesson will not have to look far this weekend.
Stafford County will mark a milestone with its Founders Day event.
The first event of its kind in the county’s history, Founders Day celebrates Stafford’s 350th anniversary.
The two-day event will run Saturday and Sunday and feature a parade, history square and a fine arts festival. The parade, which will run from Stafford Hospital to Brooke Point High School, is set for Saturday from 9 a.m to 11:30 a.m. The history square and fine arts festival will run both days.
High school marching bands, two World War II veterans, antique military vehicles, Miss Stafford County and a John Smith longboat replica will trace a history that stretches back to before the county’s official founding in 1664.
The tour through Stafford’s history will pick up with the history square and the fine arts festival at Brooke Point High School. The fine arts festival will feature student performances and art exhibits, while the history square will include some living history. Visitors will have a chance to meet George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Stafford was home to Washington during his adolescent years.
John Smith, Pocahontas and the Patawomeck tribe’s Virginia Indian community will also make an appearance at the history square. Demonstrations at the history square include a World War II flamethrower, 1812 cannons, dinosaurs of Stafford and a street-painting demonstration.
Visitors may also catch a glimpse of a guest who is part of Stafford’s more recent history.
Angela Loughran, mayor of the borough of Stafford, England, will attend the celebration as a special guest. Stafford County established a Friendship Association with the English community in 1992. Since then, contingents from both Stafford County and the borough of Stafford have exchanged visits.
The fine arts festival and history square will be held at Brooke Point High School from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Parking will not be available along the parade route. Visitors may park at the satellite parking lots at the Stafford Government Center, Courthouse Road Virginia Department of Transportation commuter lot, Brooke Virginia Railway Express lot, Route 17 VDOT lot and the disabled parking lot at Stafford Elementary School.
Shuttle buses will be available to transport visitors from these parking lots to and from the parade and Brooke Point High School on both days. The shuttles will run from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
More details about Founders Day, including a map of the parade and the events at Brooke Point High School, can be found at Stafford350.com, on Facebook at Stafford County 350 Anniversary or on Twitter @StaffordCo350. Interested individuals can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vanessa Remmers: 540/735-1975