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Reliving Civil War History

Fairfax City hosts its annual Civil War weekend on May 3 and 4.

For a few hours this weekend, area residents will have the opportunity to step back in time, when soldiers marched down Fairfax streets and politicians vacationed in nearby cottages in order to escape the sweltering heat of downtown Washington. The seventh annual Fairfax Civil War Weekend takes place on Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4, at the historic Blenheim Estate, 3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax.

The weekend’s events include Civil War re-enactors, a Confederate and Union Armies skirmish, tours of the Blenheim House and attic, a speakers’ tent hosted by several Civil War generals, and living history presentations. It will also feature performances of period music, blacksmithing, and 19th-century games and activities for children, as well as a candlelight camp tour and wagon ride on Saturday evening.

"I would describe it as very family-oriented. There is something that should appeal to all ages and levels of Civil War interest," said Susan Gray, curator of the Fairfax Museum.

In addition to the events, several raffles will occur. The items include autographed copies of Ken Burns’ "Civil War" series on VHS and DVD, and a DVD on Civil War Gen. U.S. Grant. The Confederate Army re-enactor group, the 17th Virginia Infantry, also known as the Fairfax Rifles, is donating a VHS on black Confederate soldiers for the raffle.

Free parking and shuttle service will be provided at Fairfax High School, 3500 Old Lee Highway. Admission is $3 per person and $1 per child. Attic tour tickets are $5 and available on a first-come basis each day of the event. Food will also be available.

Proceeds benefit the restoration of the Blenheim estate. For more information, go to www.ci.fairfax.va.us/cityhistory/blenheimcivilwar.htm or call 703-385-8414.