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Culture

Every year, residents of the Fredericksburg region and their guests enjoy a potpourri of festivals and special events that showcase local culture and strengthen the bonds of fellowship.

The Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center has expanded to include a wider array of artifacts and special exhibits, as well as a beautiful gift shop. Permanent exhibitions include “Fredericksburg at War,” “George Washington and the Masonic Tradition” and “Railways and Roadways.” “Bricks and Boards in the ’Burg” – co-sponsored by the museum and Hallowed Ground Tours – is an ongoing walking tour of historic Fredericksburg that focuses on the city’s historic architecture. First Fridays at the museum is a free outdoor concert series that takes place the first Friday of each month from May through October in historic Market Square.Spotsylvania County holds its “Stars and Stripes Spectacular” every July in the square at Spotsylvania Courthouse featuring games, great food and a spectacular fireworks display. The July 4th Heritage Festival in downtown Fredericksburg celebrates America’s birthday with a bang.

The Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair will celebrate its 275th year in 2013. Started in 1738 at the behest of the House of Burgesses, the fair offers thousands of visitors a glimpse of the techniques and products of the modern American farm, as well as a chance for some good old-fashioned entertainment.

Visitors to the Fredericksburg Region can get a look inside privately owned historic homes during Historic Garden Week and the holiday Candlelight Tour. Large crowds turn out for the annual Christmas parades held by area localities, as well as for the City of Fredericksburg’s First Night on New Year’s Eve.

Spectators enjoy reenactments of Civil War battles, artillery demonstrations and encampments. Visitors can witness 18th Century life during special programs at George Washington’s boyhood home of Ferry Farm and at Kenmore, the mansion owned by Washington’s sister, Betty Lewis. Other historic attractions that offer tours or unique programs include George Washington’s Birthplace in Westmoreland County, Chatham, the Rising Sun Tavern, the Mary Washington House and the James Monroe Museum.

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