Friends of VNMP hosting Centennial Sunset Reception

Published 8:50 pm Saturday, October 1, 2016

Friends of the Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign will host a private Centennial Sunset Reception at the U.S.S. Cairo Museum 5:30 p.m. Thursday celebrating “100 Years of America’s Best Idea, the National Park Service,” recognizing the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service. Tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased in advance through the Friends of VNMP.  Response to the program has been good, she said.

National Military Park officials have agreed to open the park after hours for event, which will offer the visitors an opportunity to enjoy the sunset over the National Cemetery next to the Cairo, one of the country’s largest and most well preserved Civil War artifacts, while enjoying food and cocktails among fellow preservationists.

“It’s a rare occasion to be in the park after hours, and we’re looking forward to it,” said Bess Averett, executive director of friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign. “It’s a really special event, and having the public come and enjoy the evening in a beautiful location and celebrate what 100 years of the National Park Service has meant to this community.”

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She said the event will feature musicians from Jackson dressed in period costume and playing Civil War era music.

“Vicksburg is so fortunate to be home to this amazing unit of the National Park Service,” Averett said. “Almost all of the events we host and support at VNMP during the year are free of charge, so this fundraiser is an important opportunity to help us continue that important work.

“We would love for the public to join us for this rare, after-hours event to recognize the contributions the National Park Service has made in our state and their 100 years of service to the public.” All proceeds from the event will benefit Friends of VNMP and Campaign, the official partner organization for VNMP.  The donations to the 501(c)3 organization go to help enhance the battlefield and promote public appreciation for the history it symbolizes. While the park’s basic operations are funded by the National Park Service, Averett said, many features and programs visitors enjoy most are made possible through private funds, including important work maintaining one of the Nation’s largest collections of sculptures, monuments, markers and tablets. For more information or tickets, contact Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign at 601-456-0804, by email at, or visit

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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