State tourism corporation shares highlights coming in 2019

Staff writer

RICHMOND — At its annual What's New Media Lunch, Virginia Tourism Corporation representatives brought together representatives from localities across the state to share what they have coming up in the new year.

The 2019 Commemoration will be one of the biggest state-wide tourism efforts this year, according to Virginia Tourism Corporation Communications Manager Andrew Cothern.

The 2019 Commemoration, titled ‘American Evolution,’ is a state-wide series of events marking the 400th anniversary of events that took place in Virginia in 1619.

“This is a celebration of the 400th anniversary of several key historic events, and they include the first representative legislative assembly in the New World, the first reported Africans to arrive, the first English women to arrive, the first official English thanksgiving in North America and the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of the Virginia colony,” he said.

American Evolution events kicked off locally late last year with “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia,” a special year-long exhibition at Jamestown Settlement, deputy director of communications Danielle Emerson said. The exhibition explores the stories of women in Jamestown and their impact on the early days of the Virginia colony.

But the 2019 Commemoration isn’t the only notable anniversary in Virginia this year. 2019 also marks the 50th anniversary of the well-known Virginia Is For Lovers slogan, which the Virginia Tourism Corporation plans to promote with a series of events from June 21 to Aug. 10 at destinations across the state. Local chamber and tourism organizations can also get involved through a grant program, Cothern said.

“We have a grant process that is still in development right now, and once we award those grants, individual tourism partners will be doing things in their communities to celebrate the 50 years of love,” he said.

Other regional tourism highlights in 2019 include the opening of a new amphitheater at Richmond’s Hardywood West Creek and the grand re-opening of the American Civil War Museum with expanded gallery spaces, a theater and improved preservation spaces.

Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.

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