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July 4th Festivities Hint At Coming Civil War Celebration In Manassas

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The City of Manassas is displaying even more patriotic spirit than usual as it gears up for the sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War later this month.
Jonathan Wilson
The City of Manassas is displaying even more patriotic spirit than usual as it gears up for the sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War later this month.

Bob Chase, sales manager at Prospero's Books, a rare and used book store in Old Town Manassas, sees the excitement building every day.

Even though there's still a few weeks until the official Civil War sesquicentennial, the spirit of American history and pride is evident here as the city prepares to welcome thousands of Civil War buffs to commemorate the First Battle of Manassas, he says.

"I think the entire area has a different energy," Chase says.

Chase manned the register at the bookstore Monday. Independence Day is traditionally one of the store's best sales days as the city welcomes nearly 40,000 people just to see the fireworks.

It's also a pretty special day for Chase and his wife Inga; they were celebrating their wedding anniversary at the store yesterday.

Chase is hoping the Civil War events planned for later this month generate even more business.

"We're still suffering in this recession, there's no doubt," Chase says. "It's still got it's grip on the entire area."

Historic Manassas expects more than 10,000 visitors each day during the four-day Civil War commemoration, which starts on July 21.

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