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Manassas Brims With Anticipation of Sesquicentennial

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The owner of the Whimsical Galerie Shop in Manassas is hoping that her investment in official sesquicentennial merchandise will pay off next week.
Jonathan Wilson
The owner of the Whimsical Galerie Shop in Manassas is hoping that her investment in official sesquicentennial merchandise will pay off next week.

Okra's is a popular Louisiana bistro in historic old town Manassas. The activity in the kitchen only hints at what employees are expecting when hordes of Civil War buffs arrive next week.

Sarah Paull says the restaurant has stocked up on twice as much food as usual; great for business, but exhausting for employees.

"It's going to be lots of people, lots of out-of-towners," says Paull. "It's going to be fun, but really really busy, and really really scary all at the same time and I can't wait for it to be over."

But not everyone can bank on extra customers.

Phil Sykes runs the Old Towne Barbershop, and he prays some of the visitors need haircuts.

"Just come in a little earlier, leave a little later, and hope for the best," he says.

The biggest hope for business owners is that whatever attention the town garners during the sesquicentennial lasts more than a few days.

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