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Civil War technology to be celebrated at the Battle of Hampton Roads weekend

NEWPORT NEWS, VA—The Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend is returning to The Mariners’ Museum and Park on March 9 - 11, 2018, with interactive activities all weekend long. The weekend will celebrate the theme “Modern Marvels: Technology in the Civil War.” Thousands of visitors enjoy this weekend every year.

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The weekend commemorates one of the most famous Civil War battles in history. On March 9, 1862, the Union ironclad Monitor met the CSS Virginia in a battle that, though fought to a draw, changed the very nature of naval warfare not only in America, but worldwide. Today, 156 years later, Museum visitors can remember the battle with a living history encampment,demonstrations, family activities and games, lectures, behind-the-scenes tours, and much more. Most weekend activities are free for Members or with Museum admission.

In a new activity this year, guests can create an ironclad ship with Legos. There will also be a replica of the submarine H. L. Hunley visitors can climb into, making the perfect photo opportunity. Guests can watch green sand molding demonstrations, which was a technique used to cast metal components of the USS Monitor. Children will particularly enjoy a toy artifact that will be on display, a Milton Bradley Myriopticon. The myriopticon is a toy panorama containing a scrolling set of twenty-two connected images detailing historic events that occurred during the American Civil War.

For $10 a person, visitors can take an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the USS Monitor Center Batten Conservation Complex, the world’s largest marine archaeological metals conservation facility. Conservation professionals responsible for treating the Monitor’s turret, engine, and other artifacts will lead each tour. This will offer guests an intimate look at some of the ship’s amazing artifacts. These tours are typically not offered to the general public.

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President Abraham Lincoln, portrayed by acclaimed interpreter, George Buss, will interact with visitors in the galleries. BattleQuest scavenger hunt and Civil War-era games will return again this year. A variety of engaging lectures will be offered throughout the weekend. Lecture will cover a wide array of subjects, including technology in the Civil War.

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Iron pouring demonstrations will return this year on Saturday only. Guests will be able to watch live and will even have the chance to create their iron-cast mold at Sip and Sculpt on Friday evening. This ticketed-event allows guests to sip on beverages while creating a one-of-a-kind piece of art. Tickets are $50 for guests and $35 for Members.

History Bites, Hampton Roads’ most popular food-tasting competition, returns this year on Saturday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m. Top restaurants and caterers in Hampton Roads will prepare their best interpretations of traditional 19th-century dishes representing the North, the South, and the U.S. Navy. Guests and celebrity judges, including Abraham Lincoln, will vote for their favorite dishes. Tickets are $35 in advance, or $45 at the door, and include unlimited food tastings and one drink ticket.

For more information on all the programs, lectures, and activities during the Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend, or to purchase tickets for History Bites, visit Community partners include: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, York County Historical Museum, Tidewater Civil War Partnership, Hampton History Museum, American Civil War Museum, Williamsburg Battlefield Association, and Pamplin Historical Park and The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier.

The Mariners' Museum and Park connects people to the world's waters because through the water – through our shared maritime heritage - we are connected to one another. The organization is an educational, non-profit institution accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and preserves and interprets maritime history through an international collection of ship models, figureheads, paintings, and other maritime artifacts. The Mariners’ Museum is home to the USS Monitor Center, and is surrounded by the 550-acre Mariners’ Museum Park, the largest privately maintained park open to the public in North America. The Mariners’ Museum Library is the largest maritime library in the Western hemisphere. Because of the Museum’s world-class collection and its reputation for high-level exhibits and programs, in 1999, the U.S. Congress designated The Mariners’ Museum as one of only two maritime museums that comprise America’s National Maritime Museum. For hours and information, visit, call (757) 596-2222 or write to The Mariners' Museum, 100 Museum Drive, Newport News, VA 23606.

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