Alexandria, VA’s New 2017 Tours, Exhibits and Events
Bring PBS’ Original Drama MERCY STREET
to Life for Second Season
City that Inspired PBS Series Announces 25 New Visitor Experiences
Alexandria, VA—As fans of the PBS Civil War-era drama MERCY STREET anticipate the show’s return for a second season on January 22, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. ET, historic Alexandria, Virginia announces 25 new tours, exhibits and events inspired by the series, launching in 2017 as the new season airs.
MERCY STREET, PBS’ first original American drama in a decade, is inspired by real events of Civil War Alexandria. Alexandria celebrates the national spotlight on its history by presenting 35 visitor experiences for MERCY STREET fans in 2017, including 25 new offerings. Fans are invited to visit the city’s historic sites to enjoy new exhibits and events inspired by the series, with several that focus on Civil War-era cultural customs including food, fashion and music. Uncover the real people behind the characters on the show, the realities of Civil War medicine, the changing roles for women, and the breakthrough experience of enslaved African-Americans claiming their freedom.
HIGHLIGHTS OF NEW 2017 VISITOR EXPERIENCES:
- Carlyle House events including “Gala in the Garden” with MERCY STREET producers (May 20), “Love and Romance Between the Lines” open house event (Feb. 11)with historic chocolate treats and reenactors playing real-life love birds Frank Stringfellow and Emma Green, and “Fashion Show and Tea on the Terrace” (June 4) featuring Civil War-era fashion
- Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum’s “Apothecary of Mercy Specialty Tour” (starts Jan. 8)and “This Terrible Disease” exhibit (opens Jan. 13)featuring prescriptions and remedies sold to the Union Commissary Department and to the contraband population and civilian residents in Alexandria during the Civil War
- Civil War-inspired food events including “Civil War Wine Dinner with Gray Ghost Winery” (Jan. 26)and “Heflebower’s Cobblers and Cocktails” (Feb. 3),both atGadsby’s Tavern, andlectures at theLyceumincluding programs with the authors of “Food in the Civil War Era” (Jan. 12) and “Starving the South” (Feb. 23).
- “Before the Spirits are Swept Away: African American Historic Site Paintings by Sherry Z. Sanabria” (continues through May 2017) at the Alexandria Black History Museum featuring over 20 paintings honoring the lives of African-Americans who survived slavery, and years of racial injustice, but whose presence defined the American landscape
- Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site’s “U.S. Colored Troops Living History Encampment” (Apr. 8) portraying the history, training and solider life of African-American units associated with the Civil War defenses of Washingtonand “Fort Ward Tour and Civil War Concert” (May 20)with a solider-led tour of Fort Ward and period music by the Federal City Brass Band
Ten visitor experiences are returning for a second year, including the top-visited MERCY STREET-inspired exhibit, “Who These Wounded Are: The Extraordinary Stories of the Mansion House Hospital” at Carlyle House, once the Green family home adjacent to the Mansion House hospital, featuring an interpretation of period hospital rooms and doctor/officer housing, plus stories of nurse Mary Phinney and spy Frank Stringfellow. Kimpton Hotel Monaco Alexandria will continue to offer its “Have Mercy” package with MERCY STREET-inspired perks.
MERCY STREET season one took place in the spring of 1862 just outside of Washington, D.C. in Alexandria, a border town between North and South and the longest Union-occupied city of the war. Ruled under martial law, Alexandria was the central melting pot of the region, filled with civilians, female volunteers, doctors, wounded soldiers from both sides, free blacks, enslaved and contraband (escaped enslaved people living behind Union lines) African-Americans, speculators and spies. MERCY STREET follows the lives of all of these characters, who collide at Mansion House, the Green family’s luxury hotel, which has been taken over and transformed into a Union Army hospital.
MERCY STREET season two picks up directly from the dramatic events at the end of the season one finale, continuing to explore the growing chaos within Alexandria, the complicated interpersonal dynamics of Dr. Foster, Nurse Mary and the Mansion House staff, the increasingly precarious position of the Green family and the changing world of the burgeoning African-American population. The season will introduce a number of new elements, taking viewers closer to the fight and into the halls of Confederate power, all set against the intensifying war, starting with the Seven Days’ Battle and culminating with Antietam.
Located on the Potomac River waterfront just minutes from Washington, D.C., Alexandria hums with a cosmopolitan feel against an extraordinary historic backdrop. With luxurious accommodations just steps from historic sites, galleries, boutiques and restaurants, visitors can turn a MERCY STREET-inspired excursion into a weekend getaway.
Find Alexandria experiences inspired by PBS’ MERCY STREET at www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com/mercystreet.
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ABOUT ALEXANDRIA, VA
Named a Top Romantic City, a Top Dog Friendly City, and with a dramatic history featured on the PBS series MERCY STREET, Alexandria is a nationally renowned waterfront destination just five miles from Washington, D.C. Old Town Alexandria is the Shop Small headquarters of the region, with dozens of independently owned boutiques and restaurants tucked in to 18th- and 19th-century architecture still intact from the city’s days as George Washington’s hometown. New restaurants ignite historic and off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods as the waterfront district evolves with new energy. Alexandria hums with a cosmopolitan feel and a walkable lifestyle—a welcoming weekend escape next to our nation’s capital.
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