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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Contrabands and Freedmen Descendants
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Page updated Jul 28, 2014 11:13 AM
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Journey To Be Free: Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial
Descendants Information and Banquet Reservation

We are looking forward to welcoming you, the descendants, "home" to Alexandria to celebrate the legacy of your ancestors and their "Journey to be Free."  From September 3-7, there will be special events to honor the ancestors and celebrate the dedication of the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial.  This page will provide you with information about these events, and registration for the  Homecoming Celebration banquet on Thursday, September 4.

Schedule of Activities (As of July 25, 2014)

 Date  Time  Event  Place 
Wednesday
September 3
12 noon to 7 p.m.
 
Descendant Check-in      Alexandria Black History Museum
6:00 p.m. Preview of Alexandria Freedmen's Cemetery Exhibition (light refreshments)   Alexandria Black History Museum
7:30  p.m. Preserving Alexandria’s African American Heritage: The Development of the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial
- lecture/presentation by

Audrey Davis, ABHM Director
Francine Bromberg, Acting City Archaeologist
 
Thursday,
September 4
11 to 3 p.m. Descendant Check-In
Preview of new exhibition on Freedmen's Cemetery
 Alexandria Black History Museum
10:30 to 12:30 p.m. Alexandria Civil War Neighborhoods- North*
2-hour Walking Tour with Pamela Cressey, Ph.D.
Old Town
10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Alexandria Civil War Neighborhoods- North*
lecture/presentation
by Lance Mallamo, OHA Director
Alexandria Black History Museum
2 to 3 p.m. Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial Bas Reliefs
- lecture/presentation by Joanna Blake, artist
Alexandria Black History Museum
3 to 4 p.m.  "The Path of Thorns and Roses" sculpture at the Contrabands and Freedmen's Cemetery Park
- lecture/presentation by Mario Chiodo, artist
Alexandria Black History Museum
6 to 9 p.m. Journey To Be Free: Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial Descendant Banquet**  Charles Houston Recreation Center
Friday,
September 5
11 to 3 p.m. Descendant Check-In
Preview of new exhibition on Freedmen's Cemetery
Alexandria Black History Museum
10:30 to 12:30 p.m.  Alexandria Civil War Neighborhoods-South,
Alexandria  National Cemetery*

2-hour Walking Tour with Pamela Cressey, Ph.D.
Old Town
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.  Alexandria Civil War Neighborhoods-South,
Alexandria  National Cemetery*
- lecture/presentation by Lance Mallamo, OHA Director
Alexandria Black History Museum
2 to 3 p.m. Archaeology at Freedmen's Cemetery
- lecture/presentation by Steven Shephard, Ph.D
Alexandria Black History Museum
7 to 8:30 p.m. Musical Performance
Journey to be Free: Descendants Returning to Alexandria
narrated by C.R. Gibbs, Historian
Click here to register for the musical performance
Lee Center
8:30 p.m. Candlelight Walk from Lee Center to Freedmen's Cemetery
(shuttle buses will be available for those in need) 
Lee Center/Old Town
Saturday,
September 6
10 to 10:05 a.m. Ringing of Alexandria Church Bells Throughout the City
10 to 12 p.m. Memorial Dedication
Mayor William D. Euille
Freedmen's Cemetery
12 to 2 p.m.  Descendant Tea TBD
Sunday,
September 7  
Morning Alexandria church sermons preach about freedom and equality Throughout Old Town
1 p.m. Farewell to Descendants  

All activities are free of charge to descendants except the September 4, 2014 Descendant Banquet:

*Walking tour participants should be in good health, capable of walking for up to 2 hours in a warm, urbanized area with brick sidewalks.  Appropriate footwear, sunglasses, brimmed head ware, and bottle of water are recommended for each participant.  For those descendants unable to participate in the walking tour, an illustrated presentation on the subject will be provided in an indoor setting, with climate control, during the same time period.  Additional walking tours/presentations may be added at other times if attendance exceeds expectations.  The sign-up for each tour activity will be scheduled at check-in.

**Descendant Banquet tickets for those ages 13 and above are priced at $60 per person, payable in two installments, $30 deposit payable by July 15, 2014, and final $30 payment by August 15, 2014. Tickets are limited to the first 300 reservations, and advance reservations are necessary to receive this price. After August 15, 2014, any remaining tickets available, if any, will be offered to the general public at $75 per person. Descendants will be contacted within the next week by a separate mailing or e-mail, with information on how to make and pay for banquet reservations. PLEASE DO NOT SEND PAYMENT OR ATTEMPT TO MAKE RESERVATIONS AT THIS TIME!!

NOTE: Child care with children's activity program and a box dinner will also be available during the banquet in a nearby room at the Charles Houston Recreation Center. This service for children ages 12 and under is available at $16 per child. Reservations can be made at time of adult booking, with an $8 deposit per child payable by July 15, 2014, and final $8 payment per child payable by August 1, 2014. Banquet and child care tickets are fully refundable until August 27, 2014.


Thursday, September 4, 2014
The Journey to Be Free: Our Homecoming Celebration
Banquet Information and Reservation

Attire: Semi-formal (please, no jeans)

Tickets: $60 per person ages 13 and older; $75 after August 15
$16 per child (includes childcare and meal)
Payment may be made by credit card, cash or check as indicated on the Events Registration Form

Payment Plan (available to descendant families only)

  • Deposit of $30 per person due July 15 will hold the reservation until August 15, 2014
  • Check or cash balance per person must be received by August 15. (Note: Credit Cards will be automatically charged for balance due on that date)
  • Tickets purchased after August 15 will be priced at $75 per person.

Reservations will be offered first to the descendants' families until August 1 2014. After August 1, any remaining reservations will be open to the public until the event sells out.

Banquet Location

The banquet will be held at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, 902 Wythe St., on former site of the Parker-Gray School. For this special evening, the Johnson-Siebert Gymnasium will be transformed into The Bulldog Ballroom (representing the Parker-Gray mascot on the wall). A recently installed "Hall of Fame" permanent exhibit, documenting significant African Americans in Alexandria's history, will also be on view throughout the building.

Children

Childcare for children 12 years and under of descendants attending the Banquet is $16 per child. The cost includes a meal. Check-in begins at 5:30p.m .at Charles Houston Recreation Center. Reservations and payments are required in advance. The payment plan follows the adult schedule; $8 per child by July 15, and balance by August 15. There is no discount for multiple children.

Menu

A special "home-cooked style" menu of traditional favorites will be provided by local caterer - Do Yourself A Flava. Anyone with dietary restrictions, or a preference for vegetarian options should indicate it  at the time the reservation is made, using the online reservation form.

Seating Option

We will make every effort to seat family groups together. At the time that your reservation is made, please designate the family group with which you wish to be seated.

Parking

There will be reserved parking designated for this event on the streets that border the Center. General street parking in the surrounding community will be available. Off site parking with shuttle service is also being planned. More details are forthcoming.

Photo Opportunities

A designated area will be available for families to take group photos to commemorate this occasion. Plans are being made to offer professional photos. More details are forthcoming.



Contraband and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial Commemorative Ornament

Commemorative OrnamentThe Alexandria Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial Ornament depicts Mario Chiodo's passionate statue, "The Path of Thorns and Roses," framed by the memorial's arched entranceway. As the centerpiece of the memorial, the statue depicts the allegoric figures of Oppression, Struggle, Sacrifice, Loss, Compassion, and Hope. The Ornament commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Cemetery's first burial and the memorial's official opening in September. Descendants may purchase this ornament, at 15% off the regular price. Virginia descendants and out-of-state descendants that would like to pick up their ornament purchase in Virginia must  add an additional $.92 sales tax. Ornaments to be mailed outside Virginia need not include sales tax, but should include an additional $3.50 shipping and handling charge. To order, please use the Banquet Online Reservation Form or call  703.746.4717.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 ACVA logoSpecial Dedication Hotel Rates for Descendant Families

         NOTE: All room rates are based on availability and subject to change without notice. 

  • Crowne Plaza Alexandria Old Town $99.00 plus tax per room per night: click Contrabands or call 877-317-5752
  • Holiday Inn and Suites Alexandria Historic District $79.00 plus tax per room per night: click Freedmen or call 703-548-6300
  • Holiday Inn Express and Suites Alexandria $119 per room per night plus tax: Click Contrabands & Freedmen Cemetery Memorial
    Rate includes a hot breakfast, free parking and free Internet
  • Hotel Monaco Alexandria (rates based on availability at the time of booking): Click to book CVB rate 
  • Lorien Hotel & Spa (rates based on availability at the time of booking): Click to book CVB rate 
  • Morrison House (rates based on availability at the time of booking): Click to book CVB rate 
  • Sheraton Suites Old Town Alexandria $99.00 plus tax per room per night: click Contrabands & Freedmen Cemetery Memorial OR copy and paste the following link into a web browser https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/StarGroupsWeb/res?id=1406270506&key=2FCE4B95 OR call 1-888-627-7049/1-800-325-3535. Guests can access the site to learn more about the event and to book, modify, or cancel a reservation from June 27, 2014 to September 7, 2014.
  • Residence Inn Alexandria Old Town South at Carlyle $159 per room per night plus tax: Click http://cwp.marriott.com/wasra/ccmr or call 1-888-245-2616 and mention CODE: CCMR
    or call 703-310-1177 Monday – Friday 8am-4pm



Other Important Links

Historic Alexandria Administration
Lloyd House
220 North Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703.746.4554
Fax: 703.838.6451
Email

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.