Last week I blogged about Partners in Preservation, a community-based initiative by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to raise awareness of the importance of historic places. Twenty-four of those sites in the Washington, DC, area have been chosen to compete for $1 million in grant funding to help support their maintenance, renovations, and/or programming.
To help get the public excited about the initiative, all of the sites will be participating in an Open House weekend this coming Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5. Each place will be doing something special — it might be free admission, a behind-the-scenes tour, food, a performance, etc. — to encourage people to come out and vote for their site at partnersinpreservation.com.
KidFriendly DC is helping support Mount Vernon, where they will be hosting special Preservation Weekend activities. There will be exclusive behind-the-scenes tours led by archaeology, preservation, and collections staff. Inside the Mansion, you’ll get to see conservation in action as experts tackle Mount Vernon’s most extensive preservation project to date, the restoration of Washington’s Large Dining Room, or “New Room.” Children can enjoy preservation-themed activities in the Hands-On-History room inside the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center.
Another great family event will take place at Congressional Cemetery. On Saturday, from 10am – 4pm, Sousa Palooza will include an all-day Scavenger Hunt, performances, wine and cheese, tours pointing out some of the famous “residents,” and even a spaghetti sauce judging contest.
To see what other sites are participating in the Open House weekend and other activities taking place, visit the Partners in Preservation website. And don’t forget you can help the sites earn points by voting online and mentioning them via social media. So, even if you can’t make it to any of the sites this weekend, you can still help your favorite historic DC locale win the $1 million grant!