Music, History, and the Bay Attract Visitors
Special events featuring live music draw people and lead them to discover the history of Fort Monroe. In light of that, a strategic decision was made in 2014 to place even greater emphasis on enhancing events and adding new ones.
The Department of Public Programs became the Special Events Department. A director of special events and a special events coordinator were added to the staff.
The Music by the Bay Concert Series was continued, using the U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Band and the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Heritage of America Band. In addition to the Thursday night concerts, four Friday night concerts were added to the summer schedule. The first Friday concert was a tribute to the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. Approximately 1,000 people attended this musical performance by the USAF band.
The Virginia Bicentennial of the American War of 1812 Commission sponsored the War of 1812 Legacy Symposium in June 2014 at Fort Monroe and Hampton University. The program featured an educators’ workshop, a walking tour of Fort Monroe, and an outdoor concert by the Hampton Roads Philharmonic Orchestra. More than 130 educators registered for the symposium and approximately 600 people attended the concert.
For the first time, the FMA leased property to a private event promoter to operate a large, three-day public event. The Bodacious Boardwalk Bazaar brought over 7,000 visitors to Fort Monroe in early May. These visitors enjoyed live music, more than 200 artists and crafters, RV displays, and food vendors.
The Music by the Bay Concert Series concluded with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Approximately 2,400 people attended this free concert. The orchestra’s program included several selections from the soundtrack from the movie Lincoln and a “Fort Monroe Fanfare,” specially composed for this year’s concert.
“The Fort Monroe Ghost Walk: Where History Meets Mystery,” was offered to the general public as a ticketed event in late October. This guided walking tour of the inner fort featured costumed storytellers sharing classic Fort Monroe ghost tales with more than 500 visitors.
Holiday events at Fort Monroe included a free concert by the Hampton Roads Philharmonic Orchestra and a tree lighting ceremony. The Fort Monroe Mistletoe Homes Tour, also held in early December, featured tours of four historic homes decorated for the holidays, and open houses at several locations.
“In addition to the Thursday night concerts, four Friday night concerts were added to the summer schedule. The first Friday concert was a tribute to the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. Approximately 1,000 people attended this musical performance by the USAF band.”