Va. Executive Mansion celebrates 200 years

WASHINGTON — Saturday is a birthday party 200 years in the making.

Virginia’s Executive Mansion, the home of the state’s governor, turned 200-years old on March 13. The mansion is the oldest built residence for governors and first families in the U.S., and it’s celebrating with a party open to the public.

The event, scheduled to take place at the Library of Virginia (800 East Broad St., Richmond, Va.) at 4 p.m. will be hosted by Gov. Bob McDonnell and first lady Maureen McDonnell.

According to Sarah Scarbrough, the mansion’s director, there will be birthday cake, entertainment, food and a screening of a PBS special on the mansion, called “First House.” There is even a “special surprise” scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Another feature of the party includes an exhibit, called “Unearthing the Bicentennial,” which contains items that were excavated from the mansion grounds – – some even dating back to the 1800s. The exhibit runs through July 2013.

“We are thrilled as we commemorate the 200th anniversary of Virginia’s Executive Mansion, the oldest occupied governor’s residence in the United States, that we are able to share with the public these stories and artifacts,” first lady Maureen McDonnell said in a press release statement.

“Virginia is steeped in rich history and we hope that this exhibit and all of the activities surrounding the bicentennial celebrations will highlight the incredible role our Commonwealth has played as the cradle of democracy.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the celebration, visit the mansion’s website.

WTOP’S Kathy Stewart contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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