Virginia to Host Royal Welcome for Queen

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Governor Kaine Announces Virginia's Royal Welcome At Capitol Square. The public is invited to welcome The Queen with celebration of Virginia's musical heritage on May 3.

The Royal visit is a welcome opportunity for our Commonwealth to continue to heal following last week's tragic events, and we embrace this event as an opportunity to highlight and celebrate Virginia's strong spirit and rich culture

Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced Virginia's Royal Welcome at Capitol Square, a day of musical performances by Virginia artists in honor of the visit from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, II. This free, public event will be held May 3rd to coincide with The Queen's visit to the State Capitol in Richmond. Capitol Square will open to the public at 11:00 a.m., with musical performances beginning at 1:00 p.m.

The Queen and His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, will visit Virginia May 3rd and 4th to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown. Governor Kaine is the official host of The Queen's visit to Virginia.

"The Royal visit is a welcome opportunity for our Commonwealth to continue to heal following last week's tragic events, and we embrace this event as an opportunity to highlight and celebrate Virginia's strong spirit and rich culture," Governor Kaine said. "I invite Virginians and other visitors to join us at Capitol Square to help welcome The Queen, and to come together to experience our diverse musical heritage."

Virginia's Royal Welcome will be a tribute to the state's diverse musical heritage with live performances of authentic bluegrass, gospel, jazz and blues. The music will be a mix of legendary performers and up and coming young artists. Virginia artists scheduled to perform include:

· Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Valley Mountain Boys, Grammy-winning old-time country musicians from Dickenson County, Virginia
· Jane Powell, a jazz and R&B vocalist from Roanoke, Virginia
· Robbin Thompson with the Richmond Boys Choir, rock/gospel performers from Richmond, Virginia
· No Speed Limit, a bluegrass band from Galax, Virginia
· Steve Wilson, world-renowned jazz musician from Hampton, Virginia
· Wayne Henderson, legendary bluegrass artist from Grayson County, Virginia
· Montana Young, a fiddler phenomenon from Basset, Virginia
· Carlton Blount, an R&B artist from Richmond, Virginia
· Gerald Anderson and Spencer Strickland, bluegrass musicians from Grayson County, Virginia
· Larry Bland and the Volunteer Choir, a gospel choir from Richmond, Virginia
· Marna and Macy Bales, contemporary country musicians from Richmond, Virginia
· Hunt Family Fiddlers, Irish dance and fiddlers from Chesapeake, Virginia
· Adrian Duke, critically-acclaimed blues and jazz musician from Richmond, Virginia
· The Hermitage High School Marching Band from Richmond, Virginia.

Virginia's Royal Welcome will be the public event associated with The Queen's visit to the Capitol. Her visit will begin with a short reception at the Executive Mansion, hosted by Governor Kaine and attended by former Virginia governors, spouses, and other special guests. The Queen and The Duke will then begin a walkabout on Capitol Square, joined by Governor Kaine and First Lady Holton. The Queen will tour parts of the State Capitol before addressing a special Joint session of the Virginia General Assembly.

The audience at Virginia's Royal Welcome will be able to watch The Queen's visit and address live on video screens placed throughout Capitol Square.

Virginia's Royal Welcome is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed for the event. Capitol grounds will open at 11:00 a.m. with musical performances from 1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. The public entrance and security screening point will be on Ninth Street. It is recommended that anyone hoping to see The Queen's walkabout should arrive by 2:00 p.m. People may bring blankets, picnic lunches, cameras and binoculars to the event. Lawn chairs, alcoholic beverages, umbrellas and pets are prohibited.

Virginia is preparing to welcome The Queen with true southern hospitality and will benefit from the international attention that the Royal visit will bring to the 400th anniversary of Jamestown. The Queen's visit on May 3rd and 4th, followed by Anniversary Weekend, May 11th-13th in Jamestown, are the highlights of an 18-month commemoration of America's 400th Anniversary.

For more information about Virginia's Royal Welcome, go to http://www.governor.virginia.gov/Queen. Information about The Queen's visit is also available through a toll-free telephone number at the Virginia Tourism Corporation: 877-876-8282.

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TAMRA TALMADGE-ANDERSON
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