Just one of the many perks of being a member of the Fredericksburg Area Museum (which, at $40 per family per year, is a real bargain) was getting invited to the grand opening gala for the museum’s newly completed expansion in the renovated bank building. The invitation said “Black tie optional,” an opportunity to dress up and mingle with Fredericksburg’s society set that thrilled me and depressed my husband. So while he went to a UMW basketball game, I got together with a girlfriend to attend the event. I heard that over 700 people were invited, and it seemed to me that everyone attended. The place was packed, with a line at the coat check that at times wound out the door and down the block. In fact, as we waited to check our coats, we watched a rack filled with fur coats come toppling down. Who even wears fur these days? Apparently, the Fredericksburg society set.
The event was really quite nice, if you didn't mind being elbow-to-elbow in some of the rooms. Buffets of appetizers on all floors, a couple of meat carving stations, and bartenders serving up wine and mixed drinks. Plus a little combo on the 2nd floor, a trio of local musicians pretty much drowned out by the crowd. And the museum looks very spiffy. They made good use of the bank’s architecture, even preserving the vault, with an exhibit on currency inside the small room. Plus a two story foyer with a huge chandelier, and lots of interesting corners filled with displays and artifacts. Of course, it was a bit too crowded to get a really good look at it. We’ll have to go back and check it out when we have more time. With free admission for museum members, of course!
Here's the two-story foyer with the bank vault under the clock:
On a second floor balcony is the original neon sign from the old Central Lunch restaurant, where Soup & Taco lives now: