They’re here! The tradition continues as Virginia Beach once again welcomes the Mid-Atlantic Shrine Association (MASA) for its annual convention. MASA has held its annual fall meeting in Virginia Beach for the past 16 years and has committed to returning through 2016. The fun the Shriners bring to our city is something both residents and visitors look forward to each September.
This year, more than 4,000 Shriners and guests will converge on the Oceanfront and occupy more than 5,000 hotel room nights during their stay. In addition to holding business meetings and functions at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, the Shriners will take to the streets to entertain and spread the word of their mission to aid sick children and their families.
The much-anticipated festive Shrine parade, complete with motorized vehicle units, clowns, floats and much more, kicks off at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 17th Street and Atlantic Avenue and continues north to 27th Street. It’s free and open to the public. All are welcome and invited to line the parade route and join in the fun.
An added highlight this year is a concert on Saturday evening at the 24th Street Park on the boardwalk. The Khedive Notables Dance Band, from neighboring Chesapeake, is a traditional 17-piece big band consisting of saxophones, trombones, trumpets, drums, electric bass, guitar, piano and vocalists. The show begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Bring your lawn chair or a blanket and be prepared for an evening of fun under the stars.
For interviews or additional information about the Mid-Atlantic Shrine Association, please contact George Eason, secretary/treasurer of MASA, at (757) 880-0615.
Traffic note: Temporary road closures will occur along Atlantic Avenue (from 9th Street through 29th Street) for parade route on Sept. 7 beginning at 8:30 a.m. All streets will be reopened by 2 p.m. For more information on street closures, please call the Virginia Beach Resort Management Office at (757) 385-4800.