City of Virginia Beach Celebrates 50 Years of “Living the Life”

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Virginia Beach kicked off its 50th anniversary on New Year’s Day, marking a high point for a city known for its beauty, Southern hospitality and charm. Throughout 2013, the city will hold events to promote its history, milestones and successes, recognize the people that helped shape Virginia Beach and celebrate “50 Years of Living the Life” in Virginia Beach.


On Jan. 1, 1963, the Virginia Beach resort area, a small seaside community, and Princess Anne County, a sprawling rural and suburban area, merged to become the 310-square-mile City of Virginia Beach. Since taking the merger, Virginia Beach has experienced tremendous growth, expanding from about 100,000 residents in 1963 to about 447,000 residents today, and is now the most populous city in Virginia.


The city plans on celebrating its Golden Anniversary by incorporating the theme into a multitude of existing citywide events all year long, as well as a new street festival on Oct. 12, the Golden Age Beach Party. This day-long party will include the Lynnhaven River Now fall festival and the Virginia Beach Emergency Services community open house, as well as national and regional entertainment, vendors, rides and amusements, displays, exhibits and, of course, fireworks.  


Throughout 2013, the city will emphasize all of the benefits that make “Living the Life” in Virginia Beach a treasured experience. A list of 50 Days of Fun, to be released in March, is aimed at both residents and tourists, and will focus on promoting a fun activity every weekend from May 4 to Oct. 12. It will include discounts and promotions to local attractions, restaurants and outfitters. 


Both the Golden Age Beach Party and the 50 Days of Fun are a collaborative effort between the city and Virginia Beach Events Unlimited, best known for producing the annual Neptune Festival and Parade, and numerous other events that showcase and celebrate Virginia Beach for residents and visitors.


In recognition of the 50th anniversary, Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. recently received the key to the Cape Henry Lighthouse, and all members of the City Council were named honorary lighthouse keepers in a special Jan. 19 ceremony. Cape Henry Lighthouse was the first public building project of the new United States government after the Revolutionary War. The Jan. 19 ceremony was the kick-off event to the remainder of the year.


For additional information and the latest news and event announcements on the 50th anniversary, visit                                             


Jan. 1, 2013, marked the 50th anniversary of the merger of the two-square-mile resort city of Virginia Beach and the much larger suburbs and farms of Princess Anne County. Combined, the two make up Virginia’s most populous city, one which sprung from considerably more modest roots than the bustling urban cultural center that characterizes Virginia Beach today. Throughout 2013, the city will hold events that will promote the city’s history, milestones and successes, will recognize the people that helped shape Virginia Beach into what it is today, and will celebrate “50 Years of Living the Life” here in Virginia Beach.    


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